Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gym Locker Renewal

Last year, I wrote about the strange negotiation I had to go through to renew my gym locker at a reasonable price. Actually, it's not really a reasonable price-- I think it is quite expensive, but as I said last year, it is one of the little luxuries I allow myself in the hopes that it takes away one of the obstacles that might prevent me from exercising as much as I should.
After last year's experience, I'd been ready for a fight again this year. About a month ago, someone from the gym called me to say they were having a special on locker renewals, which would give me 13 months for $260. Last year I got 12 months for $200, and technically got an extra month or two since I had delayed acting on the renewal until past the official date. I told the person that I didn't want to do the renewal over the phone, and that I would stop by the front desk the next day.
Well, I didn't actually do that. And they never left any note on my locker saying it had expired. I figured that the passive strategy might be a good one-- if they're lazy about enforcing these things, I'm happy to take advantage of it.
But last night, the note appeared on my locker. I probably still could have pushed it for a while, but I decided to just bite the bullet.
I prepared myself for negotiating with nerves of steel. When the manager finally came over, he again offered me the $260 for 13 months deal. I said "Gee, can you do a little better for me? Last year I only paid $200." He checked the records and said that indeed I had paid $200 but only got 12 months and that he was offering me a better deal. Now this is where Rule #17 comes into play. I was quite sure $200 for 12 months was a better deal that $260 for 13 months. I whipped out my calculator to be extra sure, and he did the same. "Yep, you're right-- your deal is better," he said. "So you want the 12 months for $200?"
I had to laugh-- I had a whole speech prepared about how an increase of 5 or maybe 10 percent would be fair. But instead he proposed an increase of zero percent! So much for all that complicated negotiating!

4 comments:

Hazzard said...

It really is amazing what you can get simply by asking. I save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year by just asking for a better deal, or negotiating a bit. All those people that just go along in life and pay the "going rate" sure are missing out.

~Dawn C said...

I would have kicked myself later by thinking... 'darn, should've said 'can you do better than last year's 16 amonth?'" That way I would be hoping for 15 a month?

That's just me, always trying to think of ways to get a better deal....
0% is not bad at all.

optioned unarmed said...

Sounds like this guy is so bad at math that you should have asked him to give you 13 months for $200. You could tell him to think of it as a compromise between his new offer of $260 for 13 months and your old deal of $200 for 12 months.

fin_indie said...

Classic. I use the "can you do a little better for me" phrase almost constantly. To boot, most people bite on it!