Paying Less Isn’t Always Smart

customer-service-1Technology has made it much simpler to compare rates and find the cheapest prices for services and products. Why pull out the phone book to call several insurance agents to find the best price when you can visit one website to instantly get the most competitive price quotes? Why settle for paltry interest rates at your local bank when you can take advantage of high rates at banks that operate exclusively online?

I say there is good reason.

In many situations, price should not be the deciding factor when buying a service or product. Rather, creating relationships with those offering the product or service can reap rewards down the road, even if it means paying a higher price.

My wife and her

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2 Responses to Paying Less Isn’t Always Smart

  1. Shane says:

    I can see where you’re coming from but I disagree.

    For me – a banking service is just a banking service, insurance is just insureance and I habitually go with whoever charges me less. For example I am pretty happy with my current bank – especially the staff in the branch – they are very helpful and some of them even know my name. They all happen to be good-looking girls in their 20s. Is this a ploy on the Bank’s part to attract in young males like me who could be future mortgage customers !!! lol

    Anyway the Bank across the road pays 4% credit interest on checking accounts while my current Bank pays 0%. So I am in the process of switching. I doubt the service in the brance will be as good as current branch but to me, banking is banking, – they both do the same job.

    I know it is nice to be recognised – if you are happy to pay more for this perk – then fine but I value relationships that aren’t with people who make money out of me…..

    Every financial company sees you as a Target to get money out of…. it’s just that some think it may be easier to milk you if they pretend to be your friend.

  2. damon says:

    Shane,

    I don’t mean to get all ‘old’ on you, but I think as time goes on you’ll change your mind. And

    I’m not really that old, I’m just a bit biased. I have owned a business, I will again, and my parents do as well, and because of that I’m more likely to seek local businesses. I do it simply because it keeps more of my dollars local, encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, and as Shane mentioned, you get personal service. I know first hand that a lot of people came to me for that reason as well, and I personally felt responsible for the services I provided.

    In your example you bring up 4% vs 0%. I can definitely understand your reasoning for shopping that. But don’t under-value the service that you receive from your local vendors. You mention they pretend to be your friends, but the honest part of it is that a large percent of them do develop a relationship with you; they leverage that relationship to keep you as a patron, you leverage it when something’s not quite right, and the point is that the value in that varies depending on the service (and whether or not you choose to look at it that way, since value is a personal perception.)

    I could make up some percentage here and call it a study, but the point is that your local businesses actually do care, and eventually, you’ll realize that your time really is worth money. Call AT&T and sit on hold to complain about your phone or internet service for an hour or two when you barely have 5 minutes to spare…

    For a real life story from the consumer’s POV, I earn a measly 2.5% average on my account with my credit union. In the long run, yeah, that’s cost me a few dollars. But a few years ago when they held an electronic deposit for a couple days but cleared some electronic transactions the next day, it resulted in around $200 in fees. I spoke with the branch manager (who was new at that time) and they explained that under the terms of agreement blah blah blah they were entitled to do that, but they would look into it. Less than an hour after I left there, she called me to inform me that they reversed all of the charges and they appreciate my continued business. I promise you, it wasn’t because of an impressive sum of money that I had in the bank, it was because the employees there have known me since I was 7.

    I’m rambling a bit and the chances of you reading this are slim, but the point is, you don’t have to overhaul your life, but try Shane’s suggestion in one aspect, insurance is probably a great suggestion… you’ll realize that the peace of mind is truly worth a lot.

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