Bargaining: When Has It Worked for You?

June 24 2009, 9:06 AM

A little over a year ago, I was in between houses when someone broke into the one I was leaving, stole my laptop, and slashed my tires. That time was a sea of cardboard boxes, double rent payments, and begging people to take the old place in Baker off my hands.

I was eventually on the phone with Comcast, requesting to switch over my service. When they said they would need to increase the price, I did something I would never recommend anyone do when bargaining: I wept.

The customer service agent went silent, and I continued weeping--the messy, mucus-filled kind of weeping, with choked inhaling. The tactic proved effective. The agent soon began slinging deals at me until I had a sweet cable-and-Internet package for less than I've ever paid. He waited until the crying stopped and then quickly ended our call.

A year and two months later, my Comcast bill suddenly doubled. When I called, I was told, simply, "Your promotion is up." I paused and asked if any other promotions were available. The woman on the other end barely missed a beat. "Well, we could take $20 off and add more channels," she offered. I accepted.

My boyfriend recently had a similar Comcast experience, minus the weeping. He called and said he was thinking of switching providers, and his Internet service was lowered to $23 a month.

So, readers, today we open up the comments for discussion: When was the last time you bargained, with whom did you do it, and did it work?

Any tried-and-true tactics we should know about?

Leave it all in the comments, and we'll compare notes.