That’s Funny!

A lady who went through one of my personal finance classes told me of her money-saving idea (and I laughed Sealed)

This lady did not have dental insurance, but went to the dentist for her semi-annual cleaning.  This is a good thing!!!

Anyway, during the examination of her teeth, it was discovered that one of the teeth had cracked badly.  As a result, a crown was needed for that tooth.

The dentist, unaware of who he was up against, informed her that a crown costs $650.

Her reply?  "No.  $275!" 

The SHOCKED dentist said, "$325."

THAT'S FUNNY!!!  Too many of us believe that a SERVICE provided by doctors, hospitals, lawyers, and other professionals is NON-negotiable.  WRONG!

You can pay full price and remain B-R-O-K-E OR you can negotiate.  Yes, it might be a little uncomfortable, but I'm not broke anymore!

I want to hear more FUNNY stories about negotiating.  Care to share one?  Click on the comments section below and share it!


  1. Karl Fisher on March 8, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Joe…really appreciate your ideas on healthy finances. My wife and I are starting cash envelopes for our groceries and eating out to try to help us stick to a budget.
    On negotiating; I’ve always felt uncomfortable negotiating prices, even if it is for a service, for feeling like I am taking advantage of that person if I throw out an (insultingly?) low figure. Do you have any thoughts on this, or is it something I just need to get over?

  2. John X on March 8, 2007 at 11:12 am

    My fees are not negotiable.

  3. Mark Asbell on March 9, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Joe, that was a great story to share. In the past I’ve felt similar to Karl who commented about the uncomfortable feeling negotiating price. I’m a bit business oriented myself. I think part of the mind game is we don’t like being asked to reduce our price therefore we don’t like being the one to ask someone else for a reduced price either.

    I learned to get over it when I had an expensive doctor bill to pay. We offered to pay cash for a discount and the doctor gave us 60% off.

    As a business minded person I had to think a while about why a doctor would be willing to discount so much for cash payment. I have to guess that a good business minded doctor knows about how long the average patient is going to take to pay off a bill, depending on how much it is, and they know how much costs they will have associated with prolonged monthly billing and/or unpaid bills when life happens to people. When you offer to make one lump payment a good business minded doctor knows that you’re saving them a ton on those costs.

    In my opinion a fair doctor would offer you a discount up front for paying cash, but most doctors will just accept your full cash payment without offering you any discount at all. That is why we have to ask, and when we do ask the good business minded doctor would be glad to give you a discount. It’s just good business because they’re getting their money, they’re getting it now, they’re not losing anything, and they’re giving you satisfaction that will cause you to refer business to them.

    So many doctors don’t see it that way though because PPO’s make competition among healthcare almost non-existent. Don’t get me started on insurance. If you don’t already know Dr. Shane Purcell who goes to NewSpring check him out at
    When I find a good dentist who runs his business the way Shane does I will be there in a heartbeat.

    John X in comment #2 is either the only professional in the area with his expertise OR he is arrogant and prideful because he doesn’t need our business. Maybe I’m completely wrong about whoever it is. Maybe he is already charging very fair fees and that’s why they are non-negotiable. But wouldn’t he leave his last name if that were the case?

  4. Mark Asbell on March 9, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    Another thing about paying cash vs. filing insurance etc. The doctor can probably give a discount and still make more money when you’re paying cash because the insurance company is going to pay a ridiculous fraction of their actual fee. One more way insurance companies have figured out how to afford the high buildings while we all have the little ones.

    Also – about asking for the discount. In our case we talked to the office manager first and they couldn’t authorize a discount. You have to insist on talking to the doctor.

  5. Mark Asbell on March 12, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Ok, I’m an idiot. I was indeed wrong about John X. Saw Joe @ Church and had to know what John X does. He is obviously a funny guy, not the only one with his expertise but in a position where you wouldn’t have time to negotiate. Hope that wasn’t confidential cause you can probably figure it out now.

    HOWEVER, it wouldn’t stop me from asking for the discount after the fact and/or applying some other less than desirable techniques I’ve learned during financial distress. I’m not above begging.

    Anyway, although John X is funny I hope to never meet him just because of what he does. If we do happen to meet that way maybe he’ll have read this and get a good laugh out of treating me.

  6. Chad Wright on March 12, 2007 at 8:37 am

    I’ve met both doctors that will discount and doctor’s that won’t. It all depends on where they are at in their business. Some have a loyal client base and don’t have to discount. Some need the business and will do whatever it takes to make you happy. We tend to forget that doctors are a business too.

    I learned this in my own business. I’ve been doing it full-time for about 11 months. In the beginning, I would consider discounts because I desparately needed the business. God has grown our business dramatically so I don’t have to offer discounts anymore. In fact, new clients now pay sigificantly more than current ones.

    What I really want to talk about, though, is showing up on time to a doctor’s visit only to have to wait 45 friggin’ minutes. Sometimes they seem to forget it’s a business too.

  7. John X on March 13, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Yeah, I was just messing with Joe on his page. No offense taken Mark!

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