The Checkout

Making Loyal Customers Pay

New Yorker Stacy Cowley recently wrote to complain about her annual renewal battle with Time magazine. It's a "tale of consumer injustice that gets me cranky every year," Cowley said.

The problem, Cowley says, is that when it comes time to renew, loyal subscribers are asked to pay far more than new customers.

Cowley has written about her frustrations on her own blog. Here's the shorthand version. When it came time to renew this year, Cowley visited Time's Web site, which offered a year subscription at $29.95. "That's been the subscription price for at least two or three years," she said. But when Cowley clicked on the "renew" button to log in, she was asked to pay $49.84.

In other words, Cowley said, Time wants "to reward my customer loyalty by charging me $20 more than a new subscriber would pay." Making matters worse, if you go to eBay, you can find an annual subscription to Time for $9.49.

Time Inc. spokeswoman Dawn Bridges said the practice of charging loyal existing customers more for the same product is not new. "Many products use special introductory offers to introduce people to a product. It's a traditional marketing and selling strategy."

It's also a strategy that may alienate longtime customers, as Cowley's experience demonstrates. Cowley could drop her subscription but because reading Time is one of those "few habits from my childhood...impossible to shake off," she doesn't. Instead, every year at renewal time she calls or writes to complain. This year she sent an e-mail. Two days later Time replied:

The offer you mention is targeting new subscribers. The offer enables potential customers to review the magazines at that low rate to decide if they would like to continue with a subscription. Because we value your business, we will be happy to extend your current subscription with that offer, if you like.

This process is not unique to Time. Most other publications seem to follow the same process. And so it's no surprise that the Magazine Publishers of America's statement about introductory pricing is almost identical to Time's: "Introductory pricing is a common marketing practice for many types of businesses and industries. The magazine industry sees introductory subscription pricing as an effective tool to reach out to new customers."

Cowley says the annual renewal process has become so painful she anticipates it as eagerly as a trip to the dentist. It doesn't have to be that way she adds. "Please, Time Inc., can we have a cease fire? I will give you the thing every marketer dreams of, my credit card number and a standing annual-renewal order, if you will please just promise to do one simple thing: Give me your lowest subscription rate. It's been 10 years, and I think we're ready for that kind of commitment. It's time for us to break this cycle of dysfunction."

Will Time change its ways? Maybe, maybe not. Bridges says that with the media landscape changing so dramatically, the company is looking at every aspect of its business practices. "Can I promise this will change?" she asked. No, she answered. But, she quickly added, everything is up for discussion. I guess this is the case where only Time will tell.

By  |  August 7, 2006; 9:40 AM ET Customer Service
Previous: Profiting from Bad Customer Service | Next: Whose Line is This TV's Anyway?


Please email us to report offensive comments.

There is an even more insiduous "renewal program for preferred customers". I once decided to drop a magazine so when renewal offers and then bills came i ignored them. Lo and behold i began to get letters telling me my payment was "past due" and my account was being turned over to a collection agency. When i called about this i found out i was a "preferred"customer with automatic renewal.....oh joy oh great corporate world

Posted by: Jim Oneill | August 7, 2006 9:59 AM

Cowley should just subscribe to the magazine innocently as if she were a brand new subscriber. She should also be prepared to lose an issue or two after the current subscription expires. Works for us.

My own personal horror story of rewarding customer loyalty is that credit card companies will only forgive a late payment ONCE during the life of the credit card. I've had my GM Card for years, and it seems to me a late payment once every four or five years should be easily forgivable. Those late fees and interest payments are excruciatingly high -- real-time usury if you ask me. Some way to reward a loyal customer.

I know some will say, Gene, take your own advice: Drop the card (as a protest) and get a fresh one. But in the case of the GM Card, I'm grandfathered into the old program that grants a $3,500 rebate on ANY GM car every seven years (compare with the new card that offers a sliding scale of rebates depending on the popularity of the vehicle you want -- some deal, eh?).

I also have the Marriott Visa card, and it's the same story -- no reward for loyalty. What gives with these neanderthals?

Posted by: Gene | August 7, 2006 10:10 AM

Aren't renewals just sublime? My favorite are the ones that you cancel, but still receive bills for. Don't want that new magazine subscription because your 12-months-for-$10 is up? Doesn't matter, you'll get it anyways for an additional $40. Comcast (my favorite) did that to me too-- twice. They signed me up for HBO for two months to see if I liked it, but didn't get my permission. The customer rep's excuse was that they were offering it to everyone in the area and that they certainly must have told me about it, but it wasn't a big deal anyways because it certaily wasn't that much more than I was paying pre-unwanted HBo subscription.

