Question & Answer: Donna has recently begun handling the affairs for her ninety- year-old aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease…..

Donna has recently begun handling the affairs for her ninety- year-old aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease and is on a fixed income. As Donna was paying the bills for her aunt, she dis- covered that auntie was getting her natural gas for heating her home through IGS, a third-party provider, and paying 46% more per cubic foot than the regular utility provider was currently charging. Donna was outraged that the company was still charging such exorbitant rates when gas prices had fallen over the last couple of years. She called to cancel the third-party arrangement and ask for a credit for the difference in rates for the current bill. She explained the situation to the customer service representative who said IGS can’t give cred- it, but suggested she speak to a supervisor. When Donna spoke with the supervisor, Mike, he said it was up to the cus- tomer to check the rates because IGS does not give credits, and that auntie had a contract so there was nothing he could do. Donna explained that since her aunt has Alzheimer’s, she wouldn’t have understood what she was agreeing to and cer- tainly wouldn’t be able to stay on top of current rates for nat- ural gas. Mike said he was sorry, but there was nothing he could do. Donna then calmly told him that she was going to write letters to the state attorney general and the public utility feeling distracted and overwhelmed so she will agree to what you want just to avoid wading through all the information. Rationality A power tactic that involves the use of reason and the logical presentation of facts or data. Tentative agreement/TA An indication that the parties agree on a particular issue in anticipation of reaching an agreement on all issues involved. Upward appeal A power tactic that involves obtaining support for your position from people in higher positions of authority. Winner’s curse The feeling that you could have done better in a negotiation. 5. Discuss the role of concessions in negotiations. 6. Describe the role of commitment in negotiation and identify ways by which you might obtain the commitment of anoth- er party in a negotiation. commission, as well as letters to the editors of every major newspaper in the state exposing how IGS operates and warn- ing people to check their bills. Mike asked that she hold off on the letter writing until he could check and see if there was anything that he could do. He said he would call her back with an answer within twenty-four hours. Within twenty minutes, he called her back saying IGS would be issuing a re- fund check for the difference of $263.34 within four to six weeks. Donna was happy with the refund but wondered if she should still write a letter to the editor to warn others that they should check their utility bills. Questions: 1. What distributive tactics were used by Donna and Mike? 2. Was the use of distributive tactics appropriate in this situa- tion? Explain. 3. What might Donna have done to keep from threatening IGS to publicize the situation? 4. Should Donna write the letter to the editor to warn others or does she have an obligation to remain silent since they gave her a refund?

Expert Answer

Background: Bargaining is a process that occurs between atleast two parties to arrive at a mutually accepted solution to a complex conflict. Distributive tactics or distributive bargaining is one of the types collective bargaining where one party wins over the other party.

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Question & Answer: Donna has recently begun handling the affairs for her ninety- year-old aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease…..
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Answer 1. The distributive tactics that were used by Donna is to ask for a refund based on the difference in the gas prices on the current bill with a threat of cancelling the contract.Mike used the standard argument that the customer was fully aware of what was written in the contract at the time of signing and thereforethere was no room for conflict.

Answer 2: Yes, distributive tacticswere effective in getting Donna the refund she wished to have from IGS on the current bill.

Answer 3: Donna could have requested a face to face meeting with all the old gas bills and requested IGS for a better price taking into the new usage and industry price considerations.

Answer 4: Donna has to write the letter to the editor as she has a social obligation to let her case be made known to the public and create awareness towards others getting duped in a similar manner by IGS and other gas providers.

Answer 5:Concessions are called as trade-offs and each party in a negotiation makes some concessions to reach a mutual ground.Here Donna has made concessions in terms of waiting for the company reresentative to get back to her in regards to her phone call before she write to the editor. Mike made concessions in reviewing her request and telling that he will get back within 24 hours and calling her back with a decision almost immediately.

Answer 6: Commitment in negotiation means to not quit negotiating till you get what you want from the negotiation. Understanding thoroughly the different aspects of the situation that is under negotiation each party becomes committed towards negotiating.Here Donna made sure that she speaks with the manager who is more skilled in negotiating and solving her problem in atimely manner, then when her first request did not yield the desired result she threatened to go public regarding her situation. Mike started the negotiation on the defensive side but came around when he realised that there might arise a problem to the company if he pursued the situation aggressively.

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