customer service http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/376/all en-US 8 Ways Your Customer Service Job Can Help You Win at Life http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-customer-service-job-can-help-you-win-at-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-your-customer-service-job-can-help-you-win-at-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/waitress_holding_tray_with_cappuccinos.jpg" alt="Waitress holding tray with cappuccinos" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you'd hoped for a different job by this point in your life, but here you are, still waiting tables, and it feels like you will never move up in the world.</p> <p>But here's the good news: While serving people may not be what you want to do forever, you will learn some important lessons along the way. These will not only make you a better person, but are also likely to make you more successful later in life.</p> <h2>1. You learn to be polite to everyone</h2> <p>When you're serving people, you have to be polite, even when they aren't polite to you. Customers can do and say some horrible things, but you still have to smile and do your best to get them what they want. Sure, it's frustrating at the time, but these are skills that you need to learn. There are, unfortunately, rude people in every walk and station of life, and learning how to deal with them will make you happier and less likely to lose your cool later, when it could matter more.</p> <h2>2. You learn to prioritize</h2> <p>When the restaurant rush is on and you're slammed, you have to figure out how to be as efficient as possible. Instead of running to the kitchen seven separate times, you learn to do things in batches. Instead of bringing all of the condiments individually, you learn to grab them all at once. Working in the service industry, especially during busy times, helps you decide quickly what is important, what can wait, and which tasks best go together.</p> <p>No matter what you do later in life, these skills will help you do it better. They will make you a more productive employee, whether you are deciding which arguments are the most important in legal cases, or triaging injuries in an emergency room.</p> <h2>3. You learn which battles are worth fighting</h2> <p>At some point in your service industry job, people are probably going to treat you poorly. While these can be miserable experiences in the moment, they can help you learn when you need to stand up for yourself and when it's better to just smile, nod, and be on your way. This will help you to be a calmer person, and also to be more confident about when you should take a stand.</p> <h2>4. You learn to embrace pressure</h2> <p>Service industry jobs come with a lot of pressure, especially when it's busy and people are putting in complicated orders or making very specific requests. If you stay long enough, you will learn to thrive under this kind of pressure. You will become someone who is unruffled, even when things get hectic, and someone who can be relied upon even when life is challenging.</p> <p>And life<em> is</em> challenging. So learning how to function well, how to control your stress reactions, and how to be kind and polite even when the heat is on will serve you throughout life. It will make you the kind of person who doesn't melt down simply because things got hard for a little while.</p> <h2>5. You learn empathy</h2> <p>I have found it to be universally true that everyone you meet is fighting a battle of some sort. When you work in the service industry, you will eventually learn this. That customer who reordered her food five times just found out she has a severe allergy and is terrified of eating something that will make her sick. The child who screams for the entire dinner just got out of the hospital. The harried parent is involved in a messy divorce.</p> <p>As you work, you will hear people's stories and sometimes they will involve hard, awful things. Hearing these, and seeing how so much of our bad behavior comes from stress and pain, will teach you empathy. It will help you see things from a different perspective, which makes you a better person overall.</p> <h2>6. You learn humility</h2> <p>You are more than your job. But while you're at work, you still have to do that job. And service industry jobs are not about you, but about whatever product you are offering, and about the people you are offering it to. Service industry jobs teach you to step outside of yourself and be about something else for a little while.</p> <p>Anyone who can step outside of themselves for a job can also do it for their spouse, their children, or for another job that means more to them. While you should never sacrifice yourself long term, being able to do it for a period of time means that you understand that it's not all about you all the time, and you can let life &mdash; even your life &mdash; be about someone or something else in certain times and under certain circumstances.</p> <h2>7. You learn the importance of manners</h2> <p>It only takes someone being rude to you once or twice for you to learn the importance of good manners. Even the difference between an order given gruffly and one with a &quot;please&quot; will astound you. As you take these lessons to heart, you will learn to use your own manners, no matter the circumstances. Being rude never makes things better.</p> <h2>8. You learn to work with people you don't like</h2> <p>You will be on a team throughout life. Even in your home, as you marry and maybe have children, you will be part of a team. Sometimes, you won't like the other people on your team (even when that person is your spouse!). But you will still have to work with them. A service industry job can help you learn how to do that.</p> <p>There will most likely be people you don't like at work. But learning how to communicate with them, and how to break up the necessary workload with them, will help you succeed later in life, when working as a team may be even more important.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-your-customer-service-job-can-help-you-win-at-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Your%2520Customer%2520Service%2520Job%2520Can%2520Help%2520You%2520Win%2520at%2520Life_1.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Your%20Customer%20Service%20Job%20Can%20Help%20You%20Win%20at%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Your%20Customer%20Service%20Job%20Can%20Help%20You%20Win%20at%20Life_2.jpg" alt="8 Ways Your Customer Service Job Can Help You Win at Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-customer-service-job-can-help-you-win-at-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-job-myths-boomers-should-stop-believing">6 Job Myths Boomers Should Stop Believing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-freelancers-and-telecommuters-can-make-friends-and-network">11 Ways Freelancers and Telecommuters Can Make Friends and Network</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-life-skills-your-kids-wont-learn-in-school">7 Life Skills Your Kids Won&#039;t Learn in School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-act-like-a-leader-and-get-ahead-at-work">10 Ways to Act Like a Leader -- And Get Ahead at Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Lifestyle better person customer service empathy job skills life lessons manners server service job teamwork waiter waitress Mon, 10 Jul 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1980031 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Fire Your Real Estate Agent http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fire-your-real-estate-agent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-fire-your-real-estate-agent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/worried_estate_agent.jpg" alt="Worried estate agent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're selling a home or buying one, your realtor is a key partner in the process.</p> <p>When you're selling, you want your real estate agent to negotiate the highest price for your home in as few days as possible. When you're buying, you want your agent to find the best house for you at the lowest price.</p> <p>Working with the right agent can help you save or make a significant amount of money in what might be the biggest financial transaction of your life. So if you're dissatisfied with your agent, it might be time to break up your relationship.</p> <p>But how do you do this?</p> <h2>Breaking up when buying</h2> <p>Ending a relationship with an agent who is helping you buy a home is simple. That's largely because you don't pay these agents, even when they successfully help you find and purchase a home.</p> <p>When you close on a home, your agent is paid by the seller from the proceeds of the home's sale. The listing agent and the agent representing the buyer split a commission equally. This commission is usually 5 percent or 6 percent of the home sale &mdash; meaning that the agent representing you gets 2.5 percent or 3 percent of the money. That money does not come from your pocket. It comes from the seller's.</p> <p>Because of this, most buyers don't even sign a contract stating that they are working with an agent. They just start working with that agent, who will show them homes available for sale. That agent will also draw up the offer papers when buyers find a home they want to purchase and will handle negotiations to close the sale on behalf of the buyer.</p> <p>If you no longer want to work with your buyer's agent, ending the relationship is as simple as telling them. Give them a call and politely explain that you don't feel that they're the right fit for you.</p> <h2>Breaking up when selling</h2> <p>Ending a relationship with a real estate agent gets more complicated when they're helping you sell your house.</p> <p>Because you are the one who pays your agent, you'll have to sign a contract. Most contracts between a homeowner and real estate agent are &quot;exclusive right to sell.&quot; These contracts state that the listing agent receives the commission when the home sells no matter who finds the buyer. The contract will also state the commission you'll pay, usually 5 percent or 6 percent of the sale. It will also state the duration of the agreement, perhaps three or six months. Typically, you'll want this duration to be as short as possible. Then if you're unhappy, you can simply end the relationship by not renewing the contract.</p> <h3>Ending the contract early</h3> <p>Before you sign a contract, ask your agent what happens if you are unhappy with the service. Will he or she will let you cancel the contract before its end date? What conditions need to be met to allow a quicker break of the contract? Agents might agree to let you out of your contract if a certain number of showings aren't scheduled or offers aren't made during a set period of time. This is important: It's easier to break a contract if you can prove that your agent isn't fulfilling the duties listed in the contract.</p> <p>Some agents will let you end the relationship early simply because they don't want to work with a client who isn't pleased with their services. Agents rely on positive recommendations from past clients; they don't want to take the chance that an angry client will spread negative information about them.</p> <p>If you're unhappy with your agent, contact them immediately. Explain, politely, why you want to break your contract. Maybe you don't think your agent is doing enough to market your home. Maybe you aren't happy with the photos they took or the online listing they created. Your agent might be willing to make changes in the service he or she is providing to resolve your differences. If the differences can't be resolved, the brokerage in which your agent works will usually provide you with a different agent from its office with whom you can work.