Great Products Plus Great Customer Service Equals A Resounding Success

It’s so much easier to write a blog entry about a complaint than it is to share a good story, but when a company steps up to address a problem in a way that thoroughly satisfies a customer, they deserve to hear the kudos associated with that.  Today’s story is about North Face.

I fought North Face for a long time.  It seemed everybody I knew or didn’t know was wearing a North Face jacket.  For years, I was willing to stick it out with knock offs, figuring I was wiser and more financially responsible than anybody who would have wasted their money on those coats.

Then I tried one one.  My wife got me in a moment of weakness and handed me this ‘winter coat’ that was half the thickness of the one I was used to wearing.  I wondered how this could keep anybody warm.  Then, I put it on and was instantly to the point where I almost passed out from the immediate warmth.

(Hey, we were indoors, after all)

I decided to give it a try and asked for one for Christmas last year.  I liked the coat I got but I actually wanted a warmer one, so I traded it for a ‘better’ model using some gift money to cover the difference.

Loved it.

Earlier this year, my wife and I found a seasonal store that was selling everything they had at 40% before they closed for the year, including fall jackets.  We both found coats that we loved, and we both used gift money that we had not yet spent to pay for our coats.

All was well until a couple of weeks later when Mrs. Beagle called and said that one of the zippers on the pockets had broken.  She was disappointed.  I came home and took a look and sure enough, the zipper was only attached to one side and there was no way to reattach it.

My wife looked online and found that there was good news and bad news. The good news was that they would repair coats for the lifetime of the coat.  They did specify that the repairs would be within reason, meaning you couldn’t trash the coat and then send it off to them expecting them to fix it.

The bad news was that you had to pay to send the coat in.  On top of that, they highly suggested that the shipment be insured and that you pay to have signature verification on the package.  When I looked at the USPS website for their pricing, I estimated that this would be roughly $15.  In fairness, they do pay for the costs associated with returning the coat to you.

Now, we saved $45 on the coat (give or take) with the great price we got, so I was not really excited to give up a third of that to pay for a repair on a coat that was less than a month old and had probably been worn less than half a dozen times.

So, I contacted their customer service department (via e-mail), explained the situation, and they agreed to send us a shipping label so that the cost would be covered.

It was easy as can be.  I printed the label, we packed the box, had FedEx grab it, and we had it back within a week and a half, with a repaired zipper.

I love when companies step up and take ownership in situations where it makes sense for them to do so.  All too often, you hear of stories where a company wants to argue their point, all for a little cost.  I see their point in that they just can’t bend over backwards to address every complaint, but at the same time, they have to strike a balance between saving a buck and the lost sales that could result from turning a customer away.

North Face seems to have that down pat.  I’m very pleased to be a North Face customer.  Hats off for a great experience.

Have you had a great customer service experience lately?

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15 thoughts on “Great Products Plus Great Customer Service Equals A Resounding Success

    • That’s good and they’ll likely get your next appliance purchase first (or at least top consideration)

    • With the case of North Face, I think they already have! At least judging from the number of people I see wearing their stuff.

  1. I love north face. The customer service is great and the products last a LONG time (usually)!! I do a lot of outdoor walking / climbing / skiing etc. and find their products to be more than just a name. Pleased to hear you got great service and glad you also approve of sharing a positive story! :)
    Savvy Scot recently posted..An Exciting Passive IncomeMy Profile

    • The time it lasts will be key in determining whether it’s a good value. It’s obviously very expensive to get one of their coats, but if it’s double the price and lasts 2.5x longer than other coats I’ve purchased, then in the long run I actually will come out ahead.

  2. That was pretty cool of them. I have had great experiences with host gator so far. I crashed my site when I wanted to play webmaster and they were so helpful to show me how to reload my backup files. On a couple of other occasions they helped me too, quick and easy to understand.
    Pauline recently posted..Little house in Guatemala, week 3My Profile

  3. That’s awesome. I love it when the little guy wins against the big corporation. I really feel that great customer service can help you to keep your customers. We once had an issue with some moldy bread that we had bought from a local Spartan brand store. (it was moldy the day after we bought it and was no where near the exp. date). The store gave us two breads, they were a different brand, plus for our inconvenience they gave us a $15.00 gift card to keep our business.
    Justin@thefrugalpath recently posted..Windfall: What Would You do With a Million Dollars?My Profile

    • We had our grocery store (Meijer) step up once after we got home and discovered that we had a rotten watermelon. They replaced it and gave us a $5 gift card.

        • I actually didn’t feel that way for a number of years until I found that the Meijer close to my former condo was awful. They always had long lines and the store was just trashy. I figured that’s how they all were, but was later convinced to try other locations, and was sufficiently impressed to where they are now my go-to store in the local area.

  4. I think most companies these days knew that a great product alone will not keep their company afloat and the best way to advertise is to have consumers singing praising not just about the product, but the service as well. I had some good experiences and some bad ones and like most people, I became a repeat customer of those whose customer service really spells “great service!”
    Robert recently posted..What is a Spin Off and How Does they Work?My Profile

    • I think it’s important that we as consumers point out the companies that do step it up. It’s very easy to complain but we often forget to compliment. I’m trying to keep my positive and negative comments about companies, products and service on somewhat of an equal footing here at Money Beagle.

  5. I almost always get excellent service from Bank of Montreal actually. When I went there a year and a bit ago to try to get Euros before a trip, they were very helpful and friendly even though they didn’t have any Euros to sell. Two weeks later, I received a postcard in the mail wishing me a safe and fun trip. They also generally give me free bank drafts and other stuff, though there is supposed to be a fee for them. :)
    CF recently posted..Being evil to save moneyMy Profile

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