My Sirius radio subscription expired on Friday and they charged my credit card $216. I love Sirius radio. Well, actually I love Howard Stern. The rest of the stations I couldn’t really give a shit about. I decided that I can’t afford to listen to the radio for that type of money. I gave Sirius a call to see if I could either get a better price or if not, to cancel the account.
I get on the phone with this gentleman with a very thick accent. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… I decided I was in the mood for a little hardball. I was ready for a solid argument. I get on the phone and tell him I want to cancel the account. Naturally, they want you to rejoin the subscription. There must be some type of incentive for them to sign you up. The man says, “May I ask why you’re cancelling, sir?” I wanted to start off as nicely as possible, I respond, “of course you can ask me why I’m cancelling.” Then I sat there in silence, waiting for him to ask me again, why I was cancelling. The first round of chicken in these sorts of conversations.
Finally, he budges after about 15 seconds of awkward silence. He asks again, “why are you cancelling your account sir?” I said, “to be honest the service isn’t worth $216 for the year. I only listen to one station.” Which to be honest it really isn’t worth it for me. My drive to work is 3 minutes long. I listen to Howard for about 5 minutes before I walk into work, and I don’t want to pay that much money for that. I can sit in silence instead.
He then proceeds to tell me that I paid the same price the year before and asks me, “why was the service worth it last year?” Very good tactic my call center friend. Use logic, if I paid for it once, I’ll pay for it again. Not today sir, not today. Last time, they charged my credit card and I didn’t realize until a month later. But I wasn’t going to admit that level of stupidity, especially, to this man answering phones to argue with people for a living. Although, I feel like I could be very good at his job. I explained to him, in a way that makes no logical sense, that last year it was worth it. This year it is not.
He didn’t seem to understand so I cut to the chase. No more games. No more “Mr. Nice Guy.” I say, “listen sir, I’m not going to explain to you why I paid what I paid last year. I’ll pay $100 for the year and that’s as much as I will pay.” He pretended to sound very caught off guard and says, “Sir, that, uh, is a very exquisite price.” I inform him, “Well, ‘sir’, I’m a very exquisite guy.” I get my very first laugh out of him. Score: Vinny – 1, Human Answering Machine – 0.
I know that this guy has a price that he can sell the service to me. You have to play the waiting game though, right? He now says, “sir, I’m going to put you on hold. I have to talk to my manager.” He puts me on hold for like 5 minutes which I can only imagine that he got up from his cubicle to go take a shit. This tactic is the idea that if I wait long enough I’ll run out of time to negotiate and will have to accept his price. Little does he know, I set up a specific hour to have this conversation. He returns to the phone and gives me another offer. $118. Not the price we asked for.
I say to the man, “hear me out, I understand you’re selling a product and if you don’t want to give it to me at that price I understand, but I’m not negotiating I’m telling you the highest we’re going today is $100.” Now he wants to be a smart-ass. He says, “do you want me to pay your taxes and fees on it?”
It’s amazing what these jerk-offs will say to you to try to sell it to you. I say, “my friend, I wouldn’t expect you to pay my taxes and fees. Lower the price to $87 and I’ll pay the taxes and fees and it will come out to $100.” He starts explaining how taxes work now and I had to quickly cut him off. I say thanks, but no thanks and I try to hang up. Then he asks, “what about $36 for 6 months?”
Really man. I had to be on the phone with you for 35 minutes to figure that one out? You wanted to charge me 6 times the price. Granted it was for a year, rather than 6 months. So 3 times the price overall, if we’re counting by month.
But in the long run Sirius is losing money on this deal. He could’ve gave me the year for $100 and they would make $50 every 6 months. Maybe they are relying on the idea that in 6 months, I’ll forget again. But I won’t. I gave him a credit card and only authorized a one-time payment. Now they are only making $36 for 6 months. Capitalism is really something these days.
Nothing is a fixed price though. Always remember that everything is negotiable. Fight for what you want. Even if it is just a talk show host for 5 minutes in the morning. Stay tuned because I’m going to attempt this tactic in the supermarket soon. $2 for an avocado? Sorry, I’ll take the five finger discount.