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Has wireless become a haggling business?

VZW Tech2

May 3, 2004, 1:53 PM
If I go to Wal-mart and say,"I've been a customer for 2 years. I just bought some clothes last week and a DVD player the week before. I'm going to buy this dog bed but I feel I should get a discount for this purchase." What would the cashier tell you?

Exactly.

When did this happen? Why do I see it everyday? Should paying a monthly bill for any service entitle you to discounts just because you feel that way?

I guess I'm old school in the fact that if I use it, I'll pay for it at the going rate. Not what I feel its worth to me.
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jhmlbrgr

May 3, 2004, 3:07 PM
I agree with you totally. The price is what it is and if you do not like it go somewhere else. Sometimes it seems like you not selling cellular phones it seems like customers look at you as if you are working a stand at a flea market. No, you are not gonna get a free car charger with your phone, or a free head set. If you want to negotiate prices go to your neighbors yard sale.
I buy lots of tools from Sears, but I do not ask them to throw in a free drill bit just because I am buying a new drill.
PEOPLE NEED TO STOP SO SO DAMN CHEAP!!!!!
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doomtroll

May 3, 2004, 4:30 PM
hear hear


I put up with customers who think just because they are long time customers, that I should cut them a break.....and then get rude when we turm them down.......


I will never understand that logic
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cai

May 3, 2004, 6:41 PM
In a way the keen competition among providers is to blame for this state of affairs. There are so many pricing options, levels of service, and equipment deals that the consumer gets the feeling that he/she can mix and match at will. Why can't I get 3000 anywhere minutes and a free Motorola V600 for $12.99 a month? The questions is unrealistic, but I am sure someone has heard it before. In other words, if X company can give good deals to new customers, why can't old loyal customers also benefit from the company's largesse?

The providers do not help their cause by forcing the loyal consumer to upgrade his/her telephone unless he/she pays what seems to most of us an outrageous price for a new one. Well, if I have to pay that much I wil...
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coastalcool

May 15, 2004, 2:34 PM
That's the growing problem in this country. LOYALTY NOW COUNTS FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So what you've worked hard for a company for x number of years...we're trying to make $$$$...find another gig-so what you've been a dedicated, paying customer who has directed many a product/service seeking citizen our way...we're trying to make $$$-and guess what? We're making it all off of YOU-your sweat and your hard-earned green. Capitalism at it's best. I understand that some people can be ridiculous in their expectations. But hey, after a while you do start to realize that when it comes to being a customer these days, businesses really only care about the exchange of currency-from your hand to theirs. I truly believe that "The One" (whatever busine...
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GWFOX

May 15, 2004, 5:23 PM
This is why a chunk of us here live in America. Freedom of Choice.

If you don't feel like you are being treated right by a wireless carrier then by all means leave and go somewhere else. Hence why we have so many wireless carriers!

I mean c'mon.. I had a customer come in here today looking for VZW service. I ran the gambit with her, found the perfect plan and phone. V60S at $99 with car charger and leather case. She heads down the way to the ** Wi****** (edited by me) and comes back saying "They will do it for $40." I told her I couldn't touch the price and told her to go to the competition if she wanted it for $40. She got mad at ME and left the store. I gave her about 35 seconds then peered out my door to see the customer walk RIGHT ...
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coastalcool

May 15, 2004, 9:37 PM
Well...like I said-and I quote..."I understand that some people can be ridiculous with their expectations". Guess she was one of those people. The essence of my message was that loyalty to a company should count for something-whether you work for them or spend your money with them-and these days, it just doesn't count for much because COUNTING (benjamins) is king. But hey, that's just my humble perspective. You sound like a fair business owner, though somewhat infexible.
Maybe when I'm ready to upgrade or feel like switching providers, I'll look you up since like I said...I don't know how to haggle!
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phonepimp3376

May 16, 2004, 11:46 AM
I honestly think that most carriers DO reward loyalty... we just don't sacrifice our bottom line to do so. While it doesn't cost as much to keep and existing customer as it does to generate a new one, lets look at the reality for a moment. If the rep is doing the right thing when upgrade time rolls around, the customer is getting new equipment at the same price offered to a new customer, they are adjusting the rate plan (which usually doesn't involve changing the price point, but results on more minutes, features and capabilities in most cases) and making the customer aware of things that have come along since they originally signed up. So the customer DOES receive a better deal for their loyalty.

