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Featured Any Churners here?

Discussion in 'Obsessions and Interests' started by asperagus, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. asperagus

    asperagus A vegetable on the spectrum

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    Any Aspies into the churning life?

    Been churning for welcome bonuses on telecommunications and financial products. I'd think that most churners are Aspies. Granted, many Aspies and NT's alike say churning is "too complicated", but it takes a special interest in mapping out the steps involved, calling customer service every now and then and repeating it all over again.

    Since I got into churning, it's become a stim.
     
  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I googled it and am still not sure what it is, but it seems to be illegal?
     
  3. asperagus

    asperagus A vegetable on the spectrum

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    Nothing illegal. Sign up, get welcome bonus, later cancel (pay off any balances), then wait and repeat the process.

    Could potentially conflict with terms of service (going above what they consider normal consumer behaviour), but that's up to the big corps to enforce their policies.
     
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  4. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Tempermental Artist

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    What is churning? Sounds like people who make butter for a living. But most modern butter is made by putting the milk into these churners that look something like giant washings machines. I saw it one time on "How It's Made".
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    "Churning is the practice of executing trades for an investment account by a salesman or broker in order to generate commission from the account. It is a breach of securities law in many jurisdictions, and it is generally actionable by the account holder for the return of the commissions paid, and any losses occasioned by the broker's choice of stocks"

    Is this it?
     
  6. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a lot of hassle. I wouldn't like it. I don't like the process of signing up for things or getting out of things. I like to get something and keep it as long as possible.

    When I read the thread title, I thought it was about what hoarders often do with their piles.
     
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  7. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    yeah, all this sounds super sketchy to me and could potentially land you into legal trouble at some point or worse

    seems just as bad as MLM "companies"
     
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  8. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    An example of churning in this context would be thus:

    I sign up to broadband provider A who give me 12 months reduced price contract which rises after that to the normal tariff.
    12 months later I cancel the contract and sign up to broadband provider B and take advantage of their deal for new subscribers.
    Then a year later do the same with broadband provider C.
    By the end of that contract, enough time has passed that I should qualify to go back to provider A and enjoy the benefits of being a new subscriber again....

    Given the dislike of change many autistics share and the essential contact with various customer services entities through the process, I would think it not a popular practice amongst us. I can see the financial benefits of it, and it is entirely legal, however I really can't be bothered with all the chopping and changing and trying to keep up. It would be an annoyance to me rather than a challenge or a stim.
    I'm glad you enjoy it though @asperagus :)
     
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  9. asperagus

    asperagus A vegetable on the spectrum

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    Switching ISP's every year is definitely a terrific example of churning. There are more aggressive ones that require less effort. Great example is credit cards. Bonuses can get quite generous (at least here in North America), and the only effort is managing bill payees, plus making the phone call to downgrade or cancel the card.

    MLM's are completely different. MLM's are the ones doing the churning, not the individuals (MLM's collect signup fees, and individuals who fell for it end up giving up and losing money).

    I compare churning to counting cards at a casino. Normally, when you sit at a table, the net winner is usually the dealer (just like with credit cards, if you stick around long enough, they'll win in merchant fees, annual fees, and God forbid interest charges). But if you count the cards at the poker/blackjack table, you reverse the winnings in your favour (churn cards and pocket generous welcome bonuses, often dodge annual fees). Of course, churning will require a fair level of financial responsibility (just like counting cards at the casino will require a certain level of sobriety). For telecommunications, most churners churn wireless (much easier than ISP's).

    Of course, a big company may have their set of policies on churning. Looks like AmEx now makes welcome bonuses once in a lifetime in both and . But, there are many outlets for churning just as there are many casinos on a gambling strip.

    Definitely a huge stim for me.
     
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  10. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Legal or illegal, it's just a way to convince yourself you aren't cheating. Maybe it's a grey area, but people who respect themselves don't try to find ways to pretend grey areas are white.
     
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  11. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I'm not sure I'd call it cheating - more using the system to one's advantage ;)
    We "Supermarket Surf" every week. Many branded products that we prefer are prohibitively expensive at their regular prices, but if you alternate your supermarket shopping between different stores, you can almost always buy those products on offer at much reduced prices and never have to pay the full whack. You can save a fortune on long-lasting and non-perishable goods that way.
    Other people do something similar with coupons. It's not cheating in my book, just making use of a system that is unfairly stacked to your own benefit.
     
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  12. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I didn't know there was name for it.

    "Credit card churning is the act of opening credit card accounts that come with sign-up bonuses, spending just enough money to earn those bonuses, closing those accounts and repeating the process."

    "Credit card churning is technically legal and there are some advantages to putting it into practice. If you close your credit card account immediately after earning your sign-up bonus (or before the end of a promotional period), you could avoid paying annual fees and interest."

    "Despite all of its benefits, there are plenty of downsides to being a credit card churner. For one thing, churning credit cards could turn into a time-consuming hobby, especially if you have to keep track of multiple credit card due dates and requirements for earning various bonuses.

