Gransnet forums


a kick in the teeth for loyalty

(21 Posts)
petunia Wed 04-Sep-19 09:26:42

Finally, after much prevarication, we have taken steps to change out TV/broadband/phone from Virgin to Sky. Such a palaver involving lengthy waits on the phone and finally Virgin offering a cheaper deal than Sky. Win win you may say, but is it?

Every year we go through the process of finding cheaper house insurance, car insurance, travel insurance etc. as the original provider assumes loyalty and whacks a hefty increase on their quote. Its all a game and most of us play it. But is it right?

There will come a time when OH and myself may not be able to research or negotiate better deals and fall for the line of least resistance. When my late dad was still driving, his car insurance premiums were double the average rate because he just paid it without question. That must be happening to hundreds and thousands of elderly people as we speak. It must also be happening to to less internet savvy or more vulnerable people.
Its such an underhand business model that prizes new customers and punishes loyalty.

What do you think?

Anyway, we are going with Sky. For the time being.

Elegran Wed 04-Sep-19 09:37:56

They all do it - banks, insurance, utility suppliers, the lot of them. New customers are lured in with wonderful new deals and gifts of a cash welcome. so you join and set up a direct debit from which they can take their money automatically without bothering you with an invoice first

Then year after year the prices go up and so does the direct debit. Meanwhile newer customers still get the better deals while existing ones pay extra to fund the new ones.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to them that if existing customers paid a little less than new ones after being there a certain length of time, they would stay for longer and there wouldn't be the need to tempt in so many new ones with the "special offers". I think they must enjoy the competitive game of "grab a sucker.

annsixty Wed 04-Sep-19 09:39:55

I have actually found Sky good.
The only thing to watch, mark it on your calendar, is to get in touch a month before your contract ends and renegotiate.
I didn’t realise, I was under some stress at the time, and realised my payments had shot up.
I phoned and they explained, they said they had notified me but I couldn’t find an e-mail, however while I didn’t get the original deal I got £20 off the new charges.
For tv, sport package, phone and broadband I pay £89, considerably cheaper than Sky for tv and BT for phone and broadband.

morethan2 Wed 04-Sep-19 09:46:08

This drives us crazy, every year we have to go through the same old rigmarole. My husband is much more indignant about it than me. When cancelling because he’s found a better deal he is often given an offer to match the deal he’s found if he doesn’t change. He gets so incensed that he refuses on principle, even though it would be the easiest option. I think he just enjoys telling them what he thinks.

EllanVannin Wed 04-Sep-19 09:47:12

It's when you see/read about the profits these companies are making that it dawns on you that you're being fleeced yet they don't voluntarily reduce payments as a gesture of your continuing custom. Rip-off merchants the lot of them.

petunia Wed 04-Sep-19 09:56:03

Thanks grans, im not alone then in my disgust.

It is all a game though. It seems to me that the line of least resistance brigade are paying through the nose for the perk of the new starters

Virgin finally offered a deal that was just below Sky. If it were possible, why weren't we paying the lower amount already, it makes my blood boil.

And Elegran hit the nail on the head. The remainers (sorry, not referring the Brexit) pay over and over for the new starters. Why? Because it gives them huge profits and mainly, just because they can.

Who can stand up for the “suckers”?

Luckygirl Wed 04-Sep-19 10:00:24

Line of least resistance indeed - that is what the providers are banking on. Again we have all been held hostage by a rigid Tory political principle that says that competition is always good.

Frankly I have more than enough on my plate here and do not have the energy to be shopping around. It is tiresome indeed.

yggdrasil Wed 04-Sep-19 10:09:59

I just renewed my house insurance. The price quoted was £25 more than last year. About 10 minutes on a comparison site gave me some much lower quotes.
So I rang my insurers and told them this. The upshot was I got a deal with better conditions, for only a couple of pounds more than last year.
It takes a bit of time, but is worth the effort. Don't forget, you have the upper hand to accept or reject their quotes.

Witzend Wed 04-Sep-19 10:15:31

Quite agree. Since he retired, dh rather enjoys spending hours researching best deals for various insurances, car breakdown cover, etc.
The differences are often very significant.
Quite often he's said, 'Is that the best you can do?' to whoever is on the phone, and is immediately offered a discount.

However the routine ripping off of older people, who just pay up extortionately inflated premiums, because it doesn't occur to them that the company would be blatantly ripping off a loyal customer, is shameful.

