Hi folks! I’m back from Vegas and my amazing concrete artisan class at Counter Top Solutions! Wow, was that a lot of fun. Later this month I will be posting a DIY tutorial on how we made this….


Yes! Can you believe it? And you know what? It wasn’t even that hard to do. So stay tuned for  my upcoming concrete countertop tutorial. And in the meantime, pop on over to countertopsolutions.net to check out the amazing work they got goin’ on there!

And for now you can find pics of the entire process on my Instagram at instagram.com/diyfunideas1.

Now, if you remember from my last post, I picked up this really cute pet carrier bag (on sale!) for Lily for our trip to Vegas…

Lilys Bag

Well, here’s the story on the bag and how to get what you want from customer service…

For my trip to Vegas I purchased the bag for Lily from Amazon on November 26th (the day before Thanksgiving). And even though I have Amazon Prime (where you automatically get two-day shipping), I paid for one-day shipping to make sure I received the bag before I had to leave for the airport on Monday.

The following day (Thanksgiving Day), my brother made an Amazon Prime purchase, i.e., two-day shipping. On Sunday morning, he received his package that he ordered a day after me with two-day shipping.

On Sunday night I was still twiddling my thumbs waiting for my one-day shipping package to arrive. Umm, did I say that I ordered BEFORE him??

Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed. So I got out my tracking number and called FedEx. FedEx told me that my package should arrive by 8:00pm on Monday. Umm, I had to leave for the airport by 11:00am to catch my flight.

I asked if I could pick it up from their facility first thing in the morning. The answer was no because it was at a no-hold facility. So then I asked if they could deliver it earlier and I was told that only the sender can change the delivery options. Ughh!!!

So I called the shipper, Amazon, and asked if they could arrange for my package to arrive first thing in the morning. They told me that it would cost me about $100 to upgrade to morning shipping. What?!! Didn’t FedEx used to arrive by 10:00am always?? You know… when it absolutely positively has to be there…and all that nonsense.

Well, I wasn’t paying no $100 for an upgrade to my one-day shipping that was three days late.

They then explained to me that the Thanksgiving holiday and the weekend isn’t included in that one-day shipping time. Ugh.

Now, I hate being that annoying pushy person, but sometimes you just have to keep at it or there’ll be no chance of getting what you want.

As annoyed as I was, I did remain calm and respectful on the phone. After all, none of this was the Customer Service person’s fault. Plus, Customer Service was there to help me. That’s their job.

I went on to explain the urgency that I NEEDED this package before going out of town. I then explained to her how my brother’s TWO-DAY ship package that he purchased the day AFTER me (have I emphasized that enough yet?) already arrived before my ONE-DAY ship package. She reiterated how the holiday and weekend doesn’t count. I told her it seemed to count for my brother. She told me that was because his arrived via UPS. Anyway, the discussion went on for a bit. Then I kindly told her that I felt that Amazon should pay for the shipment upgrade. She said that they don’t do that. So I asked to speak with a supervisor who is authorized to approve an upgrade. This is where I was put on hold….for a long time. She checked in on me every now and then and then finally a new person got on the phone and asked me to again explain the situation.

It was starting to feel a bit like a hostage situation where I was giving them my demands.

I was put back on hold….for a long time.

Finally, when the second person got back on the phone, she told me that they would pay for the upgraded delivery for my package to arrive by 10:30am. Whew.

I was on the phone for one hour and four minutes. But my package did arrive by 10:30am and they even refunded the one-day shipping fee that I had paid. It was only $5 with my Amazon Prime, but it was a nice gesture anyway.

Now, I realize that dealing with Customer Service is never pleasant because if you are calling customer service, that usually means there is a problem. And it can often feel like you’re jumping through hoops to get things done. But if you work smart, then you should be able to get what you want.

So here are my recommendations when speaking with any company’s Customer Service department:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. If you don’t ask, you’ll definitely never get it.
  • Do not go into it with a bad attitude. Customer Service exists to help you, which leads me to point number three…
  • Always be nice and respectful to your Customer Service rep. They’ll work harder to help if you’re not yelling at them.
  • If you don’t get the initial answer you’re looking for, don’t give up.
  • If the first person you speak with can’t solve your problem, ask to speak with a supervisor because the first person on the phone may not be authorized to make “executive” decisions.
  • Get the Customer Service Rep’s name at the beginning of the phone call in case you get disconnected.
  • At the end of the phone call get a resolution reference number that documents your phone conversation. That way, in case there are further problems, you can prove that you’ve already spoken with Customer Service. With Amazon, your call is documented under your order number and referenced within the order.

