How many times have you gone into a shop to return an item, only to come back out with a credit note that you will probably never use? How many times has your bank left a charge on your account, for some minor indiscretion?

I’m the person people take with me when they want to return items in shops. I’m the person people ring when they’ve an awkward phonecall to make to their supplier. I’m the person people ask to check over their letters of complaint. So, you could say I’ve something of a reputation for being bolshy assertive. The truth is if you shout ‘loudly’ enough, someone listens. So, when wee bro suggested I run a course on this very topic, I jumped at the idea. It’s gonna be great!

I Want to Speak to the Person in Charge

Last year, I saved approximately £8000 pounds just by complaining. That’s alot of money for me, not loose change.

My attack is two-pronged. You need to know your stuff and you need to know how to say it. Loosely translated, that means we’ll be looking at (1) what your chief consumer rights are (and are not) under the law, and where to find your targeted information, before you go in, all arrows at the ready. Secondly, we’ll look at (2) the technique for letting those arrows go, in the right direction, and with deadly effect!. Your target won’t know what hit them.

This course will:

  • Help you to avoid falling into the pitfalls of buying something from a store whose (legal and not so legal) policies will it difficult for you to complain, or get your money back.
  • Give you an opportunity to learn and practice the right assertiveness techniques in context.
  • Show you how to complain, assertively.
  • Assist you to challenge the crap customer service routinely dolled out in Northern Ireland.
  • Eventually save you money, by pointing out what your consumer rights are and are not.
  • Demonstrate where to find information on your consumer rights.
  • Give you confidence to go out there and get what you want!

Case Study 1

I bought (and wore, twice) a pair of jeans from a well-know chain in Northern Ireland. However, in the wash (I followed the intructions to the letter) they stretched to such an extent, they fell down when I next tried them on. Something was wrong.

Expecting the worst, I took them back to the shop and explained the situation. The sales assistant said, “OK, let me see…” (very politely, asserting that indeed they should not have done that and frowning, as if she believed me) and took them to measure them against the jeans of the same size in the shop. “Oh no, that shouldn’t have happened.” I suggested getting a smaller size, so that if they stretched (which they did, but not so much) I’d be OK. She was polite, she was pleasant, she put me first. I always go back (and I’ve told about a thousand people the happy story). The problem was solved swiftly, and without accusations or any other unpleasant drama.

Case Study 2

My mum selected a throw for her sofa in a household shop. When she paid, no receipt was produced.

Having eaten my Weetabix that morning, things were beginning to glow red, so I stepped in, completely to my mum’s horror, and asked the sales person to issue a receipt. She refused, saying it was not necessary, since anyone was able to bring back any item and have their money returned, if the item was not suitable.

I replied that I’d love to see mum coming back in here and getting her money back, on an item purchased with no proof of purchase, cost or date. She acknowledged she’d question mum about the date at least, and there’d be no way of mum proving when she’d bought it. She realised she’d been tangoed, relented and gave a receipt (as all retailers know they should).

Do you want never to be conned again? Then you can’t miss this explosive workshop!

Event Details & Booking

Saturday 2 May 09, 09:30 – 16:30pm.

Location: Queens University Belfast.

To book a place, phone the School of Education (Open Learning) on 028 9097 3539/3323 or email Cost £23 pp.