If we were to do some of the things custo...
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jhmlbrgr

May 17, 2004, 6:37 AM
Verizon Wireless Does reward loyalty, financially. It is called the new every two, when a customer signs a two year contract VZW offer the customer up to $100.00 off of the two year promotional price when they resign for another two years. Basically you buy your first phone and you would never have to buy another phone after that if you did not want to. Right now there is only one phone that would not be free to customers eligible for the new every two credit. Now that is rewarding loyalty, giving the returning customer a cheaper price on equipment than you are giving new customers.
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McG

May 17, 2004, 7:44 AM
AT&T has that too. Customer First Promise. Customers that sign up for the promotion are guaranteed a free phone every 12 months. If they don't want the equipment that is offered for free, they are guaranteed a discount that is at least as good as acquisition pricing. None of this 100.00 stuff. And any customer who basically did a 2 yr to get the start of service fee discounted. Im sure they got this to save hassle down the line as long as they dont mind a 2 yr agreement again.
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coastalcool

May 17, 2004, 10:05 AM
All of those sound like great deals. I'm with Sprint and they have the handset upgrade. The only thing I didn't like was that the discount was a mail-in rebate and the last time I did that, I got totally screwed. I was with AT&T then. They didn't seem to care, so I switched. So far, Sprint is okay. I like their customer service and they seem to keep up with the latest technology. However, I do think they could do a little better in the "rewards" category. I don't feel like I should have to "mail-in" anything after being a loyal paying customer for so long. Anyway, it's nice to know that companies do have great deals for great customers.
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Azeron

May 23, 2004, 2:50 PM
None of this $100 stuff? I wonder if Cingular is going to keep that promotion once AT&T is no more?
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jhmlbrgr

May 25, 2004, 6:01 AM
Yeah I know that giving an upgrading customer and extra $100.00 off of the 2 year contract price of a phone is a real rip off. Instead of going with ATT and being able to get a choice of like two free phones, VZW is giving you the option to get almost any phone for free with the new every two option. Right now in the Phila Region, there is only one phone that would not be free with the new every two credit and mail-in rebate and it is the Samsung a-610.
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kingfrog77

Jun 11, 2004, 1:15 PM
I don't think ATT has a customer first anything!

I do believe it's the carriers fault there is so much haggling. The reps have wiggle room and the "free" phones and promotions are rampant.

I would rather buy the phone from a retailer THEN buy the service. The phones would be cheaper due to not having to design so many carrier specific models (especially in the GSM world). The retailers would instead discount the phones and the Carriers would only be able to sell the merits of their service and not hide behind phone gimmicks. I even thing the ETF's would be lower as they would not have the "free or discounted subsidized phone" to recoup.

The purchase of unlocked phones only through retailers may be good or bad for CDMA carriers depen...
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mobile_guru

May 16, 2004, 1:50 PM
I have perfect solution. instead of sales reps we should install vending machines. I cant tell you how upseting it is to me as person responsible for number of sales my store does that GWFOX lost a sale cause i guess he/she didnt want to make money.
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Myth

May 16, 2004, 3:35 PM
mobile_guru said:
I have perfect solution. instead of sales reps we should install vending machines. I cant tell you how upseting it is to me as person responsible for number of sales my store does that GWFOX lost a sale cause i guess he/she didnt want to make money.

I think I missed the part where it is making money to sell a $99 package for $50. Could you elucidate?
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mobile_guru

May 17, 2004, 10:39 AM
are you not familiar with commission structure? even if you give that phone for free you still make money. i think it is better to make even $1 than not make it.
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Myth

May 17, 2004, 12:31 PM
mobile_guru said:
are you not familiar with commission structure? even if you give that phone for free you still make money. i think it is better to make even $1 than not make it.

Ah. Commission. Of course. How silly of me to forget.

Commission is nice. It does NOT cover the price of a nice phone. For me, it does not even cover the $49 that the customer was asking GWFox to throw off the price because she said so.

[Did you miss the part where she chose not to get the reported better deal at the store down the street, implying that she had been, perhaps, fibbing in her report of their offering?]

There are deal I can match. There are deals I can't match, and make a profit for the people who pay m...
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JDigital

May 17, 2004, 3:19 PM
There is also the concern about driving prices down to an unsupportable level in your area, even if you do make that $1. If it gets to the point where prices have been driven so low by haggling customers pitting stores against each other that I can only make a $5 profit per activation, then it is no longer advantageous for me to run a wireless dealership. That "profit" margin isn't profit at all after I pay the rent and electricity, payroll, etc. The unfortunate thing for the customer after he/she runs the prices down all over town is that eventually there will be only one place left standing, and guess what happens to prices then? These are the things that frustrate me about the Amazon.com, Wirefly, Letstalk.com, etc. The fact that car...
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GWFOX

May 17, 2004, 5:09 PM
Years ago when I worked in the pet industry (way before electonics) there was the price war of Science Diet pet food vs EVERYONE.