</p> <p>If you don't want to work with the brokerage at all, you'll have to rely on its mercy when trying to break a listing contract before it expires. Some brokerages will let you break your contract if you're not happy. Others won't. Remember, your agent and brokerage have no legal obligation to let you out of a contract as long as the agent is fulfilling the duties listed in it. You can hire a lawyer to break a contract, but there is no guarantee that you'll succeed. Pursuing this option will also be costly.</p> <p>Sometimes your best option is to wait out the contract until it expires. This is why signing a contract with the shortest duration is the smartest move.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fire-your-real-estate-agent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homebuying-questions-youre-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Homebuying Questions You&#039;re Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-house-in-24-hours">How to Sell Your House in 24 Hours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-real-estate-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">8 Things Real Estate Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash for a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing breaking contract buying a home customer service firing real estate agent Realtor selling a home unhappy Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1957902 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Was Your Best Experience With Customer Service? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-best-experience-with-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-best-experience-with-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shop_owner_530732599.jpg" alt="Woman having the best experience with customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to Davalyn, Raina, and Susan for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Stories about terrible customer service &mdash; and terrible customers &mdash; get a lot of mileage, but it's worth recognizing the times when customer service gets it right.</p> <p><strong>What was your best experience with customer service?</strong> What was the initial issue, and how was it resolved? If you've been on the &quot;service&quot; side of customer service, what are some of your favorite memories of interacting with customers?</p> <p>Tell us about your best customer service experience and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win:</p> <ul> <li>Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.</li> <li>Visit our Facebook page for an entry.</li> </ul> <p>Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:</p> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa298/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa298" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_npt44iih">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 15th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 15th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook or Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your best experience with customer service and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-was-your-best-experience-with-customer-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-volunteer-experience-had-the-deepest-impact-on-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Volunteer Experience Had the Deepest Impact on You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers customer service Tue, 09 May 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1940412 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-155431059.jpg" alt="make more money selling on ebay" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Selling unwanted items on eBay is a great way to clear away clutter and make some extra money on the side. Use these tips, and you'll start making even more.</p> <h2>1. Take Clear Pictures</h2> <p>Clear, sharp, and well-lit pictures are important. This is the first thing buyers will notice when looking at whatever it is you're selling. While it's a good idea to include the manufacturer's photo of the item, you'll also want to include some of your own so that bidders will know exactly what they're purchasing. They will also be looking at the background in the photos, so make sure to take them in a clean, well-lighted space.</p> <h2>2. Write a Good Description</h2> <p>Write an accurate, thorough description. Make sure to specify the brand, type, size, color, material, and other important keywords for the item you're selling. You will also want to clearly specify the condition of the item. In the description field, highlight the benefits of the product and what makes it different from another seller's listing. Check for misspellings in your description, which can throw off your keywords and make your item more difficult to find.</p> <h2>3. Determine Your Pricing</h2> <p>To set a price, first do some market research to see what identical items in similar condition are selling for, and how it compares to the original asking price. Be sure to also factor in the cost of shipping, packing supplies, and <a href="http://www.fees.ebay.com/feeweb/feecalculator" target="_blank">calculate any fees</a>.</p> <h2>4. Timing Is Everything</h2> <p>You can set the time that your listing will begin and expire on eBay. It's important to take into account that you may have bidders on both the East and West Coast, so you want to set your listing to end at a time that is convenient for both timezones.</p> <p>According to eBay, buyers are most active between 5 p.m. PST and 10 p.m. PST. In most cases, it's wise to end your listing between 6 p.m. PST and 9 p.m. PST. This allows bidders to place their final bid once they are home from work, but before they go to sleep, regardless of which coast they are on. Sunday is generally the best day of the week to end your sale. Weekends see the most traffic on eBay, and Sunday evening is the most active.</p> <h2>5. Set Unsuccessful Listings to Resell</h2> <p>eBay will allow you to relist items that didn't sell up to three times at no extra charge. If you set each listing to seven days and choose the option to resell unsuccessful listings, your item will be up for a total of 21 days at no fee.</p> <h2>6. Bundle Items Together</h2> <p>Whenever possible, bundle items together. This makes it seem like buyers are getting a better deal, and can help make your listing stand out. Best of all, it can save you time and money on shipping. This is especially effective around the holidays when shoppers are looking for gifts.</p> <h2>7. Have Positive Feedback</h2> <p>Bidders will look at your feedback, so it's important that you have some positive reviews. If you haven't sold anything or don't have any reviews yet, consider selling some smaller items first so that you can build up some positive feedback. This will allow buyers to be more confident in you when considering a high priced item.</p> <h2>8. Offer Free Shipping</h2> <p><a href="http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/shipping/best-practices.html" target="_blank">According to eBay</a>, most buyers are looking for items that offer free shipping. It allows buyers to see the total price easily rather than having to factor in an additional cost. If you don't want to offer free shipping, then offer cheaper shipping.</p> <p>Make sure to ship through your eBay dashboard. This will make it more convenient for you, and results in <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/shipping/shipping-basics.html#labels" target="_blank">shipping discounts</a> of up to 24% on Priority Mail and up to 37% on FedEx shipments. It also allows the buyer to automatically track the shipment and can charge your PayPal account for the shipping fees.</p> <h2>9. Ship Items Quickly</h2> <p>By shipping your items quickly, you can get more positive feedback, which is important to future sales. International shipping can be expensive and time-consuming, so you may want to turn international shipping options off when selling your item.</p> <h2>10. Answer Buyers' Questions<strong> </strong></h2> <p>If a potential buyer asks a question about your product, it's important that you respond quickly and accurately. If you take your time answering, the buyer may have moved on to another seller and you'll lose out on a sale.</p> <h2>11. Offer Good Customer Service</h2> <p>If you are frequently selling items, issues are certain to happen from time to time. As the seller, you have the responsibility to make an effort to provide customer satisfaction. This may mean accepting a return even when you feel you were accurate in your description, or providing a partial refund to satisfy a complaint. Do your best to remain respectful and calm, even if you feel the buyer is being unreasonable.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-always-buy-and-sell-on-ebay">10 Things You Should Always Buy and Sell on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency">6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-weird-things-to-sell-on-ebay-for-extra-cash">6 Weird Things to Sell on eBay for Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income bidders clutter customer service eBay making money online auctions sales selling shipping Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1881631 at http://www.wisebread.com Switch to a Better Bank in 5 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_check_78686861.jpg" alt="Woman switching to a new bank in 5 easy steps" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Switching banks is a pain. You have to close accounts, research new banks, and rework all those automatic bill payments you've set up at the financial institution you'd like to leave.</p> <p>But sometimes making the switch is the right move. Maybe your bank has raised its fees. Maybe it's closed the branches that operated near your home or work. And if you're moving, you might have no choice but to make the switch.</p> <p>Yes, switching banks does take a bit of work. But it's relatively simple work.</p> <p>If you need or want to switch to a new bank, follow this simple step-by-step guide. Doing so will ease any stress from jumping to a new financial institution.</p> <h2>1. Research a New Bank</h2> <p>Before closing any accounts at your current bank, make sure that you spend some time researching a new home for your money. Choose a bank that offers online bill pay and direct deposit, of course. You also want one that offers free checking and higher interest rates on savings accounts &mdash; relatively speaking, since interest rates are still near historic lows.</p> <p>Customer service matters, too. Search for a bank that has plenty of ATMs near you and that still operates branches within a short drive of your home or office. You might also consider investigating a credit union or an online bank, both solid alternatives to traditional banks.</p> <p>The key in this search is the checking account. Make sure you know exactly how your new checking account will operate. Is there a minimum-balance requirement? Are there fees if you make too many withdrawals during a month? How large of an initial deposit do you need to set up your new account? These are all key questions that you should answer during your research.</p> <h2>2. Open Your New Checking Account</h2> <p>Once you select a new bank, start the switching process by opening a checking account there. Do this before you close the checking account at the bank you are leaving. You might still need money in your old account to cover payments that haven't yet cleared.</p> <p>To open a checking account, you'll need some basic information. You'll need to provide, of course, your name, address, and date of birth. But you'll also need to provide your Social Security number and one official piece of photo identification. Usually, this will be your driver's license. But banks will also accept an official state ID card or your passport.</p> <p>Your bank will then require you to make an initial deposit into your new account. How big this deposit must be will vary by bank.