$0.00 – $6.00
Two-party, single-issue negotiation between a customer and a department store clerk about the return of a defective blender
The complaints clerk in a department store sees a customer coming with a blender recognizable as one of the store's special super-sale items. The store cannot return these items to the manufacturer. The clerk has a small weekly budget to absorb the cost of such items, if returned, and the department head has instructed that it be used sparingly. The budget for this week is overspent. The customer, having used the blender for over a week, believes it is either defective or an inadequate appliance, and has therefore decided to return it.
This negotiation works well as one-on-one, but can be extended to two-on-one, by including another participant on either side. It takes no more than five minutes to run; debriefing can last up to half an hour with several replays. The exercise can be run as is, or one or both parties can be given additional psychological instructions about their character (making it more of a role play for that party, instead of a negotiation).
- The scenario makes it easy to slip into a negative, reactive mode, with unsatisfactory outcomes often resulting.
- Those parties willing to consider the perceptions and interests of the other party as relevant can usually engage effectively in mutually beneficial joint problem-solving.
- The persuasive effect of threats, cajoling, anger, helplessness, crying and other techniques can be explored.
- Confidential Instructions for the Clerk
- Confidential Instructions for the Consumer
- All of the above
Consumer; Interpersonal; Psychological; Small claims
Apologies; BATNA; Communication; Credibility; Emotions, role of; Fairness; Interpersonal skills; Misrepresentation; Nonverbal communication; Objective criteria; Power imbalance; Threats; Yesable propositions
Blender, The Attributes
|Time required:||Less than 30 minutes|
|Number of participants:||2|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||No|
|Non-English version available:||French|