Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 2

About the end of the second day after the rent is due and there is nothing presented from the person that owes it - I start to get a bit annoyed. I find it disrespectful that a person living in another person's house - that knows the rent is due - says nothing about paying the rent.

I hardly believe they have somehow forgotten about it. Ask many people what the first of the month means - bill paying day or days. The fact that it's 2 people that owe me a total of $575 just ups the agitation level. However, I pretty much always give 3 days before - on the 4th day - I start writing notices. Note that after the 1st of the month, even on the second day, I can legally give out a 5-day notice.

My printer is broken anyway, and it's non-repairable. Somebody dropped the thing off the side of the computer desk and it's trashed. I have to write up notices at work now - though I am looking for a good used printer, figure I'll eventually find my deal on Craigslist.

I have spent the day - doing a good deal of cleaning, yes, but also just relaxing, perusing the internet, reading news, watching a little TV (mark that as very little as I couldn't find much on that I was even remotely interested in - though the discovery channel and the military channel are usually good bets for me to find something stimulating to watch versus the daily barrage of garbage that is all over the stations).

I have a 4 day work week and then I'm off for 4 days, plus I turned in my request for 3 days off after Labor Day - if I get it, would mean 6 full days off, go back to work for 1 and then another 2 off. If I don't get it, well - I'll just have to try another request for another date.

Tomorrow - a bit apprehensive. I will be awaiting whatever word comes from management about certain situations and I should find out about the loan mod.

I have nothing more as I am done with posting here for the day.

Have a great week!

Haggling In The Recession

Are you paying the ticket/listed price for retail store bought goods?

Why? We're in a recession - companies are as anxious to make any kind of profit versus none at all.
Haggling is a learned art. It is probably not something that comes naturally to most of us, especially in America. We go to a store, see the listed price - we pay it.
The higher the cost something is, the better than chance you can get the price brought down on it. But - it certainly isn't limited to large-ticket items.

My visit to Home Depot last week proved that. They had a stick of copper pipe I needed for this project I am doing. For whatever reason, 2 feet of it had been cut off. They don't sell it like that, so it was odd that they had it in stock. It was the last stick of pipe in the gauge there. I wanted that pipe, but there is no way I was going to pay full retail.

The man that approached me asking if I wanted help - couldn't help me. He offered 10% off - apparently that's the most store employees can go, citing store policy. Nice - so please get me a manager. I was not being rude, but only cutting the cost 10% was not sufficient for me. I know I already told this story to regular readers, I have been writing up stuff for those that are googling and such.

It just so happened that the general manager of the store was walking by when I made the manager request. It also turns out that he was the only person in the store authorized to make such a deal. The guy approaches the manager, tells him what I had requested, manager approaches me. How can I help you?

Well, I said, I need this stick of pipe. It has 2 feet missing and it's the last stick of that particular pipe in that length that you have. I was offered 10% off, but I figured that per foot, 10% off would STILL be higher priced than normal price when considering buying the pipe by the foot.

The manager asked me how much I wanted to pay for it. I asked him how much he wanted for it - we went back and forth several times and I finally offered $10.00 for it - the list price was $15. He said, okay, you gotta deal, but how about I lower the price to $5 and we're good? Yes, sir, we're good and thank you!

I think the problem with many folks is that they are afraid to ask. Or, if you do ask, you get a definitive no from the person you are talking to. Regular employees - probably at most stores - are probably authorized to go only so far with a discount offer, anything greater you must speak to management. So - if the deal isn't good enough, just ask for management! It isn't sinful or taboo - that's what management's there for. You'll have to get over your fear of rejection. If the manager can't or won't accomodate you - there are always other stores selling the same thing. Be nice, courteous, respectful - but firm.

I consider myself king for dealing with large corporations that you can only access by dialing an 800 number. I have dealt with a lot of them, and some of them I have dealt with numerous times. I rarely lose in a battle of getting either freebies or greatly reduced from original demands, regardless of what it is. The key is patience. On most adventures of this nature, I resolve myself to having to call back as many times as I have to get to the right person. The right person is the person that will give you the deal you are looking for.

I've had incoming call center employees adamently tell me that the company will not EVER give me any better deal than what that person is telling me. Yet - I have found - there is always someone higher up on the food chain of management that can and probably will negate that statement from that person. I've literally spent days calling the same company over and over and over until I got to the right person and got the deal I was looking for. Direct TV; Qwest Communications; and really, a myriad of other companies as well.

Is it worth that much time spent to try and get something done or get the deal you are looking for? For me, it most definitely is. I cannot afford some of the things that occur in life -such as when Mary took the satellite receiver from the bedroom she was living in. I got one replaced for free, the remote thrown in to boot. I did have to pay shipping and handling - but that's small compared to what I would have had to pay. The was not a fast deal, either, but I eventually got through to the right person. I think that one took 2 days worth of phone calls. Many people are pinching pennies, why not make them go as far as you can?

I have literally endless stories of getting something at a store for less - even in a good economy - or getting a portion of a bill removed or having the entire bill removed completely. It does take a little intestinal fortitude.

Here's another area where people are missing out: getting a meal ticket slashed in half or freebies from wherever when you have experienced miserable customer service. Again, people apparently are afraid to say anything or maybe make themselves look bad. I can't tell you the amount of times in my life I have received free meals or had the bill slashed substantially when I received rotten customer service from a waiter or waitress. You HAVE to ask for a manager in those situations, nothing else will get you the relief you are looking for.

I don't ALWAYS haggle - but usually if I see an opportunity to try, I will definitely give it a shot. I even tried to get Fry's to give me a "recession special" They wrote back and said they don't do stuff like that. Well, it didn't hurt to try. But - Fry's has a policy for scanning errors - the product that scans wrong is free. I've gotten hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of stuff from there for free because it scanned wrong. That's why I religiously stand in front of the store after paying for my stuff to see if anything is wrong on there. If I find it, I go straight to customer service - and yes - I get my money refunded AND I get to keep the product! Pretty nice. It's THEIR policy, why not use it? I bet a lot of grocery stores have that kind of policy, and definitely - there are going to be scanning errors at any store at one point or another.

The point is many times there is opportunity - and often times people miss that opportunity.

OH, and it doesn't hurt to arm yourself with info. You're looking for something specific - look all over the place on the internet for pricing before you go to whatever store you are headed to. Sometimes haggling is just a matter of asking, other times haggling is a matter of being an informed consumer that has product knowledge and pricing from various places. Make your case if you have to - again, the worst thing you can get is a little rejection. Doesn't that happen in normal life anyway?

Happy Haggling!

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...