Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dear Service Provider...

Dear Service Provider,

Thank you for your recent statement showing that my account with you is, once again, past due.

I noticed the small "please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you" appended below your demand for payment.

Unfortunately, the only way you can "assist" me is by re-pricing your service at a level that allows me to derive a benefit that's in proportion to its cost. 

The simple fact is that I can't afford your services-- ostensibly designed to "help me make a living"-- because their cost actually contributes to preventing me from being able to "make a living." It makes no financial sense to pay $299 a year for a service that adds-- to the degree it is trackable-- $100 a year to my bottom line. If I am lucky. Your assertions that your service makes me "cooler" than my peers remains meaningless until you can talk Safeway into accepting "cool" in exchange for groceries.

I'm am not impressed by your advice that if I only "invested another $500 in services A, B and C to customize our program" my results would improve. I am not impressed, in general, with service providers whose primary selling point consist of nebulous promises of the "possibility" of better results, sometime in the "future," which may be 17 years away.

But what really does not impress me is the subtle subtext that you get to "charge whatever you want" for your services because you consider yourself to be "the only serious contender" in your market niche. 

I am taking the time to write this letter, because I want you to know that I no longer have any interest in doing business with a company whose fundamental strategy for establishing their pricing is "because we can get away with it.

Me, your customer no more.


The above, of course, is a fictitious letter.

However, it reflects a common "issue" in our world, especially here in the US where capitalism and greed get to run rampant... namely that lots of companies, individuals, organizations and other entities try to get away with (and often succeed in) charging large sums of money for something that amounts to little more than "air."

Why do they "get away with it?" Because we're often "too busy" to be informed and "too distracted" to seriously consider why we perceive ourselves to be afraid of "not having" aforesaid services or products in our lives. Or we believe in the "Big Bugaboo" we've been sold, called "We have no CHOICE."

They "get away with it" because we have persuaded ourselves that we "need" (metaphorically speaking) that 2nd 5-terabyte hard drive, even though our existing 5-terabyte hard drive is only 8% used and will still have empty space in 2050. We also suffer from a sort of "selective cognitive blindness" that prevents us from grasping that we will probably be DEAD, in 2050.

In other words, we keep investing in "more" of "something" we already have plenty of, because we fear we don't have "enough." We have a multitude of reasons for doing so, surprisingly many of which revolve around some variation of the core thought "But what will people THINK?"

Of course, there is more to it than that... but it's really time for people to WAKE UP and evaluate their choices, and to start doing things for reasons other than "it sounded good."

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