Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Negotiating with your Librarian – How to reduce that fine before #graduation.

In my first post, I alluded to the fact that I have some great customer service stories to share.  Well, this will be my first in a series, because let's face it #collegegirl, you work too hard for what little money you do have to have it ripped from your fingers. 

One issue that starts to crop up this time of year for students is library fines.  For whatever reason, you may have racked up some serious fines that have caused you to have buried your head in the sand.  And I'm not talking a few bucks, some can be $50, $100, or more. 

Depending on your school, this isn't something you can easily walk away from.  Some may revoke your book checking out privileges, not let you register for the next semester until paid, or worse for Seniors, withholding your degree until fully paid. 

Deal with this fine now, before it's too late.  One way to seriously reduce the fine is through the scenario below, which I successfully used with my friend when I was at school. 

"The Wince and Negotiate"
Dress nicely, no sunglasses on or on your head, no gum, go on your own, and put your phone away. 

#collegegirl:  Hello (super nice voice).  I think I might have a small fine, can you tell me how much?

Stern Librarian: (clicking away on computer)  OK.  Yes, I am seeing here you owe $65.

#collegegirl:  SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS?! (wince and pull back in utter shock, even though you really did know how much...white lie).  OH WOW!  I had no idea...

Stern Librarian:  Mmm hmm.  It's for blah blah blah.

#collegegirl:  Is there ANY flexibility at all?  I had no idea it was this much and I think there was some misunderstanding....

Stern Librarian:  Well not really (this means they're willing to work with you!), it wouldn't be fair....

#collegegirl:  (interrupting)  Because I only have $20 (take out the money and have the bill in your hand).  Is there anyway we can make a one time exception? (talk with your hands, waiving the bill around)  This is all I have and I would be so grateful. I REALLY want to clear this up today, I won't be able to sleep at night with this hanging over my head (puppy dog eyes).  I have so learned my lesson and my friends told me but...  (Keep talking until they cut you off or you start to cry, whichever comes first)

Stern Librarian:  OK OK OK.  This is a ONE TIME exception and we cannot do this again.... (lecture continues, just nod and smile).

#collegegirl: Thank you so much!  (once the fine is cleared, get a receipt and high tail it out of there before anyone changes their mind!).

Holla girlfriend, you just saved yourself some major dough and have another successful (or maybe your first!) customer service negotiation under your belt.

Cheryl Reynolds
College Girl to Working Girl

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