A few months ago I switched my phone service to Vonage from Verizon, which promptly cut my phone bill by about two thirds. Yesterday I got snail mail from Verizon offering me unlimited local and long distance for $29.99 (plus the usual unadvertised fees, which would probably raise the price to about $40. Vonage lies like this too. Their $24.99 plan is really a $30 plan.) The real kicker is that Verizon offered to send me a $25 check if I switched back to them. I haven’t gotten an offer like that since MCI, Sprint, and AT&T were duking it out in the early 90’s.
If Verizon had offered me this deal six months ago, even without the check, I probably would have stayed with them. As is, Verizon is still more expensive than Vonage (though it does offer somewhat better service) and switching back would be way too much hassle. Moral of the story: it’s cheaper to keep your existing customers happy than to reacquire new ones later.