The simple rule “you will only get what you want if you ask for it” is very powerful in two ways.
1) People won’t know what you want unless you ask. That’s why it’s important to have a goal. What do you really want? Now go ask for it. You just might get it. Example: Ask for that girl’s number.
2) Be more forceful when you ask for what you want. Sometimes you just need to be more confident or clear when you ask for what you want. This works well when dealing with bureaucracies. The rep on the phone may not have the power to get you what you want but his manager might. If not try that manager above. Example: I used this today to get my loan rate lock-in extended and I was dealing with a big bank.
I’ve heard many stories of how this works well for credit card late fees also. A classmate in graduate school said he used this successfully five times in the previous year. Then finally one of the companies caught on and said they can no longer waive the late fee because he used it numerous times. Three levels of management later and he got it waived again! But this time he promised the manager, it was the “last time”.