1 min read

Just Ask

I had an interesting phone call with a hotel chain the other day, where I called to politely express some concerns I had with my experience. There was a massive voltage surge that fried all the lights, so I had to move out by flashlight late at night into a different room.

The conversation went roughly like this:

Me: Hi, my name is Ivan and I had some concerns about my recent stay {list concerns here}. Could I get some rewards points for the inconvenience?
Rep: Sure, let me look into that. {after a 15 minute hold} Hi there, we can give you X points.
Me: Thank you, that's very kind. Given the nature of the concern, could you do more?
Rep: Since you asked, the max I can do is 1.5X. Here you go.

And that was that. I earned a fairly significant volume of reward points for a hotel chain that I enjoy, simply by being polite. The biggest showcase here is that second question:

Can you do more?

Most people never even ask the first question. I know many folks who will complain or boycott the hotel. Yet, it always amazes me when those same people don't call and ask for points or other perks.

If you never ask, the answer is always no.

It's incredible how often a simple ask, followed by a humble clarification if this is the most that is possible, leads to incredible results.

It's important to never be entitled or expect anything. Most service reps that you chat with are underpaid and working long hours. Coming into the conversation with compassion and politely asking for the benefits that you would like has a surprisingly high success rate.

I have called and used this technique many times. Just asking one question has been enough to double my signing bonus, get tickets to sold out shows, and so much more. It doesn't always work - sometimes there really is no leeway. But, by calling and politely asking you are already doing more than most.

Don't be afraid of rejection - the worst that happens is that some call center representative you will never talk to again says "no". If you are polite, you are not imposing on them. They are trained for this and want to help you out and make things better.

Just ask.