Tis the season! The holidays are approaching, and in these tough economic times, retail businesses are looking for ways to get - and keep - customers. You will hear businesses tout their customer service, and no doubt many will be stepping it up to try to help sluggish sales figures.
I've recently had an experience with excellent customer service from an online merchant, and I had to share. When I find something good, I want everyone else to know about it!
Here's the backstory. Earlier this fall, I decided to knit my mom a gift for Christmas. (Momma - if you are reading this, please STOP!!) I found a pattern and casually began looking for yarn. Then I came across a note I had written to the effect that I'd make her an apron for a gift. I wasn't sure if she had mentioned it, or if I just thought it would be a good idea. I hated to ruin the surprise, but I wanted to make sure she got what she wanted, so I asked her. She gave me some specifics as to style, colors and patterns she would like, and I began creating a pattern and looking for fabric.
But I couldn't find what I wanted. Lots of great fabric, but just not right.
So I re-examined my knitting idea. If I'm going to knit something for her to wear, seems that giving it to her at Christmas, when she can wear it immediately, made sense. I could make her apron for her birthday in May (and I'd have more time to find the perfect fabric).
So, back to looking for yarn. On site I visited was Supercrafty. I've followed Allison's blog for over a year now, and occasionally she'll mention some new yarn she has tried out. A look through Supercrafty showed me the perfect yarn - Misti Alpaca. I knew that was what I wanted, and placed my order.
I soon received shipping confirmation and anxiously waited to get the yarn. It was early November, so I had less than two months to make this. I'm fairly new to knitting, so I'm rather slow. Add in a full-time job, trying to get my design business going, and single-parenting a 13 year old, and I don't have much free time.
And I waited. Veteran's Day holiday meant no mail delivery, but I hoped for the day after. But it didn't arrive then, or for several days after.
I finally checked online and noted that the post office had confirmed delivery a week earlier! Um, maybe delivered, but NOT TO ME! I was home at the time the delivery was noted, and no one came by. There was no noted left in my mail box to pick up a package. I double-checked my order, and it was sent to the correct address. So, I called the post office and reported it. I ended up calling my local post office four times; three times I was told that they would have to check with the mail carrier, and he wasn't in but they'd ask and call me back. But they didn't call back. So I'd call again.
Finally, I talked to a supervisor who told me that if there was delivery confirmation, the only thing I could do was file a claim if it was insured. This gentlemen even went to an address that is similar to mine to see if the package had been left there in error, but no one was home.
As soon as I found the post office had delivered it, I contacted Allison and explained what had happened. I thought that if it had been mis-delivered, it might be returned to her, and I wanted her to know that I did want the yarn. She said that it had not been returned, but she would look for it.
Once I finally learned that there was little hope of getting the package, I decided to re-order and try again. I contacted Allison asking if there was a way to add insurance to the shipping charge in case this package went astray also. Her reply left me speechless - in a good way! She said that she guaranteed delivery of all orders and she would replace the yarn! I really did not expect this - she had very promptly shipped my order to the correct address. The fact the post office mis-delivered it was not her fault. I received an email notice that the order had shipped last Wednesday. On Saturday, it was waiting in my mailbox!
I am thrilled! Not only is the yarn wonderful (oh, it is so soft!), but the customer service I received was outstanding! I will definitely order from Supercrafty again - and I hope that if you are looking for wonderful yarns or other knitting and crocheting supplies, you will check her out as well.
And now, if you will excuse me, I have some knitting to do!