Basically, enjoy the subscriptions/low interest/cash back/whatever deals for the term, then cancel and find something else. Or just sign up again with a new name like "Carlos", and you'll be money.

Posted by: Five | August 7, 2006 10:26 AM

I feel the same way about the offers from cell phone companies for free, upgraded phones and Direct TV for free services and DVD players. While I love Direct TV vs Comcast (I would never go back) I would like to be able to get a little something for my loyalty once in a while.

Posted by: KB Silver Spring | August 7, 2006 10:28 AM

"Instead, every year at renewal time she calls or writes to complain."

For me, the additional $20 for an annual subscription is not worth the time/effort to call (and probably get passed from rep to rep) or write? I'd rather apply the time an effort to something that would pay off more than $20.

I ran into something similar recently with Pitney Bowes. They wanted me to upgrade my postage machine to a newer model. Doing so would increase my rental fee by $10 from $32 to $42/month. But, if you go to the Pitney Bowes web site, they offer the same postage meter at $19.95/month for "NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY."

Posted by: AA | August 7, 2006 10:33 AM

Washingtonian magazine sends out "preferred customer" renewal forms with a yearly subscription price that is $12.00 more than the price on multiple card inserts that come in each magazine to solicit new customers. Why don't these companies realize that retaining a happy customer is a helluva lot easier and better than trying to get new customers. The $12.00 additional cost for an existing customer is another example of "bad profits."

Posted by: C-Ville | August 7, 2006 10:33 AM

Oh Jim, you said " once decided to drop a magazine so when renewal offers and then bills came i ignored them."

You ignored the bills. Shame on you. No wonder it went to a collection agency. When the first bill came, you had the responsibility to call and/or write.

Posted by: Non Debtor | August 7, 2006 10:36 AM

The cell phone companies are the worst! A new customer can get a top-of-the-line brand-new phone for some outrageously low price, but let a loyal, 10-year customer try to get a new phone when the one I have is past its worthless 30-day warranty and doesn't work consistently, and I get to pay full retail price for the thing!

Posted by: dcgirl1899 | August 7, 2006 10:36 AM

I stopped subscribing to Washingtonian magazine b/c it would have been like $40 for a renewal (compared to $19.95 or $9.95 new - can't remember). Give me a break!! Maybe I'll sign up again under a different name.

They also charge way more for subscriptions outside the DC Metro area - who does that?? Does it really cost more to mail? I subscribe to Boston Magazine and Chicago Magazine, and neither one charges any more for outside-the-state subscriptions.

Posted by: I Know!! | August 7, 2006 10:39 AM

One way to get great prices on magazines subscriptions is to try Ebay. The prices are great though the choices are somewhat limited and they allow you to do renewals (for the same price). Just do a search for the name of your magazine + subscription. Worth a try!

Posted by: Nate | August 7, 2006 10:41 AM

I just stop my current one and rejoin as a new subscriber.

Posted by: Benson B. Williams | August 7, 2006 10:47 AM

Simply refuse to participate in the nonsense. Ten or so years ago I evicted the TV, bought an old truck, and shredded the credit cards. In it's place is a secured card which I rarely use. End of late charges. News magazines? Every couple of weeks go down to the local library donation room and load up for a dime a copy. Plus all the news and commentary one could possibly want or need is on the web anyhow. Fifty bucks a year? I don't think so.

Posted by: Leon A Davis | August 7, 2006 10:49 AM

Verizon does exactly the same thing. They have a "new every 2" program which is supposed to let existing customers get up to $100 off the cost of a new phone every two years. I can get a Palm 700p for about $250 from Amazon. As a new customer I can get it for $400 from Verizon or Palm One. Therefore I believe that as someone qualified for the "new every 2" program I should be able to get the phone for $300 from Verizon.

Verizon believes that the phone should cost over $500 for an existing customer and that the "new every 2" program should only drop my cost to $400.

A visit to the store and four phone conversations did not change their minds. I pay about $70 a month to have two phones on the plan. They have given me a financial incentive to buy the phone off Amazon and take my business to Sprint, saving me about $150.

