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New Customers Get Treated Better Than Existing Customers

XFINITY TV from Comcast: Digital TV, Digital Cable Service, Cable TV Deals and Offers

Digital Premier $84.99 includes HBO® Cinemax®, STARZ®, & SHOWTIME®.

I pay more for less with my existing package:
Digital Preferred I pay $97.70 Total.
( Digital Starter $65.25 + Digital Preferred w/ HBO $32.45 )
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John Shabanowitz's profile photoMichael Durwin's profile photoDarin Berntson's profile photoLawrence Brown's profile photo
41 comments
 
I despise this "trend" if I can even call it that. It's more of a bait and switch because they all (cable, satellite, mobile carriers and more) offer big discounts for a length of time, then the price jumps quite high when the offer is done. Even finding the "regular" prices on a site like Comcast is nearly impossible as they only tout their introductory rates. Horrendous.
 
There is a trick to how much you pay for Comcast services. I found that if you go to a Comcast office and are nice to a clerk, you can get deals even as a longtime customer. It's a ridiculous way to price their products that they get away with because they have a monopoly on the service in an area.
 
+Chuck Stanley The worst thing about is that you can't even see what services you are currenty subscribed to, when you look at your account online. You can't upgrade online. You have to call on the phone and talk to someone. They make it very difficult.
 
As a customer, I hate this.

As a marketer and someone who has sold subscriptions, it's easy to understand - you want to reduce the friction required for a new customer to do business with you.

The answer (I think) is to occasionally offer promotions just for your existing customers as a way of saying, "Thanks!"

Maybe a surprise email that says, "30% off your bill next month, just for being a great customer!"

Some might call that crazy pants, but I call it "creating raving fans."

I've never been in an environment where the C-level execs would let me try this, but I'm confident it would have the desired effect if execute properly.
 
Call and complain. See what they can work out for you. As far as I can see, the Digital Premiere offer isn't just for new customers.... only the Triple Play is.... You just need to create a 2-year agreement for that price plan and they'll probably end up giving it to you.
 
My experience is that it is all dependent upon who you end up talking to on the phone. And, if you do complain in the wrong manner according to that person, they will be of no assistance. I had two reps for a cable company tell me that I could NOT downgrade my services that it wasn't ALLOWED! The next time that I called I got the same story. When I called from a different telephone number and got a different person, the story was altogether different. I did downgrade my services and I didn't have to sign a contract to do it. The cable companies in particular are going to have to have a re-alignment somehow. When more people are able to order services and stream them ala carte, then maybe the industry will be more transparent, but I believe it won't result in cheaper rates overall, unfortunately.
 
+Steve Garfield Agreed. I had DirecTV before I moved 6 years ago, they wouldn't do anything to keep me as a customer UNTIL I already had subscribed to Dish. I have Comcast (sorry, XFinity) for cable modem only... YET I have to subscribe to basic cable to get the best price...
If I only get cable Internet, it costs $10 more per month than if I get Internet and basic cable... yet never have hooked it up to a TV. It infuriates me the way they do business.
Plus, I think it gets better... I am pretty sure that if you cancel a subscription to any of them, because you were once a customer, you are never eligible for "new subscriber" discounts ever. ugh
 
Have we check promos for you recently for existing customers?
 
I looked online, and see only, Internet, Voice, and Internet 2go. No upgrades to add Showtime to my existing package. I want to add Showtime to see Claire Danes in Homeland. Starts Sunday. Thanks.
 
+Steve Garfield Online won't help you. Believe me, just go to one of their offices and beg sweetly.
 
Send me your account phone number and I will see what I can do for you William_gerth@Comcast.com. Also we have no way to upgrade online with out starting a chat session to verify products or premium channels. This is however highly requested and something we are working on.
 
+Bill Gerth Very cool that you are responding to customers here. That is a big plus for Comcast.
 
This is true. But then again, Comcast doesn't require a contract. So, cancel your service and start it back up again.
 
every year I call and complain, with that website up in front of me. All i say is "I want to lower my bill" And when they escalate the call i repeat myself. they always try to upsell me to the next package, digital gold, extra super turbo edition. but i just say i want to lower my bill and i don't want any new services, nor do i wish to drop my package. Offer me the lower rate.
Its worked for 3 years so far
 
worst way of doing business ever!
 
On the flip side of things though. If you Call Xbox support, and you want to re-up your xbox live subscription they have deal specifically for long term customers via their phone service. Last year i got a third of the bill knocked off. I've been a loyal member for years and that was the first i heard of these secret deals
 
+Paul Muller I'd +1 your comment but I can't since it would seem like an implicit approval of having to pick up the telephone to call every year. I'm glad you get a discount every year. I don't want to have to do that. Hopefully, Social Media will win out this year. ;-)
 
+Jan Kabili Thanks. We are trying to greet our customers as they arrive rather than meeting them in this space.
 
+Steve Garfield Thanks. I haven't worked on Comcast stuff since last summer but this 3-column layout seemed to work well during A/B testing. I always say "Measure twice, publish once"
 
+Bill Gerth When you say "as they arrive" I assume you're referring to new customers. Please don't forget your existing loyal customers. It's a mistake many companies make.
 
+Bill Gerth I do admire that Comcast itself gets the social media space, and does something like this, and ComcastCares on Twitter... but unfortunately, as you see from this small sample of comments above, people have to jump through hoops today to get any kind of discount. Does Comcast want to really impress me? Then treat the loyal (read: sustained) customers the way new customers are treated... don't make us jump through hoops. Those of us who do jump get a discount occasionally, but those that do not think to because they do not think there is a lower price? They continue to pay $$$$ month after month.
If a Comcast can buy a major network, then I don't think they can claim that discounts for customer loyalty can cause financial hardship... I think the stock has paid out dividends thrice in 2011 so far.
I'd love to see Comcast reverse my opinion of them and shock the world.
 
