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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Excessive charges ultimately lead to loss of revenue

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We all hate being nickel and dimed by service providers. I am one myself, and yet I still cannot see a justification for excessive charges. I often tell people about my experience with a daycare center in Massachusetts. This particular facility had a late pick-up fee charged in increments of 5 minutes, no questions asked. If we were late for any reason (stuck in Boston traffic, or if there was a car accident in front of us) even if we called and explained the situation the owner of the daycare center would promptly place a bill for the late fee in my child's cubby the following morning. It drove my husband and I nuts, as we both had extensive commutes to and from work and made every effort to be timely.

In the past, I have struggled with a few service providers over the high charges they levy for emails and phone calls. If you ask someone a question via email, does their response merit an invoice (sometimes for a full hour at their going rate)? You would think not and yet many providers do just that. It seems to me that this behavior teaches customers not to reach out to their service providers for fear of excessive charges, which in turn leads to less work for those same providers.

The truth is that there are so many free resources available online, covering virtually every major industry, no professional should ever think that their customers are not aware of their options. We live in the information era where there is an app for everything and in a few seconds we can often find a replacement for any service that is not competitive. In my opinion, not even my specialty doctor (of whom I am a major fan, so much so that I travel six hours one-way to see him twice a year) is allowed to charge me for an email response for a simple question and he has never done that. Communication with your clients should be seen as a courtesy not a service to be billed.

Last week, I met with a prospective client, and the first thing they said to me before the meeting began was, 'Thank you for not charging us for this consultation.' There is simply no reason to charge prospective clients for hearing your sales pitch.

I have worked for small, large and even multinational companies and have done business in the U.S. and abroad. Throughout my career, I have learned that you are only as good as your last performance. In order to promote customer loyalty, you must provide honest, quality services and at a fair price. Excessive charges for sub-par work (or for work that your customers don't truly need) can only lead down a single path: The one to customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue.

The bottom line: If you find one of your service providers billing for every second of your interaction with them, look elsewhere. Seek out professionals that are honestly vested in their careers and in fostering a mutually beneficial relationship with their customers. Thankfully, there are many such professionals in the marketplace and they are willing to go the extra mile to keep their customers happy. Isn't that the way it should be?

Cntia Miranda is the president of Pulse Marketing Agency. Learn more about her work at

Last modified on Friday, 01 June 2012 16:07


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