When Filing a Complaint to Save Money Makes Sense (And When it Doesn’t)

by Ashley Eneriz · 2 comments

Just about every company or product has a contact solution for complaints and unsatisfactory service. However, is complaining really worth the time you’re spending to save money? I have seen people take both sides.

Some of us feel that we have spent good money on a product or service and even though we aren’t happy about it, we would rather just forget the experience.

Then on the other side, I have known some individuals to contact almost every company they know to complain about minor issues and wave the BBB in their face.

I’m not saying you take it to that extreme, but does making your complaints known to a company help you save money? Here’s when it makes sense to complain, and when it doesn’t.

When Filing a Complaint is Smart

So when should you complain? And should you complain just to save yourself money or to get something out of it?

Earlier I wrote how I got an extra discount on a fridge from Lowe’s because of a poor service call when the washer and dryer were installed. I’m not talking about complaining about late service people or even the rude ones who leave footprints on your clean carpet. They are annoying, but really not worth wasting your time over.

When my washer and dryer were installed, the installer cut the laundry room’s water line causing water to go everywhere, soaking the carpets and into the walls. He was just going to use towels to mop up the mess and order a new water line. Thankfully my husband got Lowe’s on the line, and they ended up sending out several men with industrial fans to dry out the carpets and drill holes in the wall for ample drying. It took three days for everything to dry out!

Being at home with a six-week-old baby and going through all of this was a little much, so I let Lowe’s know. I told them that I was afraid this was going to happen again if I bought a fridge from them.

The manager of my Lowe’s was quick to call us back and offered a nice discount when we went to buy our fridge. The Lowe’s team then personally installed the fridge the next day instead of using a third-party company like they had with the washer and dryer.

In this instance, I’m happy that I complained, not only because I saved a few hundred dollars on a new fridge, but it also restored my desire to do business with Lowe’s again.

When NOT to File a Complaint

When does it not make sense to complain about service? I think if you received the type of a service that makes you never want to use that company again, you should file a complaint. This gives the company a chance to right their wrong and for you to, hopefully, recoup some of your costs.

Other times, if I buy produce or fresh food at a store, and it gets moldy or is gross, I will also try to take it back to the store. I do so as polite as possible, and the stores I go to are fine with it. No one should spend $4 on a basket of strawberries only to have them growing mold the next day or two.

If it’s convenient to take the product back, then do so. Other times, the drive would have been more time consuming and costly than the actual product was worth, so I just grin and bear it.

There’s nothing wrong with complaining to a company when your service or product is poor quality. No one wants to just throw money away. However, if you find yourself complaining to the manager every time you eat at a restaurant, then perhaps there is more of a problem with your expectations than the service.

Also, if you’re complaining to companies continually with the mindset of getting something back, then this is an issue. Weigh the cost of the item, and the time/effort you’ll put into filing the complaint, before making a decision.

Have you ever complain to a company in order to recoup your costs? Share your experience.

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  • Kayla @ Everything Finance says:

    I don’t complain just to get a discount, I only do it when I think the company needs to know about my concerns.

  • EL says:

    I once bought peanuts and they were stale, I didn’t think to return it to the store. But maybe I could have exchanged it for another similar product. It makes sense to file a complaint when the prices are costlier.

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