Posted by: Gwen | August 7, 2006 10:53 AM

"tale of consumer injustice that gets me cranky every year", Oh PLEASE spare me the drama of how much that extra $20 in expense affects your ability to live. I'm sure Cowley would point out but it's the principal!

She's right about that in a sense, but not the way she's thinks. The "principal" she argues is that she sees an injustice because the inequality between her and that of a new subscriber. But that is precisely the point, there is inequity that being she already subscribes to Time and has been for some time and the new kid, well has not. The "principal" actually at play is a economic one, not a social injustice one. It seems that she sbuscribes either out of habit or for its content or maybe a little bit of both, and not because the price of the magazine is $29.95. Whereas the new guy, well he's not so sure why he/she would want to have a magazine subscription to Time in the first place. Maybe they like the articles, but not enough to have a subscription. So how do you grab that customer's attention to make them a habitual reader of Time? you lower the price. Give that new guys some incentive to try it out, all in hopes of makes each new reader a habitual one, like Cowley here.

But wait, Cowley may still not be accept this as an argument, She figures to reason that since i'm a loyal customer i should get treated better than the new kid on the block, and you can't fault anyone to thinking that. After all it sounds like good business sense to do so. And she's right about that. Time did offer her the same rate after she wrote them an email complaining to it (I guess we see Time isn't totally heartless to its loyal readers).

"Because we value your business, we will be happy to extend your current subscription with that offer, if you like."

Some may still argue, she shouldn't have to complain in order to get that price. Perhaps not, perhaps is Time was more gracious with its loyal customers it would do so. But apparently it doesn't have to be. The problem is expectation. Specifically she feels entitled to it, as if because she's a loyal customer it is required by law. Or at least required in order for her to keep doing business with Time.

But the problem with that statement is first, it is not required by law. And second, it probably not required by Cowley either otherwise, she will just end her subscription.

The worst part about this (aside from me losing about 30 minutes of my life reading and responding to it) is that she feel frustated, as if should shen't need to do this. She is complaining about being treated in an inequal manner, when in reality the situation is inequal. Cowley and readers like her are different from the readers who don't subscribe. Cowley likes Time enough to renew and not wanted to be bother the hassle of doing what gene suggestion or having to repeatly complain to time year over year. But the new/casual reader does not care about time enough to make it a big deal. If she doesn't like that inequality so much, perhaps she should be more like the new/casual subscriber and less of a loyal customer.

Posted by: Tom | August 7, 2006 10:57 AM

Cute pun.

Posted by: kk | August 7, 2006 10:57 AM

Having had subscriptions to Car and Driver and to Motor Trend for more than a dozen year, to Washingtonian Magazine for probably than many, both while living in the area and while assigned overseas, I've had the same situation in which they wanted me to renew at higher rates than new subscribers. While I understand their logic, that they're trying to get someone to subscribe (especially if they have continuous subscription renewal by automatic credit card or checking account withdrawal), I also see that I've been supporting them for a while and it would be nice that, if they're not losing money on the new subscriber subscriptions, they offer me the same opportunity.

It's easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new customer, easier in both time, effort, and money.

As a further example, I had a multi-year subscription (a VERY multi-year subscription, in the range of 10 years) to Games Magazine; when they sold the magazine, they offered to let me resubscribe - because my subscription was no longer valid - at the regular subscriber rate. That I already had a subscription was irrelevant; that they wanted me to pay renewal rates (rather than new subscriber) rates, was insulting.

Bottom line, Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Washingtonian Magazine, and Games lost a loyal subscriber - a loyal customer - who would have remained a long-term subscriber - for a few dollars.

Posted by: Jeff | August 7, 2006 11:07 AM

I find the same thing happens w/New Yorker. I let my subscription expire, and then I get a series of "come back to us" letters, offering me the $42-a-year price. If I can hold out for about eight weeks, I finally get the jackpot -- the $25-a-year offer. I sign on for that one, and then await the letter inviting me to "lock in" to the $25 year rate for an extra year, sometimes two. I happily send in my check, knowing that I will not have to face interruptions in my subscription for three years!

Posted by: playthegame | August 7, 2006 11:12 AM

This reminds me of an experience about a decade ago at a

The bank had a promotional CD offer for new customers. I had
recently deposited a lot of money and was looking to park it
in a CD for 6 months while I decided what to do with it.

So I asked for the promotional rate and was told that "no,
that's only for new customers."

