Monday, September 1, 2014

The Purina coupon came!

The free cat food coupon showed up from the Purina thing I posted about. I requested it on July 1, and it showed up on August 30, so it took nearly two months, but it's legit, it showed up, and I went and bought a giant bag of food with it. One word of caution: it shows up in an envelope that looks like junk mail, so check your mail carefully. But definitely go sign up (do me a favor and use my link in the previous post, please?) and you should be able to get a free giant bag of cat food every month to two months once you're started and earning the points regularly.

Complaining about stuff, for fun and profit

I've snagged some really sweet free stuff recently by complaining about crappy service or ridiculous policies. My initial intention wasn't to be compensated; in a few instances I had a time-sensitive issue with a service I was paying for and needed it fixed, and in a few others, I had constructive feedback that I wanted to pass along, and also felt that I hadn't gotten my money's worth. Nevertheless, I've gotten some pretty large gift cards and coupons from making complaints to businesses, so I highly recommend trying this. The few minutes it takes to send an e-mail or make a phone call are definitely worth it for the usually substantial reward you'll get.

My rules when complaining:

1) Unless something extremely egregious happened, stick to major corporations. Don't make complaints to family-owned businesses or small local businesses for minor issues. If you're going to come away feeling like you took advantage of someone or wondering if they'll be able to pay their bills, don't do it. (If you're someone who is going to feel guilty screwing over a multimillion-dollar corporation, I'm not sure why you're reading my blog.)

2) Make your complaints constructive. Explain to them how they might better handle it next time. Let them know that you totally understand how such a mistake could be made.

3) Try as hard as you can to make sure the complaint won't reflect poorly on a minimum-wage (or close to it) worker. If the specific person helping you likely fits into this category, make sure you make it clear that s/he was helpful and tried his/her best, but that a higher-up policy was the source of the issue. If the person was outright rude, do mention this, but try and frame it as an issue with training. Let them know that you've had your share of minimum wage jobs, and you know it can be frustrating to not be properly trained to handle things, and you sympathize with the worker, while at the same time, are asserting how you were screwed over.

4) If they aren't offering, ask. Let them know how much you appreciate their time and concern, but reiterate that you live on a limited income, and you paid for a service and feel you didn't receive it. Ask if there's anything they can do to win you back as a customer and make you feel like it was money well spent.

5) Don't make something up that didn't happen. Just don't. Don't pretend something was left out of your order, don't pretend someone was rude who was just bored. Don't treat the hired help like the hired help. This is between you and your deity of choice, or conscience or whatever you prefer, but just, for the love of whoever, just don't!