I think this was around the late 80's, very early 90's. The price got SO low you could buy a 40# bag of Science Diet dog food for $6.00. SIX DOLLARS!@!@!!!!

We lost more money doing that even though it brought customers to our store. Why? People would buy 10 bags at the same old price for a single 40#. That also did not inspire customer loyalty.

The same instance goes here. If carriers go to a price war, no one wins but the customer and the phone manufacturers. The last wireless carrier to stay alive will be the one with the most money and they will be in DIRE straights having lost so much money by giving...
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VZW Tech2

May 18, 2004, 8:39 AM
If people are going to be too cheap to buy a phone... think they'll pay their bill?
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coastalcool

May 18, 2004, 9:09 AM
WOW...this is all so very interesting. Lot's of different viewpoints from both the consumer and the business. I really like this site. I'm definitely a consumer, but I'm getting a much better understanding of what some businesses go through. Go figure, I work in human services and of course, my perspective is always "power to the people". 🙂 Anyway, I'm very happy to know that some businesses do look out for the customer as much as they profitably can, and that's understandable. It's really wonderful to be able to read so many intelligently viewpoints. When I visited this site it was only to make sure I was getting the best phone for my needs. I never thought I'd learn so much more!
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mobile_guru

May 18, 2004, 11:22 AM
Cant say that you wrong. but i dont think given my situation and my location i can let anyone walk out without spending money. it is different from market to market you know that. One thing that we missing here. it doesnt matter if customer is not telling the truth the point is that i know at least 5 stores who would sell that V60 for $50 $30 even free on new plan or activation or how about amazon.com or any other websites that sell phones(i hate all of them). so my point is that why should i let that customer go and not make that not so bad profit. can you explain to me why would you let any customer go to your competition or not go but why would you let any customer walk out? I want them all good bad educated uneducated, I have 5 stores w...
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mobile_guru

May 18, 2004, 11:45 AM
and another thing that i dont understand is you are not in negative if you sell v60 for $50. you are in negative if you dont sell it forget about how much you wanted or could sell it for. ( of course that is with contract). I respect your sales experience but i guess our brains function differently. tell me what would you tell that customer if you know that he or she will walk out and definitely get that price someplace . Thanks for your interesting and informative input.
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CainMarko

May 20, 2004, 9:33 PM
Man, I am so sick of "hagglers". Do people think they are hanging out at "Joe's Swap Meet" or a flea market? Wireless is NOT USED CARS! Tell your electric company that you would like a better deal because you are a "loyal customer". Threaten to go to a competitor if you can't get a free month of CABLE. You will be sitting in the dark with no electric and you will STILL be paying your cable bill even though you have NO electricity. Call up your lease or loan company and tell them that you have been paying your car payment on time for 2 years and you want a free month. Don't be surprised if you see the repo man hauling your car off. Better yet... go to the local car dealer and tell them you have been a loyal customer of their car brand for yea...
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kingfrog77

Jun 11, 2004, 2:24 PM
Blame your OWN industry for this not the customer.

Its the nature of YOUR business. You have examples of those right here on this forum who will sell the same phone right her at prices from $1 to $99! What kind of message does that send to a customer like myself. YOU SELL cell service LIKE USED CARS! Gimmicks and giveaways, loss leaders, discontinued models, Free accessories..... Why should'nt we buy them in the same manner?

You have sales reps that will let a customer walk if they don't get waht THEY want and those who absolutly will not IF they can make a dollar !!! Car sales! You have to see the connection?

It is up to the educated consumer to sift through the various techniques and attitude and find a deal that is fair and equa...
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canadianguy

May 5, 2004, 8:13 PM
jhmlbrgr said:
I agree with you totally. The price is what it is and if you do not like it go somewhere else. Sometimes it seems like you not selling cellular phones it seems like customers look at you as if you are working a stand at a flea market. No, you are not gonna get a free car charger with your phone, or a free head set. If you want to negotiate prices go to your neighbors yard sale.
I buy lots of tools from Sears, but I do not ask them to throw in a free drill bit just because I am buying a new drill.
PEOPLE NEED TO STOP SO SO DAMN CHEAP!!!!!
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muchdrama

