When my wife gets her mind set on a mission, her tenacity at achieving a goal is unparalleled. This is true in every facet of life, including those times when she feels that she has been overcharged, or not getting what was promised to her. I got to see my fiery wife in action again this weekend.
Back in our free spending days we had a subscription to Sirius/XM radio. We had purchased a detachable faceplate unit that fit into a mounting plate in our car, or on a portable radio that we commonly use outside. The $15 a month subscription was one of the first things to get the axe when we enrolled in our debt management program to cut our monthly expenses.
Last July they were running a six month subscription special for $25, so we splurged a little and signed up. A few months later we called to communicate that we would not be renewing as we aren’t outside as much in the winter. We also did not want to pay the regular price as didn’t feel it was worth that price . At the time of the call we had about a month of our subscription left. They offered to suspend it, and allow us to reactivate it in the spring. At that time we could then see if there were any deals being offered similar to the one we signed up for in the summer as a renewal option.
This was the first really nice weekend this spring, and Vonnie decided that it would be a good time to restart our subscription, as well as check if any deals were being offered. We turned on our radio to find that it linked right up. Wondering if our subscription had been reactivated without our knowledge, Vonnie picked up the phone and began quite an adventure for a Saturday morning.
Vonnie found out that our subscription had NOT been reactivated, but instead that they were giving all non-subscribed previous members a one week trial period if they turned on their radio. She inquired about current prices, and there were no deals being offered. Unwilling to pay full price, the representative offered to refund the one month remaining on our current subscription. Vonnie agreed and hung up the phone. About 5 minutes later, our XM radio ceased playing music, giving us the familiar message encouraging us to call to subscribe. Vonnie’s phone call had somehow triggered the one week trial offer to be ended.
Which of course did not please my wife in the least.
With a look of, “Oh no they didn’t!” in her eyes, she called XM again and explained the situation to the next representative, who agreed to reactivate our radio for the remainder of the week trial. I heard Vonnie explicitly ask, “Now, I’m not willing to pay full price for a 6 month subscription, so before you turn it back on, you are NOT charging me in any way, right?” The man acknowledged she was correct. While still on the phone with representative #2, she logged into our online account, and noticed that it indicated we had just been renewed for a 6 month subscription and now had a balance due of $97. Vonnie demanded to know what he had done. He admitted he had indeed just renewed our subscription, to which Vonnie said “I did not authorize you to do that, sir. Turn my radio off right now!” He quickly transferred her to someone else.
“Hi Scott, I am not angry with you personally, but I just want to let you know that I am angry.”
That’s how the third conversation started out. All of the passion that I know and love about my wife was still there, but she had added a new secret weapon. What I witnessed was controlled fire paralleled with calmness of the likes I had never seen from my wife. She calmly, but forcefully explained the events of that morning, seemingly dotting every ‘I’ with thrusts of her pointer finger into the air. She concluded by telling Scott that we would continue to monitor for specials as she would be willing to pay $25 for 6 months as we had in July, but would NOT be willing to pay the full price of $97. Guess what came next.
He gave it to her!
So we have XM radio for the next six months for the low price of $25, which is less than a third of the regular price. What I learned from watching my wife work her magic.
- NEVER settle for less than what you were promised
- NEVER assume that a representative is doing what they say they are. Double check everything!
- ALWAYS let a representative know when you are not satisfied
- ALWAYS let a representative know when their prices are too high for you
- ALWAYS let a representative know how much you ARE willing to pay.
This may not always work, but for things like a radio subscription, I get the feeling that representatives have the ability to give out deals at their discretion. After all, their operating costs are fixed regardless of how many subscriptions they sell, so some money from us is better than none.
What I witnessed on Saturday morning is one of the many things I love about my wife. I would never have it in me to do this. I would have just accepted the fact that they turned off my radio, and wouldn’t have called to complain. I certainly wouldn’t have pushed my way into getting the lowered price.
Have you talked your way into getting something for less expensive? I’d love to hear from all you passionate people like my wife!