How to decide if you should take a promotion from your mobile phone company.

- Emran Hussain,
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Check our Rational Will

You got a phone call from your mobile phone company.

- Hello, thank you for being a loyal customer of Bell Canada. We would like to offer you a new feature to your existing package. Just for 10$ more, you can call both USA and Canada for free. Not only that, when you go to the USA from Canada, you will not be charged for Roaming. You can call any number from the USA as if you were calling from your home's living room.

- Hmm, sounds an exciting offer. Sometimes, I get a bill for calling the US, and every time I call the USA, I usually get a bill of 15$. I like this offer. Whenever I go to the USA, I end up with a 30$ charges.

But you are in Dilemma. Should you take this offer? You rarely go to the USA and you rarely call the US in a month. When you call, you usually use a Calling Card.

Let's solve this problem with Rational Will's Pros and Cons tool which is featured with Pairwise Comparison.

Start the Rational Will software. Click the "Pros and Cons" button.


Once the Pros and Cons tool is opened, click the "Pairwise comparison" box, because we will use Pairwise comparison for robust pros and cons analysis.


Once you click the "Add new option" button, you will see the following screen. Double click on the Option "Option 1" to edit your problem as shown below.


Now, list your pros and cons as shown below.


Now, notice that there is a pairwise comparison section. In this pairwise comparison section, you will be asked to compare your preferences between features or factors. The first pair is shown as below.


Now, think about it. "No extra charge when Roaming US" us more exciting benefit for you comparing "No extra charge for calling the US". Why? When you need to call the USA from Canada, you can at least use Viber or calling card or Skype to solve the problem. But when you are roaming, it is difficult to use your phone as the price is too expensive and there is no easy solution other than borrowing your friend's phone who lives in the USA. So, you may weight the Roaming feature 4 times more than regular savings of calling the USA from Canada. Lets set that weight as shown below.


Now, click the 'Next' button from the toolbar to perform the next set of pairwise comparison.


Once you click the "Next" button, you will be asked to compare the following pair.


Ok, now, you need to think, how much you worry about paying the extra 10$ every month comparing the benefit of the Free Roaming. Perhaps, to you, it is 2 times more important to save the 10$/month than the FREE roaming benefit. Or maybe you are just indifferent between these 2 factors. If these 2 factors are the same to you, then you can leave this comparison as 1: 1. In order to do so, you can mark the comparison as completed, by checking this checkbox.


Now, if you notice the result panel, you will find that the result indicates that accepting the offer is a good decision.

result- 1

Now, it is the time to consider the probabilities of uncertainties. You realized that you do not travel to the US every day. In fact, in the last year, out of 12 months, you visited USA 2 times. If you calculate the frequency in percentage, you will find 2 * 100/ 12 = 16.7%.

Also, you realized that last year, you called the US 5 times in whole 12 months, and on average, you do not call the US more than once in a month. So, the frequency can be calculated as 5 * 100 / 12 = 41.67. Maybe you can call more when you have the Unlimited FREE offer. Let's make it 50%. Now, you can check the checkbox in the Uncertain column beside the factor as shown below. Once you check the Uncertain checkbox, you will see a Probability box appear. Set the probability value equal to the Frequency you just calculated.

result- 2

Now, see that the result is calculated and indicates that the offer is not worth. Rational Will is recommending not to accept the offer. When you specify the probability, Expected Value is calculated for each utility. Based on the total Expected values of all Pros and Cons, the prospect's overall utility value is calculated. If that value is Negative, then Rational Will recommends not to take that action. Notice the Expected Utility Chart. It shows the offer's total expected value is close to -32. Thats why this offer is not worth.

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