The big rort: discounts for new customers, but not existing ones?

You know what I’m fed up with?

Companies who don’t know how to reward customer loyalty.

This was a big issue uncovered during the Royal Commission: there were countless stories of banks and lenders who were only too happy to give new customers a big fat interest rate discount, while existing customers were forced to settle with their existing, much more expensive higher rates.


But it’s a problem that spills over into all sorts of industries and products.

Just recently, I upgraded my mobile phone and plan – and once again I was shown another example of a business choosing to reward new customers over existing ones.

All of the phone service providers are offering deals and packages at the moment with the new iPhone 11. However for new customers at my particular mobile phone company, there was an offer of three months’ worth of free phone access if you sign up for a two-year plan.

If you’re an existing customer and you want to renew, this offer doesn’t apply to you.

I understand the strategy from the company’s point of view: it’s a promotion designed to ‘entice’ people to sign up, and the expense involved is written off as a cost of “acquiring” the new business.

But do companies have any idea how much offers like this impact consumers – and makes us feel completely unvalued?

They should offer similar incentives to customers to re-sign, and consider it a cost of retaining business.

For me, being ineligible for an offer because I’ve already done you the favour of giving you my business for a number of years has frustrated me to the point that I decided to take my business to another company.

After 15 years with my phone provider, I’ve switched.

Fifteen years, averaging $80 per month, with the odd overseas blowout and new phone upgrade fee in the mix for good measure: that’s around $15,000 I’ve spent with them.

Maybe I’m petty.

But I have to say, signing my contract felt very sweet indeed.