Listen instead

Four years ago my husband came home with this cool new gadget from a major big box electronic store, a projector (allows us to watch movies on our wall almost life size). The great thing was that it was on sale for a very decent price. The only real downfall now to having it is that since the major electronics store doesn’t sell the replacement bulbs themselves we have to order them from another small company online (at about $400 a piece).

The first bulb lasted a couple of years before we had to replace it. The second bulb went in the middle of watching a movie after using it for about only 15% of the expected time it should have lasted. I was not satisfied with what I figured was a faulty product. I phoned the company we got it from and they said they couldn’t do anything for us, but we should contact the manufacturer of the projector.

I phoned the manufacturer and explained the situation. I told them that I wanted a refund, but didn’t expect a full refund (just the money for what I didn’t get to use). They told to bring it into a local support store so they could check something on the projector that would tell them how long that bulb had been used for. What they found outmatched pretty close to what I figured I had used it for. So after picking up my projector again and waiting a few days for them to call me back, I decided to call them back to find out what they decided. They said my ticket was closed so they thought everything was taken care of. I let them know it wasn’t taken care of and I still wanted my refund.

They said they could give me a gift certificate for something small like $50 or $80 (I can’t remember the exact amount, but I remember that it was really not much). I told them that it wouldn’t help me with my current problem since I couldn’t buy a replacement bulb from them and I had already purchased one while waiting for them to figure out what they were doing. Plus I had no intention of buying anything major like a TV or computer in the next few years, so I had nothing to spend the gift certificate on but had plenty of things I needed the money for (like my then new baby).

The support guy said that’s policy, they could only offer me the gift certificate. I told him I wasn’t satisfied with that and wanted to speak with his manager. He delayed me a little then forwarded me to the voice mail for his manager. I waited a few days for him to call back and called him back again. Finally got the manager who told me that they had to go by policy and give me the $50 gift certificate. I told him I wasn’t satisfied with that and wanted to speak with his manager. After trying to put me off from that he finally forwarded me to his manager’s voice mail. Again after waiting a few days and not receiving a callback, I called them again.

This time talking with one of the first line people again because I was just not getting through to the manager. The guy told me that he was very surprised I wasn’t getting a call back because they are usually quite quick in responding. I assured him that all of my dealings with them were far from quick and not resulting in me getting what I figured I deserved, a partial refund in cash, not a minute fraction gift certificate. He apologized for what I had to deal with and said he would see what he could do and call me back shortly. Within an hour or so he called me back and apologized again and said that they would give me a full refund. A full refund was nice but completely unexpected. I thanked him and was grateful to be done with the telephone tag.

Getting what you deserve isn’t always straight forward or not always easily done. You have to be willing to put in the effort to get things done. I was able to accomplish this without being rude to anyone but accomplished it through persistence. They fully expect you to not persist and be free of having to pay you anything. This saves them A LOT of money in the long run. Why give into to their ploys. Persist on what you do truly deserve and have documented proof where you can.