After numerous speeches and seminars, I’m asked, how can consumers and businesspeople protect themselves against rip-offs?
There’s no foolproof way to assure that you’re going to receive quality customer service, to be surprised and delighted, or to have your expectations surpassed.
But one way to avoid scams and to foil the fraudulent is to “Try before you buy. ”
What, exactly, do I mean?
Make sure, as part of your negotiation, you are able to sample something before completely committing to owning it.
For example, a few years ago troubled car maker Jaguar offered a 30 day, money back guarantee to folks who bought their cars. Because this nameplate had a reputation for bringing heartbreaks to purchasers, the manufacturer felt it had to try this gambit to get people to drive these vehicles from showrooms.
There’s no reason you can’t personally negotiate the same guarantee from any dealer selling any model at any time. The dealer owns, or is technically financing the car he sells to you, so he can cut nearly any deal he wishes.
If you insist that you want to try before you buy, or more specifically, that you need an “out, ” if the car fails to meet your requirements, then he can write that into the deal, if he wants your business badly enough.
This also means beware of any situations where you see the sign, “All sales are final. ”
That’s usually a tip-off of a rip-off; that whatever is being sold either falls apart fast or fails to satisfy buyers, so sellers feel they must circumvent buyer’s remorse.
Never make a sale final until you’re convinced you have done the right thing.
Sometimes this means crafting, or having your attorney draft what is referred to as a “condition precedent” or a “condition subsequent. ”
In layman’s terms these are clauses in contracts that say a deal isn’t sealed until something happens first, or it’s only a deal if something doesn’t happen later.
“I have to keep it 30 days before the sale is final” or “I can return it for a full refund within 30 days if I’m not satisfied” are the kinds of conditions that can be agreed to.
When you have these in effect, you can be assured that you can safely try before you buy!
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com , is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, “The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable, " published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph. D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations from Santa Monica to South Africa. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org . For information about coaching, consulting, training, books, videos and audios, please go to http://www.customersatisfaction.com