22 November 2012

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Get Your Money Back

Some marketers will sell you something by making you believe you really need and want their product. While I admire their skill, I hate the sinking feeling when I walk away and realized I just spent way more than I wanted to on something I don’t truly need and didn't even want before they go hold of me.

Most of the time I’m good at deflecting their advances, but in times when I've given in and somehow signed up for something I no longer want, I've found ways to backtrack. It’s not always possible and the best answer would be not to let yourself be convinced that they are selling you the greater good.

Getting your money back can be tricky, but I’ll break it down for you. I also look at returns and I take a no-nonsense approach when it comes to taking back goods that aren't working properly. You can save quite a bit by simply doing these things:

Keep record

If you've signed up for something by debit order, keep a record of the marketer’s number. If it was a policy you signed up for, keep your policy number. If it’s something you bought, keep the slips and keep the tags on. Even if they are really difficult about refunds, most places are fine with exchanges if the goods are undamaged and you have your proof of payment.

You didn't know you need tubular ice creams until now
It’s a good idea to keep your proof of payment whenever you are buying something electronic or worth more than R100. I’m not shy to take something back when it didn't perform the way I wanted or something broke. I even returned my birthday present from my mom. The hairdryer looked fine encased in plastic with its nifty attachments, but after taking it out of the packaging one attachment came apart. I could also tell that the hairdryer itself was flimsy.

I took it back the next day and got a different model. I had to pay more, but it’s more important to have something that lasts if you’re going to use it every day.

Keeping record of all the beneficiaries of your monthly debit orders is smart. Sometimes small payments accumulate and you cannot just cancel them because you’re not even sure where they are going.

Go back in time

No, not time travel, although that would be useful. Remind yourself to get back to cancel a subscription before the first debit order is cleared, to see if you can get a refund on the expensive foundation within the time of the store’s exchange policy or to return goods you are unhappy with before the guarantee expires.
If you've booked holiday accommodation and you find it cheaper somewhere else you can usually cancel your booking if it is done in time. Find out what their policy is. Waiting too long can cost you in the form of losing your deposit and not booking when you think you've found the best deal can mean disappointment.

Be firm

I've also found that some places ask you a lot of questions when you try and cancel a subscription. One offered me a reduced monthly payment, but the initial sign-up was still very expensive. If you’re like me and find it hard to be firm with strangers, give it a try. It really works and I even felt good about my new-found assertiveness.

I hope you can get your money back next time something goes wrong with a purchase or you have changed your mind. If you’re out of ideas of how to save money and just want to make ends meet for a change, read my post on Applications for debt review and to consolidate your debt.

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