That was in the good ol' days when winter was winter.
I still own this warm LL Bean coat, but I haven't had to wear it too many times this winter.
But this is the forecast for today. Possible thunderstorms?
How wonderful it is to walk on sidewalks not encrusted in dirty snow along the sides. How wonderful it is to cross the street without dodging snow piles.
Some people love winter, but I am not one of them.
We in the United States, in the midst of an unbelievable warmup, continue to wonder "is this for real? Or will it end in a bad way?" Well, another snowstorm is on its way. Surprise.
So today, a reminder to us of how a normal winter used to be like, just three years ago. And if you have a good customer service story to share, please feel free.
This experience, though, has to be a first.
There is a long time company, located in Maine, called L.L. Bean. They have been in business since 1912 and have a reputation for excellent customer service. Their clothing can be a bit pricey, but I've been wearing one of their light fleece jackets for years and years, and I will go into mourning the day it finally falls apart.
In September of 2011 I bought a ski jacket in their flagship store in Freeport, Maine. It was a splurge, and I don't ski, but it had some features I wanted. It was a light ivory/white, which I wanted, so I could be visible at night if I had to go out. It had a nice red liner, so fleecy and comfy. I hadn't worn it enough to have to wash it until this year, when it became my go-to coat, in our extended "polar vortex" weather.
I washed it yesterday, and to my horror...well, let my email to L.L. Bean from today tell the story.
"I purchased during a visit to Freeport in 2011, a white ski jacket with red liner... I didn't wear it much the winters of 2011 and 2012 but wore it a lot this winter and got it dirty. I washed it for the first time yesterday-cold water, gentle cycle as directed. The red liner has bled all over the coat in various places and is visible from the outside in many spots on the hood and the back. It is cosmetically ruined. Is there anything that can be done? I love this coat and we are ready to go into another cold wave later this week. Thank you."
Less than 1/2 hour later (on a Sunday!!) I got this response:
"I am sorry to read the red liner on your North Ridge Sport Jacket bled.
Unfortunately, the jacket was discontinued in 2011 and is no longer available for replacement. You are welcome to return the jacket if you wish. We would issue you a gift card for the return... Simply print a return form and return shipping label[from our website]."
After a little further correspondence (which they responded to in minutes, as if someone was waiting there to get my email) I was told no rush if I need the coat until it warms up - there is no time limit on returns! (I've read that - and now I know it is true).
And maybe, one day, it will really be spring. Meantime, tonight, it is supposed to dip down to 10 above (-12.2 C), and by Wednesday, 3 above (-16.1 C) . If you see someone with a blotchy white/ivory coat walking around Binghamton, you'll know who it is.
Have you had a really good customer service experience?