I think it’s important to ask. This is hard for me too, but the worse that they can do is say no, or reject your offer. For example, I once called up to file an insurance claim, where the estimate seemed to be significantly lower because of how they calculated the amount for the claim. I told them that their method seemed flawed, and within then minutes they raised my claim amount by $500. So within 10 minutes I was able to save $500.

It’s similar to how I got my Internet Service Provider to lower my internet bill. Last year, their promotional rate was at $40 dollars a month. However, since we’ve been in their service for a year, they decided to hike the rate to $63 dollars a month. So I called them up the first time and threatened to switch to an alternate service provider. And they told me that the best they can do is to lower my rate to $53.

I accepted and a month later, I saw an ad for an alternate service for $40 dollars a month. I called my ISP once more, and told them unless they were willing to lower my rate, I would be switching. And that I just got off the phone with the other ISP(which I also did)

They put me on hold and 10 minutes later came back with $43, which I accepted.

I’m happy they did this. I could now avoid staying at home and monitor the service man setting up internet!

In the grand scheme of things, this 20 dollars isn’t much. But in terms of absolute savings percentage wise, it’s closer to 30%. It leads me to wonder - how many opportunities and things are we missing out, just because we’re a bit afraid to be a little more assertive, and ask?

Oh, and the other thing about story. It’s always good to have alternatives and a counter-offer. I think this is fundamental. It shows that you have an alternative, and are desirable. Without this so called alternative, I don’t think any company would budge on their price or be flexible…