Companies do not want you to know your rights. They will fight you even if you do know your rights. The amount of money you can save when you know the law is amazing.
Laws vary from state to state, but it pays to read up on certain issues when they arise, so you know what you are legally obligated to do and what you legally have the right to expect from the company.
There have been many times in my life where I have received a refund for items that were not of merchandisable quality or when I have received gift cards for unacceptable “service” (well, lack thereof).
Some things to consider when dealing with companies are
1.) Always keep proof of purchase and warranties to prove when you bought the item and that it has not done what it was supposed to.
2.) Always record when you make calls. In some states it is legal to actually record with a tape the conversation, in others it is not. Regardless of that you can make a record of date, time, how you spoke to and what was discussed.
3.) Check that the outcome you want e.g. a refund is supported by law. Have the documentation that supports this handy.
4.) Always be polite but firm. Maintain your stance that what you have/how you were treated/whatever is unacceptable. You want a refund/replacement/to complain to the supervisor/whatever. Do not accept less than your desired outcome. Saying please and thank you and speaking in a clear, calm manner does wonders.
5.) Know company policy. Some supermarkets have the policy where if an item scans at the incorrect price you get it free. It’s worth knowing who does this as it can mean lots of free products. I would say every 3rd time I go through a shop an item scans wrong.
If you know your rights and push for them, it can be truly beneficial. Be careful with complaining about products though. If it is a legitimate complaint, fine, but many people complain about the tiniest things and since so many smaller companies are actually owned by one big company all complaints are put on a system. This means if you complain regularly, it will be noted and you will be seen as a problem, not a “valued customer”.