Journalist brags about poor negotiating skills

This post will give you a very important lesson about negotiating. It is directly related to an article that I read last night in The Toronto Star which simply shocked me. Read the article I’m referring to here. It has to do with a reporter going to the U.S. for a trip and going over her data limit on her BlackBerry. Although she had a U.S. roaming plan that covered a lot of emails, she was not aware that emailing a picture while on the trip would exceed her data limit. Once she received her bill she called Rogers to ask for a break. Their response was that they will waive the $33.68 extra fee if she upgrades her plan to something that costs more and gives her 2.5 times the data. She was happy with the offer.

So let me get this straight. She had a one time trip to the U.S. that resulted in her going over her limit by about $34 (because Rogers didn’t give her a warning to say that she is about to exceed her limit) and she is satisfied with simply paying more every single month from now on for more data that she doesn’t usually need? To me this sounds like the worst negotiating on her part that I have seen in a long time. It would likely only take 5 more minutes of negotiating on the phone and Rogers would waive the $34 fee and not force her to upgrade her monthly plan to something she doesn’t really need. With the deal she got, she was better off not calling Rogers at all and just paying the $34. At least it was a one time fee and she wouldn’t pay extra every month for extra data she may never use.

This negotiating story is a perfect example of how not to negotiate. You should always think about what exactly you are being offered and if it’s really a deal worth making. She didn’t have to agree right at that moment. Certainly Rogers would be happy to give her that deal any day. The sales rep probably got a pat on the back for his/her performance. If only she would write down exactly what she wanted to accomplish with her call to Rogers she would have only needed to look down at her page and quickly realized that the deal being offered was even worse than the status quo. I hope everyone learns from this person’s mistake and never agrees to such a terrible deal.