I occasionally blog about customer service experiences, both good (Chobani yogurt) and not so good (a local Binghamton, NY restaurant, who acknowledged my email but only after several days and although they said they would respond, they never did.)
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, and by Wednesday, 3 above. 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?