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It is true that in life we don’t always get what we want. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try. As students its often assumed that we have few rights and that its okay for us to be messed around or fobbed off. But when we are paying customers we should get quality service and products we are happy with. Complaining and returning things may seem like a hassle or not worth it, but even though they are always in the small print or hidden away in the terms and conditions – your rights are there waiting for you.
Restaurants can be very jammy, especially those who assume their food was amazing and their service was second to none by placing a cheeky service charge on the end of your bill. This unfortunately can make it very hard and awkward to refuse. But, if you aren’t happy, you don’t have to pay it! Unless you are with a large group where service charge is mandatory. Service charge is designed to be left if you are particularly happy about how you were served and not something you should feel coerced into doing. So if you aren’t happy, tell them and ask for it to be removed. Granted you might get a stern look or a ‘tut’ and you may even have to speak to the manager but why should you pay if you aren’t entirely satisfied? We are students at the end of the day, so they will probably half expect it anyway.
Admittedly complaining is not so easy when you aren’t face to face with the service provider, so in some respects restaurants are the easy bit! Not quite so easy are the online stores where the prospect of going through the automated system, hanging on the phone for hours and ultimately spending a fortune on an 0845 number makes you give up. The important thing to remember is that buying online doesn’t give you any less rights, in fact it gives you more. So ladies, when ordering three dresses on ASOS because you just can’t decide, or books on Amazon you are protected by the distance selling regulations (food and personalised goods not included). This means you can send most goods back within in a week and get a full refund and often the delivery costs are included. So if you’re not happy- don’t feel as though you can’t return it, unless you can’t decide between the three dresses!
Apart from getting what you want, standing up for your rights can also be rather exhilarating. Speaking from experience I’m not usually one to bow out when I’m not happy. After ranting to a waiter in Pizza Hut because a special free pizza had been burnt and an order was wrong, I asked to speak to the manager, realised he was the manager and then got our food for £3 each, which wasn’t too bad really! Go on, give it a go!