My Norton Internet Security is expiring in 10 days. Today I decided to renew it for two more years, and was quite surprised that it is cheaper to open an all new subscription than to renew an existing one:
I couldn’t help but recall a paragraph from the Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead where David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan wrote:
…treat customers with care and respect.
Think about the many companies you do business with that flaunt their new customer offers. How much sense does it make to offer a new subscriber to a magazine a rate of $9.99 a year when a loyal existing subscriber must pay $29.95 for the same product? How about the cable television company offering the first three months of service free? Or they offer the first year at at a discount, but if you decide to be loyal to the company and renew, your rates actually increase. With offers like these, companies routinely alienate their most loyal supporters. (p. 82)
No, I do understand that in some cases companies do have to step on their own toes to get a new customer. Symantec also does it. They have an affiliate program where they pay between 15% and 25% to affiliates that drive sales to them. In addition to this, they also offer a 10% off coupon through their affiliate program. Subtract all of these from $94.99 and after the discount and affiliate commissions, they’re gonna come down to $72.67.
The 10% discount code, however, is not working on renewals. So, that’s for new subscription only. This is what they do to attract a new sale.
Even if Symantec is factoring in affiliate commission on renewals, we’re still gonna have a difference of $25+ between renewals ($97.74) and new subscriptions ($72.67) which makes it obvious that loyal customers are simply being charged close to 35% more than new ones. Sad practice.