Traveling is great, but there’s always the chance that you could run into a problem and need to rearrange your plans. When this happens, you’re usually hit with fees (sometimes outrageous ones). Whether it’s a fee for changing your flight, an unnecessary hotel fee, or a fee to drop your rental car off at a different location, our EWR Airport parking members have some advice on how to lower them:
1. Call the company directly
If you made your reservations through a travel agent or a third party, skip contacting them and contact the company responsible (the airline, rental car company, or hotel chain).
2. Ask some questions
After you tell the company your situation, ask some questions, like why the fee is so high or if there’s another way around the fee. If you’re still stuck, move on to step 3.
3. Speak to the manager
Chances are you’ll be speaking to a customer service representative, so ask him/her to speak to the head manager.
Explain your situation to the manager and ask to negotiate the fee. Many times, the manager will reduce it. If it’s still too high for you, however, move on to step 5.
5. Negotiate some more
Explain that you’ve been a loyal customer with this company for “x” number of years and that you can’t financially handle the fee. Tell them that you’d truly appreciate a lower fee and make a price suggestion. For example: If the first time they reduced the fee it was by 50% (say, from $200 to $100), suggest 25% more ($75). Many times, the manager will accept your suggestion (though there are times they’ll hold fast to their first offer).
Throughout this entire process, make sure you stay calm and respectable – losing your temper will quickly diminish your chances of lowering your fees. Also, be sure to include a few compliments about the company when talking to the manager. Tell them how great your past customer service experiences have been or that you appreciate the updates that they provide you on deals and offers.
Just remember that some companies won’t budge on their fee policies and you may end up having to pay full price, but trying for a lower fee never hurts.