My gf wanted to get a new phone from a telco. Having convinced myself that life is truly negotiable, I told her to call them up and asked them to entice her to recontract under them again. After a truly annoying automated voice behind their helpline, she finally got to talk to a real person. Alas, the person is not in charge of retention, hence she's forwarded to an officer in their retention department after another several minutes of listening to their annoying advertisments.
After telling the officer that another competitor telco is offering this price for this particular handset, the officer immediately offered a handphone voucher of $60. Not satisfied with this, she pressed on further to ask for more discounts (specifically, gf wanted at least $100 voucher to match the competitor's offer), after which the officer mentioned that she will have to check with her higher ups. Another waiting time for 2-3 mins. In between this break, I told my gf that she should negotiate until the other party reached breaking point.
So after consulting with the superiors, the officer said ok to the $100 handphone voucher. I whispered to her for an extension of the caller ID (it's free for 3 months, gf is asking for free 1 yr). Another consultation with the officer's superiors, another 2-3 mins of listening to advertisments. This time, she met with a no. Well, that's not bad right? Getting a $100 handphone voucher by just calling up them and asking for it. If someone just sign up with them as advertised in the brochures or adverts, they would have to pay an extra $100!
So don't this incident teach us an important lesson? Advertised rates are for those who didn't know better. Look for under table, behind table, closed door, behind doors deal by negotating. Oh, don't settle for what is offered. Life is negotiable, remember it!