Devils advocate here David, but they didn’t really lie to you if they said they are going in a different direction.
Sounds to me like they did just that - went in a different direction with another company.
Just a thought as well that applies to companies with employees doing the route - it’s hard for you to compete in storefront with solo guys like me. I can be cheaper all day long and still turn a profit and do a great job. Unfortunately, I’ve picked up a few lately from my local fish franchise. I’m not targeting them anymore than they target me, but we do cross over a bit. In most cases, my prices are in step with theirs. The main selling point I have is that I as a solo guy do all the work, thus I keep all of the money. This incentivizes me to provide a quality, regular service. The fish kids I’m replacing maybe keep a third of it and many have no intention of building a long term relationship with the customer. Most don’t even see themselves long term in the biz. This matters a lot more than we think to our customers.
I disagree that most are looking for the cheapest. There is a considerable amount of loyalty shown by customers. But they know what they like to see as well in us. Quality, pricing, as well as sensing a personal investment in them on our part plays equal roles in my opinion.