I used to change car insurance companies an average of once a year, which was as often as I could find identical coverage cheaper at another provider. For most of my twenties and thirties I did this with everything from phone service to insurance and just about anything else with a recurring payment and it paid off.
While the conventional wisdom we tell ourselves says it is cheaper to retain a custom than sign up a new one, the truth is usually just the opposite. Companies penalize loyalty and reward new customers with discounts and other benefits that loyalty just can’t buy.
This past weekend I was reminded of this less twice. First on my car insurance where I had gotten lazy and hadn’t shopped since we moved here 7 years ago. Our renewal is coming up so I shopped around and found I could save more than half, over $200 for 6 months, by switching carriers. Needs to say I took advantage of it and my new insurance took effect at midnight this morning. I really did save 15% or more by switching to Geico, though if I keep them too long I’ll wind up giving it all right back again.
The second reminder was in my internet service. We’ve been with Comcast for about 3.5 years. Originally we switched hoping for better reliability but that has been a failure of rather epic proportion as we’ve had service techs out dozens of times and replaced numerous modems and routers over that time, all for sub-par service that costs more and only offers 10mb upload speeds.
When I looked at Frontier, the other ISP in our area, a year ago I couldn’t even get new service with them as they said they only offered 3mb DSL to our house. I’ve since seen their trucks on my block a lot so, when Comcast went down yet again today, I decided to give them a fresh look. Today I was able to sign up for 1GB service with no data caps and ~800mb upload speeds all for less than I’m paying for Comcast. Thanks to the permanent credit freeze I have on my account it will take a bit to get an install date but I’m signed up and will be cancelling our Comcast service as soon as it’s installed.
If you haven’t shopped around for your own services in a while I highly suggest you do so. Companies don’t care about your loyalty. From phone service to insurance and everything else see what else is out there. You might really save yourself a lot of money in the end.