Growing up I watched my mother throw good food away because it was spoiled or just not as expected when she opened the package. I would urge her to take it back to the store but she didn’t like confrontation so in the trash it went.
When I got married and started buying food and other products for our family I decided that I would not follow in my mom’s footsteps but I was going to take back or complain about any purchase that I made which did not live up to what was described on the package.
One of the questions I get asked all the time when I teach a coupon class is this – what do I do when my product is defective and the warranty is no longer in place?
Warranty issues are complex. It can be as easy as a telephone call to the company pleading your case or showing them documentation that there has been an on-going issue with the product since you purchased it. Other times it can be a real fight getting a company to make good on their warranty. Every situation is different. As a former legal secretary I have had experience in dealing with companies who refuse to honor their written warranties and it can be a very defeating and aggravating situation. It can require hours of research and many phone calls. Most people just give up and buy a new product because they don’t have the time or knowledge how to fight back but persistent customers like me can often win.
As for food, that’s an entirely different story and I urge everyone to complain to the company in a polite way.
If you are too busy to take spoiled food back to the store it was purchased at look on the product for a toll free number to contact the company. Most times they will make good on the product by sending you either a coupon for a free replacement or send you a new item. On a local level, try asking for the store manager to resolve an issue. NEVER get nasty when making your plea for help or assistance. Keep your cool, and do not be afraid to ask for what you feel is a fair settlement or resolution.
Large companies do not want to lose your business so to send you a free product coupon or replace the spoiled food is something they are happy to do so that you continue buying their product. I have had great success with calling companies and getting a fair resolution. Even on a local level if the customer service person at a particular store does not satisfy my complaint, I politely ask to see the store manager and 99.9% of the time that does the trick.
I also urge you to call with praise for a company and your favorite products. This can most times earn you either a free product coupon or high value coupons for that product. Now this doesn’t work with every company but I have had great success using this technique.
Here is an example. I can only use Sensodyne toothpaste. I’ve tried the other sensitive toothpastes but they really do not work as well for me. It kills me to spend almost $7.00 for a small tube of toothpaste but I don’t have a choice. One day I decided to pick up the phone and call them and ask if they had any high value coupons. Much to my surprise the representative told me she would not only send me coupons but a free product coupon for one free tube. WOW I was blown away. Over the years they have stopped sending free product coupons but I can still call them every 6 months and ask them to send out some coupons for this product and they do. It never hurts to ask all they can say is no.
There are some companies that do not send out coupons to customers it is usually the smaller privately owned companies at least that has been my experience.
If you need help with a consumer issue I can help. I’m not an attorney but I worked for them for years and have learned a few tricks to get results from companies who will not cooperate. I make no claim that you will be 100% successful but with my consumer knowledge and a drafted letter from me you have the best chance of succeeding. Click here for more information.