"Ask" and You Just Might Receive!!
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I live by this credo and it has saved me money time and again. We recently took a trip to Las Vegas to meet my sister and her husband for a few days. It wasnít exactly a budgeted trip, so I worked at making it the most cost-effective trip I could. We were staying at a well known 5-Star hotel because their rates were competitive with other hotels with lesser ratings. However, their website showed some package deals that were not being offered the days we were going to be there.
I called to finagle a deal, but I didnít get anywhere with the person at the reservation desk. I waited a few days and called again. I was hoping to get somebody a little friendlier. Still, no success. I called a third time, but this time I was a little more vocal. I always stay friendly when I ask for something, knowing that is the only possible hope I have of getting anywhere. I said that I know hotels have flexibility with their packages and are able to give promotionals and other deals at their discretion. I explained we were coming to visit with family for a special occasion, and that we live on a retirement income. I even went so far as to tell them I was ready to grovel using some humor.
The woman explained that she didnít have the authority to do anything for me, but wondered if I would like to speak to her supervisor. I said "Sure, like I said, Iím not above groveling." She put me on hold and then told me her supervisor would have to call me back. Fifteen minutes later I received a call that resulted in coupons for free buffet breakfasts, dinners, and drinks. In addition they gave us a lower nightly rate. My persistence paid off in approximately $100 of savings! The trip actually cost us relatively little for a three night stay.
A couple of weeks ago we drove to a city a couple of hours from our home to view a special Titanic Exhibit. When we arrived, there were 10 busloads of school children and the kids were swarming the grounds and the Science Museum. Not that I have anything against children, but I literally could not hear myself think when we stepped inside the building. I asked to speak to the manager. She couldnít refund our tickets because they had been purchased through a ticketing service, but she took a look at the schedule and changed our reservations to a later time when the children would be gone. I asked her if she would "comp" us tickets for the IMAX theater so we could watch the special movie while we were waiting for the newly scheduled time to view the exhibit. She said "Sure, I can do that" and we actually enjoyed the movie as much, if not more, than the exhibit.
My sisterís birthday is coming up in June. She has been challenged for years with a serious illness and lives on a very small disability income. There is a special perfume that she loves, but the cost is high and outside of my gift budget. I found the number of the company on the internet and called to ask if they might have some samples that I could give her for a gift. Again, this required three more follow-up calls, but I received a deluxe sampler package as a result of my calls. My sister is going to be ecstatic!
One of my favorite stories of asking for what I wanted occurred several years ago and netted our family thousands of dollars in savings. We had purchased a new home in the early stages of the development and our house was scheduled to be built in a year. Based on the schedule we had been given, we put our home on the market and after it sold, made arrangements to rent back until our scheduled move date. We were moving 500 miles to our new home and had hired a professional moving company to transport our 20,000 lbs. of household belongings and furniture.
About four months prior to our scheduled move date, the builders had not even started our new home! We went into a mild panic mode. Writing a letter to the builder, we explained the commitments we had made on our end based on their assurances. We told them we would be out on the streets if our new home wasnít ready by the date they had originally promised and that we needed their help to make this work for us.
We received a call from the owner of the development company. He asked what it would take to make everything work for us. The long and the short of it Ė the builder paid for the cost to move our furnishings into storage, monthly storage fees, and rental on a furnished apartment for the months it would take to complete the home. They found a two bedroom apartment that would take our two cats, and had everything set up for us when we arrived. They literally covered every out-of-pocket expense incurred as a result of the home not being ready by the original promised date! If we had not asked them what they would do for us, we would have shouldered the headaches and expenses to figure out a solution.
Beginning today, "ask" for what you want. You are only limited by your own fears or lack of imagination. Whatís the worst thing that could happen? If the answer is "no" then you are exactly where you started. Face it Ė if you donít ask, the answer is "No". Practice tenacity. You may be refused or ignored at first, but pleasant persistence goes a long way to getting you what you want. Itís actually a lot of fun when you score the successes!
Copyright 2002 by Karen Kuebler