The perks of customer loyalty

6 Oct

This sneaked into my inbox the other day from my home contents insurers.

Can I go to the website and deselect auto renewal? Can I buggery! I have to slalom through the maze of phone flow-chartitude we’ve all come to know and love. I’m speaking to a real person in under five minutes – a personal record – but the conversation proper lasts thirty seconds.

With my details loaded, he asks:

How can I help you today, sir?

I want to cancel auto renewal.

Any particular reason, sir?

Two actually. One, I’m agin it in principle – I like to shop around. Two, this is a hike of more than fifty percent.

I see, sir. I can do you a renewal at last year’s price.

Tempted as my Greater Self is to tell him to stuff it – politely of course: he’s not the organ grinder – my Lesser Self races with etched circuit speed through what Boolean logicians call a truth table:

I want to spend another hour of my life perusing home insurance policies: TRUE/FALSE

I’ll take it. Have a nice day.


4 Replies to “The perks of customer loyalty

  1. It’s the new virtual capitalism – incessantly moving below your gaze. And if you don’t watch (and many won’t) you’ll find yourself a thousand short because of the small print on an email you automatically binned long ago.

    • I like the way the Budget bloke immediately authorised the price drop. Including wait time I was on the phone five minutes, total. I “earned” £35.26, which translates to an hourly rate of – hang on again while I crank up Excel – tada, £423.12! Nice work when you can get it.

      But of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this, and today’s result was par for the course. The truth is, they are all trying it on and they all know what they are doing. As I said to a couple of likeminded pals earlier, “I don’t know what percentage of customers can be arsed to do as we do but I’d be surprised if it climbs out of the nought-point-nought-something range, and world-turned-upside-down gobsmacked if it hit one.”

      So they can well afford to give curmudgeons like me our tiny ‘victory’. Bah!

    • This takes many forms and just like the dynamics of evolution is constantly increasing in simplexity (or is it complicity? I can never remember) and evolving.

      The renewal quotes – from utilities to insurance – are a nuisance because you have to be constantly aware and on the ball whenever they arrive. The real foot blisters are the cold callers which, unlike regular renewal bills, can occur out of the blue at any time.

      My favourite is the well known (featured on the radio in the past) caller telling you there is a problem with your Microsoft System and offering to fix it for you remotely. This same guy – although there is occasionally a female (are we still allowed to use that pronoun without the Government ‘cancelling’ your pension?) – tends to ring on average at least once a week though there are periods when you don’t hear from him for awhile. Perhaps because it’s when he’s on annual leave maybe?

      As someone who likes a good game of silly buggers as the next human life form I’ve been taking calls from this guy for around ten years since I was alerted by a family member who took one of his calls and realised it was scam. It never lasts long because I always make out I can’t hear anyone on the line and after a series of repeated “hello’s” I end up putting the receiver down.

      At some point I’m going to make his day – or should that be decade – by actually answering just to let him know that he’s been ringing someone up for ten years to scam their Microsoft Operating System who doesn’t use Microsoft – having dumped it some time ago in favour of a Linux distro.

      Of course, the problem that will present is finding another game of silly buggers.

      • Before Steel City Scribblings hijacked my life, I whiled away many an hour baiting 419 scammers and “Microsoft Support” callers. But even before SCS it was starting to dawn on me, a slow learner, that the downside of wasting those fuckers’ time is I was wasting the same amount of my own. That was OK while still providing me with comic relief – even a sense of citizenship, since every minute they spent with me was one minute not spent parting somebody’s dear old gran from her life savings – but the novelty was beginning to wear off.

        And now? Well now I’ve bigger fish to fry, innit?

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