May 4, 2004, 8:31 AM
I think everything's become a haggling business nowadays, buddy. Hell, I'm a manager at Circuit City, and we haggle more than you think...even though I absolutely abhor it. The only thing I say you can haggle on (and I probably get this attitude from my Dad) is a car. Well, that and houses, perhaps? Call me old fashioned too (or call me old at 33 😛).
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MW2

May 4, 2004, 2:03 PM
muchdrama said:
I think everything's become a haggling business nowadays, buddy. Hell, I'm a manager at Circuit City, and we haggle more than you think...even though I absolutely abhor it. The only thing I say you can haggle on (and I probably get this attitude from my Dad) is a car. Well, that and houses, perhaps? Call me old fashioned too (or call me old at 33 😛).

yes you are an old man!
: P

hehe, i'm not that far from turning 30 myself.
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moschops

May 5, 2004, 12:09 AM
Okay, I'll give you two good reasons why people do this and why phone companies should listen.

The first reason is that in the USA calling service providers to get a deal is standard practice. You do it with your landline company and you're a fool not to because their standard rates are exhorbitant. You do it with your credit card company and they give you a deal. You do it with your bank to get fees waived, etc. etc. So why not do it with your cellular carrier?

The second rason is that almost everyone knows someone or is someone, that called to get a deal and was told "No". That person then called and said "I have new phone with XYZ and I want to disconnect my service". At that point you are flipped to the "customer retention depa...
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muchdrama

May 5, 2004, 11:19 AM
moschops said:
Okay, I'll give you two good reasons why people do this and why phone companies should listen.

The first reason is that in the USA calling service providers to get a deal is standard practice. You do it with your landline company and you're a fool not to because their standard rates are exhorbitant. You do it with your credit card company and they give you a deal. You do it with your bank to get fees waived, etc. etc. So why not do it with your cellular carrier?

The second rason is that almost everyone knows someone or is someone, that called to get a deal and was told "No". That person then called and said "I have new phone with XYZ and I want to disconnect my service". At that point you are flip
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VZW Tech2

May 5, 2004, 1:27 PM
My original Wal-mart example was just a poke at "Pay the price as marked" idea. I do agree that "Service" can be haggled, but not the price of phones or accessories. The price is clearly marked as any item you would buy from any retail location. I do find it hard to believe that any carrier is willing to lose more money to a customer than it can recoupe from them.

Haggling is a terrible trend that is rising every day. Do it once for a customer and they will expect it everytime. That is why nice people fininsh last and ultimately end up picking up part of the tab from the guy that complained before.
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MW2

May 5, 2004, 2:58 PM
VZW Tech2 said:
Haggling is a terrible trend that is rising every day. Do it once for a customer and they will expect it everytime. That is why nice people fininsh last and ultimately end up picking up part of the tab from the guy that complained before.


you are so right about the nice guy part. for a little while they i was part of a special retention group and the biggest @ssholes got the best deals 'cuz the nice ones would accept the smallest deal deal given.
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CainMarko

May 7, 2004, 10:45 AM
Quite honestly, I don't like the idea of "discounts" for "loyalty". Everyone should pay the same for the same service. Your comment about walmart charging a cancelation fee has no merrit, because wal-mart does not subsidise the cost of their merchandise. If i were to get a 36 inch tv for free from walmart, i might sign a contract saying i would only shop there... that's why this industry has contracts. Because customers will not pay 300-600 dollars for a phone. subsidies enable customer to have these 300-500 dollar phones for 50-150 dollars.
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dsmith5237

May 8, 2004, 10:12 PM
I deal with this day in and day out at my work. There are always the customers who want a free phone every year, and not the crappy one either. There are always the customers who refuse insurance when buying a phone then get PO'd when we remind them that new phones cost much more than they paid when they got the instant rebate. These people need to understand that the mobile companies basically eat the cost of the $200+ phone and hope to make it up over a year or two contract, which if cancelled the customer pays back the rebate, not some 'penalty.' Don't whine about not getting a rebate if you can't commit to our company for a year or so to let us make our money back on that $200 phone we gave you for $49.99. Haggling is fine, looking ...
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cdmamotohead

May 11, 2004, 10:54 PM
the cell phone company's let's say pre 2000 have conditions the customers for this behavior. i remember when the company i work for gave you a free attena if you broke yours on your phone. ( star- tac best example).

