I hope my fellow readers will excuse me when I take a turn away from wine and food in this blog. But today I would like to pay a credit where credit is due.
I think it is our nature to scream “I am going to write about this somewhere!” or “I am going to call somewhere” whenever we complain, get outraged or upset about something or somebody. Isn’t it the first reaction to negativity? Be it overpriced service, bad service, rude service or no service at all. But when something outstanding, truly amazing happens to us, just rarely we express our gratitude publicly.
I thought of it just last week, when I received a truly unexpected customer service. I mean an exceptional, amazing customer service… But let me start from beginning.
To be honest, it was a little more than I was willing to spend, but I only found out about the price at the register. I would feel cheap to get the cashier to take it off my receipt. Also, there was a long line of people, so I just took my purchase and left. The fact was that I really liked the bag.
Since we moved to Florida few months ago, I started to use my bag whenever we go to the beach or to the pool. Which is almost daily. It’s large size allows me to fit in newspapers, sunscreen, 2 large beach towels, 2 cellphones (with inside and outside convenient pockets), bottled water and whatever else we may need, while still looking stylish.
One day I found a simple stainless steel ring inside the bag – and found out it was the inner part of the decorating ring, inserted into the handles as a part of a design. I thought I could fix it, but unfortunately, the outer part, with Vera Bradley signature on it, was missing. Without that it couldn’t be pressed back together. Simple thing. I mean, the bag could be used without it, but it didn’t look right. So I started to research the internet in hope that maybe I will find the missing ring somewhere, since the rest of the bag was perfectly fine.
I couldn’t find a retailer nearby that would carry her line of bags, so I ended up turning into Vera Bradley’s company itself. I tried to explain what happened in a short email and asked them if by any chance I can purchase just this missing ring, so I can fix my bag.
I have received a following response the very next day:
I am sorry to hear the rings on your bag fell off. Unfortunately we do not have any rings as replacements to mail back to you. Please let us know the name and color of your bag as well as your physical address. We will be more than happy to mail you a new one at no cost. If we no longer have it in stock we will email you an online gift certificate. Have a nice day.
Sarah, Vera Bradley Customer Service
Now, maybe it doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you. So they offered me a free product instead. That’s nice, right? I don’t know. In today’s world, it is a big gesture and it meant a lot to me. I only wanted to fix mine, otherwise perfect, Vera Bradley’s bag. Don’t forget, it wasn’t cheap bag either. Either way, the missing ring was really a more cosmetic than a mechanical imperfection.
I didn’t expect a reply like that. I was completely blown away. Maybe, just maybe, Vera Bradley doesn’t want her customers to walk around with her brand bag, in an imperfect condition. It’s her brand, right?
Or maybe, she just appreciate her customers and the fact that they purchased her products. And she understand the art of perfect customer service. Whatever the reason was, I did appreciate their effort to meet my needs very, very much.
Few days later I have received a beautifully presented package with a brand new bag. The company even apologized to me for not having the same color available!