Getting rid of unnecessary paper clutter makes me happy. However, over the years I’ve learned there are a couple paper items that you should keep: rebates and big-ticket receipts. (And important documents, of course!)
I submitted a rebate for a phone in January and by the end of March still hadn’t received it. After a quick phone call they told me they had already sent it. It hadn’t arrived. I asked if they could check and see if it had been used (perhaps it got stolen??) and was told that “we have no way of tracking rebates.” [That’s odd!] I called to request another one and finally received my rebate.
About a month later, after submitting another rebate, I received a letter saying we didn’t qualify for the rebate (even though we did). A 2-minute phone call later and the rebate was in the mail. The exact same thing happened to a good friend.
So even though it is a hassle, it’s definitely worth keeping track of rebates. A five minute call is worth $100 to me.
Hang on to big-ticket receipts:
…for all those times when your word simply isn’t enough. When switching internet services, I made sure to cancel our original provider before the next billing cycle began-which included a last minute trip to return the “box”. I hate hanging on to extra pieces of paper, and since I wouldn’t need to return anything, why bother? But, I did keep it.
A few weeks later a bill arrived from the old company for the new month. The customer service rep said, “well, it looks like you didn’t cancel until the 13th and the new cycle started on the 4th.”
“But I checked to see when the cycle began and specifically canceled before it.”
“Well, the computer says you didn’t cancel.”
“I did cancel and we certainly didn’t use your internet service after the 4th. Is there nothing you can do?”
“No, but you can pay the bill before it’s late,” she answered rather rudely.
…and then I remembered the receipt (which I’d reluctantly filed). What a difference it made.
“Oh, I am so sorry,” she said in a conciliatory tone, “I’ll take care of that right away. There must have been a mistake in the recording. Please disregard the bill. So sorry for the trouble.”
republished from my former blog
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