I got a call yesterday from our insurance company that handles our condo insurance. They informed me that my November payment had not gone through because my credit card did not work and further that they were going to charge me $50 for their trouble. This was, admittedly, kind of my fault. The bank mistakenly decided that we no longer qualified for a student Visa and changed our card around a short while ago so we had to get new Visa cards. I could have called up the insurance company and given them a new credit card number but failed to do so. Of course I have little interest in paying $50 to a company that has made nothing but profit off of me for eight years so I decided to put the squeeze on them.
Insurance Agent: I cannot remove this $50 charge. It is company policy.
Me: Well, that is too bad. I guess I should think about what I should do then.
Insurance Agent: Can I get your new credit card information so we can get your insurance active again?
Me: No, I think I need time to figure out if I should do that. Give me your number and perhaps when I get insurance again I will contact your company. Of course if you could waive the fee I would sign up again right away...
Insurance Agent: Well, I suppose I could talk to my manager and find out.
Me: Good, call me back when you have done that.
Unsurprisingly I got a phone call today confirming that the manager in question okayed the removal of the $50 fee and we have condo insurance again. It makes me sad that I have to engage in bluffing and bullying with my insurance agent like this. I had no intention of spending the time and effort of getting a new agent or finding a new plan but having done negotiating I know how to properly lay out a threat. It pisses me off that what determines how much I pay for things is my willingness to be a hardass. Whether it be buying furniture, getting phone service, or even figuring out your salary the most important thing is being good at putting the screws to people.
I hate hard negotiating but evidently I will do it to save $50. Hypocrisy ahoy.