My Last -$100 Bucks: Picking Up the Phone and Getting My Money Back

It’s easier to spend $100 than to get $100. How did you get your last hundred dollars back, Rebecca Rindler?

-$35: Refund from Amazon Local for a bike tune-up deal. I bought this deal for a tune-up at semi-sketchy, out-of-the-way Bike Shop X. I used it six weeks ago, then realized that I was still having issues with my brakes. My local bike shop dude confirmed that Bike Shop X had done a shoddy job: my replacement brake pads were too dry and they hadn’t trued my front wheel. RAGE. Normally I would take it to the shop and give them an earful, but returning to this bike shop was a huge hassle due to their hours and location. I called Amazon Local’s excellent 24/7 customer service hotline, explained the situation, and they refunded the $35 to my account. (For the record, I bought another bike tune-up deal from Amazon Local earlier this year for a different, beloved bike shop that did an A+ job on my other bike.)

$19.70: Brake pad replacement and trued front wheel at my local bike shop, with a 10% discount from Transit Alternatives. A small drop in the bucket for what I’ve spent on bikes.

-$90: Waived phone upgrade fees. I went to the storefront for my Major Phone Service Provider and asked about the cost to upgrade. The sales rep strongly implied that if I asked, I might get the $30/phone fee waived.

“I mean, I can’t say they will, but I definitely know people who have gotten it waived,” I was told.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. I called my Major Phone Service Provider and said we were thinking of upgrading all the phones on our family plan. Also, we were thinking of switching to Other Major Service Provider. I told the customer service rep that renewing our contract sounded good, but $30 per phone in upgrade fees was a lot, was there anything she could do to waive it?

“I don’t know,” she said. [Bell sound] DING DING DING! (That’s the sound of my sixth sense for negotiation going off.) I asked if she could speak to her supervisor about waiving the fee. She put me on hold for a very long time, then came back and said YES. Credit that $90 to the power of perseverance (and the power of asking. Special shout out to the sales rep at the store who strongly implied this would happen).


Rebecca Rindler is earning back the cost of her MBA, one negotiation at a time. She writes about biking with Alex Baca for this site.

Photo: Matthew 200tx



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