Call Ozdachs at 415.347.6479|

Beware of False Urgency and Special [High] Rates

Planting a sense of urgency in your potential customer’s mind so they make a decision and buy is a time-honored sales tactic.  It works!

Proclaiming specials and offering discounts off the list prices are time-honored tactics, too.  They work!

Combining urgency with specials, magnifies the potency of a sales campaign.  Think of all the holiday weekend specials, introductory pricing, and special low-prices sales “events” you hear and see.

Unfortunately, today’s sophisticated pricing tools allow businesses you already patronize to use  limited-time specials on goods and services you’re familiar with to rip you off.  Far more insidious than the deals for “new customers only,” today’s pitches tell you that you’re getting a great price, when, in fact, you are paying more than anyone else.

Here’s an example.  The New Yorker sent me a limited-time magazine gift renewal recently.

New Yorker Gift Renewal Form

The New Yorker is offering a “Reduced-Holiday-Rate (sic) of $89.99″, and I had only until October 6 to sign up.  This is a perfect example of a large, savvy company creating a untrue sense of urgency and offering an expensive special.

The New Yorker wants me to renew my gift subscription for $89.99. But, if I just went to their website, I could buy the same 47-issue gift for $39.95.

Basically, this offer charges loyal repeat customers 225% what people wandering by on the Internet can pay at the same time it touts the price as something special.  (If you want to renew an existing gift, you can call the number of the back of the renewal form and get a price of $49.99 a year, if you mention the Internet price.)

Actually, the magazine has a maze of different prices for the same product, depending upon how interested you seem to be.  If you click on “Subscribe” on their home page, you’re offered a third price, $69.99, as the BEST DEAL. I think they’ve crossed the line into legally questionable claims with “Best Deal”, but I am no lawyer.

The New Yorker is not alone in charging its current customers more while trying to make it seem like they are offering a deal.

The Atlantic magazine also offers existing givers of subscriptions the chance to overpay… but only if they act quickly!

Atlantic Magazine Renewal Offer


To renew existing gift subscriptions, you “save”  by paying $27.95.  Of course, their website offers new subscriptions for $14.95.  The Atlantic website also offers you a chance to give a subscription for $24.95.  As far as I could see, you couldn’t pay more than 27.95, despite the ad’s come on to “Ring in the holidays for less.”

Magazines are not the only industry eager to take advantage of their best customers.  Intuit was ready to charge me more for the latest version of its Quicken product when I clicked on an in-program upgrade link than it did when I went to the website directly.  And, every year I have to talk to my satellite TV provider and cable Internet companies as they attempt to raise my rates higher than those they quote the public.

I understand promotions meant to attract new clients.  I am fine with offers such as “10% off the first year for new clients only”.  But, I don’t like businesses preying on their existing customer base, charging them substantially more, while claiming to provide an especially great price.  I’ll play the business’ game, but I hope they don’t expect me to feel loyal or supportive toward them.

By |2012-10-15T13:05:51+00:00October 15th, 2012|Consumer Tips|3 Comments

About the Author:

San Francisco Internet Marketer and web designer gets you on the Internet in a cost-effective, responsible way.


  1. concert tickets detroit June 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    It was this type of zoe concert tickets or performances are costly.
    50 Pareles Method Man and Redman, sharing
    their set, mix apocalyptic warnings with comedy.

  2. locksmith June 12, 2013 at 12:44 am - Reply

    But do you really wish to deal with all of the questions, and don’t you imagine the police have better things to accomplish than helping out careless citizens. Knowledge of car and lock systems: For some with the locks such as the transponder locks or the ignition locks, it really is important for the auto locksmith to understand the electronic circuit of the automobile as well as some of their mechanics. Locksmith can allow you to easily to install a whole new security system at affordable price.

  3. Adolfo June 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for
    about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform.

    I have heard very good things about blogengine.
    net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.