</p> <h2>3. Cancel Automatic Payments at the Bank You Are Leaving</h2> <p>Once you've established a checking account at your new bank, it's time to cancel any automatic payments that you've set up at the bank you are leaving. Do this right away, so that your creditors don't try to take money out of an account that is either empty or has been officially closed.</p> <p>Then set up the same automatic payments with your new bank. You'll need your bank's routing number and address and your checking account number to do this.</p> <p>If you had signed up to have your paycheck deposited directly into your old account, cancel that direct-deposit arrangement, too. Then contact your company's human resources department to move your direct deposits to your new checking account.</p> <h2>4. Close Your Old Account &mdash; When the Time Is Right</h2> <p>You can now close your old account, if all of the checks you've written against it have cleared. Compare your check register against your online account to make sure.</p> <p>If you don't do this? Any checks that have not yet cleared will bounce if your old account is closed. The companies that you were paying might charge you late fees if this happens. This danger is why it usually makes sense to wait at least a month after opening your new checking account before closing your old one.</p> <h2>5. Get It in Writing</h2> <p>When you're sure that all your checks and payments have cleared, you can officially close that old account. Doing this in person might be the best choice. That way you can instantly receive written verification that your account has been closed. You'll want this documentation in case your former bank reopens your account or claims that it was never shut down in the first place.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sales-strategies-your-bank-uses-to-make-money">5 Sales Strategies Your Bank Uses to Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-the-difference-between-a-federal-and-non-federal-credit-union">Here&#039;s the Difference Between a Federal and Non-Federal Credit Union</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-to-love-your-bank">6 Reasons to Love Your Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-a-good-interest-rate-in-a-low-rate-environment">How to Earn a Good Interest Rate in a Low-Rate Environment</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking automatic payments checking accounts credit unions customer service interest rates savings accounts switching banks Fri, 04 Nov 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 1826531 at http://www.wisebread.com Sam's Club or Costco: Which Warehouse Club Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_shopping_cart_33524102.jpg" alt="Couple deciding if sam&#039;s club or costco is right for them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Costco or Sam's? The debate has raged for years and typically involves a pricing breakdown of each warehouse retail giant. But what most comparisons fail to cover are all the intangibles that a membership brings &mdash; things like the return policy and member services that you probably didn't know exist. Well, until now, that is. Here's how the two warehouse giants stack up so you can make an informed decision.</p> <h2>Return Policy (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Costco has a&nbsp;<a href="https://customerservice.costco.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1191">legendary return policy</a> which states they'll allow you to return any item, at any time, no questions asked.</p> <p>Unfortunately, their policy was abused in recent years, especially on electronics, and has changed to a 90-day return policy on computers, TVs, tablets, cameras, cellphones, and the like. But what makes Costco's return policy so amazing is that you can bring items back for a full refund without the original packaging, and without your receipt, as they have a record of all your purchases in their system. I was recently able to bring back a Keurig coffee maker that stopped working six months after I purchased it and they gave me full refund, no questions asked. The only items you flat-out can't return at Costco are alcohol, cigarettes, and special orders.</p> <p>Sam's Club&nbsp;<a href="http://www.samsclub.com/sams/pagedetails/content.jsp?pageName=returns">return policy</a> is solid but not quite as attractive. Like Costco, you can return most items at any time for a full refund. But what makes their return policy less attractive is their long list of exceptions. For example, similar to Costco, you have 90 days to return electronics like TVs, computers, and cameras. But this 90-day policy at Sam's also extends to unopened movies, music, and software. Also, you only have 14 days to return connected devices like cellphones and tablets and they must be returned to same store where you purchased them.</p> <p>Furthermore, unlike Costco, Sam's highly recommends that products are returned in their original packaging and you have your receipt in hand. If you don't have either, they claim they'll do their best to process your return, but they reserve the right to deny it. Popular items that you can't return to Sam's Club include alcohol, prescriptions, tickets, tobacco products, and gift cards.</p> <h2>Credit Card (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Both stores offer a co-branded credit card. However, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers?ref=internal">Costco&rsquo;s Credit Card</a> includes bonus rewards for Costco purchases which, is really the whole point of using a co-branded card. Why would you sign up for a Sam&rsquo;s Club credit card if it only gives you the minimum 1% cash back on Sam&rsquo;s Club purchases and any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash rewards credit card</a> could offer? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-to-use-at-costco?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>Lower Prices (Winner: Toss-Up)</h2> <p>The brain-trust at Consumer Reports recently did a <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumer-reports-put-costco-sams-163618887.html">head-to-head pricing challenge</a> between Sam's and Costco. Interestingly, they found that both clubs offered comparable prices across all departments in the warehouse. Many of the pricing discrepancies were merely regional and didn't hold true across all stores. Thus, they essentially called the two stores' pricing a tie and gave a slight advantage to Costco overall due mainly to customer service and product quality of the Kirkland brand. But keep in mind that this slight advantage to Costco comes with a $15 a year higher price tag, as membership starts at $60 while Sam's starts at only $45. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals?ref=seealso">Wal-Mart vs. Sam's Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a>)</p> <h2>Better Coupons (Winner: Toss-Up)</h2> <p>In recent years, both wholesale clubs have gone to an &quot;instant savings&quot; coupon booklet which automatically loads club member's cards with discounts on specific items. That discount is then taken at the register and you're not required to clip a coupon or even have the coupon book in your possession. Both club's coupon booklets last about 24 days before expiring. The Costco coupon booklet gets the nod in terms of savings on furniture, electronics, and gadgets, while the Sam's Club booklet has better savings on grocery and household items. In other words, one is not necessarily better than the other; they'll just appeal to different shoppers.</p> <h2>Services Provided (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Both clubs offer member services that extend way beyond a low price on toilet paper and chicken thighs. For example, both memberships come with pharmacy services, optical services, hearing aid services, auto buying programs, identity protection, insurance programs, and business payment processing to name a few. But Costco gets the overall nod here as they also offer a highly regarded <a href="https://costcofinance.com/">mortgage service</a>. Many members like it because it removes the guesswork out of the often murky loan fees associated with home mortgages. Their fee schedule is simple; $350 for executive members and $650 for gold star members. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">10 Things You Probably Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>Membership Fee Discount (Winner: Sam's Club)</h2> <p>Costco rarely, if ever, offers a discount to entice new members to sign up. Sam's Club, on the other hand, is always throwing a bone or two to get new shoppers to test drive a membership. For example, they just recently had a deal where you could score the basic $45 Sam's Club membership along with $95 worth of upgrades and freebies that included a $20 gift card, free pizza, free cookies, and a free upgrade to the &quot;Plus&quot; membership. Don't sneeze at the membership upgrade &mdash; plus members are granted $10 back on every $500 spent, five free prescriptions per year, and early morning access to the warehouse. They seem to run these types on &quot;new member&quot; deals and upgrades quarterly, so keep an eye out on their <a href="https://www3.samsclub.com/best-deals/membership-deals/">promotions page</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership?ref=seealso">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping costco coupons customer service discounts membership fees return policies sam's club warehouse stores Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Kyle James 1784941 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Beat Bad Customer Service http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-beat-bad-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-beat-bad-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_angry_phone_call_94964449.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to beat bad customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to beat bad customer service, grocery items you&rsquo;re overspending on, and how to do a wedding for less than $10,000.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/bad-customer-service-14264/">Get Satisfaction: 16 Ways to Beat Bad Customer Service</a> &mdash; Don't be afraid to follow up on an inquiry or complaint. Follow-ups are usually bumped up to the front of the queue. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.5dollardinners.com/10-grocery-items-youre-overspending-on-plus-10-items-not-to-buy-at-the-grocery-store/">10 Grocery Items You&rsquo;re Overspending On&hellip;Plus 10 Items NOT to Buy at the Grocery Store!</a> &mdash; Instead of buying packages of fresh herbs every time you need them, get small planters of your favorite herbs and grow them yourself. [$5 Dinners]</p> <p><a href="http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com/2016/08/20/how-to-do-a-wedding-for-under-10000/">How To Do A Wedding For Under $10,000</a> &mdash; Instead of going to expensive specialty vendors, talk to your local stores &mdash; like the corner bakery for your wedding cake and a grocery store for flowers. [Your Smart Money Moves]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0801/Save-while-you-shave-How-to-find-the-best-razor-for-your-face-and-your-wallet">Save while you shave: How to find the best razor for your face and your wallet</a> &mdash; There are two kinds of electric razors: foil and rotary. Choosing the right kind for you depends on your hair type, skin type, how often you shave, and other factors. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Reasons-Study-Abroad-42250941">Nevermind the Brochures &mdash; Here's Why You Should Really Study Abroad</a> &mdash; Logistically, studying abroad is the easiest way to experience life overseas. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-ways-to-get-your-child-back-on-a-school-schedule">6 Ways to Get Your Child Back on a School Schedule</a> &mdash; Check if there are any traffic changes or construction zones along the route to school. You may need to alter your commute to ensure everyone gets to school and work on time. