ME: Hi. My phone got smashed up and I need a new phone but I don’t want to spend a lot of money.
CUSTOMER SERVICE PERSON (of company that shall go unnamed but which rhymes with “Bodgers”): Certainly. What’s your account status?
ME: I’ve been month-to-month with you for a few years now.
BODGERS: I see. So you’re not under a contract?
BODGERS: In that case, the best I can do is offer you (shitty phone) for $100.
ME: Wait, though. I’m willing to enter into a contract in order to get a cheap phone. Or a free one. Whichever.
BODGERS: All right.
ME: Like, I see you’ve got a basic business plan here, $25 for 200 anytime minutes per month. That’s simple and suits me.
BODGERS: Okay, then I can offer you (shitty phone) for $79.
ME: …but it says here on the website that it costs $25.
BODGERS: That’s for a new customer.
ME: But that doesn’t make any sense. I’m offering to enter into the same brand new contract that a new customer would. I just want to keep my existing phone number.
BODGERS: I can’t really do anything. It’s policy.
ME: So you’re saying that if I cancelled my account, then called you right back and created a brand new one, that I could get the phone at the cheaper rate. Or, for that matter, an entirely different phone of better quality, which would still cost less than what you’re quoting me right now.
ME: But if I want to keep my existing account, as regards which I have not missed a payment for years, I have to spend extra money to get the same phone that you would give to a new customer for less, regardless of the fact that I’m willing to enter into the same contract that he is.
ME: What’s the incentive for me to keep from simply shutting down my account and signing up with one of your competitors, who will offer me a free and nicer phone when I sign into their contract?
BODGERS: To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure.