It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

A bargain – at last

Posted by chrisrick13 on April 21, 2011

It is obvious: always negotiate

I had a lesson in negotiating yesterday.  (I’ll take up my intended series on this when I have worked out how to answer one of the comments on BATNA’s.)  I have plumbing insurance.  Had it for 11 years.  I have never used it and I don’t think the policy allows of any condition where I can claim under it.  I have been going through my expenditure and eliminating stuff I don’t need.  And that is another lesson: why didn’t I do it earlier?

I decided that I would cancel the plumbing insurance.  I know where all mine is and can easily get at it to fix it if I need to.  Copper pipes just sit there and don’t often decide to play-up.  I had put myself into a position of strength.  I was going to ring up and cancel.  I mentally prepared myself.

The phone was an 0800 number.  What a rarity nowadays?  The person I spoke to had a number of telling questions and some uncomfortable scenarios for me to consider, but I had made my mind up.  I persisted, thanking him for his time.  Then he asked if I would reconsider if I had 35 sliced off an annual bill of 84.  I had made my mind up.  I was in a position of strength.  I said ‘No’ again.  what about 54 off he said?  I should have been affronted.  How many people have been caught by that first offer (remember – never accept a first offer).  How long had I been paying an extra 54?  11 years for nearly 600?

You can guess.  I took his offer.  Another year.  Put it in the diary to make sure I leave next year if it goes up.  I wonder.  Was there a third offer in there?

It is obvious: always negotiate – the other side always does

3 Responses to “A bargain – at last”

  1. Mark said

    So… you’re now wasting £30 rather than £84. In what way is that good?

    Insurance for risks that you can afford to cover yourself is a waste of space.

  2. Gordon said

    In any kind of negotiation you work out what the service is worth to you and attempt to achieve that. Chris (presumably) felt that the charge paid was worth the risk and hassle of having to do it himself. Just because you could (if you needed to) do the job yourself doesn’t mean that it has no value to you.

    • Mark said

      Hassle factor is another issue entirely. If you insure, you may have a warm fuzzy feeling that you are safe under a large umbrella. In practice, most insurance will try to find an exclusion clause – just look at the current PPI misselling.

      One could cynically suspect that a discounted policy may have a different set of T&C’s – who knows.

      Also you are tied to the plumber/repairer designated by the insurance company. Will they be good or will they be cheap? Will they be accountable to the householder, or to the insurance company?

      On the warm, fuzzy front, they bandy about claims of 24-hour help-lines and expert staff at your door in a matter of hours, but the small print, and countless consumer shows, show this is not the case.

      The problem with insurance is that you can’t judge the value of the service until you call upon it.

      One thing is for sure, they will fix everyones leaks, except the ones they can evade, and still make a healthy profit.

      If I have a burst pipe, I will phone a couple of local plumbers I know and trust. They will get payment directly from me with no commission deducted, so they will be happy to do the job, and do a good job.

      Probably the good tradesmen have so much work they don’t need to pick up the cut-throat priced insurance jobs.

      Insure only if you can’t afford to carry the risk yourself. That’s a universal principal; thresholds will fall in different places for different people.

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