I was thinking about how sometimes people make two opposite errors when a company messes something up:
- Approaching the employee/company with a rude, entitled attitude
- Not feeling like they have a right to point out the mistake/poor service/etc.
The first approach goes wrong because that’s just not a kind way to treat others. People that work at companies are still people, and they should be treated with respect. Plus, starting out with an off-putting attitude usually doesn’t help you get what you want.
The second approach feels off to me because I think you should get what you pay for when you give your money to a company. The company isn’t a charity; rather, the idea is that you give them your money, and you get an agreed-upon good or service in return.
If you don’t get the good or service you paid for, then you totally have a right to ask for that to be corrected.
People with the first approach might say, “Oh, I don’t want to be a pushover!”
And people with the second approach might say, “Oh, but I don’t want to be rude and demanding.”
The lovely news is that you don’t have to choose between those two options. There’s space in the middle there, which looks like politely and respectfully asking for a wrong to be made right.
I’ve had so much success at getting errors corrected, faulty items replaced, billing adjusted, and so on by being brave enough to ask, but also being polite and respectful (even when I have to be firm or insistent.)
So, if you tend toward one of these extremes, I just want to encourage you to respectfully speak up and ask to get what you paid for.