Monday, May 10, 2010

The Few, The Proud and Me

Have you ever ordered something online, been excited for it to arrive, then felt disappointment when it didn't measure up to what you imagined it would be? Well, that happened to me today.  I love mail order. I always have. But I hate returning via the post office. I truly hate it. I hate the long lines, the grumpy clerks and wasting money on shipping.

A week or so ago, I was looking for a new key chain online. I started at Ebay, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I wanted it to say Marine Mom but I didn't want any roses, or yellow ribbons. I just wanted something simple with the Marine Corps logo on it. I couldn't find what I wanted on Ebay, so I asked Google to help me out.

I never did find a suitable key chain, but Google lead me to CafePress.com where I saw some really cute T-shirts. I already have a Marine Mom T-shirt, but I have two sons serving so I figured I needed a second shirt to adequately recognize both boys service. Well. It made sense to me at the time.

I found a shirt I didn't think I could live without. I think it was the color, more than the graphic that appealed to me. I promptly put one in the shopping cart then returned to browse and see if I could find anything else I could not live without. I didn't. When I went to check out, I had second thoughts and closed the window before my order was complete. A few hours later, I returned determined I needed that shirt! Again, I closed the window without purchasing it. I did that once more before finally entering all my information, then pressing order.

I immediately felt guilt. First of all, I really do not need another sloppy Tshirt. Second, I cannot afford to spend money on myself right now. I decided to brush those negative feelings off and let myself enjoy the shirt when it arrived.

It came today and I was kind of excited to see it. But the moment I opened the package, I was both disappointed and mad. Why didn't I listen to myself? Why did I waste my money on this?

First, the color is not how I imagined it would be. Then there is a tiny bit of paint on the collar. I hate that. It makes it look cheap and junky. Finally, I don't like how the graphics look. It's probably not the shirt's fault. I think I'm just mad I bought it when I knew I shouldn't.
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(I've added arrows so you can see the paint on the collar I was complaining about. I swear the spots are larger than they appear in this lousy photo.  )

I mulled it over for a bit, trying to decide whether to just keep it, or make the uncomfortable trip the Post Office to return it. I finally decided to return it. I contacted Cafe Press per their return instructions. I gave them my name, order number and the reason for return. I was honest and complained about the paint on the color and how it cheapened the shirt. I was told I would be contacted within two days with instructions on how to return. I was satisfied with that.

Not even twenty minutes later, I received an email from Rhonda, a CafePress Support Representative. She explained my credit card would be credited the full amount within five business days. She also said she was sorry the shirt was not to my complete satisfaction, but as a way of apology they wanted me to go ahead and keep the shirt! Wow!  Now that is what I call customer service!

Now I have a shirt to represent each of my boys. It's funny how the color doesn't seem so bad now. And the paint? I can hardly see it...

I love you CafePress.com!

***Disclaimer... I am writing this purely based on my own experience. I don't know if this is how CafePress always handles their returns. I wouldn't suggest you order something hoping to return it, then get your money back and keep the goods. It would be dishonest. But I am thrilled to tell you about the experience I had so you'll keep them in mind when you need a really great Tshirt, gift, mug, poster or anything else they sell.  I have to believe if they're willing to do honest business as they've demonstrated with me today, then their products must be quality and worth backing up. The paint on my shirt was probably just an oversite.

Edited: I thought you might like to see what the entire shirt looks like.
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1 comment:

Lin said...

That's definintely great customer service!