Thats a rather combatative attitude to one's customer. The problem I think lies not so much with the customer as the whole western attitude to haggling.

Believe it or not, you are supposed to be insulted while haggling, it is normal, as any Arab, or Jew will tell you. They are supposed to deride your product, and of course praise the competition. This is normal, it is the way of things, again, you have to of course make them realize that you are valuable, and indeed worth the 20 dollar per month (outrageously expensive) fee for letting them connect to the Net.

The trick is not to take it personally, the guy wants a good deal, as do I as do you! Believe it or not though, you need him more than he needs you. How many ISPs have died off recently due to lack of customers? Loads. How many people have died from lack of a local ISP? NONE. Its a luxury, a consumer toy, and it better make them happy otherwise you are out of pocket, never mind living.

So what if the customer is a jerk, all sales people know that from day one. The trick with how not to drive a hard bargain is to make them feel the way you think they ought to feel. Bad. And the trick with selling, is of course the opposite, make them feel good.

I used to work with an ISP in Belfast, just when everything was going free around here with Freeserve and all those other people, we got a LOT of those types of calls. I alarmed my boss and line manager when they overheard me telling the customers, yes, of course I would cancel their subscription, however if they preferred I could put it on hold for a week, and if they weren't happy with the other people they could come back, no fuss. After that we would wipe them from the system and invoice them appropriately.

They all came back.

I didn't lose a single one. I am rather glad as both my line manager and the boss went ballistic, and told me that if I HAD lost them a single customer I could kiss my job goodbye. But, with all due respect to them, they aren't Arabs, and we have thousands of years of experience at this sort of thing. How else are a bunch of guys who call the desert their home going to survive unless they are good at trading? I mean you have to be pretty convincing to survive by telling people who live in the fertile plains around your home that you deserve the food they make more than they do...

The hard bargain I drove was the one of the abyss of uncertainty and bad support versus a little cash and a lot of safety. Customers are skittish, you may need them more than they need you, but they don't have to know that do they?