How To Complain And Get What You Want

A store will never let you return a music CD once it's opened or get an item at a discount once the sale is over, right? Not so fast. There are ways you can complain and get exactly what you want from a store.

For many shopping is a sport, but it can also be a hassle. At sometime or another you may have had to complain, or maybe you wanted something that was against the store policy. If you didn't get the result you wanted, you may not have complained correctly. One consumer web site has a few tips to getting what you want.

Step #1 is obvious, keep your receipts. "If you pay with cash keep your receipt because there's no other way to track it," says Target manager Cynthia Starr.

Shopper Peggy Hale finds keeping her receipts slightly difficult, "I don't keep my receipts. I've tried to be a little better about it."

With or without your receipt proceed to step #2. Contact customer service. Representatives say sometimes they can bend the rules. "They should say let's see what we can do. Based on the situation, let's see who we can talk to and go from here. Part of our job is to make sure that they're happy," says customer service representative Debbie Rodgers.

When they can't make you happy, try step #3: take it to management. Managers acknowledge there are exceptions to every rule, however sometimes even they can't override store policy programmed into the computer. "Yes there are exceptions and if we can make the exception we'll do that but the computer only does so much," says Cynthia.

Step #4- Experts recommend using email. An extra tip, be sure to "cc" it to as many people in the company as possible.

Finally, stay calm. Experts say presenting yourself in a non-threatening manner may be the most important key to getting what you want.

Experts also say you should document all of your contacts with the store or company. For more tips on getting what you want, go to

Amy Tatum, reporting.