Store Messes Up? Ask For More At Same Price

Free Money Finance has a good strategy you can employ to help solve customer service disputes in your favor: ask for more at the same price.

Check out the blog’s story about their friend Teresa. She got into a dispute with a nursery when they sold the four four-foot trees she picked out and paid for to another customer. The owner wouldn’t give her the original trees, so Teresa says she’ll let the nursery sell her trees to someone else… if they sell her four six-foot trees at the four-foot price.

The nursery agreed. They got a happy customer, kept both sales, and Teresa saved $460.

Give this excellent bargaining ploy a whirl sometime. — BEN POPKEN

Save Money When a Store Messes Up by Asking for Something Bigger/Better at the Same Price [Free Money Finance]

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  1. bluegus32 says:

    As a consumer, and even in every other aspect of your life, the best negotiating tool at your disposal is this — ask for what you want. If you already have an idea of what it will take to make you happy, then throw it out there.

    Example: last night I ordered take-out from TGI Friday’s. When I got home, I noticed that they had messed up my order. So I called them right back, they apologized and told me they would fix it immediately (but I had to drive back to go get the rest of my order.) The conversation would have ended there if I hadn’t then said, “can you throw in a free dessert for my trouble?” They agreed immediately.

    Sometimes, people don’t think to comp you things until you ask.

    As a consumer, I am always quick to praise high service and quick to let people know when something has gone wrong. As a result, I’ve gotten many, many things comped. People appreicate the input. Most businesses, given the opportunity, would rather comp you a product or service than to lose you as a customer.

  2. homerjay says:

    Its also helpful to be quick-thinking. Most people can come up with these things, but a good percentage of them only think about it well after its too late.

  3. bluegus32 says:

    Homerjay: I’d say it’s more about practice and tenacity. Heck, even if you don’t think about it until hours later, you can still go back and ask to have a problem remedied. After you do it a couple of times, you get good at it and a little bit quicker on the draw.

    It’s about knowing what you want and having the courage to demand it.

  4. M3wThr33 says:

    But also ask nicely. If you’re a complete ass about it, they will be, too.

    You can still be confident and polite.

  5. Triteon says:

    I’ll tell you a secret– this happens all the time in advertising. I’ve worked both as a buyer and in ad sales and have been offered and had the occsasion to offer tremendous deals when another advertiser comes in and “bumps” my spots by paying more than I do. (Yes, stations or networks sells, re-sells, and re-re-sells ad time as SOP.) It’s nice to be offered a $10,000 CSI spot for $2000 at the last minute.
    Moral of the story: businesses understand the “upgrade”, from airlines to television stations to nurseries, often at any price. Ask, always ask.

  6. bluegus32 says:

    M3wThr33: oh absolutely. The more charming you are the better. Give the business-person an opportunity to make the transaction pleasant. Mistakes happen all the time. We are all human. Give someone the opportunity to do the right thing and they usually will. If you’re a butt-head about it, then you’re just going to sour the whole deal. And to top it off, you’ll blame the other person for screwing up when, in reality, you never gave them the chance to make things right.

  7. cspring007 says:

    I recently purchased a Hyundai Sonata from a local car dealarship. Since i work , my wife and i went to the dealership after dark and the car that i purchased was on dirty and needed to be detailed, so they kept the car overnight and let me drive home a loaner. The next morning i get a call from the saleman telling me that my brand spanking new car has a big dent in the rear bumper. Before i could even speak ( i was shocked, pissed off and scared that i was going to get hassled) he told me that the dealrship was going to give me the top of the line model (sunroof, stereo, etc.. ) for the same price because it was the only one on the lot that matched what i picekd out (in terms of color and such ) . I hung up the phone, drove to the dealership and ended up getting way more car than i paid for.
    I consider myself really lucky, but i mean.. they did sell me a car with a dent in it.

  8. levenhopper says:

    Adding on to the being nice thing…never yell at customer service reps (whether in person or on phone). They are the only one in the world who can help you at that time, so why piss them off?

  9. Sudonum says:

    Go for the upgrade, but also be reasonable. I worked in the hotel industry for years and can remember idiots with a minor inconvenience DEMANDING that there entire 2 week stay be comped. I had no problem sending up a few free beers if there was an A/C problem, milk & cookies if there were kids, or even a free meal in coffee shop. And yes, if the customer is nice and handles the problem well instead of being a jerk, then you want to go above and beyond with whatever you do for them.