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!


Anonymous 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 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.

Anonymous 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!