Cheapness vs. Value

All Things Considered ran a story on on February 19. 2014 about the fastest growing and most hated airline in the country – Spirit Airlines.

In Consumer Report’s customer satisfaction surveys, Spirit Airlines finished last with some of the worst rating of any company they’d ever reported on. So why is it the fastest growing airline in the country?

It’s cheap.

People hate the experience (so much so they have a category called hate-flyers) but they keep doing it because it’s cheap.

The CEO of the company felt it wasn’t a good survey because there was not a single question about price. He said they’re not even Walmart, they’re Dollar General…

Put a different way, if you’re buying a Yugo, you’re not expecting a Cadillac.

Of course, it’s one thing to spend less on something like a plane flight – a one time expenditure that is likely for business or a vacation. The extra money can be used to make the trip nicer in some other way or cut cost for the business. But it’s another thing to spend it on something that you will be keeping around for many years, need to keep in working order, and will be using almost daily like a car… or a phone system.

One thing we tell potential customers is that if all you care about is the up front cost, you may as well not ask us. We will not be the cheapest. But we will be the best. That’s why we’re not the cheapest. The equipment is better. The service is better and we work on it for as long as you keep it.

Before purchasing a phone system, ask the potential companies what the mean time between failures (MTBF) is on the system. Also ask how long the company will service the system. With maintenance, a good phone system will last several decades, but if they stop servicing after a few years (as most companies do) that means you will be spending that money again (or realistically, more) sometime in the next decade. If you get a system that’s built to last, it’s an investment. And if it’s a good system like RCI sells,, as new equipment comes out it will be backwards compatible, so you can add to what you have instead of just starting over.

You’re phone system is the first impression of your business to a large section of the public. Would you buy the cheapest home you could find regardless of size, location or workmanship? Use the cheapest babysitter? Consider your priorities before making a decision. One thing’s for sure. All phone systems are not created equal and if all you’re looking at is price than don’t be surprised when you get a Yugo.

Posted in Telephones, Value.