Aug 18, 2010

Asking (Janssen)

My dad has a phrase he uses a lot: "The worst they can say is 'no.'"

I've thought about this a lot as I was preparing for my move and taking care of various logistics.When I'd think of a way I could save some money, but wasn't an absolute sure thing, I'd recite to myself, "The worst they can say is 'no,'" and I'd pick up the phone.

Two experiences reinforced the wisdom of remembering that the worst thing you can get is a denial of your request:

  1. My husband and I had joined BJ's a few months earlier, but this store doesn't exist in Texas which meant we would lose out on a full year of our membership (because the store had just opened, we got a bonus two months for joining). I called up BJs and asked if I could get a partial refund. What do you know? They said yes. And since we'd only used the bonus two months, I actually got the ENTIRE membership fee refunded. That was a happy moment.
  2. I had spent the last several months stocking up on diapers, buying a package or two here and there whenever there was a really good deal. When my mom and I started getting things packed up (and by "my mom and I" I really mean "my mom" because I mostly laid on the bed or the couch), we discovered I had seventeen packages of diapers, not to mention at least a half dozen packages of wipes. They would have taken up an enormous amount of space in the car and shipping them would have negated the good prices I got for them. So I called up CVS Pharmacy and asked if I could return them for store credit and then rebuy them once I got to Texas. The manager said that was fine, I took my embarrassingly large cart of diapers to the checkout counter, and walked away with a gift card that fit easily in my wallet - much better than seventeen packs of diapers would have. You can bet I'm a CVS fan for life.

I happen to know that I'm not the only child in my family who has learned this lesson - Merrick just bought a high chair for her baby and asked the store to take 10% off because the box was quite damaged. Guess what? They said yes.


Packrat said...

Wow, that is great that you got refunds. Shipping those diapers would have been really expensive!

Merry said...

Two of my own recent experiences taught my husband about this concept.

1) We bought an inflatable raft for floating down the Provo River. About 30 seconds into the voyage, our raft popped when we came in contact with the bolt on the side of a bridge. I insisted that we call the store to see if we could get a refund, even though Dave was sure it wouldn't work. We didn't end up with a refund, but we did get store credit which we used to buy a slightly higher quality raft that won't get popped quite so easily!

2) Dave was offered a great deal to resubscribe to a magazine that he loves. We didn't have the money at the time to take advantage of the offer, but he still wished he could resubscribe. Fastforward to our our anniversary this week. We now had the money, and I new that Dave would love it as an anniversary present. I decided to call the company and see if they would honor the deal for resubscription, even though it had expired 6 months ago. They said yes, and it was Dave's favorite present I've ever given him!

amber waves of grain said...

I think you should re-instate the Friday Savings feature that you did in June. You don't even have to give a prize-- it was just fun to see ways that other bloggers were able to save money.

Carolyn said...

I so agree with the "it never hurts to ask". This week alone I asked to get my phone bill reduced and I got a $16 credit for the past two months each and a reduced price for the future. Then my husband and I just got home from the bread store where they had a shelf of bread 2 for a $1. They only had a few loafs on the shelf so my husband asked if they had any more and they pulled the bread off the full price shelf and gave it to us for the discount price. It really works.