"I see via your magazine insert I can order a year's subscription for Ontario for $53.62 (tax included) whereas I just recently paid $70.86 to renew mine! While I can understand the ‘bonus gift’ difference, I am quite upset that you are gouging (over 30 %!) a long time subscribing customer (over 30 years)."Jerry went on to demand a refund of the difference, and Maclean’s promised he would get it in 4 to 6 weeks. Of course, the other loyal customers who don’t bother to complain won’t get this refund. Most people believe that loyal customers deserve to be well-treated, but companies seek profits. Apparently, Maclean’s magazine has decided that the most profitable approach is to draw people in with low prices and hope they keep subscribing at higher prices. My guess is that they are right.
This doesn’t mean that I think loyal customers deserve poor treatment; I just don’t think that discussions of what we deserve are relevant (except as a way to extract a refund). Businesses must seek profits to survive. If enough Maclean’s customers stop subscribing because they don’t like paying more than new customers, then Maclean’s will change its practices. The same is true of Maclean’s parent company, Rogers. However, my guess is that more people are willing to give up a magazine for a principle than are willing to give up their television and internet.
Unless more people start to vote with their wallets, expect loyal customers of most businesses to continue to pay higher prices than fickle customers who pay attention to prices. In the mean time, people like Jerry can get lower prices by complaining.