Intelligent Solutions

A bit of a confession…

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

16th August 2021

By Simon Woodhead

Sometimes, I get the chance prototype things outside of our CTO Charles and his loyal band of DevOps Ninjas. They’re always non-critical things nowadays as he has a very firm hand on the tiller of technology, and rightly so!

One example in recent times is competitor price matching, which operates completely passively to re-rate every single call as if it’d gone through identified competitors that we know our customers also use. If across an average of calls to a destination they would have charged less than us, we will update our rates to match it. We update rates continuously based on cost whilst others seem far more, erm, let’s say ‘reactive’. We don’t account for them having completely fictitious/out of date rates (but do check they’re actually billing you those rates though and you haven’t missed an email telling you to manually edit their rate sheet because they couldn’t be bothered to send you a new one). In most cases we’re already more cost effective, and in those cases we do not increase our rates to match theirs, so it is win win for our customers.

This was an experiment in offering customers adaptive best value where we could. I’ve had some ideas here for a few years that I need to know people actually want before pursuing.

Unfortunately though, this hasn’t been running as it should for the last couple of months so there’s some destinations which haven’t price-matched when they should have done. This has now been fixed so the next rate update addresses this with 50-odd destinations being quite dramatically reduced as a result.

Meanwhile, I’ll be passing this prototype over to the grown-ups to migrate to production infrastructure!

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