My polite response was that, given I'd been a customer of the
bank for several years, I expected to receive their best
treatment. And if that wasn't something they could do, I
would withdraw all my money -- which was probably more
than their promotion would attract at that branch.

The bank gave me the promotional rate. But what stunned me
was my local branch VP couldn't make it happen. She had to
call a regional VP to get approval.

Posted by: Bank Customer | August 7, 2006 11:14 AM

I stopped using my Sprint and switched to Cingular when Sprint introduced their nights starting at 7:00 plan. I figured I too would recieve night starting at 7 but since I'd been a customer for 5 years the best they could do was offer to make me pay $5 a month to get the earlier starting time. New customers automatically got the earlier time for not cost - and they got a free phone. I told Sprint exactally why I was leaving them and no one cared.

Posted by: sprint | August 7, 2006 11:24 AM

I stopped using my Sprint and switched to Cingular when Sprint introduced their nights starting at 7:00 plan. I figured I too would recieve night starting at 7 but since I'd been a customer for 5 years the best they could do was offer to make me pay $5 a month to get the earlier starting time. New customers automatically got the earlier time for not cost - and they got a free phone. I told Sprint exactally why I was leaving them and no one cared.

Posted by: sprint | August 7, 2006 11:26 AM

"It's easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new customer, easier in both time, effort, and money."

While that holds generally true, it depends on the level of turnover in the industry, the access of available substitutes, the ease/cost of switching, etc.

I don't know specifics for the magazine industry i would suspect it would be high for general interest magazines that cover a higher number of topics, than more specific targets niche magazines like trade sines and other speciality.

Posted by: Tom | August 7, 2006 11:36 AM


"Unequal". The word is "Unequal". The "in" word is "Inequality."

I'm pleased that you were upset enough to waste 30 minutes on your ramble. Was it worth $20 to you?

Posted by: Mister Methane | August 7, 2006 11:46 AM

If you don't mind missing some issues, it's possible to game a bad system like this. Let the subscription lapse. You'll find that the subscription department and billing department are rarely coordinated, and the magazine will usually keep coming long after the end date on the subscription -- usually for months, occasionally for years. Eventually it will stop coming, but it's worth holding out if you don't mind missing a few issues. The magazine really wants to keep subscribers, because the rate they can charge for advertising is based in part on it's subscription base, so they'll keep sending "come back" solicitations, and in some cases may (after multiple re-solicitations) drop the rate down below the introductory rate.

Posted by: tc | August 7, 2006 12:01 PM

boo, hoo

I guess everyone expects businesses to forget about making money just so they can be nice to them. I am pretty sure thay have factored attrition from their high-maintenance/cry-baby customers into their business models.

Price discrimination is everywhere. It is a fundemental business practice that has been around since the beginning of time. Why do senior citizens, the holders of almost all the wealth in this country, pay less for their coffee at McDonalds? Duh, fairness has nothing to do with it.

Posted by: preslopsky | August 7, 2006 12:15 PM

The strategy you outline is one used by Yankee magazine. Every year prior to xmas I would receive a buy one subscription at regular price and get one free to give as a gift offer. This assumes that there is someone I want to give a subscription to which is not the case. I made the decision to not renew. Easier that way and cuts down on their mailing list.

Posted by: Bill | August 7, 2006 12:21 PM

Magazines aren't the only ones.
Often we get an offer from Directv addressed to my wife. The account we have had for almost 15 years is in my name.

WOW! Four receivers, a DVD player, a free iPod and all kinds of "stuff" at little or no costjust for signing up

Fifteen years ago we paid $600 (as I remember) for our first Directv receiver. We replaced it later for $100 because of a lightning strike.

Now, when I go to the Directv website and try to get information on upgrading my equipment I get the same screen time-after-time: "We're sorry, but we had difficulty processing your last action. Please try again or call us at 1-888-777-2454."

I'd like not to get a sales pitch - just High Definition TV.

Thanks for nothing Directv from a loyal customer.

Dish Network is looking better and better.

Posted by: mtndance | August 7, 2006 12:25 PM

Went through a horrible, 8-email battle with Netflix after noticing that the price they offer when you visit their site for the first time (not to mention plaster all over the internet) is different from that you see when logged in with cookies/a current subscriber. I eventually threatened to pull my business, they still refused to budge on a few bucks a month. It's the same "new customer only" rate deal, although I pointed out that they had no disclaimer anywhere to that effect.

