Do you think Zen should drop the price of UF1 down for those who have just taken up a new 12 month contract at £37? After all, their website says that can reduce the price but not increase it.
No (unless within a cooling off period) as that was the price at the time the contract was agreed to, so as long as there was no underhandness (think a notorious sofa sale) then it is what it is. The reason for this is at the time the new customer and the renewal cost for existing customers was the same. However I do think your point about being out of contract and milked is certainly valid and that is unfair if for example the company would not offer the same deal as a new customer and insisted you always had to pay more.
Loyalist in this market is relatively pointless here is a post I made on the virgin media forum which I think is relevant.
Companies with ethics (or at least ones pretending to have) will usually ensure their loyal customers are treated equally fair to new customers. Yes, new customers might get a few bauballs but the price is usally matched. There are companies like this about, just quite few in the telecoms industry.
What you see with companies like Virgin, BT & Sky is a lack of ethics, and it's an American influence which is affecting even once 'fair' companies of old. Unfortunately to companies like VM, Sky etc, loyality means 'suckers'. Because the companies have no real ethics we the customers need to follow the same drum (until this short term business illness is kicked in to the pages of history). By this you have to ensure you shop around the moment the contract is going to expire. What you will find is that people who move around each year will certainly be offered a deal, where as people like yourself will not. The reason for this is they have seen you have not left after 12-18months. You are what is known as a 'sticky' customer. Companies see these customers as soft targets and see no point in offering anything.
Play them at their own game. I know it's not very "British" of us and we like to see ourselves as loyal. But loality in this market is taken advantage of by big business and the sooner more people vote with their feet the cost of CHURN will make them sit up and take note as it's certainly not sustainable if even 50%+ of people switched each year.
Might sound harsh, and sometimes you might have to play hard ball and passive aggressive but you will certainly win in the long run. BT seem to think their ancient copper is worth £50 per month, yet for some people that is enough to produce, transport, maintain and bill a families gas and electricity.
Stick your notice on the account, and within the next 14 days someone will be on the phone offering you at least as good a deal as a new customer. If they don't then milk Sky for their discount and return in 12-18months on a low deal.
Do the same with banks, insurance, utilities. Loyality is pointless unless the company is offering a differentiating service where the extra cost of loyality is worth something (be that great CS/Support, an ethical company to it's employees, community and customers, or simply does everything at the Rolls Royce level of service).