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Stand Up For Yourself

by Freebies4Mom on August 5, 2008 4:45 pm

Make your money talk. You choose where you shop and what you buy. There are so many choices in the stores that it can be difficult to choose what you will spend money on. I’m learning how to stand up for myself because I’ve learned that I am an important customer with lots of choices. That’s right – I by myself am important. I buy for a family of 4 – let’s dismiss the fact that thousands read my blog daily – and just think of me as an average mom. All of those choices means that if I don’t like a product, store, or company – I will stop spending my money on these products, at these stores, or with this company. This makes me an important customer, the power of my money and where I spend it.

Here are a few things that I am getting better at, it all boils down to standing up for myself:
1. I question everything. Prices, policies, product claims, receipts. Asking questions is a good way to learn and to catch errors.
2. I ask for a discount. Talk to the manager if you want to buy a product, but see something that may warrant a discount for it. It doesn’t matter if you are at a local thrift shop or a major nationwide chain. It never hurts to ask for a discount.
3. I tell companies if their products don’t perform as promised. Especially if the product claims on the package just don’t ring true for me after using the product. Sometimes products are just obviously flawed in some way. I go to the companies website and call their 1-800 number or send them an email. Most of the time I receive a response, and often I receive a product replacement.
4. I return things I don’t like. I bought a new set of sheets. I washed the sheets and after they came out of the dryer I did not like the feel or wrinkled look of the fabric. I returned the sheets. In the past I would have not returned them because they were not “new in the package” and I would just write it off as my mistake for buying that particular brand. Now I will return any product I am truly not happy with even if I’ve washed it.
5. I voice my opinion. Well, I take a lot of short consumer surveys that are sent to me directly from companies that I like and want to give them feedback about their products. I also talk to Store Managers when I have a chance about why I love their store, or areas that could use improvement. They appreciate honest feedback from their customers.
How are you standing up for yourself? What words of wisdom do you have to share with those learning how to stand up for themselves? A related post that I wrote is “Be An Empowered Consumer” which focuses more on using coupons and asking for free samples.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 5, 2008 at 9:10 pm

I examine my receipt VERY VERY VERY carefully. It is kinda hard to do right there are the register, but after I load my stuff up in the car I sit down and examime it line per line. 9 out of 10 times I find some type of error! Its true, doesn’t matter what store. Yeasterday at Wal-mart lettuce marked $2.14 rang up 3.09Today at target Peperage farm bread for $2 on sale rand up $3The other day in Publix dog food for 3.99 on sale rang up for $4.99Its just incredible how many errors are out there! I have had tuns of errors at Walgreens on their sale prices and, using their own coupons. Once even at CVSSo I am sure to stick up for my rights and examine my recipts and go to customer service and get the difference back. Some stores like Publix give you the item free of $3off if there is an error. I got the dogfood free. Wal-mart used to do that too but you had to say “and your gunna give me it 4 free due to the error” This last visit to Wal-mart they told me that has since been discontinued. Such a shame because I have gotton at least 30 items for free in the last 8 years due to pricing errors.I will call corporate to find out if this is a change that they really had. Another comment I would like to make is that if an item is on sale and they forget to take the sale sign down, you have to right to complain to the manager and request the difference back. Its the stores responsibility to take the sale signs down, you should not be required to look at the bottom of the tag in the fine print to look for the effective dates. That is their job so don’t be shy to complain and if they bring it to your attention that the sign was for last week and the sale is off you need to tell them, “then what is it still doing up, its your responsibility to remove it.” 9 out of 10 times they will give it to you without having to talk to a manager. But if all else fails speak to the manager.-Lizzy

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Anonymous August 5, 2008 at 9:23 pm