Seems foolish business to me - all they succeeded in doing was making me distrust a company I'd previously given high marks, AND steer me towards Blockbuster's site to compare rates & plans - something I'd never have done on my own.

Also have danced the renewal two-step with Washingtonian, but at least I've always found them more amenable to cutting me a break.

Posted by: bc | August 7, 2006 12:33 PM

Go on one of the magazine sites like bestdealmagazines, cheapmagazines, etc.. They let you buy at a promotional price for multiple years and you can specify that it is a renewal so that you don't miss any issues.

Posted by: Findingthedeal | August 7, 2006 12:34 PM

Subscribe as a "new customer", when the "extra" magazine comes, call and have them consolidate the subscriptions. They gladly do it. This is really a non-issue. I always use "introductory" offers and am never refused when I call to report duplicate issues.

Posted by: Barry Crook | August 7, 2006 12:46 PM

All this reflects is signalling at work. Subscribers, by virtue of being subscribers, signal that they place a higher value on the product and thus are more willing to pay for the product. In effect, they are showing that they are locked in. The seller tries to use this information to increase revenue. However, by pretending to place a low value on the product (i.e., letting the subscription lapse, or complaining that the price is unfair which indicates a willingness to switch products), the customer is able to sneak in at the lower rate.

If most customers were like Cowley and willing to complain or let the subscription lapse, then it would not make business sense for Time to act in this way and it wouldn't be an issue. However, because enough consumers (apparently) act in their interest and freely admit to loving the product and loyally renewing, the signal sent by a subscriber is a strong one.

Posted by: Chris | August 7, 2006 12:49 PM

This is exactly why I don't subscribe to any magazines and I have nothing that has "automatic renewal", which is for fools who aren't paying attention.

Posted by: Kramer | August 7, 2006 1:02 PM

Time pulled this same garbage on me a number of years ago. Claimed they were turning my account over to a collection agency when in fact I was not late with a payment.
That was the end. I cancelled my subscription and have never renewed. That was 15 years ago. I won't even read Time because they made me so mad.
So much for their marketing practices 'endearing' them to their loyal subscribers.

Posted by: | August 7, 2006 1:27 PM

Here's what happens to me with a certain monthly book club. Over time, we've established a pattern that seems to suit us both.

First, they solicit me to join, offering me a couple hundred dollars worth of free books.

So, I join and get my free books. (I am physically incapable of turning down free books.)

Then, predictably, I forget to get my negative-option monthly order cards in on time.

Books I do not want arrive. I mark them "Return" and send them back, unopened.

This cycles repeates a few times, and then the book club decides I'm not responsible enough to be a member. Book club summarily drops me from its roster.

Invariably, a few months later I receive a solicitation from the same book club, hoping to "entice me back" to membership. Usually, the invitation says something like "We miss you!" and they once again offer me a couple hundred dollars worth of books to join.

I accept, and the whole pattern repeats.

Mind you, I would never try to use deception of any kind to gain such a result. But the book club keeps on mailing me the invites after repeatedly canceling my membership. What's a booklover to do?

Posted by: pittypat | August 7, 2006 1:30 PM

It's funny that this story appears in the Washington Post - since they do this exact same thing!

Posted by: SarahJane | August 7, 2006 1:38 PM

Funny, the lower subscription price for new customers was the reason I stopped subscribing to the Post a few years ago.

Posted by: Bart | August 7, 2006 1:46 PM

Easy solution:

1. Subscribe as John J. Jones for the introductory deal.

2. Let it lapse and subscribe as J. J. Jones for the introductory deal.

3. Let it lapse, and so on with a new variation on your name.

Posted by: Steve | August 7, 2006 2:01 PM

Subscription services are not looking for loyalty. They are looking to deceive and entrap customers. You have the pricing game. How about the early renewal game? SIX months before my 1 year magazine subscription (pick any one)expires I am receiving last chance to renew solicitations. Why can't I enjoy the full subscription before the harassment anew? Automatic renewal is like herpes. It pops up when you are stressed and don't want to be bothered by another thing. Here you have to opt out because the publisher is making the rules. The consumer today is relentlessly being bombarded with amoral and sleazy tactics. Where is a cadre of Elliott Spitzer's when you need them?

