I have two mobiles on my account with Optus, both recently out of contract so I've been comparing SIM only deals.
I recently came across this Optus Flash Sale: http://offer.optus.com.au/sept-flash-sale
After asking about it in Live Chat, I was told it's only for new customers. I've been an Optus customer for 16 years so it was a little disheartening that someone who joins today gets a better price than someone who has been loyal to the carrier for so long. After a very confusing exchange it was explained that I could actually get the deal, I'd just have to switch to a new number. Having had the same number for my entire adult life, I definitely don't want to lose it (particularly as I'm often contacted out of the blue by old business contacts etc).
I talked with the agent and explained this situation, but they said if I didn't want a new number I could pay the full price. I think that's probably the final push in to switching to a Telstra MVNO - better coverage and decent plan options.
So my question is why does Optus put so much effort in to attracting new customers, whilst at the same time pushing their existing customer base away?
Same reason insurance companies and utility suppliers offer a really good deal for the first year only. There's always going to be around 20% of people that take the time, effort and hassle to keep switching and saving. But its the other 8 of 10 people that companies know they can milk for more.
To be fair this works both ways these days. The markets do offer much less barriers to moving around and many people think nothing of any 'loyalty' to companies and do leave on a whim or to save a few extra bucks. The NBN is a great example as (unless you really want to sign a contract) you can almost instantly switch RSPs with just a phone call.
Which does make it interesting that Optus response to this impending competition smorgasboard is not to make existing customers feel valued, not to improve the quality of its service, but to just disconnect all existing HFC customers after 3 months, blame the NBN and try scare them into signing new 24 month contracts.
IMO now is the time to be making your customers feel loved, not used.