one day when all of the retards get to old ,go broke, for what ever reason stop having cell phones and people like us that use web sites like this are the only ones with phones it will be alot more easy (ah.. only if)
but bottom line there will always 5% 10% and 85% out there this equation works with anything
5%- people of our knowledge
10%- the problem folks idiots, tight wads etc..
85%- the people that don't care are do not have the mental capacity to know.


oh did i mention i hate prepay. do away with prepay yo...
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theDMan

May 20, 2004, 11:45 PM
What I want to know is how it's considered loyalty when you pay a bill for your service every month, no more often times less. It's not like you send us an extra 5 bucks with every payment. You pay for a service and we provide it. that's how a capitalist economy works. Loyal would be going out every day and proclaiming to the world how well your carriers phone works. Actively sign up 3 new customers per week for us, now that's loyalty. And anyone who is dumb enough to call in and threaten to leave for another carrier and then tell me how loyal you are. If you were loyal you would never even think of leaving us. You know which people are loyal, the ones who call me and tell me up front that they have 50 bucks they wanna spend on a new...
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muchdrama

May 21, 2004, 2:08 AM
theDMan said:
What I want to know is how it's considered loyalty when you pay a bill for your service every month, no more often times less. It's not like you send us an extra 5 bucks with every payment. You pay for a service and we provide it. that's how a capitalist economy works. Loyal would be going out every day and proclaiming to the world how well your carriers phone works. Actively sign up 3 new customers per week for us, now that's loyalty. And anyone who is dumb enough to call in and threaten to leave for another carrier and then tell me how loyal you are. If you were loyal you would never even think of leaving us. You know which people are loyal, the ones who call me and tell me up front that they have
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CainMarko

May 21, 2004, 6:44 AM
Good post, D. I couldn't agree more. And the days of handing out "loyalty" credits are DONE. You want an example? Look at ATTWS. Their old policy was to do ANYthing to keep a customer- and they lost millions of dollars, and had to sell.
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theDMan

May 21, 2004, 10:51 AM
Yeah, I contract for AWS thru CONvergys and have experienced this policy firsthand. Even now it seems like the RES Desk still falls head over heel to pacify people. I dont think this is the sole reason for a sellout but it probably had a large part to do with it.
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CainMarko

May 21, 2004, 2:19 PM
wow. i used to work for convergys too. all i can say is... i'm glad i don't anymore. is your center switching to DTV when aws is gone, or maybe just att? if there is a cingular center where you live, i would recommend applying. the benefits are awesome and your experience at convergys will get you a better base pay. PLUS you can be part of a union(or not) and you have a little job protection. heck the union even protects you if you aren't part of the union. good luck to you.
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Azeron

May 23, 2004, 2:57 PM
I had a guy walk up to me once and say "I want a plan with no roaming, no lond distance and unlimited minutes and I only want to pay $30 a month." I was speechless. I was thinking to myself 'Burger King is down the street.'
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RoamDog

May 23, 2004, 3:08 PM
I had a lady tell me over the phone that she was holding a letter from AT&T wireless that she got in the mail that said she can get a plan for 19.99 a month for 1000 anytime minutes, unlimited N&W from 7pm to 6am, unlimited MTM minutes and free long distance...

I'm sure the letter said she can get plans starting at 19.99 and you can get up to all that on above plans. or something like that, but she argued with me for an hour saying if she doesn't get this she will go to another carrier... and she wasn't even a current customer. this would have been a new activation.... an hour of time wasted.
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VZWCustServ

Jun 2, 2004, 4:33 AM
VZW has a VERY exact policy on loyalty credits.

The formula the dept uses is this.(I'm not going to name the department because I hate when people ask for it by name. It's like they call me and instantly say "Gimme credits!")

The profit that we have made off of the customer over a certain period of time(less any previous credits recieved) is divided by 10. Thats how much money we'll offer you as a loyalty credit if you call us up and demand to cancel unless you get credit. Really, it comes to less than 5 dollars a month in most cases. And most of the time our customers have to sign a new contract even to get that. Beyond that, all we will do is offer you what you already can get anyway.

Example:
Cust says, "I want a credit,...
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theDMan

Jun 2, 2004, 7:47 PM
AWS has a tool for CC reps to determine allowable CR. (Again, name ommited so custs cant call and tell us to check it). Typically the max CR on an acct is about 75% of the monthly service. There's an additional limit above this but can only be given by SUP's in situations where cust was technically wronged but gets screwed y policy.
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phonepimp3376

May 29, 2004, 3:34 PM
Right! At that point you had him a nicely decorated bottle, tell him to rub it and maybe the wireless genie will grant his wish!
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