Moral of the story: you never know if you don't ask!
Example number 1: I bought a Le Creuset pot about a year and a half ago from Bed Bath and Beyond. The pot worked splendidly until a couple of months ago, when I noticed a small ring on the inside bottom of the pot. I continued using it since it only looked like a slight discoloration. Well, the slight discoloration became worse until the enamel gave way and cracked, revealing the cast iron beneath the enamel. I treat the pot very well and knew there was no way I could've caused that kind of damage - it's not like I hit the pot against something to cause any internal damage. Since I didn't have my receipt or even the original packaging for the product, Mark checked out Le Creuset's website to see if they would replace it - they will, apparently, but only if you ship it at your own cost. And those pots are HEAVY! So I've put off doing anything about the pot for a while because I was dreading repackaging and shipping it.
Then my co-worker suggested asking BB&B if they could ship it to Le Creuset for me since I bought it from them. I said I doubted it since I had nothing to prove I had bought it from BB&B, but I'd try anyway. And what do you know, BB&B offered to exchange it for me in-store since it had a lifetime guarantee, regardless of whether I had the receipt or not! Win!
Example number 2: I've been struggling with some issues with my contacts for a couple of weeks now. I use Acuvue Oasys contacts for Astigmatism and have been for years now, and have only had these problems within my most recent two boxes. I started developing oil spots on a pair that I'd had in for about a month (that's a short wear time for me - I usually stretch them for at least two months). I could rub off the oil spot with saline solution and it would remain clean for about five minutes, but cloud up again. So I threw that pair away and put in a brand new pair. Same problem. I've gone through four pairs now and experienced the same problem each time. With my most recent pair, my face was completely washed and make-up free, and I'd also flushed out my eyes: I put in a contact from a brand new package and within five minutes, a cloudy spot had developed on the contact.
I refuse to believe that my eyes are the problem. I've never had this issue before and it conveniently started with this new batch of contacts. So I called Costco, my provider, and asked if they could refund me or do an exchange since these seem to be defective. At first she said no. Then she asked if she could order me a trial pair since I had no contacts at the moment. I agreed (something is better than nothing), and she went on: "How about this - I'll order you two new boxes of contacts, free of charge, and you can test those out?" Sounds like an exchange to me, I'll take it! I don't know if my problems will stop with these new boxes, but it's the logical next step to take.
Who else can I call today to ask for favors??