Complaining is an expensive and time-consuming business. There are the telephone calls, the wasted journeys to return faulty goods, the expense and irritation of writing e-mails just to point out other people’s mistakes, the unnecessary wear and tear on your nerves and shoe leather.
Since none of this was your doing, it seems unreasonable to expect you to be inconvenienced and put out of pocket.
How do you get the enemy to pay up?
1 ‘Fine’ firms every time they make a mistake that involves you in unnecessary work. Deduct £10 from your phone bill or bank charges for every e-mail you have to write pointing out that they were the ones who made the error.
2 Ask to be reimbursed for your ‘expenses’. When you make a long or expensive journey to return faulty goods, for instance, you should point this out to the shopkeeper and ask for an appropriate deduction or refund. He’ll almost certainly tell you where to get off, but at least you’ve let him know that he’s dealing with one of the awkward squad.
If you haven’t yet paid, or if you have an account, you can deduct your expenses from your next bill, of course, though you must be sure to write to the firm explaining your reasons for doing so.
3 Refuse to be inconvenienced when something you have bought goes wrong. Say you have bought a new car or an electric fire that packs up. Having parted with your money, why should you now have to walk or freeze to death? Insist that neither they supply you with a new car or lend, you free of charge a replacement while yours is being repaired. Under the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973, this is your right.
WHAT WE SAY: – Only a fool or a rich man pays for other people’s mistakes