How Cingular Avoids Giving Discounts to Worthless Customers

A snip from a recent memo that teaches Cingular retention specialists how to avoid giving discounts to customers they deem unprofitable.

    “Why are we changing the way we handle LTV1 customers?

    To contribute to our Revenue goal, we are no longer going to save LTV 1 customers.”

If you’re costing Cingular more money than they make off your account and want to try to game the CSRs into discounts, you may be interested in what’s posted after the jump. It’s a series of potential things you might say and what the CSRs are supposed to say back to you…

You can also download the whole thing as a text file here.

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Related: Cingular Distills Customer Value Into Thermometer Form

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  1. something_amazing says:

    This probably should be merged with the previous discussion shouldn’t it?

  2. MrBartokomous says:

    I know I’ve been burned like this on Rogers in Canada. My contract
    recently ran out and I was looking to do an upgrade/renewal, but the
    cheapest phone they could give me was 150$, a phone which was free for
    new customers. I called and said “listen, I want a new phone, and I
    don’t want to pay for it. I’ve been a loyal customer in good standing
    for a couple years now, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect
    the same quality service and level of discounts that you give to new
    customers. I don’t want to switch carriers(Canada doesn’t have number
    portability yet, remember) because I’d rather not have my number
    change, but if you can’t do something for me I’m not going to have a
    choice.” They told me they couldn’t do it.

    So this is where it gets unfortunate. I start looking at other
    carriers… and as much as I hate Rogers… I still have the cheapest
    plan I can get anywhere through them. I wish I had more options.

    My advice if you’re in the states, if they go this route? Port your
    number. Do it as soon after this call as you can, and when they ask for
    a reason… tell them why. Customers shouldn’t be punished for only
    spending 30 bucks a month if a carrier’s going to offer plans in that
    price range.

  3. This is like the introductory rates for cable/DSL internet from Comcast and Verizon mentioned earlier…just take your business elsewhere and return to Cingular at a discounted rate when the contract at the other provider is over…Use their stupid policies against them…

  4. Ben says:

    I love reading this stuff. I bet Sprint and Verizon have the same kind of manual (or are they the same company now? I can’t keep track)

    All I care about is getting my calls through. The rest is icing. I don’t look for fancy equipment, but I do want reliable service (which is why I quit Sprint, I couldn’t get a signal at work, which makes it a PITA for anybody to call me, which is why I have the phone in the first place)

    I do think they are focusing on equipment revenue when perhaps they should be looking at other variables as well (perhaps they are, this is just a slice from their CSR book)

  5. kerry says:

    crayonshinobi: Unfortunately, according to the fine print, all the “new customer” discounts the phone companies offer aren’t available to returning customers. If you leave and come back they won’t give you a discount. If anything they’ll look at your former account status and give you the same thing you were eligible for before you left.

  6. Ran Kailie says:

    I don’t even bother with discounted equipment myself, i’d rather buy it on ebay, or through a retailer, unlocked, at least then I don’t have to worry about features being disabled.

  7. I used to sell Cellular service for 3 years under Sprint, T-Mobile, Alltel, and Nextel. There’s all kinds of cool little tricks you can do.

    For this particular situation, consider you are with “Company A”. Port your number out to a different company (Company B) and then port it back in to the original “Company A” within a few days. But the trick is, if you are married, use your spouses information when porting back into the original “Company A”!

    Cellular companies use Social Security numbers for everything, therefore your spouse will be considered a new incoming customer and capable of getting the new plan discounts! Of course you just add your line as the secondary line, and so on.

    If you want to transfer the account into YOUR name instead of your spouse’s name, usually at six months into the new plan, you can process a Transfer Of Responsibility Request.

  8. John Stracke says:

    This one is bizarre:

    EON customers are unprofitable solely for their excessive off-network usage. EON customers are in direct violation of Cingular Wireless’ Terms and Conditions and must change their calling habits to be eligible to keep their Cingular service.

    Doesn’t “off-network” mean you’re roaming, and therefore paying extra? Why would they kick you out for that?

  9. Sadie says:

    This is entirely true. I used to work for a wireless provider. Your profit as a customer is calculated by a number of things 1) daytime minutes use, if you don’t use alot of the minutes you pay for you are more profitable 2) On and off network use which has been highly discussed in previous articles 3) The amount of times you call in to customer service 4) If you are using other feature like texts etc 5) your discretionary adjustment history

    I’d also like to point out that managers have the right to cancel service for highly abusive customers, although I’d only seen that on one account ever.