“We have scheduled a factory visit for you in Stuttgart the last week of May.” the Schwoerer Haus sales representative beamed with pleasure. He obviously expecting a similar delighted response from me.
“That’s my children’s half term break from school. I’ve already made plans to take them to Salzburg for the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. Can we make it the week after?” I asked.
“No, not possible,” the sales rep responded. I could almost feel him roll his eyes but he was too polite to do so.
How about the week before?” I tried to negotiate trying to remember my transactional lawyer training.
No, not possible.” The response was short and to the point.
No wiggle room there. Even the author of that famed besteller book, Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, was going to have difficulty with this situation.
I mulled over my first experience with German customer service. You’d think as the client I would have my preferences accounted for (or even asked) when plans involving me were made.
Do I force the issue? You bet I do. I meant to continue as I started.
We are now planning a factory visit later this summer. Fingers crossed, they ask me what dates are convenient first.