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/health/youre-exhausted-costing-money-fix/70977">You&rsquo;re Exhausted and It&rsquo;s Costing You Money: How to Fix It</a> &mdash; Prioritize getting to bed at a reasonable hour. We need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to feel our best. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/debt-doesnt-just-happen-warning-signs-to-watch-for/">Debt Doesn&rsquo;t Just Happen: Warning Signs to Watch For</a> &mdash; Are you using the need to build up credit as an excuse to rack up debt? [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/how-to-survive-a-layoff/">How to Survive a Layoff</a> &mdash; It's easy to waste away the day when you don't have a job to go to. It's important to make a schedule for the things you're supposed to do each day. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/08/implementation-intentions.html">Use This Strategy to Never Hit The Snooze Button Again</a> &mdash; Deciding in advance that you will get up when the alarm goes off takes the snooze option off the table. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-beat-bad-customer-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beating-corporate-america-at-its-own-game">Beating corporate America at its own game</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-launder-money">How to Launder Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best money tips customer service Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Amy Lu 1778318 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Brands With the Best Warranties http://www.wisebread.com/6-brands-with-the-best-warranties <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-brands-with-the-best-warranties" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/38524086.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a huge letdown that we've all faced: You've invested in a reputedly quality-made product and it breaks, malfunctions, or otherwise falls eons short of your humble expectations. (Cue the sad trombone.)</p> <p>Fortunately, if you're shopping the right brands, there's a way out of this situation. There are a handful of companies that not only make durable gear, but also back those claims of durability with warranty programs to facilitate repairs, returns, exchanges, or money-back guarantees and are fair and easy. Okay, some of these warranties aren't exactly fair. But rest assured that with these brands any unfairness is rigged in favor of the consumer, bar none. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service?ref=seealso">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a>)</p> <h2>1. Sears Craftsman</h2> <p>In 2016, the Sears Craftsman brand of hand tools for lawn and garden maintenance was named <a href="http://www.theharrispoll.com/business/2016-Brands-of-the-Year.html">America's brand of the year</a> for power tools by The Harris Poll, a respected and academically vetted index of superior brand quality. And with a warranty program like the one offered by Craftsman, it's not hard to see why the company ranks so high.</p> <p>When Craftsman hand tools hit the market in 1927, the company instituted an unlimited lifetime warranty under which any Craftsman item can be returned, replaced, or repaired, free of charge, for any reason &mdash; no proof of purchase necessary. &quot;We stand behind the warranty &mdash; <a href="https://consumerist.com/2009/03/25/sears-clarifies-craftsman-tools-warranty/">complete satisfaction &mdash; period</a>,&quot; says David Figler, vice president of Craftsman tools. Of course, complete satisfaction is hard to define. In fact, it's really quite subjective. But Craftsman vows to leave it up to the consumer to gauge his or her own satisfaction. This generous guarantee is all about keeping the customer content.</p> <h2>2. LL Bean</h2> <p>Catalog retailer LL Bean will take anything back, for any reason, in any condition, and replace it. It's unbelievable what people will send back: a 40-year-old T-shirt that has worn a small hole, muddy and rain-soaked camping gear, or perfectly good bedding that's no longer needed because the consumer upgraded to a king-size bed. The list goes on and on and on. The folks who staff the LL Bean returns department are under strict orders to <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/591/get-your-moneys-worth">refrain from passing any judgement</a> on the people who bring back things with which they were clearly satisfied &mdash; so satisfied, in fact, that they wore the items out over a lifetime of heavy use. Alas, LL Bean vows not to play the moral police. If you say you're unsatisfied with an LL Bean product, no employee will question you. Rather, they will bestow upon you a new version of the thing you wore out, or full store credit.</p> <h2>3. Aldi</h2> <p>Discount grocer Aldi doesn't just guarantee its products &mdash; it double guarantees them. If you're not fully satisfied with an item, the store will both <a href="https://www.aldi.us/en/new-to-aldi/double-guarantee/">replace the item and refund your money</a>. This uber-generous warranty simply requires that consumers return the product packaging and any unused product to a local store manager. It's as easy as that!</p> <h2>4. Cutco</h2> <p>Probably the least exciting household item you'll ever have to replace is your cutlery. Here's how to avoid it: Invest in Cutco knives, which are backed by <a href="https://www.cutco.com/products/the-forever-guarantee.jsp">a forever guarantee</a>. Like heirloom jewelry, Cutco knives are intended to be passed down within families for generations. To that end, the company will sharpen or repair its products, a service that costs $9 in shipping and handling, and vows to return them to you in like-new condition &mdash; no receipt or registration required. If you're not satisfied with a product's performance, the company will correct the problem or replace the product. All you have to do is mail the product back to the company with an explanatory note. And should you damage your Cutco knives through misuse, the company will replace the item for half of its current retail price plus any applicable sales tax.</p> <h2>5. Dr. Martens</h2> <p>Ranging from the <a href="http://footwearnews.com/2016/focus/womens/dr-martens-x-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-collection-launches-boots-226787/">whimsical</a> to the <a href="http://www.drmartens.com/us/p/industrial-boots-industrial-grizzly-ironbridgeim">industrial</a>, there's a Dr. Martens boot style for just about everyone. In fact, that's one reason why the brand's combat boot, available in a huge range of colors and patterns, has been named one of celebrity stylist June Ambrose's top <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/stylist-june-ambrose-shares-back-to-school-picks-w433724">must-haves for back-to-school</a>. And while Dr. Martens aren't exactly inexpensive, parents can rest assured that a Dr. Martens purchase is money well spent. That's because the brand's footwear is backed by a lifetime guarantee. The company promises to continually repair or replace any pair of shoes <a href="http://drmartensforlife.com/for-life-products/">for the rest of its wearer's life</a>.</p> <h2>6. Jansport</h2> <p>The popular backpack and luggage company asserts that its products are durable. Of course, tears and zipper malfunctions sometimes happen. If the company can't fix a flaw in one of its products, it vows to replace or refund it. It doesn't matter what adventurous trek you've tested it on or how long ago you bought it. This lifetime guarantee comes with <a href="http://www.jansport.com/customer-service/lifetime-warranty.html">no strings attached</a>.</p> <p><em>What other brands have great warranties? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-brands-with-the-best-warranties">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-brands-making-the-world-a-better-place">5 Big Brands Making the World a Better Place</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sneaky-store-perks-that-make-you-overspend">4 Sneaky Store Perks That Make You Overspend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retailers-use-big-data-to-track-you">8 Ways Retailers Use Big Data to Track You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping brands customer service retailers return policy shop smart shopping habits warranties Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1775147 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/palm_trees_plane_81687745.jpg" alt="Learning which airlines have the best customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Flying is not the customer-focused experience it was back in the 60s and 70s. In fact, talk about flying to many people today and a grimace will make its way onto their faces. Some say that a plane has become nothing more than a Greyhound bus with wings, and the airlines seem to charge for every little thing. From fees for both checked and carry-on bags, fees for online check-in, charges for movies and meals, and even paying to rent headsets, you get very little for your money these days.</p> <p>So, when AirlineQualityRating.com releases the findings of its annual customer service study, everyone who flies should take note. If you are going to be in the air, it may as well be with one of the top five airlines that excel at customer service. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Virgin America</h2> <p>The airline owned by Sir Richard Branson continues to have an incredibly positive impact on those who fly the Virgin skies. It all starts when you enter the aircraft and are greeted by a sumptuous glow of purple in the main cabin (and when you get to Select and First Class, you're in a completely different world). Seats in the main cabin are soft black leather, and of course, there is the vast array of on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi, personal outlets, and snacks including jerky sausage and veggie chips.</p> <p>However, where Virgin America really steps it up is the customer service, and the overall passenger experience. Virgin recently introduced &quot;Seat-to-Seat delivery + Chat,&quot; and it's the kind of innovation that Sir Branson is known to embrace. If you're on a flight and fancy striking up a conversation with someone, be it a friend, a co-worker, or a complete stranger, the on-board touch screen system lets you break the ice by sending a drink or a snack to another seat. You can also mingle in a chat room, or flirt with someone you saw as you were getting on board. Suddenly, the prospect of a long flight can be turned on its head, and you are now entering an experience similar to a bar or club that uses social media. What's more, the flight attendants are known to be some of the most friendly (and funny) flying today.</p> <p>It was recently reported that Alaska Airlines plans to purchase Virgin America for $2.6 billion. No doubt the continued excellence in customer service, and on board innovation, was a big part of that purchasing decision. Let's hope it doesn't negatively affect the Virgin America experience.</p> <h2>2. JetBlue</h2> <p>The JetBlue experience is certainly different from most carriers these days. Take a quick look at their &quot;Experience JetBlue&quot; page and the first thing you'll see is the word <em>free</em>.</p> <p>Yes. Free. And this is from a low-cost carrier.</p> <p>Once you're onboard a JetBlue flight, you are treated to <em>unlimited </em>free brand name snacks and drinks, including Cheez-Its, Craisins, Terra Blues, and an array of cold Coke and Seagrams beverages. Dunkin' Donuts provides the tea and coffee. JetBlue also boasts the most legroom in coach of any airlines, and you can boost that to an Even More Space seat if you feel like treating yourself.</p> <p>And then, of course, there's the customer service. It's award-winning, ensuring your travel is the very best. To this end, JetBlue introduced the Customer Bill of Rights, and it guarantees that you get the very best flight your money can buy &mdash; or, you get your money back.