Complain and You Shall Receive

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From that extra mark on a test, to a discount on your next bill, our environment these days rewards complainers. Or punishes those that don’t.Complainer

I just received a memo from my gas provider stating that my heating protection plan is due for renewal. Along with accepting to renew I’m accepting an increase to my rate.¬† If I had any concerns, I needed to call in the next 10 days or my new agreement would kick in automatically.

Luckily I picked up the mail on a Friday evening and this memo was dated only a couple of days ago. My wife had taken the kids to a splash park, so I was home alone to rummage through the mail in peace. Otherwise, on a busy week, mail like this would have likely gone unopened and sat on a ledge, or worse left in the mailbox for days, until it was too late to react on.

I call and declare¬† I will be cancel my protection plan. A bluff of course, and I was hoping they don’t call me on it. Furnace maintenance is quite expensive and I paid the price of not having a plan in the past. But at this point I was cancelling based on principle [gulp].

After being asked why by the front line agent, I was put on hold and passed over to a “Contract Negotiation Specialist”. Yes, that was the exact title. This agent spoke without an Indian accent, and once again asked to verify all my info, which I don’t understand why I need to do this again for each agent?! But that’s another topic. I explained the situation again, firm that I’m looking to cancel my plan. My plan worked, and I was offered 20% off the current rate for 1 year. Asking if the rate will automatically go to the regular or likely raised rate next year, the agent responds… and here’s the kicker… “Just call back before the new rate kicks in and ask for a discount”. Really?

[Flashback] Recalling back to my university days. I remember the day a test would be handed back, and the hoard that formed up front around the professor after the class was dismissed. And the debates were on for the half mark here, or full mark there. Perhaps I was doing it all wrong by simply accepting the professors opinion of my answers.

So in an effort to prove my theory, I tried it with my cellular provider… same results! So that’s how the world works these days?

I’ve come to believe is that service providers are aware of this. Today’s busy schedules, preauthorized payments, and auto renewals are key to their business model. But they won’t get me! … at least not this time.

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