In the Romans household, we teach them to be frugal at a young age, so my eldest son was excited to tell me a related story when he got home from school yesterday afternoon. His best friend’s family recently got a very large flat screen television for free. A free TV is pretty good.
The family went out to purchase their new television and paid full price. They then took it home and hooked everything up. With the first show they watched, they noticed a small red line in the middle of the screen. It wasn’t something glaring or overly distracting, but for a new television, it shouldn’t have been there. Naturally, they contacted the store about the problem
Most of us in this situation would have simply brought the television back and asked for a new one that was the exact same size, model, etc. Instead, they walked away with a top name television for free.
Now here is what made the difference; the thing that got them their free TV.
The family had great negotiating skills. They were able to convince the store that the time and money they were out with the issue of the faulty television was worth something to them, and that the store didn’t need the negative publicity. On top of this, because the television was large, they pointed out that it would cost money for the store to pick up the television (delivery had been included in the original price), to either properly dispose of the television or return it to the manufacturer, and then to deliver a brand new television to the family.
The family convinced the store that they would be doing them a favor by simply taking a full refund and dealing with the television themselves. Except that they are opting to keep the television and use it. After all, the little red line wasn’t that bad.
The lesson here is that by being a good negotiator and pointing out the benefit to the store of letting the family keep the unit while giving them a full refund, they wound up with a flat screen TV for free.