Posted by: Sick&Tired | August 7, 2006 2:02 PM

As I was scrolling through the comments, I saw a reference to DirecTV, and thought, "YES!" Why is it they offer a free DVR to a new customer but a customer of many years' standing (me) has to pay $99? Totally makes me want to cancel the service and start over, something I was brought up to believe was a little ethically shady. But hey, how ethical are these corporations in their treatment of us?

Posted by: Jane Slavin | August 7, 2006 2:05 PM

Why can't magazine companies offer new customers a reduced subscription time instead of a reduced rate. Instead of offering me (new customer) a 1 year subscription for $20 when the regular subscription rate is $30, offer me 3 months at $7.50.

That's something not offered to existing customers, I can try the magazine for a few months and not pay for the entire year subscription and then subscribe for a year if I want and no one gets upset. We all are paying the same thing. I'm just not locked in for the entire year.

Unfortunately, it's the same for almost every company out there. New customers get specials while existing customers feel taken for granted. While I can totally understand the practice, there has got to be some way around it.

Posted by: Oxon Hill | August 7, 2006 2:53 PM

I am surprised at how many people think gaming the system is as easy as letting your service lapse and then "starting over" as a new customer. In my experience, most companies match not just on name, but also on address & phone number combo. This happened to us when we tried to game DirecTV -- oh, that address and phone number are already in our system, so we can't offer you the 'new subscriber' promo.

I understand the pure logic of the folks arguing about relative value -- if it's worth $29.95 to you, why not just pay it and be done? But that presumes we are superhuman, which I at least (and apparently many others on this board) am not. There is a logical/financial component, and then there is an emotional component - sure, it'd be worth $29.95 to me in a vacuum, but tell me that I could've had it for $19.95 if I was a new subscriber, and I'll feel like a sucker, a chump, being played by the company. Not a good feeling - not a way to reward customers - and a quick way to devalue your product. Worth $29.95 now that I have that info? Heck, no!

Posted by: KJS | August 7, 2006 3:35 PM

My father got wise to this one year. Instead of quoting back Time's new-customer rate to the Time operators, he tells them what he's found Newsweek would charge him for however many months!

They quickly beat Newsweek's price.

Posted by: wenholdra | August 7, 2006 4:35 PM

I don't understand the fuss. Why don't you just use a web-based magazine subscription service? (They are a lot like those student subscription deals you used to get in college but.) I often use and never pay the high renewal rates. Check out this site where you can find better deals on subcriptions/renewals...

Posted by: Adams Morgan | August 9, 2006 5:24 PM

The goal of any for-profit business is to get as many people as possible to pay as much as possible.

Companies don't offer lower prices out of the goodness of their hearts or to say "thanks for being my friend." They do it when they can't get you to pay the higher amount.

Businesses do the math. They know that, for example, for every one person who doesn't renew because of the higher price, eight more will renew. Making that one expendable.

Posted by: Cold Hard Facts of Business | August 11, 2006 3:33 PM

I had the same problem with a magazine I subscribed some time back. After I paid for the trial months (I don't remember how many they were or the deal) I decided not to continue or request for the whole year. I started receiving threatening letters that I owed them money. I decide to pay the bill they had send me just to avoid credit problems and requested a cancellation. After cancelling, they refunded my unused funds and left me wondering why they had made me believe that I owed them money! I just don't recommend auto-renewals or free trials of any kind! I now renew through a subscription agency They take care of the headaches and I never have to owe anything other than what I pay for.

Posted by: Katie White | August 15, 2006 6:50 PM

As usual, the customer is not always right.

The initial bargain rate is a "trial" rate, used to get customers to try the product. It is similar to a coupon you find in the Sunday newspaper for "Buy One, Get One Free".

The standard subscription rate is a moderate discount from the single-issue newsstand price and has no relationship to the trial rate. While it may be higher than a trial rate, it is still a discounted price.

This sense of entitlement for the lowest possible price at all times is a major contributing factor to the myriad of problems that exist for many companies that sell products and/or services directly with the public. The old adage of "You get what you pay for" lingers in the background of every discussion of "poor customer service", etc.

While the customer may be occasionally right, it is much more common in present times that the customer is not very bright and is quite regularly very cheap.

Posted by: AlderPlank | August 16, 2006 2:43 PM

I could not not stop cracking up at your comments.

"While the customer may be occasionally right, it is much more common in present times that the customer is not very bright and is quite regularly very cheap" may now be my favorite office adage.

Posted by: To AlderPlank | August 16, 2006 3:23 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company