Some days I just don’t have enough desk or forehead for all of my headbanging moments – but this one I have to rant about…

Why do people think that they can call me for a ride reservation (bus or van), and then dictate to me the price they want to pay? I’m more than happy to cut people breaks, especially for larger bus groups who are making multiple stops, or for people who are traveling a lot of miles when I just can’t justify charging them the rate times the mileage. But this…?

A couple of weeks back, Marianne answered the phone. It’s a call from a last-minute bachelor party, wanting the shuttle bus to go from their Airbnb to Bucktail and back (as I recall it was 12 guys). She quotes them the standard price… $10 per person, per trip, for anything up to 15 miles one way (I think it was 9 or 10 miles each way). The following conversation ensued…

CALLER: Well, would you do it for [whatever amount he “proposed”]?

MARIANNE: Well, no… the price is what it is. If you were making multiple stops or something, we might… (he interrupts, persisting).

CALLER: Well, c’mon… just do it for [whatever he suggested].

MARIANNE: (And I love that she actually started using this line that I’ve said oh, so many times when this happens…). OK, I’ll tell you what, give me 15 minutes to call you back. I need to call our insurance company and Kwik Trip’s credit card department. If they’re willing to knock 25% off of our bills this month, you have a deal!

[The caller continues to persist, refusing to comprehend that I’m not budging…]

ME: Marianne, hand me the phone, please… (She hands me the phone…)

ME: This is Ken. I’m the owner… Somehow, you don’t seem to be understanding this situation.

CALLER: Well, I was just asking if… (I interrupt)

ME: Buddy, the price is the price. When I get you to Bucktail, are you going to request that they charge you a $5 cover instead of the $10 that everyone else pays? Are you going to suggest that they charge you $2.50 a beer, rather than the $4.00 price? Or maybe you guys will go out for a steak before you head to the club. Are you going to suggest that you pay $20 instead of the $30 menu price?

CALLER: No… I get it. It’s just that we were trying to save some money for beers and the dancers.

ME: So let me understand this… You want me to cut you a break so that you can (1) Have more beer money and (2) Have more money to tip the dancers.


ME: Well, why not save yourself a ton of money…? Just walk, because I’m not changing the price.

This happens CONSTANTLY.

Now, I have no problem with someone asking for a break based on a large(r) headcount for a group that’s making multiple stops.

[Different] CALLER: “Ken, with that many stops and a dozen guys, could you do a little better on the price for me?”

ME: Absolutely. If you have a solid dozen guys (or more) and plan on making 3 or 4 stops before heading home, I can work with you guys. What’s that? You’re going out on both Friday AND Saturday nights? Awesome. Send me a quick email with your planned itinerary. I’ll sit down, run some mileage, do some figuring, and draw up a quote for you. I think you’ll be happy.

Negotiating is one thing, but dictating what YOU want ME to charge you? Not happening.