You should never take no for an answer: here’s why

I can be pushy. I like to get my way. Just ask The Boyf who often has to put up with me arguing with everyone and anyone over just about anything. Too often, I find that people take the first answer and don’t put up enough of a ‘fight’ when they need to get things done.

I am a lover, not a fighter but there are times in my life when someone has tried to give me a bum-steer and in many cases this is simply down to sheer laziness on their behalf. Three “pain points” in my recent history reminded me of why you should never take no for an answer.

1. Exchanging an unwanted retail item

Today on my lunchbreak – I had an errand to run. I wanted to exchange an item I had purchased on Friday and exchange it for something else – of higher value – something that should not be a problem in retail in the western world.

I trudged to the shop and brought out the item. It was in perfect condition, tags still attached and in its original bag. The only problem was – I had somehow misplaced my receipt. Having worked previously in retail, I know that a receipt (by law) is not the only way a customer can prove purchase. It’s 2014 and I had an iphone in my hand – so I was instantly able to show the sales assistant what I bought, when I bought it – even down to the exact time – thanks to online banking.

She would not accept this. “No, no…I need your receipt – no exceptions.”   This was not good enough for me. I knew that she had the technology to look up my transaction in her computer. So I asked again.

Again, she insisted that she couldn’t. I asked if she might do me a favour as I had made a special effort to come to the store, and was about to spend even more money – so it wasn’t good business for her to annoy a customer and refuse a sale. She thought about that and got help from her manager who was (of course) able to locate my transaction and receipt in their computer and complete the transaction

2. Questioning a missing transaction at the bank

Yesterday I placed a cheque into my bank account via a system called Quick Deposit. Rather than queue up in line at a busy bank, Australian banks allow you to place your cheques in envelopes and deposit them into a special box – and they should appear (uncleared) in your account by 6pm that night.

Now, I like to keep a very close eye on my finances and I pretty much know how much money I have at all times. Today when I saw that there was no cheque registered in my account (even as un-cleared funds) I called the bank. Frustratingly, they couldn’t help me by phone and suggested I had to go into the bank branch itself to sort it out.

The bank was teeming with people and one busy and flustered teller told me that the cheque would probably take a few more days to reach my account. This sounded wrong to me, as it varied from previous experiences I had had and also their policy itself, which stated that uncleared funds should show up by 6pm. Still, she insisted that I simply wait, and return again tomorrow to check again. Not good enough, in my opinion, after all – aren’t they supposed to be the professionals? I knew that I would probably just be more frustrated when they told me the same thing the next day.

After I questioned her more – I realised that she really had no idea what the processes were and was simply fobbing me off in the hope that I would go away. I take my money very seriously, and I will not be fobbed off – not even for a few hundred bucks. It’s all real money, after all.

With a few more pressing questions, I was taken into an office where a much more senior teller was able to make a few calls and find my missing cheque. I have no idea where it went and why it got lost – all I know was that I left that office with the uncleared cheque now showing up in my account.

3. Fighting an unfair fine from the tax department

Because I like money and I love my country – I am happy to pay my taxes and contribute to the economy. Here in Australia when you don’t pay your tax on time, you get a fine – that’s fair enough.  As you can guess – this is what happened to me, right before Christmas. I failed to pay my tax on time and got hit with not one, but two big fines.

I was stressed and upset but I decided not to concede defeat. I was happy to pay my tax, happy to pay a fine, but was not happy that the amount of the fine fairly reflected my case. So I started to research online and ask advice.

With a few documents and a well-written letter, I called up the tax department and pled my case. After a lengthy and gruelling phone call – they relieved me of one my fines and agreed that it was excessive. With one phone call – I saved more than a week of rent – and that was simply by not taking no for an answer – the first time.

When you should take no for an answer

I can be a brat – most of my friends and family will tell you this. If someone I love tells me ‘no’ I try to leave them alone and not bother them until I get my way…it doesn’t always work out that way!

There are times when it is important to take no for an answer – but often in consumer situations like the ones outlined above – it is important to know your rights and not allow yourself to be fobbed off by those who cannot (or will not) help you.


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