TV shows like The Apprentice show us that if we are ballsy, we can make a deal. You also have to lack brain cells and empathy but that’s another matter.
Why is it then, whenever I try and make a deal, it’s never there?
I’m sick of people telling me how they get Sky TV for nothing because they call up every few minutes to get a new package.
“Yep, I told ’em I was leaving so they offered me free Sky Sports, Sky Movies, my own super-fast broadband connection straight to the centre of the Internet, and Ewan McGregor has to come ’round once a month to make me breakfast.”
When I call up, after waiting for half a day on hold, it goes more like,
“Yes, I’d like to leave please and want to cancel my contract.”
“Well Mr Killick, thanks for calling and sorry to see you go. Because you signed up for our gullible idiot package you actually owe us £1,000. But, we have a special offer on today where we charge you an extra 20%, so that will be £1,200, please. And no you can’t cancel your cancellation. How will you be paying?”
I seem to be surrounded by Wheeler-Dealers but, when it’s my turn, there’s never any wheels to be dealt.
Call me old fashioned, but when I buy something, it’s usually because I want to buy it. I don’t want to dick around so I realise my negotiating power is already low.
It’s like when you go on holiday, end up at a market and have to haggle. I hate it. Just give me a good price in the first place!
I was once on a bus tour on holiday in the Gambia and a kid on the beach started trying to sell me something I didn’t want. So I offered a silly price, like 20% of what he was asking. We then had a 10-minute back-and-forth where I didn’t budge, mainly because I didn’t want what he was selling. I just wanted him to go away and he eventually did.
An hour later, as I was boarding the bus back to the hotel, surrounded by the other holiday-makers, he came rushing in shouting, “Okay, okay, I take it Mister!” and thrust the object into my hand, holding out his other hand for the cash.
I was now the proud owner of a carved wooden elephant the size of a briefcase, which ended up being too big to put in my suitcase and being left in a Gambian hotel room!