If you’re frugal long enough, you’ll probably push a few limits. It’s just part of trying to get the best deal possible. You probe for loopholes or other ways to bend the rules in your favor.
I’ve done it plenty myself and, sometimes, I leave wondering if perhaps I pushed too far.
By and large, though, I will accept any explicit rules. If something isn’t addressed, however, I feel that it’s open to interpretation, and I will usually press my case with whoever I need to.
So I understand the desire to get yourself the most favorable situation possible. I get it. I really do.
But some people… Some people act in a way that goes far beyond all that. These people bend rules until they’re warped beyond recognition — when the rules are acknowledged at all.
Our company has a rewards program, but you don’t qualify if you use certain coupons. That said, we do issue courtesy exceptions if customers are making mistakes in good faith.
Somehow, one customer ended up with about 11 exceptions in nine months. And she was upset when I told her no more, citing the coupon use. She assured me that she used coupons all the time, and the reward credits still went through. The problem, therefore, must be a different factor entirely, and I should go ahead and issue the credit.
I told her we would not continue to subsidize exceptions when she was breaking program rules. In response, she said that, given the fact that we had made previous adjustments, she didn’t understand why we were cutting her off.
My head just about imploded.
Other times, customers try to use cash-back sites in conjunction with our rewards program. It’s not only against the rules, it doesn’t work. But one customer submitted a request and furnished information that actually stated the other program he was using.
I explained that this was in direct violation of our rules, and no exception could be given. So he edited out that information and resubmitted the claim for the evening shift.
The thing is, I don’t care that the people are trying to press their luck. (Nowhammy, nowhammy, nowhammy!) What annoys me, though, is that so many feel entitled to complain when these little gambles don’t turn out in their favor.
That’s not how it works. If you play the odds, you have to accept the odds. It’s that simple.
Sometimes, though, I think we’ve all lost the basic understanding of risk. Greed means we grab at any opportunity to get more, but we fail to understand that, in trying to get more, we may also end up with less.
Look at all of the people shocked by the housing market crash. Look at how many thought it was okay to walk away from responsibility simply because their risk didn’t pan out for them.
If things go well, we’re geniuses. If they don’t, we were duped, cheated or otherwise not involved in the shaping the cruel fate. In fact, we’re really only victims to our own greed — and, arguably, basic probability.
I don’t care if you push the limits. I don’t care if you want to try to get away with something. Just so long as you understand there are consequences. And that blustering won’t get you out of them — or it shouldn’t anyway.