Published on November 22nd, 2012 | by Pete0
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
A while ago, my wife and I had a bit of a breakdown in communication, which is rare for us, especially when it comes to money. She spent some money from our joint account that I wasn’t aware of; not a lot, but just enough to push us over our overdraft limit. Of course this meant that we received a letter from our bank explaining that because we had exceeded our limit, we would need to pay them £15 (apparently they get really touchy if you dare to touch some of their cash, although they are happy to gamble away the nation’s savings). Anyway, enough flirting with a rant.
My wife was extremely apologetic and felt very bad (if you see her, don’t mention it, she’s still a little sore about it). She felt it was a stupid mistake that meant that we would have to say goodbye to £15 of our hard earned cash. I suggested telephoning the bank and explaining that this was our first (and last) indiscretion, and that we were very sorry. My wife thought it was a lost cause, but I like a challenge, so I said I would give it a go.
The next day I got on the blower and spoke to the bank in question. I spoke to a young chap who was very patient in listening to me. I explained that it was a mistake on our part, and pointed him to our excellent past management of our account. He quickly agreed that we have never made such a mistake before, and generally seemed to manage our account very well. After some further discussion, with me throwing in a few recent financial hardships and the general difficulties with the economy at the time, and he seemed amenable. I asked the question, and held my breath – were they willing to waive the fee on this occasion given our excellent history. It seemed like time stood still….not really, while I was waiting for him to respond I actually sneezed and spilled my coffee but never mind. I was on all fours scrubbing the carpet when he graced me with a response – yes, on this occasion they were willing to waive the fee.
I thanked him and ended the call. If anyone else had been in the room they would have been very likely to have been on the receiving end of an overenthusiastic high five. As it was, I had to make do with a sense of self satisfaction. My wife was also very pleased when I told her later, although she totally left me hanging when I went for the high five. Anyway, what is the moral of this story? I think the title of this post says it all – if you don’t ask you don’t get, if you don’t buy a ticket you won’t win the raffle etc! Sometimes, just sometimes, companies will adopt a common sense approach. If you find yourself being charged or fined for a misdemeanour, and it is your first offence, explain, apologise and ask for it to be rescinded. It also never hurts to talk about how much of a loyal customer you are. You never know what might happen. Anyone else had a similar experience…?