Update:
Just got a phone call form Comcast.

There are two offers available to existing subscribers:

1. Swap out my existing HBO and add in Showtime.
2. Add Showtime for an additional charge.

I explained that I didn't want to pay more. New subscribers get more, for less.

I said what I wanted was what I saw on the web page:

Digital Premier $84.99 includes HBO® Cinemax®, STARZ®, & SHOWTIME®.

+Paul Muller Look at me. On the phone. Like you. ;-)
 
+Steve Garfield I know! Trust me i don't want to be there when its my time either but the budget dictates a phone call long about April
 
+Steve Garfield Sounds like everything went great with Vanessa and getting you the right package. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any further questions.
 
Update #2:
I'm getting Showtime for an additional $3.50 / month.

Here's how it breaks down:
The additional charge to add a 2nd premium channel is $10.30. Would be nice to be able to see that somewhere on the web site.

As a 'valued subscriber' I'm getting a reduction in the cost to add a 2nd premium channel down to $3.50 per month, for 12 months. At the end of 12 months the charge will revert back to $10.30 per month.

Conclusion
I'm now paying $101.20 per month ($97.70 + $3.50) to get Digital Preferred + HBO® & SHOWTIME®.

This compares to a NEW SUBSCRIBER who pays $84.99 per month for Digital Preferred + HBO®, Cinemax®, STARZ®, & SHOWTIME®

I'm paying $16.21 more, to get 2 fewer premium channels.
 
+Bill Gerth See my post above. I didn't get what I wanted. I wanted to be treated as well as a new customer, and I'm now paying more than them for less. I'm not going to sit on the phone and argue about it. I just want to watch Claire Danes on Showtime on Sunday and there's no other way to do it. Treating new customers better than exiting customers isn't right and I don't feel great about it. I appreciate your support and Vanessa's call, but I've got work to do during the day and I can't play the games required to get better pricing.
 
Time Warner Cable is no exception, however, if you call up and complain, they will offer you a lower rate. My rate was only $5 per month cheaper than I was paying but every little bit helps.
 
I have been having the same problem with DirectTV. This is a complete joke! After 2 hours on the phone with them I get to save $30 for 6 months, but still $60 more than a new customer pays. They say it has to do with rebates etc... but I call B.S.

It is cheaper to switch each year from DirectTV to Dish Network each year just to get the savings.

I am honestly just about ready to Kill off all paid TV and watch my shows online.

TV is a JOKE!
 
+Chuck Stanley Thanks for the feedback as it helps to make us a better company. Comcast recognizes that we are nothing without our customers. We work with current and new customers daily to ensure they get the right packages for there entertainment and communication needs.
 
I know I'm a little late to the conversation, but here goes...

In Comcast defense (which I rarely run to), everyone is a new customer at some point. It has absolutely nothing to do with treating one better than the other. You (the customer) makes a deal with this company to have a discount for x amount of months. The months run out and you (the customer) expect to have that same rate "forever"? The logic and nerve of these people upsets me beyond belief. It's this generations false sense of entitlement just for breathing air and consuming sustenance. You (the customer) knew the terms of the agreement prior to saying yes to the install. The fact that you ignored them has absolutely nothing to do with the company and/or it treating new customers better. With that said, I guess drug dealers treat new customers better as well. The first hit is free, after that you have to pay. "But what about those new users?! Why do they get the first hit for free?!" Well, my good sir, it's because I want them hooked. Now that I have them, they will do everything humanly possible to keep that high. I'm sorry? Lo siento?

Oh and Comcast (Insert Any Other Fortune 500 Company Here) doesn't give a flying fuck about the customers. It's something that us people at the bottom seem to have misconstrued. What these machines are designed to do is increase market share or overall profits for the quarter/year. They come up with amazing ways to do this. Like, I don't know, getting rid of an entire call center or two just to lower losses (because paying employees is actually a loss to the company, even if those employees lower the call volume for that market) for that quarter/year. The excuse I got while working for [insert fortune 500 company here] regarding pay raises and doing things that would help the customers is that it wasn't in the budget. The amazing thing is, this fortune 500 company recently made a deal to buy another company. The deal was worth 50 billion dollars. Hint, hint. My point is, taking care of customers in a logical, good faith manner doesn't exist with these organizations. Money, money, money... Greed, greed, greed...

Hey +Crixus Spaulding , check this out. Good read.
 
+Lawrence Brown Your comment brought up a memory: When I used to work in retail, and it was time for my raise, they told me, minimum wage just went up, that's your raise. New hires were paid the same as me.
 
+Steve Garfield you don't have a contract with Comcast, just quit them and sign up as a new customer. Or, call them up, threaten to shut off your services and watch as they drop your rate and pile on the extra channels. WOrks every time.
 
+Michael Durwin I will do you one better. I used to work for Comcast. There system is designed to give new customers and/or customers with basic cable promotions. So, get the double play (internet and tv). After 6 months, downgrade to basic tv only. This change can be done over the phone. Explain that you will drop off the equipment that day. Call them later that night and get the same or similar promotion again. This will guarantee a new customer promotion. If you have CDV (comcast digital voice) it gets tricky. No need for it, home phone is obsolete.
 
...an attempt to troll I see. I live in Chicago, I gives no fuck about someone in rural areas of North Dakota. For me, someone that lives in Chicago, home phones are obsolete. Also home security services can use mobile now. Once again, NO NEED FOR HOME PHONE. There's an app for that! #iPhone #Android #Muted
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