Saturday, September 17, 2005

Telus Mobility's Customer Loyalty Program is an Oxymoron

I've been a Telus Mobility customer since 2000 and have been on their month to month payment plan since my original 3-year plan expired. Recently I received a letter from Telus with an offer for me (as an existing customer) to replace my 5-yr old phone if I agree to lock in for a set period and the offer consists of:

1-year - either a 50 minute bundle or a Smart Bundle for 12 months;
2-year - Free Nokia 3205i phone or either the 50 minute or Smart Bundle for 24 months;
3-year - $150 phone discount or a $200 discount on Blackberry or the Smart Bundle for 36 months.

I thought "Great. I can upgrade to a newer phone." and went online to check out the various phones and found one, a Motorola V710 which is $149.99 for a 3-year activation. "Hmm, I got a $150 credit so phone's free if I lock in for 3 years." I thought and look through the various features of the phone, speakerphone, 500 number phone directory, camera, etc which sounds good. So I went into one of their dealers and the guy look up my details and so on and got confirmation that my discount do apply to the phone in question. I was happy eventhough the guy told me that they will have to charge me $35 to activate the new phone. I was told to come back in about 15 minutes while they do up the paperwork and activate the phone.

Away I went to do some errands and I came back for the phone. As usual, I got the sales pitch for buying extended warranty (it's a waste of money for the customer but a money maker for the retailer - I should know as I used to work for big electronics retailer who basically generated a lot of revenue on sales of extended warranties) which I turn down. I signed the 3-year agreement and the guy went and enter the details into the POS and turned around and tells me that the total is $210.00 plus taxes! I go "Huh?" I would have thought that $149.99 - $150 credit + $35 activation would be $34.99 plus taxes. Hmm, something is not right here so I looked through the item lines and see a $349.99 price for the phone which with my discount would be $200. Wait a minute, I thought the phone is only $149.99 with a 3-year activation and I pointed to the display tag in the store which states 3-year, phone = $149.99. Oh no, goes the salesperson, it's only for new activations.

Okay, let's see. I've been a faithful Telus Mobility customer for the last five years and to lock myself in for another 3 years, I gotta pay $210 for the phone whereas newcomer Joe will only pay $150. Who's the crap piece of marketing s**t who planned this marketing for Telus Mobility?? Why should I stay with Telus Mobility if they are so willing to treat their existing customers like 2nd hand clients? Rogers, Bell & Fido are all chomping down on the bit to try and get their competitors' customers to switch. The only problem in Canada right now is that you are not able to carry your existing number over but that's in the works and should be in place within the next twelve months. You can bet your skinny hinny that I will be the first to switch when that is available.


Anonymous said...

It's exactly what happens in the UK.
I have been with "Orange" for 10 years. They likewise give a great deal to new customers, but average reduction from a sim free phone. BUT they then have the cheeck to advestise "we give existing customers a great deal" (compared to some other suckers elsewhere on the planet, i guess)

Peter K said...

Doesn't it bugs you that the company is willing to give new customers a better deal than one that has been with the company for 5 years?

You would figure that the intent of the marketing for new customers was to convince your competitors' customers to switch that you want to make sure you keep your existing ones too.

So, give your existing customers a better one to retain them.

Peter K said...

Update - June 07
In late April of 07, a month after the transferable mobile number regulation came in, I switched over to Bell Mobility and for the same price plan ($20/month), I get the same deal as my existing Telus Mobility plan plus a new LG Chocolate phone ($30) plus free voicemail, call display, call forwarding, 3-way calling, call waiting, messaging AND free weekend!

Baby said...

My contract is coming up for a renewal in a few weeks and I contact Telus to see what they could do for me to have me sign up with them again for another 3 years. After all I have been with them for over 10 years. I found a deal with rogers for $40 plan and I asked Telus to match it. There sales rep told me that they can only give it to me for $45 since there plan starts at $55. I asked them you can't do anything to give me that $40 plan that roger is offering. Considering that I have been with them for a very long time. There answer was " sorry that's the best I can do". I asked them do you want me to go with rogers or do you want me to stay. The reply was it's up to you. You know where I am going to and it's not going to be with Telus that's for sure.