Pet peeve – companies giving preference to new customers

It’s really annoying when I see magazines that I subscribe to offer free gifts to new subscribers and/or a lower subscription rate than existing subscribers get. The companies are so concerned with getting new customers, they forget about the existing ones. To be fair, this problem is not unique to the magazine industry.

I don’t remember where I saw this, but at one time I read that it costs something like a hundred times as much to get a new customer as it does to prevent an existing customer from leaving. That does make sense, since companies have to spend millions of dollars advertising in order to get new customers. In order to keep existing customers, they probably don’t have to do much else other than offer a quality product and decent service.

If a magazine is going to offer freebies and low rates to new customers, I will probably just subscribe for the minimum amount of time, let the subscription expire, and wait for them to bribe me to come back…

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5 Responses

  1. Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  2. I think what you need to do is cancel subscriptions and tell them if they wnat your business, you want the freebies and lower rates too!

  3. Good thinking, but I’m too lazy to do that 😉

    But I might re-subscribe to Time magazine (I let my subscription lapse quite a while ago), as they are offering a “multi-functioning global clock radio” with a paid subscription. WOOT!

  4. Sometimes you can get good deals on magazine subscriptions if they think you aren’t going to resubscribe; I used to get fantastic offers for People Magazine because I didn’t get around to resubscribing until the last minute.

    But I do wonder about companies who put all their money into advertising to gain new customers and then completely neglect their customer service department. Not a good system.

  5. @elle: You’re right. I’ve done that before, though not as a deliberate tactic. I also procrastinated in resubscribing.

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