How you doin'? I hope your 2013 has been brilliant so far!
For once, I am going to talk about something slightly more serious than Phil Spencer and cheesecake... A topic I feel my fellow fans of thrift (including, of course, the lovely A Thrifty Mrs) will wholeheartedly approve of: Consumer Rights. In addition to my other totally useful talents, it turns out I am really good at writing customer complaint letters. I'm not sure it's quite superhero-worthy but that hasn't stopped me deliberating over what my superhero name would be. Complaint Girl? Whinge Woman? Voucher Vixen? If you've got any ideas, please hit me up!
Within the last six months or so, I've bagged "apology vouchers" from Tesco, Matalan, Wilkinsons, and Sainsburys adding up to £37. Not too shabby, since the items I bought that were damaged cost me less than £10 to begin with.
Tesco seems to have the strangest valuing system for its complaints; I don't know if it's based on the number of times you've complained (I'm probably on their Just Send Her A Voucher To Shut Her Up List by now...) or the product itself, but apparently broccoli with flies in it is worth £5 whilst one mouldy satsuma + one mouldy apple is worth £7.
Matalan sent me a £10 voucher when I complained about the quality of the (£6) leggings I'd bought there (I put my thumb through them the first time I wore them- and as I'm not Edward Scissorhands I didn't think that showed great material quality) so yesterday I picked up this beauty and a silicon baking mat, and it only cost me £1 of my own money :)
|Keep your peepers peeled for a makeover- it's not staying like that for long!|
I'm never rude to whomever I speak to in customer services; it's not Cheryl-from-Birmingham's fault that my satsuma was mouldy, and I can't imagine that working in a customer complaints department is the nicest job in the world. I mean, people aren't calling up to compliment your hair, are they?! I like to imagine customer complaint centres have bulletin boards where the most ridiculous complaints are pinned up for everyone to have a giggle at.
I've discovered the best way to get heard is to pull the age-old trick used by parents across the globe; "I'm not angry with you; I'm disappointed". There's no point getting cross and shouty whether by email or on the phone- rationally explaining the situation, and pointing out that you've been a loyal customer for x amount of time/the situation was particularly terrible because it was someone's birthday cake etc. works much more effectively.
I don't see it as cheeky or miserly to complain when the products I receive fall below the standard I expect. I balance out my expectations compared to the price I have paid, but at the end of the day I work really hard to earn the money I make, and if I buy something which fails instantly in the task I bought it for (whether that's feeding me, clothing me, or entertaining me) I don't like being out of pocket for something I can't use. Even if I don't receive anything in response to my complaint (a reply or compensation in some cases *cough* la redoute *cough*), it makes me feel better knowing I've at least tried to sort it out.
Have you or do you complain when you buy things that turn out to be mouldy rubbish, or do you consider it to be part of the gamble of shopping and find complaining too much of a hassle? I'd love to hear!