you gotta askRecently I picked up a rental car and as I stood at the counter I noticed that the contract of the fellow in front of me was less by a substantial amount. When my turn came I politely mentioned this to the clerk and asked if my rate could be better. They gave me some gobbledygook about the cars being different, yada yada.

I said I understood—NEVER argue if at all possible—but could the company still do something to give me a better rate. (Choice of words help: I’ve always found “better rate” is a more acceptable term then “lower rate,” just as it is more palatable to ask for a special, than a discount and to request that something be comp’d rather than given free.)

I mentioned that I was a frequent customer, that I’d always been very happy with the service I’d received in the past (sincere compliments go a long way) and I would greatly appreciate anything they could do for me.

The clerk clicked around on his screen for a moment or two and then announced that he could take $20/day off my rate and that he would enter this rate in my file for the future.

Closing quotes:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  — The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 7, King James version

“Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.”  — Jules Renard; 1864-1910

“You don’t always get what you ask for, but you rarely get what you don’t ask for”  — Proverb