Monday, January 26, 2009

Ignore The Rules

The rule is: ignore the rules. I’m one of these people that thinks that rules are made to be broken or at least bent until they squeak. My wife hates this about me! So many rules we come up against are just arbitrary or put in our way to solve some other little problem that came up years ago. My policy is that the minute you hear the word RULE, POLICY, or PROCEDURE, challenge it.

A hotel that I use for traveling charged me a ten dollar fee for parking my car in their uncovered parking lot outside. I told the person at the counter that I don’t think it is fair for me to be charged this fee since I can park for free across the street and the lot is neither covered or protected.

“Sorry, sir, but that is our policy,” replied the clerk.
“Who’s policy?”
“The Hotel’s policy,” she said.
I leaned over and spoke to the hotel wall with a giggle and said “Mr. Hotel, I’d like to talk to you about your policy!”
The clerk laughed and said “No, it is the manager’s policy!”
“Oh, ok. Can I speak to the manager?” I said.
“Well, he is out right now.”
“Fine, just have him call my room when he gets in, please,” I stated firmly and walked away before she could make an excuse not to have him call.

The manager called me and told me how the fee came about. Mainly it is to discourage people from bringing their cars and to use the transit system which leaves them less liable for damage to guests’ cars. Apparently the cars are broken into rather frequently and they have had to pay out some money for damages. I told him that my insurance would cover the cost of a break in and would he kindly put it in my file not to charge me for parking. He agreed.

A few things happened here. The most important is that I got to the root cause of why the policy was made and I demonstrated that it didn’t apply to my case. Secondly, I used humor with the clerk along with firmness to get her attention and to show that I was serious about questioning the policy. The third is that I didn’t take the policy at face value.

Question policies and demonstrate that it doesn’t apply to you and you’ll save money!

Have a question about negotiating? Send it to us at!


  © Free Blogger Templates 'Greenery' by 2008

Back to TOP