Rebates. I hate them. Well, I like getting money back but I hate doing the paperwork. And then following up to be sure I actually get the rebate. And then fighting with the company because they are so incredibly, annoyingly picky and unreasonable.
But rebates are not the topic of this blog post. The topic of this blog post is how to win when you have to fight for a rebate or any other issue relating to an account or transaction.
The key to winning is information. Yes, information.
When I submitted that rebate I complained about earlier, it was for a cell phone rebate. I had done plenty of them before and never had any problem. But as is my custom, before sending it in (we had to do it by snail mail then), I made copies of every piece of paper I sent them. I also noted on the paperwork when I mailed it. Then I put a note in my planner (on my pend list) to follow-up in about 8 to 12 weeks if I hadn’t received the rebate.
Lo and behold, about 3 weeks into it, I got a letter from the company stating that my rebate had been rejected. So I got out my paperwork and called the company. They told me I hadn’t done something right but when I looked at the copies of the paperwork I sent, it sure looked like I did it right. So we discussed it and they figured out they had entered something incorrectly. In about 4 to 6 weeks I would receive the rebate.
I made notes on my paperwork about the call. I included the following:
- Who I talked to
- The date and time
- What the problem was
- What they said
Then I put a note on my pend list to follow-up in 4 weeks.
Before the 4 weeks was up, I got another letter telling me my rebate had been rejected. I was pretty ticked by now. I got out my paperwork and called them again. They said I was denied and explained why. I replied: “Well, on November 20 I talked to Holly and we worked it out. She said ….” They corrected their information and said I should have the rebate in 4 weeks.
As I did before, I made notes on my paperwork about the call. The same details as before. And I updated my pend list.
Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. Another rejection. I got out my paperwork and called again. I read them all my notes complete with names, dates and conversation details. This time the person really seemed to know what they were doing. At the end of the conversation, she said something like: “If this happens again, tell them this and they’ll take care of it right away.” I wrote everything she said down and updated my pend list.
Two weeks later . . . you guessed it . . . another rejection. This was getting ridiculous. I called again, told them what the previous person told me to say, and that changed everything. Within 2 weeks I had a check. Finally. I would have given up a long time ago except that it was $100. I wasn’t giving up on that. And besides, at that point I felt I had earned it!
But the only reason I won that battle was because I kept detailed notes.
Anytime you have a problem with an account and you have to call or write to straighten it out, you should always record the following information EACH time you talk to them:
- Person or persons you talked to
- The problem
- What was said
Then you need to keep track of it so you can follow-up. If there are more problems, you can pull up your notes and shoot their arguments down! When you start providing details about who you talked to, when and what was said, they’re much more willing to listen. And it makes it easier for you because you don’t have to guess or wonder if you’re remembering it right.
So the next time you have to fight for something, write down the details and prepare to win!