Most of us are usually too embarrassed to negotiate; it’s an air that salesman know to put on that tells you that if you don’t accept their price, you’ll have their complete contempt. And so, to win their approval when they say, “good choice, sir”, we go ahead and accept the inflated and unfair price they quote us. I often wonder at the prices they charge for hotel rooms; if you lived all month at a hotel that was no better than your home, you could easily end up spending $20,000 in hotel bills. It’s a given that hotel room prices are inflated. What we need to find out though is, how we can walk up to the hotel clerk and ask for deals on discount hotel rooms and walk away with a deal and our dignity.
Hotels, like any other business, have their business secrets. The more information you arm yourself with walking up to the clerk, the more ammunition you have for wringing blood from that stone. If you’re looking for great discount hotel rooms on your next trip, and great discount service, here’s how you go about it.
Here’s the thing; travel websites are arraying all your options before you they make it look like you have everything you need to make your decision. And that’s a mistake. What you need to do is, to call the hotel directly. And that doesn’t mean calling their toll-free line and being put through to a call center. Those hacks probably have no authority to discount hotel rooms. You need to call up the front desk at the hotel, and speak directly to the manager or the clerk. Is that all you need to know? How about your choice of hotel? A national chain is never a good place to go to for a discount. They have pricing policies and so forth. Independently owned and independently run hotels where the owner is actually in the building or at one of the two or three branches will often have the authority and the willingness to please a customer and not let him leave.
Did you ever think that for all the interest Internet companies seem to have in starting up a travel website, they must get a really juicy cut? You’d be right there; travel websites make maybe 25% on each booking they bring to a hotel. That means you can go and ask for a 15% discount at the front desk, and the two ofyou will be making a profit anyway cutting out the middleman. Discount hotel rooms don’t always have to to come to you at a lower cash price; sometimes, you can get your discount through an upgrade for the same price. Walking down to the clerk and asking really quietly for an upgrade will often work; make sure that no one else hears you ask for it though, or the clerk will be fearful that everyone will be lining up for an upgrade next.
Do you remember that episode in FRIENDS in which Chandler and Ross tried to strip a hotel room clean of everything they can possibly get their hands on? The hotel does mark everything consumable for your use; but if you start packing away the towels, you can be sure that you’ll be charged for it at one time or the other. And while we’re on learning lessons from entertainment, how about the Michael J. Fox movie The Concierge? Every time a guest asks the concierge for a ticket, or tips on what show he recommends, he gets a commission. And the commission is charged to youwhen you pay the bill. If you need a tip, you’ll probably do better looking it up on Internet, or asking the bartender.