Business Negotiations – Not Just for the Board Rooms

Be it recession or not, you should always try to negotiate with any service providers you use (such as cell phone, cable, internet, or car rental companies) and ask to waive or reduce any fees that you found superfluous.  For example, I usually ask my cellphone provider to waive the activation fee each time I upgrade to a new phone.  Having already paid for the new cellphone and signed up for another two-year contract, I don’t see why I have to pay another $20 for the activation fee.  Similarly, I recently asked my internet service provider to waive its installation fee.  This is a fee that I have already paid twice – when I first signed up for the internet service and when I moved a year later.  While my internet service provider was unable to waive the fee entirely, I got it reduced from $40 to $20.

When negotiating, try to be polite and clear on your reasons why you feel a certain fee should be waived or reduced.  If the first representative you speak with isn’t able or doesn’t have the authority to offer you a discount, ask to speak with his or her manager.  And be sure to get the complete name of the person who is able to offer you the discount, so you can refer back to this person in case of any problems.  If you have been a frequent or long-time customer, it makes your case that much stronger, since they would rather keep your patronage than have you leave.  Finally, be reasonable about what you ask for and keep in mind that the companies you are dealing with are businesses that are trying to turn a profit.  The recession might have ended, but consumers still have the upper end when negotiating for better deals, so good luck.

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2 Responses

  1. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  2. Great site…keep up the good work.

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