Let’s say there’s a store that sells widgets that will take payment in candy corn and gummy bears. Sometimes when you buy something and only have a few gummy bears on you, you can pay in candy corn combined with gummy bears. If for some reason you didn’t want the item and returned it later, the widget store is nice enough to pay you back in gummy bears. You find this very odd since clearly gummy bears are A LOT more valuable than candy corn. Now you do this a few times when you don’t like candy corn and want gummy bears in return.
One day, the store decides to give you the candy corn you paid. You find this odd since they’ve always given you back gummy bears. Now you’ve reached an intersection in life – you can either chalk it up to a fluke, take your candy corn and try again another day OR you can complain to the person that this isn’t the policy. Of course, you have to escalate this to a supervisor because the 1st line rep isn’t going to know much. You then speak to the supervisor and complain to them. Of course, you didn’t think that maybe the supervisor will look into your account to see how often you’ve been doing this. So they may ban you from buying widgets. Or maybe you didn’t think that that supervisor you yelled at would take it upon themselves and take it up the chain to actually FIX THE RETURN POLICY AT THE STORE! Yeah so now no one gets gummy bears anymore and you’re left with candy corn.
As I was thinking about this post, I was trying to think at what times would you want to speak up and when you’d want to STFU. I think if something is too good to be true, even if it’s policy, you STFU and move on with your life because you want the deal to still be alive. However, if you’re already at zero then because you have nothing to lose, then you may want to escalate it a bit to get them to change their mind (I’ve heard of this happening.) It’s a delicate balance because you also have to think about the big picture. Just because ONE store doesn’t allow it, but other stores let you, if you speak up, will the regional manager lock down ALL THE STORES (which I’ve seen this happen too.) The lesson learned is – before you go complaining about something, you had better think about all the possible outcomes and consider the collateral damage.
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