1 My Last -$100 Bucks: Picking Up the Phone and Getting My Money Back | The Billfold

My Last -$100 Bucks: Picking Up the Phone and Getting My Money Back

It’s easier to spend $100 than to get $100. How did you get your last hundred dollars back, Rebecca Rindler?

-$35: Refund from Amazon Local for a bike tune-up deal. I bought this deal for a tune-up at semi-sketchy, out-of-the-way Bike Shop X. I used it six weeks ago, then realized that I was still having issues with my brakes. My local bike shop dude confirmed that Bike Shop X had done a shoddy job: my replacement brake pads were too dry and they hadn’t trued my front wheel. RAGE. Normally I would take it to the shop and give them an earful, but returning to this bike shop was a huge hassle due to their hours and location. I called Amazon Local’s excellent 24/7 customer service hotline, explained the situation, and they refunded the $35 to my account. (For the record, I bought another bike tune-up deal from Amazon Local earlier this year for a different, beloved bike shop that did an A+ job on my other bike.)

$19.70: Brake pad replacement and trued front wheel at my local bike shop, with a 10% discount from Transit Alternatives. A small drop in the bucket for what I’ve spent on bikes.

-$90: Waived phone upgrade fees. I went to the storefront for my Major Phone Service Provider and asked about the cost to upgrade. The sales rep strongly implied that if I asked, I might get the $30/phone fee waived.

“I mean, I can’t say they will, but I definitely know people who have gotten it waived,” I was told.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I called my Major Phone Service Provider and said we were thinking of upgrading all the phones on our family plan. Also, we were thinking of switching to Other Major Service Provider. I told the customer service rep that renewing our contract sounded good, but $30 per phone in upgrade fees was a lot, was there anything she could do to waive it?

“I don’t know,” she said. [Bell sound] DING DING DING! (That’s the sound of my sixth sense for negotiation going off.) I asked if she could speak to her supervisor about waiving the fee. She put me on hold for a very long time, then came back and said YES. Credit that $90 to the power of perseverance (and the power of asking. Special shout out to the sales rep at the store who strongly implied this would happen).


Rebecca Rindler is earning back the cost of her MBA, one negotiation at a time. She writes about biking with Alex Baca for this site.

Photo: Matthew 200tx


5 Comments / Post A Comment

muush (#521)

This is probably not related AT ALL but this post just inspired me to use up all my expired Groupons (expired ones can be redeemed for the amount that you paid for them).. so, thank you!

PicNic (#3,760)

I am terrible at negotiating! I’ve never had a bank fee waived, gotten a deal on my cable/internet package, or NOT paid the full price for a phone upgrade. I’ve tried all the tactics everyone always tells you to try. I said I was thinking about switching to Other Bank and My Bank was like “ok sounds good, we’ll get the paperwork drawn up” and then it became an elaborate game of chicken where I didn’t change banks, mostly because of everything that’s already setup for automatic withdrawal.

Clare (#2,138)

@PicNic I feel your pain. Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of 0% interest on purchase and balance transfers offers from other credit card companies. Last week I called Bank of America to find out if they would play ball and match the rate (“because I’d hate to have to go through the hassle of opening another card and transferring my balance”), and they would only bring the interest rate down by one percentage point.

Cup of T (#2,533)

Oh man that is some impressive negotiating! I tend to just give up when it seems like the hassle/time will be too much- this is inspiring me to get my haggle on.

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