Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Value of Customer Loyalty

Yesterday, I cancelled our service with DirecTV.  This is a letter I wrote to their CEO explaining why.  I doubt I'll get a response but you never know.

Mr. White,

I am writing to inform you that I have cancelled my service with DirecTV after being a loyal customer since March 2004.  The reason I am leaving is one of cost.  However, if it were not for the way DirecTV and many other cable and information/phone companies treat long-term loyal customers I probably would not even had considered leaving DirecTV.

I was paying approximately $105 per month to your company for service that included HDDvr on two TV's in my household, one of which was a 20" standard definition TV.  When I called your customer service line to cancel my service, all of a sudden discounts were available to me that would have reduced my bill by $35 per month.  However, I had researched the issue enough by then that I had found that purchasing Roku boxes for each of the TV's and adding one service would result in me saving approximately $95 per month.  

What was more disturbing is that if I were a new customer, I would have been offered the same service or more for a savings of $70 per month (see http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/new_customer/base_packages.jsp for ultimate package which you are now offering to new customers for $34.99 per month).  If this had been offered to me when my last contract was up, there is no way I would even thought of leaving DirectTV.  Instead, I decided to pay an extremely questionable and excessive $340 early cancellation fee just to get out of my contract and will never be a DirectTV member again because of your exhorbitant fees.

I wonder if your executive team has ever done any research on the cost of gaining a new customer versus losing a long-term customer.  The fact that you've not had to pay for a single service technician to come to my house and/or done anything except collect my money for the past 8 years makes me doubt it.  The fact that your company and many like it choose to put new customers above long term loyal customers seems backwards.  When even insurance companies are realizing that long term loyal customers are better and are reducing fees/premiums for them every year, might make you think that your business strategies might benefit from some more analysis and insight.

Thank you

UPDATE:  Just talked to Sharon at DirecTV.  She researched and found that I received the new HDDVR because there was a technical difficulty with my old one and that was the reason I accepted the new HDDVR even though I was not even placing it on a TV with HD capabilities.  She said they will be refunding my $340.

Thanks to this post @snappyliving for giving me the information to call their office.

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