    What’s worse is that credit card churning could hurt your credit score."
    The Pros and Cons of Credit Card Churning - SmartAsset

    Is Credit Card Churning Worth It?

    Reminds me of the old tv shows featuring 'extreme couponers' (people who spend countless
    hours searching for deals, letting the *bargain* determine their food choices...etc)

    I can see how this could take over a person's life, if that person were prone to addiction,
    compulsion, or routine.
     
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  13. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Didn't realize it had a name. Know several people who re-negotiate their phone and internet services each year, for better deals. Some who shop around for new insurance rates yearly for their homes and cars.

    My husband's negotiated with several ISP's to get better rates, as our original provider offered three months of a flat fee and then upped it after that, charging us for a modem rental for eight years that cost a few hundred dollars.
    Recently we bought our own modem and router to avoid that again.

    Phone company used to do the same and most people paid a rental on a wired in phone for thirty or forty years, that should have been paid for in the first three years.

    Thinking of doing the same for our insurance on the home and our car, as every year it's gone up appreciably and there have been no claims, ever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  14. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I do this (obsessively), and so do many others. I buy things in bulk that are on special offer, or I buy things that are near their sell-by-date at reduced price, then freeze what I'm not going to eat right away. It's not churning... but I suspect that this supermarket surfing might be quite common among people on the spectrum :) It's all a balancing act between my wanting to minimise my expenses, and the supermarket wanting to maximise its profits and minimise its losses.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  15. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    It always baffled me why other people often don't do it because it doesn't have to be a major effort, just go to ASDA this week and Tesco the other, but so few bother. I hardly ever pay full price on many regular purchases.

    Before I started Autistamatic, I was toying with the idea of starting a consumer based channel (which I may still do if I get the time) and had a few videos in the can when events in life made me change my focus to something more worthwhile. At the time I switched I was working on a video on just this topic. I've just uploaded the intro below, 'cos I think it's quite fun :)

    Bear in mind it wasn't made with an autistic audience in mind so the title music comes in quite loud and suddenly after the "retro" voiceover ;)

     
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  16. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    Maybe another example would be job churning, which my dad does. (He also churns his satellite TV services as Autistamatic described.) He says there's no advantage anymore to being one who stays with a company for a lifetime. He says if you want to make money you keep switching jobs, as if you're good at what you do, one company will often pay you more than the last company did, to get you to switch. Along with signup bonuses and other benefits. I have to say he's made a lot more money since he's been doing that. But I hate the stress and uncertainty of quitting and of job hunting, so I've been with the same company for 20 years now.
     
  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I consider myself quite a conscientious consumer. However I tend to avoid lucrative deals where you know there are "strings attached". Where you inevitably encounter resistance from a "customer service" person paid to talk you out of cancelling whatever service it is that you never intended to subscribe to indefinitely.

    For me this is one of the most undesirable types of conversations to deal with. Where at some point in the conversation I MUST get rude in order to get this person to back down. Which would just leave me with my stomach churning. No thanks.

    Simple point. How many Aspies enjoy having to aggressively haggle with someone over the phone? :eek:

    I love a good bargain. Just not when I must continuously haggle over them on a routine basis. Supermarket surfing? Yeah- sure. But things with limited terms and complex contractual agreements, no. Not something I want to hop from one contract to the next over just to save a few bucks.

    XM Sirius continues to solicit me all the time with such deals. Sure I could get a "good deal" ($5 a month for 12 months) but it requires reading some very fine print and inevitably dealing with high pressure customer service people intent on me remaining with the service well after the best terms expire. Besides, why do I need satellite audio in my car when I have 16 gbs of my personal music collection available at any time?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  18. Raisedbywolves

    Raisedbywolves Active Member

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    I feel like this applies to "churning"
     
  19. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, the video could do without the special effects, but it's a good idea.

    It's important to understand the supermarket's marketing strategy or business model, in order to gain maximum benefit from it. I only ever buy either products that I would buy anyway and which I know I'm going to use or need, or sometimes more expensive treats like salmon that would be too expensive for me to buy at their normal full price. Also I look at at the price per kilo to see whether it really is going to be a good deal or not... which the supermarket is obliged to show, but usually puts in really small miniscule writing, because they don't really want people to do this :) It's hardly a bargain to buy an item costing 10 euros at 30% reduction, when there is another similar item that only costs 6 euros, for example. I almost never buy brand names. These companies spend millions on their advertising campaigns, and that cost is inevitably passed to the consumer, they are always more expensive and not always better quality. The secret is to make logical decisions and not emotional ones - most people make emotional decisions, both companies and supermarkets are aware of this and exploit it to the full.
     
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  20. asperagus

    asperagus A vegetable on the spectrum

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    Oh my, I'm new here and already a featured thread. @tlc most churners I know would not touch job churning, but that's definitely interesting.

    I'm an Aspie who loves working in sales, so I love to haggle with CSR's via phone @Judge

    Churning requires some strategy (step A, B, C) which is why most people don't do it. Many complain it's too complicated. That leaves the big rewards to those of us who do churn.
     
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