Think Like A Negotiator

Creating Win Win Results and Understanding the Pitfalls to Avoid

Fair and Reasonable

Fair and Reasonable.  What is fair and reasonable and what does it mean in relationship to negotiation, contracts and doing business?  A Fair and Reasonable price can be defined as the price a prudent businessperson would pay for an item or service under competitive market conditions, given a reasonable knowledge of the marketplace.  Fair implies a proper balance of conflicting interests.  Reasonable means not extreme or excessive.  So a fair and reasonable price is one that is balanced and somewhat moderate.

Fair and reasonable is sometimes a judgment call, sometimes it’s what the market will bear, other times it falls inline with how similar things are handled. For instance, have you ever made a credit card payment to an entrepreneur or other service provider who passes the credit card fee onto you to pay?  I have come across that now and then in my dealings and don’t think it is fair and reasonable for them to require me to pay the fee.  It’s the cost of doing business.  That would be like making you pay for every cost and fee that is associated with their business.  How is it fair and reasonable to add on that charge?

Another area is in that of actual performance.  Have you ever hired someone to do a job and they do it in mediocrity? Then they get upset when you demand they do rework to bring it up to a higher standard.  I moved into a condo in Irvine CA about 6 months ago.  The condo was renovated before I moved in and I had to do a move in inspection within 10 days of move in.  I found so many things wrong with the place and within a couple of weeks the paint started peeling off in both bathrooms and the kitchen.  They had pretty much painted the chrome towel rack in one of the bathrooms as well. The sliding glass doors should have been replaced and there were several other problems that I noted.

The company that did the renovation came back to repaint the bathrooms and kitchen.  They not only left a mess that they didn’t bother cleaning up; they left splattered paint everywhere and didn’t completely cover the primer they put on in some spots.  They were sloppy with the paint to the point where I am sure I would have done a better job!  When I complained again about the work, they were upset about it.  Really?  If they had done the work in excellence to begin with they would not have to come back to make the corrections.

I also kept on them about the sliding glass doors, which they ended up replacing with completely new doors at no cost to me.  The original doors did not close all the way, would not lock and there was a huge gap between the two doors where air was freely blowing through. They forced the door into the slot to make it lock when they did the renovation.  As soon as the door was opened it never would lock again.  This was ridiculous and that fact that they were upset about having to fix it was criminal!

Sometimes it doesn’t feel comfortable to stand up for ourselves or complain about bad service.  Think about it this way, if you don’t complain or ask for it to be made right, you are telling that company or person that it is ok for them to do that kind of work and get away with it in the future. We owe it to ourselves to speak up when service is poor. We need to make a change in the way we do business and the things we are willing to accept.  I for one am not willing to accept substandard performance or service any longer and will speak up whenever it applies.  I hope you will too.  We need to hold each other accountable to a different standard. Minimum possible to get by should no longer be acceptable.  I have learned so much about my own business by seeing things that others are willing to put their name to.  We all make mistakes but low quality should not be the norm. We need to get back to high standards of quality and excellence in all that we do, in everything we do. Let’s do it now before it’s too late.

UPDATE: I was doing some further research on the issue of fees and surcharges and found some information that indicates it’s not authorized if the individual is paying with a debit card and there are 10 states where it’s not authorized at all.  California where I live is one of those states. 

States Where No Surcharge Laws Protect Consumers

Surcharging isn’t allowed everywhere. Currently, there are laws limiting surcharging in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. Consumers who are subjected to a surcharge or checkout fees in states where they may be prohibited from surcharging may want to report the retailer to their state attorney general’s office.
Click a state below to learn more about surcharging in these locations.

State Laws & Attorney General Contact Information

California

“No retailer…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means…”

Statute: Cal. Civ. Code § 1748.1(a) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in California

“A retailer may, however, offer discounts for the purpose of inducing payment by cash, check or other means not involving the use of a credit card, provided that the discount is offered to all prospective buyers.”

