I grew up watching my mother ask for refunds, dispute credit card bills and fight with contractors. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, but if you tried to screw with her money, lord have mercy. My mother never yelled or screamed – instead she got really quiet and explained to whoever on the phone what was going to happen.
From her I learned what I was entitled to. If a company tried to screw me over, I knew I could dispute their transaction on my credit card bill. If a pushy salesman tried to sell me something extra, I learned how to say no. I learned how to remember what was included in my bill, so no one tried to double charge me.
Even now, my husband says I’m the best at getting what I want. So many women struggle making their voices heard and asking for things. If we have trouble asking for a discount for a slightly soft peach, then how can we negotiate our salaries?
Read below for my tips on getting what you want.
The first rule of getting what you want is not being afraid to ask for it. No one is a mind reader, and most people won’t give you something just because. If you buy a top with a slight mark, ask for a discount. If you bought a watermelon that was mushy on the inside, tell the manager.
Getting what you want requires confidence. You have to believe that you deserve whatever you’re asking for. You can practice what you’ll say beforehand or run it by a friend if you’re nervous. The more you try it, the easier it’ll get.
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is true for a reason. One time I was pissed about getting hit with a maintenance fee on my bank account. I called customer service, angrily asking for a refund. They refused.
I calmed down and called back. This time I was apologetic and polite. I got my refund back.
You don’t have to be a pushover. Say what you’re upset about and ask if there’s anything they can do. Usually the person on the other end is happy to help if you’re nice. When you spend all day talking to jackasses, an understanding person is like a ray of light.
Nothing’s worse than not having all the information you need. The better prepared you are to make your claim, the faster you’ll see a result. If you can provide evidence that you deserve a refund, then the representative will likely realize it’s easier to give it to you instead of fighting.
Whether you’re trying to return a dress that’s too small or get a fee waived, make sure to have your account number, receipt or whatever you need handy. Treat it like a professional transaction and be informed about what happened.
Most places want to provide good customer service. If you make it easy for them to do so, then you’ll likely get it.
When my husband and I were shopping for a suit for our wedding, we had an amazing customer service experience at J. Crew. They gave us an extra discount, helped us find a jacket online and had it express shipped to our house.
Yes, we were customers dropping more than $300. But they went out of their way to help us save money. After we got home, I wrote an email to J. Crew’s customer service, letting them know how well their employees behaved. I also posted something on Twitter, thanking the company for helping us.
I didn’t start shopping at J. Crew more, but I wanted to let the higher ups know that their employees did a good job. Often when a customer sends feedback about a particular store, those employees find out. Since you can’t tip retail workers, making them look good in front of their bosses is the least you can do.