Consideration for Substandard Service

Key Phrases in Negotiation
May 30, 2012
Fair and Reasonable Price
June 17, 2012

I’m not much of a TV watcher.  I had the cable connected mostly for my kids.  Sometimes however, I like to just sit and watch a movie or informative TV show so I can tune out and be still (a rarity at best). 

Ever since the cable was installed it has had some problems cutting out now and then.  Eventually, now and then turned into every time the TV was on.  The cable provider troubleshot it several times over the phone resetting the box to clear the problem.  It never worked permanently and soon the same problem would occur with the TV cutting out in the middle of a program or resetting itself altogether.  Finally they decided to send a new cable box in an effort to correct the problem.

When we installed the box it cut out the entire system which required extensive amount of troubleshooting over the phone.  Finally all services were restored and the remote would not work on the TV.  After spending time troubleshooting the remote online, I called tech support yet again and they realized that the box they sent me did not have the correct software installed and therefore would not work properly with the remote!  This required them to send a third cable box to rectify the problem. 

This type of thing happens a lot in everyday life.  You pay for a service of some kind and it doesn’t work properly.  As a result you spend a lot of time and effort which takes away from what you are doing either spending time with family, friends, working or whatever the case may be.

When this happens, you are due some form of consideration off your bill for faulty services.  Condiseration means something of value provided by one party to another. It can be in the form of money off your monthly bill or free services or both depending on how significant the problems were.

I contacted the cable provider, explained the situation and asked for some consideration off the bill.  I had an amount in mind but did not share that with them and let them make the offer.  They offered $35 off my bill for the current month.  Considering the cable part of my bill is $54.99, I thought that $35 was a fair and reasonable offer so I accepted it. 

The lesson here is to get consideration for substandard service.  Your time if valuable.  When you have to waste your time dealing with something that should work in the first place, your costing yourself valuable time you can’t get back.  Asking for consideration in personal areas will boost your negotiation skills when they are needed in business.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

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