Sunday, March 20, 2011

To complain or not to complain...

Or to return a product or not. To make a fuss or not?

I am one of these people who just cannot stand being rude, confrontational or the teeniest bit assertive. I am logical enough to see that being assertive doesn't necessarily mean being rude but to some extent it's always confrontational. It might not be violent or angry but if you pull someone up on a small mistake (however nicely you do it), there's always going to be an undercurrent of confrontation.

I however take things to extreme. My brain just doesn't work like most people's do. Returning something to the store because it's faulty makes me so uncomfortable because I fear I will be perceived as rude/annoying/arrogant/confronting.
I've been on the other end of the returns counter and in most cases I've never felt that way about the customer who is returning the item (unless they're being an asshat about the whole thing). If anything, I'm extremely apologetic and feel awful that they've been so inconvenienced. But once I'm the one returning the product I just can't do it.

It's so bad that it's a running joke in my family now.

Here are some examples of when I should have returned something or complained or spoken up and I have not. These have all occurred in the past couple of weeks.

* I bought some pre-grated cheese and it was mouldy. I threw it out and went and bought some more.

* I bought a 2L bottle of diet coke. When I opened it, I discovered the seal had been broken and the coke was flat. I poured it down the sink.

* The other night my mum took us all out for dinner and my meal didn't arrive. Everyone else was already almost finished but I didn't say a word. My mother noticed and called over the waiter to ask what had happened to my meal. He apologised, explained it had accidentally been forgotten about and he would be right back with it. I was silent the entire time, beet red and squirming from embarrassment in my chair.

* I went to Ikea the other day and wanted to try one of their Daim cakes. I left their 'market' store only to discover I had bought the wrong kind of cake. The friend I was with told me to go back and just swap it over but I wouldn't, I just said 'No, you can have it'. In the end he went in and bought me the right kind.

*I bought a different brand of cereal the other day, thinking I'd try the home brand since from the packet it looked exactly the same as the branded kind. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever had, it tasted like it had been burnt. Christian had it too and was so annoyed that he actually rang the company to complain. I would have just thrown it out and never bought it again...

And now I have the conundrum that our new toilet seat we got the other day is broken. The thread for the screw is buggered so we can't attach it to our toilet. I've asked Christian to take it back so he can explain why we need a new one but he just gave me a look and told me that I wanted the damn seat so I can take it back and get a new one.
I know that I just won't be able to do it, I'll end up having a panic attack and then leaving it until it's way too late to return in and we'll end up wasting the money we spent on it.
I know it's illogical but unfortunately I did not inherit my father's Vulcan personality so logic be damned!

I may need to use my cunning womanly wiles to convince my dear husband to do this for me. More likely I need to bloody well grow a damn pair and man up.

I'm putting my money on option A...


Oppiejoe said...

You can borrow mine...
*cheesy grin*

(p.s. - you never seem to fret about confrontation when "the line" is involved) :P

Word verification:
Lass I'm Sam?
Lass IS Sam?

jo said...

I'll take it back for you.

DavePrime said...

i understand your dilemma. I finally "grew a pair" by coming to the conclusion that i am actually HELPING the company by returning the product/speaking up. After all, if you owned a company, wouldn't you want to know if there were any problems? Of course you would! So now I make a point of returning anything with a problem so the company doesn't continue to make that mistake and go out of business! See how nice I am! ;-)

Captcha: shutu

(Even the computer is one letter short of telling me to keep quiet!) lol

Shawna said...

Would it help if you took someone with you? Moral support, kind of.

I tend to be kind of selective about what I want to make a fuss about. Some things just aren't worth it, to me.