</p> <p>Want more? Well, if your flight is delayed by between 90 minutes and two hours, you'll get a $25 credit for future JetBlue travel. If that hits six hours or more, you get a $200 credit. If it's an onboard ground delay, you'll get the same $200 after five hours.</p> <p>What does this mean? Well, if you're JetBlue, you have quite the financial incentive to keep the planes running on time. It's yet another reason JetBlue is nipping at the heels of Virgin America, and may well take the number one spot next year. See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-award-flights-faster-with-the-jetblue-rewards-mastercard-from-barclaycard?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">Earn Award Flights Faster With the JetBlue Card</a></p> <h2>3. Delta</h2> <p>While not quite matching the performance of the top two on the list, Delta comes in at an impressive third place, beating out two airlines that are renowned for customer care. Perhaps part of that was Delta's on-time percentage for 2015, which was a remarkable 85.9%, with only two bags per 1,000 passengers mishandled.</p> <p>Delta does free snacks, including Biscoff cookies Starbucks coffee, and the usual array of beverages (although as is usual these days, you have to purchase larger snacks and alcoholic drinks).</p> <p>If you choose Delta to fly international, you'll get uninterrupted sleep courtesy of a sleep kit featuring eyeshades and earplugs (also handy for those screaming kids that can really put a dent in your good humor). See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">Which Delta SkyMiles Credit Card has the Best Value?</a></p> <h2>4. Hawaiian</h2> <p>Last year Hawaiian were in the number two spot, so they have dropped a few places. But don't let this convince you that their customer service has dropped, or that they are not making the effort. Rather, other airlines have upped their game based on some of the stories that have been told about Hawaiian.</p> <p>For a start, Hawaiian flights are more likely to be on time than any other airlines. In 2015, 88.4% of the flights operated by Hawaiian were on time and ready to go, which is a huge achievement.</p> <p>Hawaiian recently took a leaf out of Priceline.com's &quot;What's it worth to you?&quot; strategy, and introduced the Bud Up system. Basically, you book regular tickets and then enter a bid to upgrade those seats to First Class. If the bid is accepted (presumable based on availability, popularity, and route), you will get your seats bumped to First Class at the price you dictated. Could this be as little as $1 each? Doubtful&hellip;but who knows!</p> <p>Of course, being Hawaiian, the airline prides itself on the more laid-back customer service approach you would expect from the island paradise it is named after. Big smiles, great food, and if you like, you can purchase a Lei Greeting and have a garland of fresh flowers draped over you on your arrival at your destination.</p> <h2>5. Alaska</h2> <p>As mentioned in the top spot, Alaska recently put in a huge bid for Virgin America, so perhaps next year they will take the number one slot. For now, Alaska is sitting pretty in fifth place, and this is largely due to the low number of complaints it received in 2015; just 0.5 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. Or, five complaints for every one million passengers.</p> <p>When you consider how much people hate flying today, finding only five people in a million who had something negative to say about their trip is mind-boggling. So, what is Alaska doing right?</p> <p>According to J.D. Power, a lot. They have awarded Alaska &quot;Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America&quot; nine years running.</p> <p>Alaska's Customer Service Commitment plays a big part in this rating. It includes a promise of the lowest available fare, flexibility in the first 24 hours of booking, special treatment during extended delays, a guarantee of a clean and comfortable aircraft, and seamless partnerships with partners including Delta and Peninsula.</p> <p>And if you're wondering, the next five airlines for 2016 are&hellip;</p> <ol start="6"> <li>Southwest</li> <li>SkyWest</li> <li>United</li> <li>ExpressJet</li> <li>American</li> </ol> <p><em>What's your favorite airline?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines alaska airlines customer service Delta flying hawaiian airlines JetBlue vacation virgin america Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Paul Michael 1753207 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_work_from_home_000092732035.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways social media saves her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While using popular social media platforms is a fun way to stay connected with family and friends, perhaps the most useful benefit is tapping into a new way to save money. Whether it be through negotiating a lower monthly bill, scoring a coupon, or finding the best local deals, with just a little bit of effort you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-social-media-stars-make-money" target="_blank">use social media</a> to save hundreds of dollars every year. Here are some easy to implement tips to get you started in the right direction.</p> <h2>1. Learn to Negotiate a Lower Bill Via Twitter</h2> <p>Most large companies these days have employees who do nothing but monitor their social media feeds and respond directly to customer inquiries and complaints. Because of this, when it comes to negotiating a lower monthly bill, Twitter has become an excellent way to start the conversation. For example, I was recently able to do this with the folks at Verizon by accident when I responded to a friend's Tweet discussing cheaper cell phone services. Within minutes of my Twitter response, I had a Verizon representative send me a message via Twitter asking if they could help lower my bill. With their proactive help, I was able to lower my bill by $10 a month.</p> <p>This experience led me to investigate other companies that respond quickly via Twitter, and sure enough I found many that did &mdash; namely Dish Network, DirecTV, AT&amp;T, and Sprint. Simply send a direct Tweet to the company, or respond to someone else talking about the company, and drop the hint that you're seriously considering leaving the company for a cheaper alternative. In many cases, you'll quickly get a response with actionable ways to lower your bill. Could be a phone number to call, or even better, the company representative will personally help you lower your bill.</p> <h2>2. Use Facebook Messenger to Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Facebook Messenger has also become a great tool to score a deal or coupon. Simply visit the retailer's Facebook page, click on the &quot;Message&quot; button, and send them a polite message asking if they have a coupon code for free shipping or perhaps 15% or 20% off your purchase. Most big-name retailers have staffers standing by to respond to your message, often within minutes. The best part is they are armed with exclusive coupons and are ready to hand them out. After all, they know you're very close to completing your purchase and will often throw you a bone to do just that. So when you can't find a coupon in the more traditional ways, be sure to use Facebook Messenger to avoid paying full price.</p> <p>Also, if the retailer does not have a current coupon to hand out, I've had some let me know via Messenger when a new coupon was going to be released. I'd then wait and make my purchase with the money saving coupon in-hand.</p> <h2>3. Instagram Descriptions Often Have Coupons</h2> <p>Using Instagram to save money with coupons is not something that immediately comes to mind for most shoppers. But the fact of the matter is many retailers and restaurants are starting to use their Instagram profile pages to drop new coupons and deals. For example, I just recently used a coupon on the Dunkin' Donuts profile page to get a free cup of coffee with my doughnut purchase. The key to making this work is to follow your favorite shops and restaurants and get in the habit of checking their Instagram page before you complete your purchase.</p> <h2>4. Search Pinterest Boards for Deals</h2> <p>When it comes to saving money, Pinterest is a great tool but requires a different approach. Because Pinterest is a very static platform, searching for deals/coupons with hashtags is going to leave you frustrated with the lack of results. Instead, you'll want to search &quot;boards&quot; for deals and coupons to particular retailers that users have pinned. Boards are essentially a collection of saved pins and are often kept up-to-date by users. To make this happen, you'll type in your search in the search box, hit the filters button to include boards in your search, then hit enter. By doing it this way, you'll typically get the newest pins which includes a majority of coupons and deals that have yet to expire.</p> <h2>5. Become a Hashtag Superhero</h2> <p>By becoming proficient at using the underrated Twitter hashtag (#), you can quickly find where the best deals are located for specific items. For example, let's say you're in the market for a new mountain bike. A fantastic way to search the entire Internet for a great deal is go on Twitter and search #MountainBike #Deal (or #Sale), or #MountainBike #Coupon. Often Twitter users will combine hashtags when searching, like #MountainBikeCoupon and get frustrated with the results. But if you make it a habit of breaking-up the hashtags, you'll end up with a large list of discounts and coupons that you can use to quickly find the best deals.</p> <p>Also, a great way to localize your search, especially for larger items that are expensive to ship, is to add your hometown to your search query. So sticking with the mountain bike example, do a Twitter search like this: #Sacramento #MountainBike #Sale. You'll end up with search results that can easily lead you to the best current deals and sales in your area.</p> <h2>6. Use Live Chat the Right Way</h2> <p>Most online shoppers are familiar with the live chat feature that many websites operate. Have a question about the product, or want to know more about sizing? The live chat operator typically has the answers. But have you ever started a live chat session for the sole purpose of saving money? If not, you should try it as it often works. I like to start the chat sessions with a question about the product as I don't want it to seem like a gratuitous discount hunter.</p> <p>Once I chat them up a little bit, I'll politely ask if they have a coupon code I can use on my order. Maybe shipping is a little costly, or perhaps a competitor has a slightly cheaper price &mdash; both solid reasons to ask for a coupon. In many cases, the operator has a few coupon codes they can hand out at their discretion. So the bottom line is to be polite, have a real conversation, and you stand a great chance of getting a coupon code you can use to save money.</p> <p><em>How do you use social media to save money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-one-social-media-micro-star-gets-lots-of-free-stuff">How I Scored Tons of Free Stuff By Building a Small Social Media Audience</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-smart-ways-to-improve-your-social-media-presence">Flashback Friday: 34 Smart Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology coupons customer service deals discounts Facebook hashtags instagram social media twitter Tue, 17 May 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kyle James 1708162 at http://www.wisebread.com The Airline Lost Your Luggage. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_lost_luggage_000021488707.jpg" alt="Airline lost this man&#039;s luggage and doesn&#039;t know what to do" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The absolute worst thing that can happen to you when you arrive at the airport after a long trip is waiting at the luggage carousel and watching it stop as you stand there empty-handed. The airline has lost your bags and you're stranded in a foreign country with no toothbrush, no shampoo, and no clothing. I had the misfortune of living through this catastrophe on a recent trip, and it's not fun.