8 Times You Should Demand a Refund (and What the Heck to Say)
Mum's not the word
You shelled out serious cash for vacation, which means, no, you shouldn’t take it lying down if your hotel room is sub-par. Here, eight times you should always speak up and ask for your money back.
Your Hotel Room Isn't Clean
OK, you definitely spotted a hair on the bathroom towels. You don’t have to upend your entire stay, but it’s worth flagging the front desk to let them know you are dissatisfied. No yelling required—just pop downstairs (or dial them from the in-room phone) and explain the situation. They’ll probably volunteer a discount, but if they don’t, it’s completely within your right to ask for a refund on at least one night.
You Were Charged a Late Fee
You’re always on top of your credit card statements—except for this month when you were traveling and completely forgot to pay the balance on time. Whoops. If this is your first (or, OK, second) offense, call your bank and explain. After calmly giving a reason for missing the payment, request a credit: Keeping your business is their number one goal, after all.
You Got a Bad Blowout
You asked for volume, but whoa, not that much volume. If you’re unhappy with a service that didn’t deliver as promised, speak up. Your options: Either flag a manager discreetly before you pay or shoot an email to the salon owner after the fact. (In the latter case, it never hurts to document the bad hairdo with a pic.) No matter what, be direct and ask for your money back. It’s not about getting a freebie, it’s about getting what you paid for.
Your Plumber Botched the Job
Home repairs can be tricky, but if you’re underwhelmed with the result of a job, don’t let it slide. In most cases, it’s pretty obvious when work wasn’t done correctly—an overflowing toilet is a pretty clear sign. If it’s something you can’t immediately detect (such as generally weak water pressure or a leaky pipe), you can always consult Google or get a second opinion from another contractor. In most cases, you won’t be charged for a consultation, just the actual repair.
You Bought Spoiled Groceries
Didn’t notice the eggs were cracked or the avocado was rotten until you got home? This is another case where your smartphone comes in handy: Instead of making an immediate trip back to the store, snap a pic and save your receipt. Then, the next time you shop—ideally, within a week—go to the customer service booth first with the evidence and ask for your money back.
You Missed a Nonrefundable Flight
No, you didn’t shell out for flight insurance, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve at least some money back. The taxes you paid (sometimes as much as $250) are all due back to you. This is because the fare is the part that’s nonrefundable—the taxes are a government fee. Call the customer service line and complain. They should give you a credit for that amount, no questions asked.
Your Clothing Wore Out Sooner Than Expected
You only wore that romper a few times, but the color faded super fast (like within 90 days). Bring the item back to the store—even without your receipt—and talk to the manager. They should credit you the current cost of the item, as long as it’s still on the rack. (If it’s not on the rack anymore, it never hurts to ask for a store credit for future use.)
You Were Double Charged for Wine
This may seem obvious, but always (always) scan your restaurant bill. You’d be surprised how many slip-ups can happen. If you were overcharged, ask for a refund, even if you don’t notice until the next day.