This is going to be a very quick moan, I promise.
I thought it was just me, but it turns out that all banks and insurance companies have been punishing people for being loyal to them for many years now.
Several cases have been highlighted of elderly people being charged over £3000 premium for their household insurance, simply because they have stuck to the same companies virtually all their lives. When they eventually got around to switching their insurers, their premiums went down to around £300 for the same - if not better - cover.
It makes you wonder what the logic is behind the shocking way that loyal customers are treated by the big money companies. Do they really want to lose business like this?
The answer is much more simple.
The number-crunchers have worked out that older people do not like change, and become confused with various tariffs and premiums on offer - deliberately confused, because the structure of them has been formulated to be so complicated to compare with others, that even highly qualified and experienced accountants cannot work out which is likely to be the best deal in the long-run, particularly since the deals change by the month, and all new offers are extended to new customers only.
In the case of insurance, the companies have had - by definition - many years experience with loyal, individual customers, and for the last 10 or 15, they have been simply upping the charges just to see what they can get away with. After a while, there is a cut-off point when even if you lose an old customer, you will have made more money from them than you would have if they had stayed loyal to you for the next 10 years on a reasonable rate. Like everything else, the short-term is the immediate goal.
This is going to sound really far-fetched, but I promise you that it taken very seriously by some respected analysts. All the big finance companies have discovered by accident that the best managers (i.e. the ones which make most money for the shareholders) will - if examined - show up somewhere on the spectrum of Asperger's Syndrome at best, and mild psychopathy at worst.
Both these conditions have two things in common: A single-minded approach to every situation, and an inability to relate to others in society in a normal, compassionate way. What a perfect combination for the administration of a perfect and perfectly ruthless business model.
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