I can’t stress the first bullet point enough: Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. Here’s another quick example:

A few months ago, I was paying my credit card bill online. I usually arrange my online bill payments at the beginning of each month, but I somehow got screwed up that month. The bill was due on the 15th of the month and I was paying it on the 15th. After I put my payment through, it told me the payment would be posted on the 16th, which meant that I’d have to pay a late fee. Not cool. Instead of accepting that, I called my credit card company. They told me that payments had to be confirmed by 5:00pm to be posted on the same day. Apparently, I was one hour late. So I asked if they would waive the late fee. They thanked me for calling them and then they waived the fee without any further questions asked. My point is, if you don’t ask, you’ll never get what you want.

Anyway, those are my tips. I’d love to hear your Customer Service stories and any advice you have on getting what you want from Customer Service. Please share!

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  1. How annoying!

    “She told me that was because his arrived via UPS.”

    That made me laugh because it’s so true! FedEx is THE WORST! They are consistently late, ESPECIALLY around the holidays. My UPS packages always arrive early–with FedEx, I’ll be lucky to receive my Christmas gifts before New Year’s (and I use Prime’s 2-Day shipping)!

    These are great tips!

  2. I feel fixed. You’re just basing this on your one experience. Most of these is great advice, above all though be nice to us! We realize that the problem is ruining your whole life at that moment but we didn’t do it to you personally. I’ve worked in a call center for several years and several companies, getting the name of the representative is pointless, do you know how many “Karen”, “Michael”, “Mary”, etc there is just in one call center? Also, if you think asking for the supervisor is your next step you should also come to terms that they will also decline your request, policy is policy. I’m not saying don’t ask for one, I’m just saying to be prepared that you might not get what you want by asking for one, they might even tell you almost word for word what the first representative said. Another tip, be a smart shopper. don’t wait for the last minute to order something you need for a trip or a wedding or something important because you know that’s when things usually go wrong because that’s the way the universe works. So order everything beforehand and you most likely won’t have any issues, but if you do have an issue you have enough time to get it fixed.

    • Thank you Karen. You’ve added some really good tips. I definitely agree that the most important tip is to be nice, not just in this situation but in life. Treat others the way you want to be treated. And even if the other person does happen to be a jerk, then be the better person. But that’s a whole other topic. And you’re right about being a smart shopper, too.

  3. I worked in a call center for a cell phone company for 2 years, and your tips are spot-on! One point you might want to add: depending on the size of the company, if you get disconnected, the next representative may not be ABLE to connect you to who you were speaking to the first time. With our company, there were multiple centers that could get your call semi-randomly. If the previous rep was in a different center, there was no way to transfer the call. ALWAYS wait a couple minutes before calling back. Many times the rep will try to call you back, but if not, waiting a minute will give them time to put the notes of your conversation in your account, which (hopefully) leads to the next rep not having to start from scratch.

    • Wow, Jenn, I didn’t know about waiting a few minutes. That’s some really good info. Thanks for letting us know. I have to say that one of the things about blogging that I love is that I end up learning so much from readers’ input! Thank you. This is so helpful!

  4. Thank you – as retail employee, it’s great to see these sorts of post. Last September, I ran into a problem not unlike this. I go to college part time, and our loan money was dispersed into a card the school decided to use that year. After having tons of problems, I called up the customer service, and explained the problem. After fixing the problem she thanked me.
    She told me that she was sitting there, drinking tea, trying to calm down because of all the calls she was getting from people who were chewing her out over the phone. She was so grateful that I was treating her as a decent human being. Sometimes people forget that, I think, when they’re determined to get what they want. Sometimes the first person you call just doesn’t have the authority to make the decisions that you want made (just as you said above).

    • Yes, Sarah. I think people also forget that there’s a real human being on the other side of the phone so they seem to think that they can treat people rudely, which in any situation is unacceptable.

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