This is how to be the world’s smartest consumer every time

Maybe you’re old enough to remember a time when the customer was always right. Back then, employees were friendly “yes” men and women who served you with a smile. Deals were made with a handshake. You paid less, but you felt as if you got more. You didn’t need to be the world’s smartest consumer because businesses treated you honestly and fairly.

But today, people don’t trust companies to do the right thing — probably because companies often don’t do the right thing. Businesses assume the customer is wrong unless proven otherwise. And the reason no one is screaming to high heaven about this is that the decline of trust and customer service happened slowly.
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This isn’t the bed I ordered from Groupon. Can I get a refund?

Sherrie Segall isn’t happy with the bed she ordered from Groupon. She assumes it’s made of wood, but it’s actually made of particleboard. Can she get her money back?
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This hearing aid was a big disappointment. Where’s my refund?

Lourdes Whiteman’s new hearing aid was a big disappointment. The company, Audien Hearing, won’t honor its 30-day refund policy, either. What now?
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I want to cancel my Verizon service. They won’t let me.

No matter how hard he tries, Vladimir Wozniuk can’t cancel his Verizon service. What should he do?
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My DeLonghi coffee maker leaks! Can I get a refund?

Susan Chegia’s new DeLonghi coffee maker leaks. Three replacement pots later, the manufacturer refuses to refund the defective machine. Is she stuck?
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