</p> <p>Here's what you can do if it happens to you.</p> <h2>Report Your Loss Right Away</h2> <p>In every airport, there will be a luggage lost and found counter. They are usually located right next the baggage carousels and are typically well-marked. As soon as you realize that you made it to your destination but your luggage did not, head to the lost and found area to make a claim.</p> <p>Make sure you bring your baggage ticket as they will need to enter it in the system. They will usually go on the radio and contact the luggage handling staff at the airport to see if your bags were accidentally left somewhere.</p> <p>If you're lucky, your bag is sitting on the tarmac or in the transit area and you'll get it back within an hour or so. If not, you'll have to file a lost luggage claim. The staff will give you a form to fill out with your name, home address, hotel address, passport number, phone number, luggage description, and baggage tag number as well as a brief description of what was in your bag.</p> <p>They will then photocopy your luggage tag, your passport, and the information you gave them and hand you a piece of paper with a reference number.</p> <p>At this time you can leave the airport and head to your hotel. The airline will search for your bag and call or text you when it is found. When they find your bag, they should send it to your hotel or wherever you are staying at the time. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-your-id-at-the-airport?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do If You Don't Have Your ID at the Airport</a>)</p> <h2>Check the Status</h2> <p>If, after 24 hours or more, you still haven't heard from the airline, go online to the airline's website and click on the &quot;Lost Luggage&quot; section. Enter your reference number and last name and check the status of your claim.</p> <h2>Follow Up</h2> <p>Most airlines will update your status as soon as they find your luggage, but sometimes they can be slow and unreliable. Some people have had to go without their bags for months, while others never saw their precious luggage again.</p> <p>Go on the airline's website and look for a customer service number. Call them and navigate the automated telephone menu until you get to a luggage lost and found representative. Give them your reference number and tell them your situation. Ask them to do everything they can to find your bag and also tell them how long you'll be at the hotel. Make your situation sound as dire as possible to try to encourage them to actively search for your bag.</p> <h2>Keep the Claim Updated</h2> <p>Make sure that all of the information that you gave is correct and remains valid. If you check out of your hotel and move to a new one, call or go online and change the information on the claim so that the airline can properly contact you when your bag is found. Even if you move to another city or country, they should courier your bag to you as soon as possible.</p> <h2>Go Shopping</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights">US Department of Transportation</a> has laws in place that help to hold the airline responsible for your lost luggage and the contents of your bag. While the airline is technically required to reimburse you for any losses, the individual airline regulations vary greatly.</p> <p>You can, however, be certain that you will be covered for your essentials. Contact the airline and ask them how much essential spending you will be covered for. Then go out and buy yourself some new underwear, shampoo, deodorant, and clothing. Keep all the receipts for these purchases because you will be asked to submit them later.</p> <p>Sometimes the &quot;Maximum Claim Amount&quot; can be found on the back of your luggage ticket. This is the amount that you can spend on essentials and emergencies. For permanently lost luggage, there are different amounts you can be reimbursed.</p> <h2>Negotiate</h2> <p>No airline is going to willingly offer you the full reimbursement for your troubles or for the value of your lost items. You will have to negotiate, complain, and protest. Make sure you talk to a supervisor when making your claims and if you had anything of sentimental value in the bag, make sure you tell them. Also request that they refund you your checked baggage fee. The airline shouldn't be paid $25 for losing your luggage!</p> <p>You can also ask to be reimbursed in other ways. You may be able to complain your way into a free flight or at least an upgrade into first class on your next scheduled flight with the airline.</p> <h2>Use Social Media</h2> <p>Some airlines don't make the claim process very easy. In this situation, you can take to social media and try a good old fashioned smear campaign. Mention the airline and explain your situation on any social media accounts you have and be sure to @ them so that they will see the posts.</p> <p>No company wants to have the story of your lost luggage go viral on social media. You may be able to speed up the claim process or land yourself some free flights by posting about your situation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.</p> <h2>When to Give Up</h2> <p>According to the DOT's latest <a href="http://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/2015JuneATCR.pdf">Air Travel Consumer Report</a>, 2.9 in 10,000 passengers experience delayed, damaged, or lost baggage. They estimate less than 2% of those passengers actually end up with their luggage permanently lost. If you are one of those unlucky people, it's time to make a lost luggage claim.</p> <p>Claims for reimbursement will have to be backed up by receipts and proof of payment. When you go out shopping for emergency clothing and essentials, make sure to keep all of your receipts and when you claim the items that were permanently lost in your bag, try to find as many receipts as you can to back up your claims of what was in the luggage.</p> <p>Before 2009 when DOT tightened restrictions on lost luggage claims, you would have had to kiss your luggage goodbye and never be reimbursed more than the cost of your essential emergency spending. Nowadays, the airlines are held responsible for &quot;all reasonable, actual, and verifiable expenses related to baggage loss, damage, or delay.&quot;</p> <p>Technically, the per passenger maximum for domestic flights in the U.S. is around $3,400, but getting that amount would be like winning the lost luggage lottery. You're more likely to be refunded a small portion of what you lost. For international flights, you may only be reimbursed around $1,600. It is unlikely that you'll ever receive these full amounts unless you can prove that your bag was indeed carrying more than that value.</p> <p>Even if you can prove that you were carrying $3,400 worth of stuff in your lost baggage, the airline will only pay you a fraction of that amount. They are only required to pay the &quot;depreciated value&quot; of your items, so expect to take a major loss.</p> <h2>Contact Your Insurance and Credit Card Provider</h2> <p>Some travel insurance policies will cover you for lost baggage. This can help to top up the amount the airline agrees to pay. Contact your travel insurance provider and ask about their lost luggage policy. If you paid for the flight with your credit card, contact the card issuer and ask about baggage insurance. Many credit cards will help to cover you for your losses.</p> <h2>Get Your Bag Back</h2> <p>Hopefully you didn't have to go through every step in this article and somewhere in this process you were contacted by the airline and informed that they found your bag. If this is the case, you can either return to the airport to pick up the luggage yourself, or have it delivered to the address that you entered on your claim. Some airlines will try to make your pay for the delivery (believe it or not). If this is the case, negotiate and try your best to have them cover the cost. When your bags are safe and sound back home, it might be wise to invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/1VOGZjc">GPS luggage tracker</a> in the event this should ever happen again.</p> <p><em>Has the airline ever lost your luggage? Did you get it back?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Airline%20Lost%20Your%20Luggage.%20Now%20What-.jpg&amp;description=The%20Airline%20Lost%20Your%20Luggage.%20Now%20What%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Airline%20Lost%20Your%20Luggage.%20Now%20What-.jpg" width="250" height="374" align="middle" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel">8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-scariest-things-probably-coming-to-air-travel">The 8 Scariest Things Probably Coming to Air Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines airports baggage customer service depreciation filing claims lost luggage Wed, 04 May 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Nick Wharton 1699846 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways You're Being a Terrible Customer http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000030046612_Large.jpg" alt="he&#039;s being a terrible customer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know the old saying &mdash; the customer is always right. Except, that's totally wrong. The customer is <em>not </em>always right. And if you firmly believe that you, as the customer, are always right &mdash; no matter the circumstances &mdash; then you're probably a terrible customer. Here are nine scenarios in which you're a customer service rep's worst nightmare, and how to be better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-be-the-perfect-customer?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Be the Perfect Customer</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Think the Customer Is Always Right</h2> <p>Let's begin where all customer relations issues are born: with the customer thinking they're always right. We've all heard someone in a retail shop drop this line during a heated discussion with an associate, and we might have even said it ourselves at some point. While I contend that the customer is sometimes right, &quot;always&quot; is a misnomer, and we rely on it too heavily &mdash; even when we know we're wrong.</p> <p>The problem with that mentality is that it inherently implies you're owed something, and in most cases you're not. Especially if you're ranting and raving like a lunatic. Instead, consider the circumstance thoughtfully and think about how it can be resolved without pointing fingers or making demands. I think you'll find that most of the time &quot;blame&quot; doesn't have to be assigned, so long as the situation can find a peaceful and amicable resolution.</p> <h2>2. You're Making Frequent Returns</h2> <p>Not only is making frequent returns ethically, morally, and sometimes legally wrong, it's also incredibly annoying. Sure, every once in awhile you might need to return an item because it's ill-fitting or maybe damaged, but if you're in the same store over and over again to get your money back for purchases that you decide you don't want anymore &mdash; for whatever reason, like you already wore it and you don't have any use for it again, or you couldn't afford it in the first place &mdash; you deserve to get the side-eye. It also affects the retailer's bottom line, which can hit smaller businesses particularly hard.</p> <p>AJ Saleem, a business owner for five years, says frequent returns are one of his biggest peeves.</p> <p>&quot;While I may not say anything, when I receive several notifications of returns from the same person, I often get frustrated,&quot; he says. &quot;Each return costs me a large portion of my profit margin, and when I do not receive any money in return, I have no choice but to write it as a loss. This forces me to raise prices.&quot;</p> <h2>3. You Try to Blame Everything on the Retailer</h2> <p>If a retailer sells you a faulty product and refuses to replace it or refund your money, you have grounds to pursue the issue until you're satisfied with your purchase, or you get your money back. On the other hand, however, there are dozens of other variables that go into your purchase that you need to consider before you start jumping down people's throats, some of which may be your own fault.