Speaking of loyalty, it has been entirely to long since I did a good post here. So, here we go!
Have you surfed the various web sites for AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile? Are you a new customer to any one of these? How about a long standing customer? Either way, there is a smack in the face that loyal, long time customers feel when they are on their respective carriers website, or in the store. That smack is the fact that there are NO loyalty deals for these customers. Every single special, deal or what have you is aimed entirely at new customers. WHY?!?
I understand that the big game is getting new subscribers, and then locking them in for two years. But what about those customers that willingly stick with their favorite company? Sure, customer support will win their hearts, and great phones will win their wallets; but what about making sure there is more to it? Sometimes, a great phone will come out on a competitor network that a customer "just has got to have", and they have no qualms with the good old fashioned cut and run. Especially when they can "trade in" there old phone for credit on their new phone.
Sprint, as an example, once had the Premier Program. A loyalty program that gave long standing customers special treatment when it came to upgrades, pricing and more. That program was cancelled in late 2011. Many customer that regularly utilized the annual upgrade perk were devastated, and upset. On top of that, Sprint jumped on the $36 upgrade activation bandwagon right along side AT&T and Verizon.
New customers can sign up and get Buy One, Get One free specials, activation fee waivers, and sometimes more. Old customers continue to foot the bill, and are expected to just deal with it, and simply "be happy you have service". That corporate attitude is horrible! What makes this worse is the fact that customer service hotline representatives are expected, if not demanded, to uphold that attitude.
Folks, remember one important thing. Those customer care representatives don't make that much money, and they are just as much a CUSTOMER as you are. They may have to tell you that the "charges are valid" with a smile in their tone, but that doesn't mean they like it.
Needless to say, this is a trend that does not look to be changing anytime soon. This is a shame, as its the loyal customers that will bring in their friends and family. It is the loyal customer that bring in NEW customers. Why aren't they being treated like gold?