Pete likes DirecTV and really has no intention of leaving, but he noticed a fantastic “$250 deal” for new customers only in his copy of AAA magazine, so he called up DirecTV and asked what they could do for current customers. This simple phone call saved him over $120 a year.
I have been a subscriber to DirecTV for years. I have also had a lot of experience with this and other companies who spend a ton of money on promotions to attract new customers while offering little or nothing to retain current customers.
Yesterday I received my copy of the AAA magazine Journeys and immediately noticed that it had a 4 page outer cover (what do you call those tings?) [ed note — We call them annoying.] full of DirecTV advertising which was promoting a “special deal” for AA members. The total value of the promotion was supposed to be over $250. Of course, it also said that it applied only to new DirecTV customers.
I started to toss it aside, then I thought, “What the heck.” I picked up the phone and called the number. After navigating the phone tree and waiting for what seemed like half an hour, I finally heard a friendly voice asking how she could assist me.
Now I am not a naive person. I really didn’t expect to get anything but frustration out of this call. But I decided to play dumb and just assume that since DirecTV was willing to spend hundreds of dollars to acquire a new customer, they must be willing to reward a loyal one with something. So I cheerfully explained to the friendly CSR that I was a member of AAA and had been a good DirecTV customer for years, which she acknowledged. I told her that I understood that the offer in the AAA magazine was only for new customers but that “I was calling to find out what kind of incredible deal DirecTV had for one of its best customers.”
She asked what I had in mind — whether a discount on a new service of what. I told her truthfully that I didn’t have anything specific in mind. I just wanted to know what kind of terrific offers they had for me. Honestly, I thought that if she offered me anything at all, at best it would be something like a few dollars off some expensive new package — something they would probably have given anyone. She asked permission to put me on hold for a few minutes, then came back and amazed me.
She offered to waive the charges for my HD access for the next year ($120 value) and give me Showtime free for 3 months. I realize the free Showtime is not a big deal but I was impressed that they were willing to give me something for free that I am currently paying for, effectively reducing my monthly payment for the next year without requiring me to buy anything additional. That was unexpected.
I accepted the offer and thanked the CSR. This might not seem like a huge deal to some people, but I am happy to know that DirecTV apparently places some value on my loyalty as a customer. And it goes to show that it never hurts to ask!
Good job, Pete! We’ve found that most cable or satellite providers will knock something off of your bill if you ask them too. It helps to mention a promotion that they are running, like Pete did.