Treat me right & Have your prices at an acceptable level

On a recent Sunday I answered the doorbell to find a young chap standing there. He was dressed very neatly, wearing a company uniform with the obligatory identification hanging around his neck. We both smiled.

He quickly thrust his identification into my face, making sure that I knew where he was from. That wasn’t really necessary – it was obvious. (but I guess that was part of his sales training)

How sad it is that nowadays anybody knocking at your door must be considered to be a stranger. Our level of distrust has surely grown as the years pass and I often wonder how long it will be before we revert back to days of protecting your ‘castle’ with a moat.

However, I digress….

The fellow was from an electricity company. I’d wondered how long it would take to have a visit from one of these people.  Living in the country certainly has its advantages.

He launched into his spiel – explaining that the cost of electricity has already risen by 6% and then offering me an immediate 10% discount on all future bills. He also said that I would be eligible for an immediate $100 credit and an extra $50 off every bill if I was eligible for a pension discount.

I mentally made plans to visit my hairdresser and beautician – I must surely be looking rather old and haggard to be offered an old age pension discount.

It all sounded wonderful – but “what’s the catch?” I asked. He reassured me there is no catch. It’s as simple as he has explained.

I asked about signing a contract – how long etc? And he sheepishly explained that yes, I would need to sign a contract that would bind me to that company for 2 years.

He could see that I was about to say ‘no thank you’ and he tried to recover his salesman demeanour. Consulting a clip-board he asked if this was the address of xxx. He’s got all our details in front of him.

When I asked why I had to sign a contract that would hold me to them for 2 years, he told me that’s the way it was.

But why is it? Why do they need to make us stay with them by signing a contract? What are they going to do to us during that period?

Now I don’t know about you – but I’m not keen on these types of agreements. The telephone companies have them, as do internet service providers.  They always offer a great deal to get you to sign, and then they treat you like a second rate citizen until the contract expires and they want you to re-sign. Then the charade starts again.

Some people tell me it’s a way of showing customer loyalty. From whom? As a customer, by the time the binding agreement time finishes, I’m so sick of the lack of service and compassion from the company, that I don’t want anything more to do with them.

And have you ever noticed – not long after you sign one of these contracts, there’s an even better ‘deal’ available which you can’t have because you’re already locked in to something else.

Nope, they’re not for me. Treat me right, keep your prices at an acceptable level and I’ll possibly stay with you forever. But start using strong-arm tactics to make me show my loyalty and you’ve lost me before you put the pen into my hand.

I told the salesman at the front door to put this great offer into writing and mail it to me. That way I’ll be able to consider and compare it in my time, and make sure it fits my budget.

He said they wouldn’t do that.

Well, AGL – if you won’t spend 60cents on a stamp, then I’m afraid you’re not the electricity provider for me.


Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions, you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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