Negotiating With Suppliers Over Policies

PurchTips edition #83


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How Do You Get A Supplier To Waive Its Policy?

Don't you hate to hear a supplier say "But our policy states...?" That usually means that you'll hear bad news and a claim that nothing that can be done about it.

But you usually can do something. Negotiating with the supplier's firm, non-empowered customer service rep isn't it. So ask for the email address of someone empowered to waive policies. Then email them, stating:

  1. What You Want
  2. Why You Want It
  3. What You Were Told About The Policy
  4. Why You Disagree With The Policy (use logic)
  5. Your Personal Experience With Policies
  6. That Humans Can Waive Policies (use emotion)
  7. A Call To Action

Here's an example. Adapt it to your own situations.

Dear ___:

I would like you to reconsider my request to return item #12345 from my order #67890 for a refund.

This item does not work as the manual describes.

I was told that your policy states that widgets are not returnable. However, I do not consider this item to be a widget. Both your Web site and the manufacturer's call it an external USB interface, not a widget, which is generally a small chipboard installed inside a computer.

I know what your policy states. But even if you disagree with my notion that your policy does not apply to this item, I believe that you can and should grant my request.

In my purchasing department, we have policies. But human beings can waive policies. And if one of my internal customers justifiably felt that the enforcement of a policy would be unreasonable, I would waive it.

I trust that the management of ABCD, Inc. shares this customer-centric view of how exceptions to policies can be granted by intelligent, caring business leaders.

Please reply with the instructions for arranging my refund. Thank you.

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