As previously discussed, I am a sucker for "free" stuff. Then again, who isn't? As a public service announcement, I wanted to alert everyone to the fact that tomorrow from 10-2 Starbucks is having a "Free Coffee Break". Not as good as Ben and Jerry's free cone day, but tomorrow the buzz is on them! Woo-hoo!
On a related note, I am becoming one of those consumer complainers. Previously, the Hoos would sic me on the customer service departments of the phone or cable company when we were pissed about something. I would "get my b*tch on" and vent, and other than feeling a little better (at the expense of a poor rep) nothing would come of it.
Recently, I have learned how to channel my powers of persuasion for good.
It all started a few months ago when the Hoos broke our Swiffer Wet Jet due to some bizarrely over-zealous mopping. Somehow he managed to break off the metal handle. I wasn't around to witness it, but it was annoying, especially since I had just purchased refills for the pads and liquid cleanser. In response (after rolling my eyes at him), I did what any other working mom with oh-so-much free time would do: I wrote to Swiffer and described my problem. Within a week they sent me a coupon for a FREE replacement. Those things cost $20! Needless to say, I was hooked.
Other recent successes include coupons for free Hefty Bags after one leaked chicken juice all over the meat drawer of my fridge and the free baby gate from EvenFlo because of the useless breast pump. Are the free bags worth the hour I spent disinfecting our entire fridge? No, but I would never get that time back anyway. And the fridge probably could use a monthly scrubbing. Was the horrendous pumping experience in Phoenix worth the free baby gate? Again, no. I am still kicking myself for not just bringing the freaking Medela pump with me. However, the baby gate is useful and now in place after we found LP standing up in front of the stairs earlier this week attempting to reach the Hoos' ratty slippers
Yesterday I shipped our baby monitors back to Graco because they stopped working for some reason. I have no idea why, but the little indicator lights just went dark. Yes, even though our house is slightly larger than a postage stamp, we still need a baby monitor to listen in on LP. I anticipate that they will be sending us new monitors in no time.
The Hoos asked me what exactly I say to the customer service reps when I call in order to accomplish such magic. The conversations are boring. I am just honest. "This used to work, it doesn't now, what can I do?". Even better, I fill out customer feedback forms on the company's Web site. It doesn't take that much time and I feel like I am performing a service. I mean how often do you think people actually call the 800 number on the bottom of the box? If I didn't call the representatives would just be twiddling their thumbs all day.
I guess it is true what they say - you do catch more flies with honey. And you might even get free coffee.