I will pay more to a company that does not force me to spend time and effort playing games to get them to give me a reasonable deal.
I'll literally PAY MORE to not have to deal with that crap. But I'll only pay that to someone who doesn't play that game with any of their customers, not to the companies that do.
This is what bugs me about the USwitch thing and the official regulators saying "just change your supplier" and then wondering why nobody does. I have other things to do, and I'll gladly pay more for better customer service - which means that I hardly ever take "the cheapest deal" on anything. The race to the bottom is really a stupid idea, consumer-wise, as we all end up fighting to get on an underpaid supplier just desperate to make every penny they can from you.
Treat me like, say, a paying customer... one whose business you wish to retain. Then see what happens.
Case in point: Car insurance renewal came up. Was £300 last year. There has been literally no chance in circumstance, so you'd expect another year's no-claims would mean it'd be cheaper or - at worst - the same, right? No, they quote me £700+ for a renewal. Get stuffed! I go on comparison sites - the bottom 25 companies are all in the £300 area. I choose on that I know and get the exact same insurance and breakdown from them. I phone up the original insurer to cancel - they desperately try to keep my custom. Well, you had your chance, and you blew it. But out of interest, as someone who literally is leaving your company now and has a much better deal for no obvious reason... what can you do for me? "Well, we could knock a tenner off".
Cancel. Cancel now. Never contact me again after that's cancelled.
Quite what you think you gain by treating your customers like that, I can't fathom. And I'm hardly an insurance risk that you might want off your books to improve your portfolio (I'm 40, and I've had one single claim in that time).
Honestly, if the renewal had been, say, £50 a year more, I'd have probably just let it happen automatically. But the price quoted I can get TWO insurance policies. out of over 25, with the same cover on the same information within ten minutes.
I will not haggle with you. I'll pay you for a service. I expect YOU to keep me on a decent deal. If I find a better one that you aren't even trying to compete with, I'll go with the competition. If I find you're deliberately over-charging me (i.e. giving other customers a better deal than you're giving me), I'll pay more to someone else. If you try and make me phone up and "haggle" to get a deal, especially for AN ONLINE SERVICE, you can go to hell.
Tell me what you sell.
Tell me how much it costs.
Offer me that. Offer everyone that.
Update that offer as time goes by and don't bother me with nonsense.
There's a reason I do not use any of the major ISPs - for me, an IT guy, they cannot cost-effectively compete against a 4G router and a SIM that I can change whenever I like to a different company. BT wanted £150 to activate my line, plus line rental, plus a monthly broadband subscription. Sure, I could sign up for 18-24 months and get a reasonable price for those (going back to ridiculousness soon after) but the install charge etc. covered most of that. They were offering me "1Mbps on ADSL, up to 10Mbps on VDSL"... I kid you not. And I'm inside the M25.
So I bought a £50 4G router, and a £20 a month SIM with unlimited data that can also go with me wherever I go (I just took it to the Balearics and it worked better than the wifi over there and didn't cost anything extra). At home it runs a VPN, CCTV, streaming live and recorded TV (via tvHeadend), Amazon Prime, Steam with 1000 games, etc. etc. etc. just fine.
Everytime you force me to negotiate, research or mess about - I will spend twice that effort on finding something better that I *never* have to do that again.