A few years back BT ran an advertising campaign with the slogan ‘It’s good to talk!’ Taking a closer look at our phone bill recently we discovered that although it might be good, it can also be quite expensive! We decided to follow the advice of all the consumer programmes and approach our phone and broadband provider and ask if there was any way they could drop our costs at all. They said no, we were on their basic package for the services we pay for. I was sure that we could do better and so I began to shop around a little and found a competitor who would offer something similar at a better price and phoned up and switched. This wasn’t the end of the story, however, and even as I made that call I knew it wouldn’t be, indeed hoped it wouldn’t be. Inevitably when I phoned my old company to cancel our contract they asked why and came back with an improved offer; it’s amazing how a basic cheapest package can suddenly be slashed if you say you’re switching. Details noted, I said I’d get back to them. Phoned my new company and told them what I’d just been offered. Guess what, low and behold they too came up with a better offer, and so it went. A couple of days later, and many hours spent sitting on the phone in a queue, the offers gradually began to ‘settle’ and I made a decision. Possibly I could have gone further, but had long since run out of patience and time. We have ended up remaining with our old supplies with faster broadband, free evening and weekend calls which we didn’t have before and a fancy TV box with catch-up TV and recording facilities, which we also didn’t have before, all for a cheaper rate than we’d been paying in the first place! As I’ve often said before, I’m usually the sort who haggles prices up rather than down, and so I’m feeling a little smug just now.
Despite this satisfied feeling at having achieved this level of reduction in our bills, I am also left feeling annoyed and frustrated. It seems a con that we should need to go through all of this in order to get a best rate. Why can’t something that is advertised as a best value basic package be just that! Should we need to wrangle and ‘argue’ in this way? Makes me think of how Jesus encouraged us to speak honestly and to be straight with people, ‘All you need to say is simply “Yes,” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one’ (Mt. 5:37) It also reminds me of God’s attitude to us; there is no need for us to haggle or strive to earn his affection or love, he could not love us any more than he does, a love which is beyond anything we’re capable of, nor are there any limits to this, his love unlike certain ‘unlimited broadband’ provisions, truly is!
(Church Newsletter, 12.01.14)