A few months ago a competitor approached me about the support fees we charge, suggesting I might consider reaching an “accommodation” on support fees. His suggestion was that we both increase fees and stop trying to take customers off each other. I refused to even consider the suggestion, knowing it to be illegal. His response was along the lines of no one will find out.

I’d forgotten about the brief exchange until reminded today when talking with some folks about the Trade Practices Act. Thinking back to the suggestion of a few months ago I wondered how many such collusive arrangements go unnoticed.

Small business is tough enough. While I’m not about to dob in the competitor I am wary of everything they do because their suggestion demonstrated the lengths they would go to for revenue.

I’ve taken the opportunity to remind my sales team members to be careful about what they promise and to be even more careful about any conversation with a competitor.

While I was never going to agree to anything which disadvantaged my clients and prospects, just being invited to consider it makes me feel somewhat dirty.

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