My story is not from the industries in question but:
- My car insurance came up for renewal.
- I got a renewal quote that was more than previous year (no idea why, clear licence, no complexities, lots of NCB, etc.!)
- I went on comparison sites. Got prices literally half of the renewal cost.
- Phoned up my insurance company and tried to negotiate a deal. Quoted the exact same cover, the costs, the companies that were offering cheaper (basically all of them!), etc.
- They literally said that they were unable to knock even £10 off the annual renewal cost. Nothing. Nada.
- So I went with the cheapest from the comparison site. Who use the exact same underwriters, the exact same insurance portal (you can see the design is identical and the URL goes via the same centralise provisioning with online insurance docs etc.), provided more benefits, did it all online, and cost me half the price.
We had a contracted printer services supplier for something like 15 years. They used to lease us the printers, support them, supply toner, etc. throughout the entire site.
- One year the renewal went up nearly 20%.
- We argued. No movement.
- We got quotes from dozens of other services. No movement.
- We showed them exactly what was quoted, which was better kit, for lower prices, on shorter contracts. No movement.
- We offered to take lower services / buy out some machines and put them on the support contract only. No movement.
- We told them "We don't want to go with an unknown. But if you go down this road, we won't renew, we'll just go elsewhere". No movement.
- We went elsewhere. We kept one printer (it was nearly "ours" so it was cheaper to keep it for a few months than pay it off) with them.
- They witnessed the new kit come in. They had to change their kit to be compatible (firmware upgrades for newer Papercut versions etc.) at their expense. The new kit from the other place was basically what these people had been trying to sell us to replace our kit for years. No movement.
- The final lease finished. We asked them to come collect the dregs of it, thus removing the very last reason for them to ever visit site. They took it away. We replaced it with another serviced model from the new company. No movement.
My experience is that even if you make a huge effort, and give them all the chances in the world, most places have absolutely no idea of customer loyalty whatsoever and are run by "computer says no", and that any threats or actions are useless unless - and this is important - they could and would have given you that discount at any time anyway. If you'd literally just asked your mate, who was on a cheaper deal, and queried it, they'd give it to you just for asking.
Generally speaking, if you want my custom, the price is only a single solitary factor in that decision. Knowingly screwing me over comes higher as a factor.
As even Del Boy says, "they may not be cheaper, but at least they smile when they take your money".
If I wanted the cheapest deal, I'd be on TalkTalk broadband, driving a Fiat Panda, and do all my shopping at Lidl. None of those are true, for the vast majority of the population.