</p> <p>Devorah Neiger is an owner of an online medical supply retailer, and she has some experience with customers who point fingers without considering their own part in the transaction.</p> <p>&quot;We have countless customers who order the wrong item, don't contact us for a return for months or who don't need the item anymore, and concoct a story about how it's our error to get out of paying for it,&quot; she explains. &quot;This even happens with customers who order directly from our site and never spoke to a rep. Customers should take ownership of their mistakes.&quot;</p> <p>You can't expect the retailer to eat the cost of your laziness, or error in ordering, or lack of need for the item. You also have to recognize that there are return policies in place, and if you file a complaint or try to return an item outside of that window, you might be SOL.</p> <h2>4. You're Flat-Out Lying to Get What You Want &mdash; Like a Refund</h2> <p>I can almost guarantee you that the highest instances of customers lying to get what they want &mdash; especially a refund &mdash; derive from issues with tech products, like mobile phones and the like. You dropped the phone in the toilet when you were two bottles of wine to the wind, you put it in a jar of rice for three days because the Internet told you to, and now you want a new device because your futile attempts to save it failed. Except when the associate asks you what happened, you tell them that it just spontaneously stopped working &mdash; they must have sold you a dud, right? And you deserve a new phone.</p> <p>Mmhmm, I've got your number, but hold it right there. Own whatever mistake you made that damaged or destroyed your product and purchase a new one if that's what it comes down to.</p> <h2>5. Your Standards Are Too High</h2> <p>For some customers, the retailer can't do enough to please them. That's a really poor outlook to have, and if this is how you roll, you're going to be disappointed, like, 90% of the time. You also want to consider that the people behind the counter are people too. Sure, they're working, but keep in mind that they're not specifically working for you. Nobody's a slave to anyone else, so don't treat anybody like they are.</p> <h2>6. You're Downright Rude</h2> <p>&quot;You get more bees with honey,&quot; is what they say, so why is your face screaming vinegar? Here's another one for you: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you, unless you want to be escorted out by security.</p> <p>&quot;We have customers who will call and be extremely rude and condescending to our reps, and we have told our employees that they do not need to put up with that behavior,&quot; Neiger says. &quot;In the same way we demand of ourselves and our team to treat everyone with utmost respect and understanding, no one deserves to be treated that way. Just because we service our customers, does not mean we will allow employees to take abuse. They matter, too, and we will not allow them to be a punching bag for someone's bad day.&quot;</p> <p>Also, you should probably get off your cell phone when you're interacting or speaking with an associate. Your mother taught you better than that.</p> <h2>7. You Look for Faults Instead of Promoting the Positive</h2> <p>I'm convinced that Yelp and other review sites were created specifically for the type of people who never have anything nice to say. While I believe that companies should be taken to task for doing a customer wrong, it's not the end of the world if they make a mistake that they fix. On the flip side, when an employee or the company itself goes out of their way to satisfy you as a customer, it's important to let people know that their customer service game is strong. I see this all the time with restaurants in particular. People want to complain when the food or ambiance missed the mark (in their opinion), but they don't have time to talk about how great something is.</p> <p>A fair and balanced approach to reviewing is necessary, with a focus on the positive.</p> <h2>8. You're Data Mining Associates &mdash; Then Spending Your Money Elsewhere</h2> <p>It's not fair to a retailer &mdash; no matter how &quot;giant&quot; you think they are &mdash; to data mine the associate for product intel or advice and then buy the item elsewhere. This sort of thing is happening more and more. You go into Best Buy and chat up the associate for 30 minutes about TVs, then go home to buy the one you want on Amazon. There's nothing wrong with doing your research, of course, just don't be lazy. Do it yourself instead of taking up the retailer's time by having them do it for you, without any kind of payoff.</p> <p>&quot;When customers go back and forth with us for hours and days to try and find the right product, and once we advise on the correct product, they promptly buy it elsewhere,&quot; Neiger reveals. &quot;Obviously, customers don't owe us to purchase from our store. However, many customers take up a lot of our time without ever having any intention to buy or who take the information to buy elsewhere. We are very competitively priced and have a price match guarantee, so it's not about price. We aim to help customers with our vast knowledge and personal customer service, but many customers take advantage of this.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some other ways people are terrible customers? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Youre%2520Being%2520a%2520Terrible%2520Customer.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Youre%20Being%20a%20Terrible%20Customer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Youre%20Being%20a%20Terrible%20Customer.jpg" alt="8 Ways You're Being a Terrible Customer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-be-the-perfect-customer">10 Ways to Be the Perfect Customer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better">Ordering Online Versus Calling it In: Which is Better?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer">How to be the best customer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping customer customer etiquette customer service etiquette service industry shopping etiquette Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:31:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1689970 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shop_owner_000048396518.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to score a last-minute coupon" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As any frugal shopper can attest, there's nothing worse than paying full-price when all your attempts to find a coupon come up empty. Fortunately, with a little outside-the-box thinking, there is almost always a way to score an online or in-store coupon and save significant money in the process. Here are six such ways that'll keep you from paying full-price on darn near anything. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break?ref=seealso">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use Live Chat and Ask</h2> <p>If you're shopping online and all of your attempts to find a coupon code for a particular retailer fail, try starting a live chat session and ask for one. Most large retail websites these days employ live chat operators that are standing by to help you with your purchase or answer any questions you might have. They also often have a list of coupon codes at their disposal that they can hand out at their discretion.</p> <p>Politely start a conversation, chat them up a little bit, then ask if they might have a coupon code for 20% off or perhaps free shipping. Make this a healthy frugal habit and you can save significant money over the course of a year. Retailers where this really works includes Lands' End, Home Depot, Old Navy, Office Depot, Shutterfly, and LL Bean.</p> <h2>2. Use a Competitor's Coupon</h2> <p>If you're shopping at Michaels and you can't find a printable in-store coupon, just look for a JoAnn, AC Moore, or Hobby Lobby coupon instead as they'll happily accept competitor coupons. Other popular stores that will accept competitor coupons include Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, JoAnn, Office Depot, Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Walmart.</p> <p>When shopping in-store, the best way to gain quick access to these coupons is to arm your smartphone with a free coupon app from RetailMeNot or CouponSherpa. Then simply do a quick search for competitor coupons and save some easy money.</p> <h2>3. Abandon Your Virtual Cart</h2> <p>This tip is by far the most passive aggressive way to score an online coupon when you seem destined to pay full-price. It also takes a little patience, so it might not work if you need the item tomorrow. Many online retailers will try to entice you back by sending you a coupon via email if you leave, or abandon, items in your virtual shopping cart.</p> <p>For this to work you need to have an account with the retailer so they have your email address in their system. Then simply add the item(s) you want to buy to your online cart, then logout and wait for your coupon. If you're going to get a coupon to come back and finish your purchase, you'll typically get it within 24 hours. Retailers that have been known to send out coupons this way include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, JCPenney, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Office Max, and Land of Nod.</p> <h2>4. The Stores That Hand Them Out</h2> <p>Are you aware that some store employees are armed with coupons that they'll happily scan for you when checking out at the register? For example, if you forget to bring in your &quot;20% off any 1 item&quot; coupon at Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, just politely explain the situation to the checkout employee, and more often than not, they'll pull one out from behind the counter and scan it for you.</p> <p>A good way to judge whether the store you're shopping at might have a coupon ready to hand out is the frequency of their coupon offerings. If they always seem to have a coupon except for the day you happen to be shopping, there's a great chance an employee can get you one if you ask. Besides Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, stores where you should definitely ask include Kohl's, Harbor Freight, Macy's, and Michaels.</p> <h2>5. Hit Up Facebook for a Coupon</h2> <p>Another great way to find a coupon for a specific retailer is to hit up their Facebook page. All you have to do is send them a message politely asking for a coupon for some extra savings. Most large retailers have employees monitoring their Facebook presence and responding quickly to message requests. By quickly, I mean often within 30 minutes. You can either search Facebook directly to find the stores page or look for the Facebook icon on the retailer's homepage and click directly on it.</p> <h2>6. Tweet for a Coupon</h2> <p>Twitter is another excellent way to communicate directly with a retailer in an attempt to score a coupon. This is due to the fact that most Twitter feeds are constantly being monitored and a quick response is almost guaranteed. From the specific retailer's Twitter page, click on &quot;Message&quot; and type your coupon request. Be sure your request is polite and conversational and not demanding in tone.</p> <p>Your chances of success rise substantially if you've had a previous bad customer service experience with the retailer. Briefly explain what happened in your Twitter message and often times the retailer will give you a coupon to make up for your bad experience.</p> <p><em>How do you avoid paying full-price when a discount seems completely unavailable?