Widgett Walls Loves, Then Hates T-Mobile

The extraordinarily named Widgett Walls, who may or may not be a post-modern pornographer, has managed to put an exact price tag on what his custom is worth to T-Mobile: fifty bucks.

The Widge has been a T-Mobile customer for seven years and — thanks to random chance in a godless universe — has somehow managed to receive more or less great customer service that entire time. Over that time, he’s spent thousands of dollars and signed up over and over again for new contracts. He’s what every company should want: an informed and loyal customer.

Where’s the viper in the dewy grass, eye-teeth dripping with ichor? After one of his friends got a better deal on a T-Mobile phone than he did, Widgett called to see if he couldn’t get it too. No dice: the deal had been over for a week.

And that was all it took for Widgett to suddenly realize exactly how little T-Mobile valued him. We say it a lot here: a company can do the right thing surprisingly easily. But when Widgett put the screws to T-Mobile, told them he would spend his next seven years worth of mobile phone bills at some other carrier, they still wouldn’t just give him the fifty bucks. And so he went to one.

It seems like such a simple cost benefits calculation, doesn’t it? Thousands of dollars in future revenue from a customer versus a one-off fifty dollar discount that they’d been giving everyone very recently anyway. How odd that companies like T-Mobile which only ever think in aggregate charts and graphs when it comes to customer service can never seem to get the right answer to what, at the end of the day, is a simple math problem.

What is T-Mobile Customer Loyalty Worth? Not Even $50. [OneTusk.com]