Statute: Cal. Civ. Code § 1748.1(a) (West)

Statutes cover: Credit Cards only

Statute: (Cal. Civ. Code § 1747.02(a) (West) (defining “credit card”))

California State Attorney GeneralMore information

(*external link implies no endorsement by state of California)

Colorado

“[N]o seller…may impose a surcharge on a holder who elects to use a credit or charge card in lieu of payment by cash check or similar means…”

Statute: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5-2-212(1) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Colorado

“Discounts offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving credit card are not finance charges if offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously in accordance with regulations.”

Statute: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5-2-212(2) (West)

Statutes cover: Credit Cards only

Statute: (See Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5-1-301(16), (16.5), (24), (43) (West)).1

Colorado State Attorney General – More information

Connecticut

“No seller may impose a surcharge on a buyer who elects to use any method of payment, including, but not limited to, cash, check, credit card or electronic means…”

Statute: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 42-133ff(a) (West)

Statute: Id. at § 42-133ff(d).

Statute covers: Credit & Debit

No surcharges on travel agents

”No provider of travel services may impose a surcharge on or reduce the commission paid to a travel agent who acts as an agent for such provider if the buyer uses a credit card to purchase such provider’s travel services.”

Statute: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 42-133ff(e) (West)

Statute does not define credit card to include debit card

Connecticut State Attorney GeneralMore information

Connecticut Department of Consumer ProtectionMore information

Florida

“A seller…may not impose a surcharge on the buyer…for electing to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means, if the seller…accepts payment by credit card…”

Statute: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 501.0117(1) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Florida

Discounts offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving a credit card allowed if offered to all prospective buyers.

Statute: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 501.0117(1) (West)

Statutes cover: Statute does not define credit card to include debit card

Statute: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 501.011(1) (West)

Florida State Attorney General ” More information

Kansas

“No seller…or any credit card issuer may impose a surcharge on a card holder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”

Statute: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 16a-2-403

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Kansas

Attorney General’s opinion interprets section 16a-2-403’s predecessor statute to not prohibit discounts for payments made by cash, check or similar means.

Statute: Kan. Op. Attorney Gen. 86-115, 1986 WL 238345 (1986)

Statutes cover: Statutes do not define credit card to include debit card

Statute: (See Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 16a-1-301(18), (19))

Kansas State Attorney GeneralMore information

Maine

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”

Statute: Maine Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 9-A, § 8-303(2) (See also id. § 8-103 (definitions and rules of construction))

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Maine

Discount offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving a credit card not considered a finance charge if offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously.

Statute: See Maine Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 9-A, § 8-303(3)

Statutes cover: Credit cards only

Statute: (See Maine Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 9-A, § 1-301(15), (16)).1

Maine State Attorney GeneralMore information

Massachusetts

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”

Statute: Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(a)(2) (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Massachusetts

Discount offered to induce payment by cash, check or other means not involving a credit card not considered a finance charge if offered to all prospective buyers and disclosed clearly and conspicuously.

Statute: Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 28A(b) (West)

Statutes cover: Credit cards only

Statute: (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140D, § 1 (West))

Massachusetts State Attorney GeneralMore information

(*external link implies no endorsement by state of Massachusetts)

New York

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means…”

Statute: N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 518 (McKinney)

Statute covers: Credit cards only

Statute: (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 511(1))

New York State Attorney GeneralMore information

Oklahoma

“No seller…may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check or similar means.”

Statute: Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 14A, § 2-211, -417 (West)

Discounts for Cash Payments are allowed in Oklahoma

Discount offered to induce payment by cash, check or similar means not involving an open-end credit card not considered a credit service charge if offered to all prospective buyers clearly and conspicuously in accordance with regulations.

Statutes cover: Credit cards only

Statute: (See Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 14A, § 1-301(7), (9), (19)

Oklahoma State Attorney GeneralMore information

Texas

“[A] seller may not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card for an extension of credit instead of cash, a check or a similar means of payment.”

Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 339.001(a) (Vernon)

Statute covers: Credit cards only

Statute: Tex. Fin. Code Ann. § 301.002(a)(2),(9)

Texas State Attorney GeneralMore information

Above info from:http://usa.visa.com/personal/using_visa/checkout_fees/index.htmlCheck out the link to this article for more info:

http://www.cardfellow.com/blog/checkout-fees-charging-credit-card-fees-to-customers/

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9 June 2013 - Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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