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you">Sam&#039;s Club or Costco: Which Warehouse Club Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-one-social-media-micro-star-gets-lots-of-free-stuff">How I Scored Tons of Free Stuff By Building a Small Social Media Audience</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons customer service discounts expired Facebook live chat twitter Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Kyle James 1687437 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery_store_employee_000018778379.jpg" alt="Man discovering retailers with the best customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-money">spending more on quality items</a> that will stand the test of time is a very smart aspect of frugal living. After all, nobody likes replacement or repair costs that can easily be avoided. This idea carries over to retailers as well. Here are seven such retailers that offer such great customer service, that a possible higher upfront cost will easily pay for itself over the lifetime of the product.</p> <h2>1. Zappos</h2> <p>For years, the customer service team at Zappos.com has been leading the way in terms of putting the customer first. If you're not familiar with their website, they sell popular shoes, handbags, and apparel. While their prices may not always be the cheapest, their amazing customer service is what keeps shoppers coming back time and time again.</p> <p>Let's start with their 365-day return policy. If you order something from them, not only will you get free shipping, but you can return items for free for an entire year. Items must usually be in new condition, so feel free to order several sizes or colors, try them on at home, and mail back the ones you don't want at no charge. Also, if you have a problem with your shoes after you've worn them for a while, they've even been known to overnight a replacement pair and refund the entire cost to the customer as well.</p> <h2>2. Nordstrom</h2> <p>Similar to Zappos, Nordstrom also offers free shipping and returns on all orders via their website. The free returns aspect essentially makes shopping on their site risk-free as you can order whatever size and color you want and simply return the items you don't need at no cost to you. But what makes their return policy truly amazing is there's no time limit and returned items can typically be worn. When pressed on this issue, a Nordstrom live-chat operator told me, &quot;From time to time we cannot accommodate a return but we definitely do our best to take care of you and stand behind what we sell, so we completely understand.&quot; So it's safe to assume that as long as the item doesn't show excessive wear, they'll typically take it back with no questions asked.</p> <h2>3. Amazon</h2> <p>In recent years, Amazon has clearly stepped up their customer service game and created many loyal shoppers in the process. Whether it's their seven-day price protection policy on purchases fulfilled by Amazon directly, or a $5 credit to your Prime account if items don't get delivered in two business days, they always strive to put the customer first. Also, many Amazon shoppers aren't aware that they'll overnight a replacement item if yours gets delivered in non-working or damaged condition. In many cases, typically when the items has a value less than $30, they won't even ask you to send back the damaged item as they realize it's an inconvenience.</p> <h2>4. Apple Store</h2> <p>In the tech industry, Apple has taken customer service to a whole new level. What other company has a specific part of their retail location set up to do nothing but help customers with problems they might be having with their products? This is exactly what the Apple &quot;Genius Bar&quot; does and it has created millions of loyal users over the past 15 years.</p> <p>Whether it's with help operating a new device, or help troubleshooting a major problem with your Apple product, the Genius Bar is a great (and free) place to start. They also have the reputation of replacing products on the spot if they can't fix a problem, even if it's beyond the warranty period. Also, by having so many retail locations across the country, it's fairly easy to walk into one today and walk out with your problem solved.</p> <h2>5. Kroger Grocery</h2> <p>Kroger understands that there role in the community goes way beyond selling grocery items. This was best exemplified recently when&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/why-people-love-kroger-2015-3">after a devastating hurricane</a>, when they were the only grocery store to open their doors the following day, even while mopping standing water out of the aisles. It also doesn't hurt that they pay their employees $14 per hour, on average, well above the industry standard. With that hourly wage, they're able to find and retain employees who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers.</p> <h2>6. L.L. Bean</h2> <p>Do you own an old pair of L.L.Bean boots or clothing item? If you do, you're probably keenly aware of just how much effort they put into creating quality items that stand the test of time. So much effort that they actually stand behind their items with a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.llbean.com/customerService/aboutLLBean/guarantee.html">Lifetime Guarantee</a>. Amazingly, they don't even require a receipt to get a refund or store credit. This level of customer service stems from their founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, who once said that he didn't consider a sale complete &quot;until goods are worn out and the customer still satisfied.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Whole Foods</h2> <p>Whole Foods does a nice job of empowering their employees to make a customer's experience excellent. In the process, they create loyal customers for life. For example, a Forbes columnist recently&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140317191929-8019905-whole-hearted-approach-to-customer-service-at-whole-foods">documented her experience</a> with a broken cash register at Whole Foods, and subsequent delay in checking out. Not only did the supervisor on shift apologize profusely for the delay, but ended up giving her $50 worth of groceries for free.</p> <p>While some would say that such a gift hurts the bottom-line, it can be argued instead that such a gift has a value way beyond the $50. She now hollers from the mountaintops about the amazing customer service she received &mdash; word-of-mouth advertising that is incredibly powerful and very difficult to put a price tag on. None of that would have happened if Whole Foods didn't empower their employees to exceed customer's expectations.</p> <p><em>Would you be willing to pay more upfront in exchange for strong customer service?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Retailers%2520With%2520the%2520Absolute%2520Best%2520Customer%2520Service.jpg&amp;description=7%20Retailers%20With%20the%20Absolute%20Best%20Customer%20Service"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Retailers%20With%20the%20Absolute%20Best%20Customer%20Service.jpg" alt="7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-time-for-summer-shopping-in-europe">Best Time For Summer Shopping In Europe!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping Amazon clothes customer service groceries retail return policies Tue, 05 Apr 2016 09:30:32 +0000 Kyle James 1682550 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs It's Time to Find a New Bank http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_frowning_smartphone_000047173988.jpg" alt="Woman learning signs it&#039;s time to find a new bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one likes switching to a new bank. After all, it takes effort to close one account and create another. But if your bank is nickel-and-diming you with fees, or if it's closing so many locations that banking is becoming inconvenient, it might be time to make the switch.</p> <p>&quot;To me, it's all about convenience when it comes to switching banks,&quot; said Wade Barnes, senior vice president and director of retail banking with Baltimore-based 1st Mariner Bank. &quot;Maybe just 10 years ago, we'd be talking about how many brick-and-mortar locations a bank has near you. Now, it's more about online banking and having connectivity to your bank 24 hours a day. But you want your banking relationship to be an easy, convenient one. If it's not, then you might consider making a move.&quot;</p> <p>Here are five signs that it's time to find a new bank.</p> <h2>1. Maintenance Fees</h2> <p>Some banks will charge your checking account a monthly fee if you don't make a certain number of payments or withdrawals per month. That fee might only be $10. But if you don't use your checking account often, you could pay $100 or more each year in fees.</p> <p>The better choice? Find a bank that doesn't charge such a fee. You want your free checking account to be <em>really</em> free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">Banks Still Offering Free Checking</a>)</p> <h2>2. ATM Fees</h2> <p>Using an out-of-network ATM can add up, with the fees charged by these cash machines coming in at $2, $3, or more. You can avoid these fees by only withdrawing cash from ATMs affiliated with your bank. But if you do take out money from an out-of-network ATM, your bank should refund you this fee.</p> <p>Many banks reimburse customers for all the out-of-network ATM withdrawals they make, basically making all ATMs free. If your bank doesn't offer this service, it's time to make a move.</p> <h2>3. Paper Statement Fees</h2> <p>Most banks will provide your banking statements online. It's a great way to reduce paper. But maybe you're old-fashioned, and you want your bank to send you a paper statement each month. That's fine. Just make sure that your bank doesn't charge you for this service.</p> <p>Many banks, in an effort to persuade consumers to receive their statements online, are charging customers $1 or $2 every time they send them a paper statement. If you insist on a paper statement, there's no reason to pay this fee. Find a bank that doesn't charge you for this service.</p> <h2>4. Inconvenience</h2> <p>Maybe your bank was just bought up by another financial institution. That's usually fine, unless the new bank institutes changes that make being a customer there less convenient for you.</p> <p>Maybe your newly acquired bank is closing all the brick-and-mortar branches near you. That can be a hassle, even if you do most of your banking online. Maybe the bank is reconfiguring its ATMs, making it so you can only withdraw cash from them but can't make deposits into them. Or maybe your bank decides to reduce some of the services it offers online.</p> <p>Banking shouldn't be a hassle. If your bank is becoming one, you need to start looking for a replacement.</p> <h2>5. Bad Customer Service</h2> <p>What if you have questions about your mortgage loan, but your bank's home loan experts are never available to speak with you by phone? What if you call your bank and the phone just rings forever, with no one picking up? Maybe your bank doesn't hire enough tellers, and every time you need to see one, you have to wait in line 20 minutes?</p> <p>These are all examples of the bad customer service some banks provide. If you're not satisfied with the service your bank is providing you, you're ready to move on to a new financial institution.</p> <p><em>Have you switched banks recently? Tell us why in the comments section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sales-strategies-your-bank-uses-to-make-money">5 Sales Strategies Your Bank Uses to Make Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/switch-to-a-better-bank-in-5-easy-steps">Switch to a Better Bank in 5 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/think-twice-before-ditching-your-current-bank">Think Twice Before Ditching Your Current Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-types-of-savings-accounts-which-is-right-for-you">The Types of Savings Accounts: Which Is Right For You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking atms customer service fees mobile banking savings accounts statements Wed, 02 Dec 2015 14:00:28 +0000 Dan Rafter 1617391 at http://www.wisebread.com