I may have discussed this before. I belong to a local gym here in the D.C. area. It’s a gym with multiple locations, and multiple membership levels. I had a membership that let me use my “home” gym (which is near my office) at any time, and any of the other locations at “off-peak” times (meaning that I couldn’t use them before work, at lunch, or right after work, but could use them at other times, including weekends). This usually wasn’t a problem, but I was thinking about signing up for a triathlon, which meant that I would need to swim during the week and my home gym doesn’t have pool, but the one near my apartment does.
(Yes, I made my home gym the one by my work. I used to be able to go at lunch time. The ability to take a slightly longer lunch and work later was taken away by a boss, so I was just going straight from work to the gym, then metroing home all disgusting.)
While talking to a friend about the gym, I made a comment about this and she told me that I should be asking for the discount based on my job. She had the same discount and was paying $5 less for her membership AND she got to use all the gyms at any time. Clearly, I should be getting this same discount.
So I went in. I asked. And they immediately gave me the discount with no questions.
Thinking about it, I realize that I’m often hesitant to ask for discounts, even when I know they’re deserved. Sometimes it depends on my mood. When the coupon scanner at the grocery store won’t take my coupon, sometimes I’m willing to stand in line at customer service to get my money, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Sometimes I’m willing to take the cable company to task about the ridiculous rate they charge for substandard service. Sometimes I just want to ignore it. I should start to get better about asking for discounts and making sure that I am paying the proper rates for things. I tend to avoid conflict, but most of the time, we’re not talking about conflict at all – just normal customer interaction. Just by asking at the gym, I get a better service for $5 less. That’s $60 a year I just saved. I wonder where else I could find money.