How to Ask for a Sales Refund
There’s nothing wrong with paying for a good product or service, but what if you don’t get what you paid for?
According to customer service training professional Ruby Newell-Legner, most people would just walk away. Newell-Legner states in her book, “Understanding Consumers,” that only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers actually voice their complaints to the business. The rest might shop elsewhere or gripe on Facebook, but never actually let the business know.
I was once co-hosting a wedding shower for a friend — an expensive event for a bunch of cash-strapped twentysomethings. So when our $400 catering order arrived late, cold and missing an item, I was the only one willing to ask for a much deserved discount (and we got one, too).
It’s much easier to just fume over a bad experience and give a bad Yelp review, but if a refund request is warranted, be the person who speaks up and gets your hard-earned money back.
Know That Businesses Want You Happy
The Customer Experience Impact Report conducted by marketing company Oracle shows that brand loyalty pays. 89 percent of survey-takers said they would take their business elsewhere after a bad experience. If you eat at the same place often and one night your service is awful, remind the manager — tactfully — that a discount tonight will assure that you don’t find a new favorite place to eat.
It’s crucial for young adults to be as mature as possible when making a complaint. The last thing you want is for a business to dismiss your problem because they don’t take you seriously. The U.S. Office of Citizen Services’ Consumer Action Handbook says to “be brief and to the point. Don’t be angry, sarcastic or threatening.”
Relate to the Person
Found a manager who will hear you out? Introduce yourself by name and call them by theirs. Explain why the service or product was unacceptable and thank them for listening and (hopefully) working to resolve the problem. Courtesy goes a long way.
Ask for What You Want
Don’t be afraid to state your case and ask for what you deserve. Conversely, if your appetizer was bad but your entrée was good, don’t demand a free meal. Be direct and reasonable.
Explore Other Options
Not all businesses got the memo that the “customer is king.” If you don’t get the result you want — especially if you’ve spent a lot of money — the Federal Trade Commission offers resources for resolving complaints, like filing a consumer complaint or how to pursue legal action.
And if all else fails, post that Yelp review and take your money elsewhere.