This post was written by Lauren, my fiancee. It turns out I’ve taught her a thing or two!
I recently drove 12 hours from Maryland to Chicago for my roommate’s wedding. Upon our arrival a friend and I were offered an extra hotel courtesy of the groom’s parents. We sleepily crawled into the comfortable beds after a very long drive and desperately scrambled to turn on our computers and soothe our Internet withdrawal symptoms.
Click: computer on. Click: FireFox loading. Click: Facebook… intercepted by the hotel’s Internet access fee page. $12.95 for 24 hour Internet use. WHAT?! Outrageous! All I needed was an hour to check my Facebook and email, and maybe play a couple rounds of Bejeweled (it’s very addicting). It wasn’t worth the $13, but I did want it pretty badly, so I started thinking of other possibilities to connect to the Internet.
Ever since I met my DanielÂ almost 3 years ago, he’s always encouraged me to bargain and haggle, to get the experience. I consider him an expert in getting discounts, but for some reason he never wants to negotiate for me, giving me the ‘you’ll never learn if you never try’ excuse. LAME!
Without Internet, finding ways to get a discount were few and far between. My first move was calling Daniel to see if he could find any complimentary access codes online for this hotel. Nothing came up, but he told me to try calling the front desk and ask them for a free code. He also told me to sound as sappy as possible, about how I love the hotel, but after a 12 hour trip, I just want the Internet for a little so maybe they could help me out. That option seemed completely ridiculous, asking for a free service when clearly they want you to pay!
Despite my shyness and fear of being turned down I made the call. It turned out that my fear of no Internet trumped my fear of rejection. At least I didn’t have to go down and talk to the guy in person:
Guy at Front Desk: “Hello, this is the front desk”
Me: “Hi, I just checked into the hotel a few minutes ago and I only need the Internet for an hour tonight and am checking out early in the morning. Would it be possible to get a complimentary access code so that I didn’t have to pay $13 for one hour?”
Guy at Front Desk: “Sure no problem, just sign in and we will remove the cost from your bill.”
WHAT?! It worked? No long arguments, no threatening to check out immediately, no asking for a manager? Amazing. Who would have thought that all I had to do was ask for free Internet in order to get it (I feel like I’ve tried that with Comcast before and failed miserably)! The worst case scenario of that story the man at the front desk would have gently declined and explained it was not a possibility.
Moral of the story: Always ask because the answer is always no to a question you never ask!