As much as I love Shatner, the Priceline commercials really piss me off. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because he plays the Priceline Negotiator – a person with a blue hotline phone who gets calls to go help someone “negotiate” a better price on their travel-related purchases. He’s now even got a sidekick, Nofee, who doesn’t like airline fees.
This latest commercial exemplifies the problem:
Shatner gets a call while riding his motorcycle with Nofee in the sidecar. He’s been alerted that someone’s buying an airline ticket and is paying fees. He arrives just in time to prevent the person from completing the transaction, convincing them to use Priceline. He closes out the commercial with the statement “Don’t you love to negotiate?”
Alright, so first, what part of using Priceline is negotiating? Right… none of it. The simple act of using Priceline might be a negotiation tool, but it is not negotiating. Negotiating requires an element of effort, skill and practice. Using one tool isn’t negotiation.
But more importantly, negotiation isn’t always about price. Saving on fees is great, but if you have to travel when you don’t want to travel… or fly on an airline that you don’t like/want/prefer, the $15 in airline fees doesn’t seem like that big of a tradeoff, does it?
In fact, negotiation is almost NEVER about price. Sure, we’ll talk about money… and we’ll look for an appropriate price for a particular good or service. But usually, negotiation is about what I’m going to GET for a particular price.
At the end of the day, however, I just don’t like being compared to Shatner on a motorcycle.
But I love the hotline phone. And you can reach me on mine through the contact page if you need help with your next negotiation.