Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

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Sometimes in life, all you have to do is ask for what you want.  Even if you’re audacious enough to want it for free.

I didn’t know this until one day a while back I decided to try it.  I was fed up with my new stroller search.  I had finally found one I absolutely loved, but Babies R Us was only going to let me order it online and ship it to my house.  It was on sale, but a smart competitor put theirs on sale for the exact same price.  They weren’t charging shipping.  And Babies R Us told me that they wouldn’t either, as long as I spent $99.  Then I found out that the free shipping didn’t apply to certain items, like my stroller.  (I’ve found a lot of their “sales” to be like that.)  I had gift cards, or I would have just bought from their competitor.

I really didn’t want to pay shipping.  So I called their customer service line.  I told them my situation.  And I told them what I wanted:  for them to remove the shipping charge.  I said it totally nicely despite the fact that I was totally frustrated.  This customer service rep deserves a gold star or a raise or something.  She salvaged the sale by giving me the free shipping without sounding like I was making her day harder (which I undoubtedly was.)

I felt pretty good when I hung up the phone.  I decided to try something else.  I was on a roll.

I had a breastpump that kept getting mildew in the tubing.  I had cleaned with soap, rinsed with water, tried to dry with alcohol.  I kept the pump on with the bottles off after I was done.  I had done everything I could and the mildew kept coming back.  It wasn’t a problem I had had since day one.  It was a relatively recent development.  So I called the manufacturer.  I asked if they could replace the tubes for me free of charge.  She told me how to clean them.  She told me to leave the pump on after I was done.  She asked me how many handles my carrying bag had.  Then she gave me my order number, sending me new tubes for free.

This was a really good day for me.  Maybe I should have kept going while I was on fire.  But I’ve found the lesson applies to all aspects of life; not just scoring deals. If we ask for what we want, the worst we can hear is “no.”  If we keep our desires secret, the best we can hope for is a continuation of the status quo.

27 thoughts on “Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

  1. Budget and the Beach

    I agree that sometimes you just have to ask (nicely) to get certain things you need or want. I used to just blow things off and pay extra for whatever, but I’ve come to realize that many things are negotiable, and the payoff is both good financially and emotionally!

    1. femmefrugality

      Me, too! One time I was at the mall and didn’t realize that the stand I was at had negotiable prices until the guy started haggling with me when I started to walk away. Glad he saw an opportunity. Because I got a super cheap purse.

  2. StudentDebtSurvivor

    Love that! I used to feel weird or guilty asking for what I wanted. Stepping out of that nervousness has definitely saved me a lot of money. Like you said, the worst they can say is, “no” and you’re not out anything for trying.

  3. Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

    So true! I can admit that there have been times I spent my energy grumbling rather than trying to find a resolution. But until you ask – nothing can be changed and often times the company is even unaware that you are unhappy about something. Glad you had good customer service reps.

  4. Ma rio

    Congrats on your hot streak and you are so right! I’ve been surprised at the things I’ve had changed for me over the last few months ever since I started asking. Customer service reps must have a bag of flexibility at their disposal that they can give things out of as they see fit.

  5. Justin

    Good point. You can either spend the time wondering what if, or you can just go ahead and ask. The worst thing that will happen is they say no and you can always take your business elsewhere.

  6. Ms. S

    Very True!! Look at you, scoring 2 for 2! That’s the way to go. My mom always said that, “the worst they can say is ‘no’ “. But man I hated asking for things. I’ve gotten better but for some things I still have to work up the nerve and literally pump myself up before hand.

    1. femmefrugality

      It helped a lot that I found one of their competitor’s offering it. But I bet they would do it for you anyways. It seemed like it wasn’t a big deal. At least the first time.


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