Money: Everything Is Negotiable

My mother’s genius astounds me. She is one of the most amazing artists I have ever seen. She is also very good with telling you who played opposite Cary Grant in North By Northwest and the love affairs of Rita Hayworth. She can also find the shining star in every single human being, no matter how many layers of grime obscure it.

But. There are some things.

I would probably check twice if she gave you directions on how to get somewhere. And there seems to always be some kind of dispute with the phone/cable/power/city people over something.

So I decided to work on getting Internet service for her and unravelling a torrid history of misunderstood promotions and failed promises with her local service provider. I called them.

The representative quoted me a price for her monthly service, $19.95. Which seemed fine. And then some back fee from a long time ago that needed to be cleared. And then a $4 “convenience fee.”

“ConvenientĀ for whom?” I asked. “Look, I realize I have a lot of choices for Internet here. Don’t lose us over a $4 fee.”

“Hold on,”he said. I held, for a while.

“I can’t refund the fee, but I can give you a $50 Visa gift card, is that OK?”

Yes, it was.

Feeling quite smug, I called my mom and relayed our conversation, and told her to call the company to book her service turn-on.

She called me back a couple days later. “I got them down to $9.99 a month. I just told them I know I have plenty of other options.”

People will always try to lowball you. And even when you think you’ve hit the rock bottom, there’s probably a little wiggle room under the rock.

Vanessa McGradyMoney: Everything Is Negotiable

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