LATELY WHEN I HAVE A HUGE STACK OF COUPONS I HAND THEM TO THE CASHIEER ONE AT A TIME. I HAVE HAD TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH CASHIEERS USING COUPONS ESPECIALLY AT TARGET!I JUST TELL THE CLERKS WHEN THEY FINISH SCANNING ALL ITEMS THAT I AM GOING TO GIVE THEM ONE COUPON AT A TIME FOR SCANNING BECAUSE THE LAST TIME I WAS THERE THE CASHIEER DROPPED THE PILE AND IT FELL ON THE FLOOR AND IN THE BAGS AND ALL OVER. WE NEVER RECOVERED ALL OF THE COUPONS. ANOTHER TIME SOME COUPONS STUCK TOGETHER AND WERE NEVER SCANNED AS WELL. ALSO I HAD MANY OF TARGETS OWN COUPONS NOT GO THROUGH AND THE CASHIEER JUST PUT THEM ASIDE AND KEPT SCANNING THE OTHERS. SHE NEVER WENT BACK TO THE PROBLEM ONES TO VERIFY THAT THE ITEM WAS INDEAD PURCHASED. TODAY AT TARGET ALL MY MANUFACTURES COUPONS WENT THROUGH WITH NO PROBLEM (AS USUAL)HOWEVER; 2 OF THE TARGET COUPONS SHOWED UP AS NOT BEING ABLE TO MATCH IT TO THE ITEM. THE CASHIER REMEMBERED HAVING SCANNED THE ITEM SO SHE PUT IT THOUGH WITH NO PROBLEM. BUT HAD SHE NOT THIS WOULD HAVE GIVEN ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW HER THE ITEMS AND HAVE THE TARGET COUPON PUT THROUGH.IF I HAD GIVEN HER THE WHOLE PILE IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT FOR ME TO VERIFY THAT EACH COUPON WENT THROUGH.ALSO IF YOU HAVE A DIFFICULT CASHIER WHO WILL NOT PUT THE PROBLEM COUPON THROUGH YOU CAN REQUEST THAT THE ITEM BE DELETED FROM YOUR PURCHASES.THIS IS HOW I STICK UP FOR MY RIGHTSLUV YOUR BLOG CUZ U HAVE DIFFERENT TOPICS (NOT CVS DEALS!)

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Casavah August 6, 2008 at 7:54 am

Yup no offence to the younger genereation but I really don't know how some of these cashiers would have handled "pre-scanning" checkout days ~ when cashiers had to manually type in the price of each stickered item. I was at a grocery store & the price sticker was 4/$8. Just because the bar code wasn't scanning a definite price (she kept getting an error message) she wouldn't give it to me for $2 even when the price tag was clearly labelled 4 for $8. Come on now, it's simple arithmetics 8 divided 4 = 2.Another time a cashier scanned the same product twice and when she punched in my coupon for a $1 0ff she actually typed it in as a $0.10coupon instead of a dollar. I know at times it comes down to dimes & nickels but that's what they end up doing is "nickel & diming cutomers" with all their mistakes, especially when a product is advertised on sale but it ends ups being scanned at the regular price.

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snookums August 6, 2008 at 9:02 am

I get really, really frustrated when I buy and article of clothing and wear it once, then wash it (according to directions) and it shrinks so I can no longer wear it, or it bleeds horribly or something. Most stores now have a policy that they won’t refund your money. I understand the theory behind that, but it’s ridiculous. What, am I never supposed to wash anything? TO THE EXACT DIRECTIONS YOU SUPLLIED? I know they are trying to cut downon wear and returns, but I think that sometimes stores go overboard. Also, I recently found out a store would not match a 2 for $5 price because “things were not individually priced.” HELLO, i have 1 item. that’s $2.50 really? are you kidding? I could understand if i had to buy two…

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Amanda August 6, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Please note it is important to note what a store’s return policy is in order to return items. Many stores need a receipt and within a certain time frame. Most times, stores will not return USED items. In cases like that contact the manufacturer of the product.

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Anonymous August 6, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I think there need to be some type of law agains pricing errors. I meancome on…I am like the other anonymus reader I get nicked and dimed and DOLLARED with all their mistakes!And you bring it to their attention and all they do is give you the difference back or refund and re-ring for the correct price. (Something that they should have done to begin with) So tell me….. what benefit is it to the stores to have items marked correctly. None since they do not get penialized!So they will just keep doing it and people like my father will just keep getting ripped off!!!!!

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K&E'sMama August 7, 2008 at 7:17 am

Anon 8/6 @ 9:45,When I lived in Massachusetts for a few years, EVERY item in the grocery store had a price sticker on it. When I asked someone about it, they said Mass. had a law that everything for sale had to be clearly marked with a price.I am in total agreement with you, that stores are benefitting from these mistakes and not everyone has the time or ability to check their receipts.But, the flip side is that Mass. has many laws that really interfere with a person’s ability to function and think independently, making the government responsible for your behavior.What we need is to have the businesses be accountable for their actions, not make it the responsibility of the government.Bring up the constant errors to the management, make phone calls/e-mails so *maybe* it will stop and we can help the people who are unable to check their receipts. I know Albertsons will give you the item for free if it rings up incorrectly. I bet if more people took advantage of this policy, they may be more careful with their pricing.

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