As a consumer, I wonder how much leeway we should give to brands. There are brands we have been loyal to for years, but what if that brand starts changing things on us? Should we stick with them or find an alternative solution?
About six months ago, my cable/internet bill increased in price by about $75 ' without notice. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with my roommate and me. So after calling and complaining, we were told that if we added five premium channels to our cable package, our monthly bill would go back down again. Yes, you read that correctly ' get more channels, pay less.
Naturally, we did this.
And for the past six months, we have been enjoying the luxury of having all these premium channels ' even though we didn't watch them that often.
Then, this past week, we noticed our bill went up again! So, we complained again and this time they told us that if we got rid of those premium channels, BUT added a landline, our bill would go back down again. Yes, you read that correctly ' get a landline, pay less.
Naturally, we did this.
So now, we have an actual landline in our apartment. I'm not really sure if we will use it, but if it makes our bill cheaper, then sign us up. Granted our bill is still ridiculously high, but it's apparently as low as we can get it, for what we want. The craziest thing is that I have heard from several other people that they have had the same problems with this company ' and they are all as equally unhappy.
As a marketer, I know how important brand loyalty is for a brand. I also know how important it is for brands to never forget that loyalty may not always be there. Consumers prefer brands that make their lives simple and easy. Too many headaches or high prices can drive them away quickly ' especially if they have to deal with the same problems over and over.
So my question is, how long will they continue to do this? More importantly, how long will we put up with this? Driving up prices and making customers unhappy is not a very good approach to doing business if you ask me. Maybe we should just cancel our service all together and find another provider. Or maybe we just cancel our cable and start watching TV online. All I know is that if they continue to play these games and increase their prices, we won't be their customers much longer.
What would you do if you were us? What would you do if you were this company and your consumers were unhappy with you?