Okay, it goes like this:
- You order a burger at a fast food restaurant that accepts special orders.
- You say “no onions or tomatoes”.
- The order-taker person repeats “no onions or tomatoes” back to you.
- You get a burger with onions and tomatoes.
Do you take the burger back and kindly ask for what you wanted? Or are you the type that settles for what you got because you don’t want to be a complainer?
Now, imagine the stakes are higher.
If you are paying hundreds of dollars for a product or service and you are not getting what is advertised, do you go to the owner and kindly request what you believed you were getting when you paid? Or do you keep your mouth shut?
I’ve heard the argument that Christians ought not to stir up contention when it can be avoided, so they should not complain about a product or service that doesn’t meet their expectations.
I do believe that Christians ought not to stir up contention, but I also believe in being a smart consumer, and I don’t think those two things have to be exclusive.
I was recently in a situation where I did in fact approach a business owner about a service that was advertised, but was not being delivered. I chose my words carefully, and commented positively on the good aspects, but then I plainly stated that I expected to be receiving what was advertised from that point forth.
It was an uncomfortable conversation for me because I like to be happy and I like other people to be happy. Part of me said that I should just overlook it, but there was another part that said if I am paying hard earned dollars for something, then it would be irresponsible of me to walk away with less than I am paying for.
I think tone of voice and attitude play a big part in whether you will be seen as hostile or gentle, but in any case, confronting a situation like this is … confrontational.