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Or the exact opposite of that…………..

January 6, 2009

Orvis rocks. They really, really do. United Airlines – get out a pen and paper and take notes. I’ll wait. Really, you’ll want to take notes on this. It is an example of how customer service is done better than it has to be. Not really, really badly – not barely enough  – not even just enough – but actually better than it has to be.

For Christmas, my parents got Number One Hubby a very nice watch  from Orvis that was advertised to keep time in two different locations – a dual time zone watch as it were. It was brown – yahoo – it was large – yahoo. It was great. However, my hubby is a gadget guy – so about two seconds after opening the watch, he starting figuring out how to set both times – here and Delhi.

Well, it turns out that Orvis made a mistake. The watch will not actually keep times in two different locations. So, they included a very nice note that said they made a mistake and that this watch could absolutely be returned. Okay. It happens.

Off we go to the Orvis Store. For those of you have never been to an Orvis store, it is very much like an Eddie Bauer store with maybe a little Talbots mixed in for the ladies. Lots of outdoors stuff. And cool watches and pretty sweaters.

So, we walk in and I get in line. The salesperson actually apologized to me for not being able to help me right away. He had someone else waiting and it should not take long. Okay. Really, I am very sorry. Seriously, it’s okay. We can certainly wait our turn.

He never spelled his name for me (you can see what this is important here). He just hurried to be helpful so he could return and be helpful again. Wait just a minute. Let me say thank you now. Really it was impressive.

So, it turns out they happily accepted the return. And because it was a gift, they gave us a store credit. With 25% added on. Seriously, I am not kidding.

We looked in the store and saw some things we liked, but nothing we had to have immediately. Well, okay, I saw two sweaters – they were on sale and that gets me EVERY TIME – but they were the wrong size. So on-line shopping here we come.

Number One Hubby found a watch he really liked – and lo and behold – the sweaters were available on-line too. Alas, they were not on sale. Bummer.

So, I did an on-line chat with the Orvis rep on-line. He was also very helpful, polite, and professional. Really, these people are good. He could not honor the sales price on-line, but the store could order everything for me at the sales price.

Yep, that is the sound of me tripping over myself to get to the phone. Calling Orvis. Another very polite and helpful salesperson answers the phone. Yes, they can do that. Oh, but no, they cannot do it over the phone. I must come into the store.

Hmmmmm. I am moving to India – I now have to figure out how to get my cats to India and my luggage to Delhi – oh yeah my kids are coming too – it’s raining – I don’t really have the time/energy to go back to the store. So I order the items online.

But I am disappointed by this, so  after I place my order, I write to Orvis and tell them that I wish they could have honored the sales price on-line. I tell them that I won’t bore them with how busy I am because everyone is so busy and that is why on-line shopping has been invented and embraced. So it’s a bummer that I would have had to travel to get the discount. It’s just that I simply do not know where I would squeeze in the time right now to get back to the store. I did not ask for anything. I just wanted to let them know. Maybe they could think about it for the next time.

Within a few hours, I get a note back saying that my shipping costs on my order will immediately be reimbursed. That was nice. I thanked them. Then I got another message from customer service saying they were so glad they could help me.

Door open. So, I reply, yes, that was indeed nice. But the shipping costs were incurred by me because of a mistake by them. And the savings on the sweaters would have been $40. The shipping costs were $14. But, I did appreciate their responsiveness and it was a very nice customer service gesture. Thank you again. You can be sure Orvis is on my list of places to continue shopping.

United, is your pencil sharpened? Do you have a piece of paper at the ready? They wrote me back again. Customer Service is apparently very important to Orvis. They are sorry for the trouble. Really, they are. They are going to reimburse me $40 for the difference in the sales price of the sweaters.

I just want to add here that I did mention in my letter that we will be out of the country soon and for a while. They know I am a customer who will be out of the country for quite some time. This makes this even more impressive.

Stop the presses. I did not ask for anything at any point. I just outlined my experience for them. They stretched their customer service arms way out and wrapped them around me like a big we-appreciate-you hug snuggled in a whisper soft plum colored sweater that can tell you the time in two places at once. AHHHH.

They have a fan for life! I bet if I asked them really nicely, they could get my cats to India for me, complete with a baggage claim ticket.

So, get your credit card out and go shopping. Number One Hubby got the dual time zone watch. I particularly like the whisper soft sweater. I got it in green and plum and now I am getting it in bone. Yippee for me. Clinton and Stacey would never approve of the multiples. But I roll like that.

Thank you Orvis! I will continue to sing your praises.

One more note – I just went back and looked at the emails from Orvis today. They had 5 different wonderful people working to help me – and the left hand always seemed to know what the right hand was doing. Amazing. I do not want to forget the two very polite store employees. I might just apply for a job when we return.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2009 8:19 am

    Whoa. I’m impressed. Too bad I’m poor, otherwise I’d go do some shopping.

    • January 7, 2009 11:32 am

      Badass – I am scraping the bottom of my purse to buy more stuff from them. 😎

  2. January 6, 2009 5:24 pm

    Lola – I am telling you they rock!

  3. January 6, 2009 4:55 pm

    They even read your blog? Holy crap!

  4. January 6, 2009 12:23 pm

    Thank YOU for such a wonderful post. Have a great, safe trip..!

    James Hathaway
    The Orvis Company

    • January 6, 2009 12:27 pm

      James @ Orvis – no really, really – thank you – I just had a horrible experience with United Airlines (which is why this post is called “or the opposite of that”) and I can hardly even begin to tell you how wonderful my experience with Orvis has been.

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