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Speak Out -- and Get Free Stuff!

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You never know -- calling the corporate office to file a complaint or to compliment good service could lead to free merchandise.

woman on phone

Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I've found that companies really want to hear what consumers have to say about their products and services. Case in point: there are three Pizza Hut restaurants within a few miles of me -- and if I ever called for delivery, each restaurant would pass me to the next, insisting that I was not in their delivery area. A call to corporate headquarters not only cleared up the problem, but had them sending me a coupon for a free pizza.

A lot of times, you only think about calling customer service with a complaint, but they appreciate positive feedback and constructive criticism, too. I always try to call or e-mail about flight attendants or retail salespeople who really go the extra mile for you. I let them know about products I like, too (one reason is so they won't get discontinued!). The goal is just letting the company know what they are doing right or wrong, but sometimes they send you something as a thank-you for taking the time to let them know.

When I wrote about getting my Acuvue contact lenses on a prior blog, I was contacted by a rep for that company and asked if I wanted to try out another of their products. It was a more expensive lens that I wouldn't normally get. I'm wearing them now -- and if I can get a good deal on them in the future, I just might switch. If you have something to say, it's always worth a call!

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lindy January 3, 2010, 8:28 AM

I do that alot and get coupons for free stuff. When I got a DVR and had to hook it up by myself, the cable rep talked me through it and was a great help. I let her supervisor know what a fantastic job she did.

b January 3, 2010, 9:12 AM

wish that were true of Target. I was recently asked to leave the store because my 2 yrd old daughter was throwing the mother of all temper tantrums after i repeatedly placed her back in the buckled seat of the cart. I moved out of the main isle, did my best to calm her down but remain firm at the same time and she continued to scream. The manager asked me to leave the store because people were complaining about the noise she was making. It was 2 days before Christmas and I wasn’t done shopping. And I wasn’t about to leave. I wrote Target about the experience, how humiliating it was to have a store employee ask me to leave when I was doing what was best for my child and how poorly the situation was handled by their staff. I’ve yet to hear anything from them. Not pleased with Target. Don’t try to get anything from them. Their slogan of “Expect more, pay less” is only true, apparently, when you aren’t shopping with a toddler.

tennmom January 3, 2010, 2:18 PM

It never hurts to ask. I must have bought an “old batch” of those packets of dishwasher detergent b/c the orange layer left an orange film on my dishes. The company gladly sent a coupon for a free replacement.
I received several coupons once after finding meal worms in a package of cake mix.

Anonymous January 4, 2010, 8:54 AM

I would have kicked you out of the store too. Nobody wants to hear your screaming kid. Get a sitter, make hubby watch her, etc. We shouldn’t have to put up with it!

Melanie January 4, 2010, 9:18 AM

I totally agree! I often call or email companies in regards to products or services that were great or not so and always take a moment to fill out comment cards. I was in a new Krispy Kreme in our town and my son needed a diaper change. We headed to the bathroom only to discover the giant woman’s room had no changing table and was dirty. I grabbed a comment card on the way out and mailed it in. One week later I had a letter from corporate and a coupon for one dozen donuts.

SW January 4, 2010, 1:58 PM

I complained to Huggies about their Pull-Ups. The box had a bad batch in it. They were all stuck together.
So they sent me a couple coupons for FREE pull-ups, and some other coupons ranging between 1-5 dollars off a box of pull ups.
I also emailed Pampers and said how much I loved their training pants and they also sent me some great coupons.

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