They say if you don’t ask you don’t get.
I’ve heard that saying so many times over the years that I stopped bothering to stop and wonder what it really meant and how I could make it work to my advantage on occasion.
Well I’m happy to say I have done just that, and on more than one occasion recently, and found that the saying is very true.
I have learned to become more assertive in situations I would normally just accept to my detriment and I must say it feels pretty good.
You know the situations I mean. You think you’re getting charged too much for something but for an easy life you almost talk yourself out of actually calling the company to query it, and when you actually do call them you fall for whatever blubber they give you and then say ‘thank you’.
I don’t know if it’s my age or not, but I’ve decided I ain’t taking it no more. I’m getting my house in order and making sure I’m getting my money’s worth for the things I’m paying for.
I’ve been in loads of places before where I’ve seen people stand their corner and I’ve thought it was quite embarrassing or have wanted to tell the person to shut up - obviously I didn’t.
The thing is, when they have gone on until their argument has won the other person over, I’ve always had a reluctant admiration for them, regardless of my feelings of embarrassment or frustration.
The most recent example of my newly-found confidence came when I ordered a TV package from one of the big media companies.
I was happy to order what I did and was looking forward to the installation date until the contract was posted out. On it there was a £50 charge to install the hardware.
I called them right up because no one mentioned this during the sales phone call and I wasn’t prepared to pay for it anyway, so I told the young lady to just cancel my order.
Straight away she said, ‘don’t worry madam, we’ll cancel the installation charge’. I didn’t even need to argue with her - which I would have done by the way, oh yes - and I felt great that I saved myself 50 quid.
I was also quite chuffed with myself after negotiating a nice wee deal through the murky waters of mobile phone contracts.
A friend of mine told me to cancel my present deal a month before my contract ended and said they would offer me a brilliant deal to stay with them.
‘What if they don’t’, I thought. I did it anyway and to my horror they did cancel it.
However, after a few days they called me back and offered a brilliant deal with a new fancy smartphone, as well as £200 worth of vouchers for a top high street store.
I’m not saying this will happen for everyone, but it did for me and I’m happier than I’ve been in a while.
It just shows it pays to be a bit assertive at times.