"You can't argue with a law student." that's what a friend of mine said the other day as i told him my long and boring story of my half-couch debacle.
i'm not sure if it's hubris or whether some of us (not just law students) are simply more logical and more comfortable with arguing than other people, but there's one thing i'm sure about: it pays to think you're always right.
yesterday i found a large package beside my mailbox. addressed to me, and labeled "Open Promptly! New book!" but otherwise mysterious, with no return address or sender.
fearing it might be an emergency re-publication of one of my BarBri books and that i might need to re-learn entirely an area of law, i tore the package open. wide open.
only to find a 21-day free trial of fitness books from my friends at Men's Health. i would be billed automatically upon failing to return them in a timely manner.
if you want me to enjoy your product, fine. give it to me. but don't give me an effing trial period, at the end of which i have to pay to send the ish back to you, which i'm almost certainly going to a) forget or b) simply be too lazy to complete. and that's what they're banking on. they're hoping i shrug my shoulders, say "i'd rather spend $60 dollars than find time to walk to the post office and pay $5 to mail these back," and place the guide to fitness on a dusty bookshelf somewhere, never to be used.
and while i'm on the topic, can i just point out that if you have to guilt or trick someone into buying your product, it must not be worth buying. anything i actually want, i'll go buy myself. don't send me something i didn't order unless it's free! you hear that publishers?!?!
this happened to my mom once. a vacuum salesman dropped off a fancy $600 vacuum and told her to use it for a week, she'd never look back. just call him if she didn't want it. after vacuuming every surface (including walls) in our house at least 9 times, she called the company. no answer. no message. same the next day. and the next.
finally she figured out they were avoiding her call, so she used the neighbor's phone. her call was promptly and courteously answered. her reply: "come get your vacuum cleaner now. i'm leaving it outside, and it looks like it's going to rain." the salesman showed up that afternoon.
but back to my free trial... i was livid. so i waited out the annoying on-hold jazz music (which i believe only makes the waiting customer less patient), and i listened to the customer service pre-recorded assurances that my call was important to them, and i became more angry as the minutes passed. and when Joan at customer service picked up, i was ready to let the c-u-next-tuesday word fly. fortunately i didn't have to.
i just had to be a little patient, and a lot stubborn. this is what atticus, who was sitting beside me trying to calm me down, heard:
i never ordered these.
i didn't sign up for that.
NO, actually, i didn't agree to that when i ordered my magazine subscription.
no, it doesn't make a difference if you reduce the price to $45 dollars.
so, what, i'm supposed to tape it back up and write RETURN TO SENDER on it? there's not even a return address.
i shouldn't have to pay to return this to you.
because i didn't order it!
yes, please send me a postage-paid envelope to send it back to you. i think that's a great idea, Joan. thank you.
no, my girlfriend or wife would NOT like a subscription to Women's Health.