Since last year, I’ve challenging myself to negotiate, or just ask, for discounts and deals. While I thought this would be a straight-forward challenge, I’m realizing that there are many, more things to learn in my mission to become a master negotiator.
My two recent successes are:
1 ) Time Warner Cable – Got free DVR service for 3 months ($15/mo savings)
2 ) Verizon DSL – Knocked $11/month off high-speed DSL, without signing up on a new contract or bundling
I’ve had mixed results with both of these companies. Sometimes I get a discount; other times their Customer Service representatives have stood firm. Before calling, I always arm myself with ads from their latest promotions and competitor offers. I start off as polite but I admit that I am usually very ready to get mad or indignant.
This time was different.
My new approach? While I did have competitor offers on hand, I was in a much more friendly mood. I told them about better offers from their competition. Then I listened as they rattled off all the benefits of their company, tried to get me to bundle my services, and told me all the ‘bad’ things about the competition. I expressed my disappointment that long-time, loyal customers never get the best deals. At that point, both Reps decided to “see what they could do for me” and gave me the discounts. I just wish that Time Warner would offer a discount without the pathetic 3 month limit.
I’m not 100% sure if my new approach will always be more successful. A lot will depend on the individual customer service representative. Maybe the most important fact is this: I felt like I had a human conversation with a nice, helpful person. Plus, I don’t dread having to call Time Warner back in 3 months to “see what else they could do”. If you’re the type who dreads negotiating, this friendly approach might be best for you.