I read not long ago of someone who had a fit at the price of his elderly mother's contents insurance. She had simply been paying up whatever they asked for years. He very quickly found her quote for around a third of what they'd demanded!

sodapop Wed 04-Sep-19 10:19:18

It's not a good system is it, of course designed to benefit the supplier not the customer. I had an argument with Barclaycard some years ago over this very thing and had my card upgraded. As usual the most vulnerable people suffer the most from this.

sunseeker Wed 04-Sep-19 10:26:20

When I get my renewal quote - I log onto their website and ask for a quote as a new customer. If it is better than the quote I have received I contact customer service and invariable I am able to renew at the better price.

mcem Wed 04-Sep-19 10:30:23

Virgin notified me that my package costs would go from £58 to £62 per month. There have been several minor increases over the years.
After a great deal of online gagging about, I finally spoke to a human being.
My 5year-old deteriorating equipment was part of my complaint.
An engineer visited the following morning and replaced both router and TiVo box and my package will now cost £48 for the next year.t
(Sky not an option for me as the Murdoch empire is anathema!)

Jane10 Wed 04-Sep-19 10:34:54

Being a dedicated skinflint and fully paid up member of the awkward squad, I always deal direct with complaints departments of the various companies. It cuts out the middle person and I'd end up complaining anyway.
I've had very helpful responses from actual people and no hanging on the line pressing this or that number.
Be awkward. It can pay. Of course you always have to be prepared to walk away.

fizzers Wed 04-Sep-19 10:55:47

loyalty means absolutely nothing, but it should do. It wasn't until I ended my time with Virgin (after being with them for many many years) and moved to Sky did they start bombarding me with offers - too little too late, besides that I had ongoing problems with my broadband and after three months I'd had enough and moved over to Sky.

had the same issue with my mobile provider, been with them many years, but couldn't offer me any sort of deal or reduction - so I moved!

It's absolutely shameful that existing, longterm customers are having to finance the special offers used to tempt in new customers.

humptydumpty Wed 04-Sep-19 10:56:46

petunia congratulations in getting anything out of Virgin! I was reccomended by a Virgin employee to ask to be put through to thei 'leavers'(?) department when my fixed-price deal ran out, so I tried that but they were totally uninterested. I'm still with them but it grates every time I see my monthly bill. I just can't face the hassle of changing to Sky, plus of course I would no longer be able to watch all my Virgin recordings.

petunia Wed 04-Sep-19 11:08:46

this is interesting

fizzers Wed 04-Sep-19 11:18:22

humptydumpty the changeover from Virgin to Sky was pretty easy, I arranged the fitting date with Sky, notified Virgin I was leaving, still had to give them a month's notice, I wasn't keeping the phone number - that was no issue. By the time I had the Sky fitted the Virgin was still live, so no period of time without broadband or tv packages.

I think I still had the Virgin email address for 60 days ( not sure - it could've been longer) giving me plenty of time to change all the details

wildswan16 Wed 04-Sep-19 11:31:31

Being told you have to pay more, then telling them you are leaving, then them telling you they could give you a better deal - it's ridiculous. In effect they are lying to you the first time and then blackmailing you into staying with them.

I am then forced to leave (because I am annoyed with them) and spending extra time setting up somewhere else. All of this palaver must cost the companies vast sums of money which they could avoid if they were straightforward and honest to their customers.

GillT57 Wed 04-Sep-19 11:53:16

It is a performance I go through with every annual policy for car, travel, house etc., and it drives me mad. An elderly neighbour of my late Mother was very proud of the fact that she paid all her bills on time, by cheque, and had no standing orders, no direct debits, didn't 'mess about' with online shopping; the end result of this was that she was paying three times what my Mother was for insurance for the same house as Saga just renewed every year and sent her a bill. Ironically, Saga are one of the worst offenders according to Radio4 Moneybox programme, possibly because it is a name trusted by elderly, possibly less computer savvy clients. It is shameful.

Tweedle24 Wed 04-Sep-19 11:57:32

I have obtained quotes from other companies when renewal comes up. These are usually cheaper than the current company but, more often than not, when I have told the current company that I can get it cheaper, they have matched the other quote. It is always worth a try. They don't want to lose customers.

SalsaQueen Wed 04-Sep-19 19:11:46

After 20-odd years of being a Virgin Media customer, I changed to Sky some months ago. I've found the service very good. When this tariff ends, I'll shop around for a good deal again. I go with the best price for car insurance, home insurance, etc. Companies don't deserve my loyalty, not when new customers get a better deal - so I ensure that I AM the new customer grin