I'm a consumer. I like to buy stuff. Sometimes, I consume more than I need (okay, I do that a lot). As a consumer, I'm more excited about getting treated well as a customer, than I am on getting that "killer deal".

I ordered three items today from two different merchants, neither of which I had done business with previously. My dad's 79th birthday is Saturday, and a few weeks ago, he mentioned that he has been searching for a while for a long-sleeved guayabera shirt. My dad has been a fan of the guayabera since he first visited the Philippines, and saw them worn at formal events. I gotta say, I'm a big fan of being able to dress comfortably and formally; that's seldom possible in Western culture. So when he mentioned this, I pulled out my laptop, did a google search for "long sleeve guayabera" and immediately found a long-sleeved, linen, guayabera at CubanFoodMarket.com. He was of course very upset that it took me so little time to find it, but then conceded that I do, in fact, have mad google-fu skillz (my words, not his). I placed an order this morning around 0700 EDT for that, and a sweet "leisure" shirt for myself.

You're thinking... slacker! This isn't interesting! When are you going to tell us about the good customer service?! Don't worry, I'm getting to that.

I then realized that I was going to need a good hat for the summer. I have plenty of hats, as my wife will attest to. I may possibly have too many hats, but I don't really think such a thing is possible.

I've always liked flatcaps but there is always the problem of how to search for them, since they go by 30 different names. This took my google-fu to the limit, but I finally found the Cavanaugh/Stetson Plaid Linen Ivy Cap that both my wife and I agreed was a good one. So I placed an order for that.

When I checked my email after lunch, I had received one from Falkoffs.com, from the VP of Internet Sales, no less (I know, it sounds lame, but an actual human wrote to inform me that my order was on it's way, and gave me the tracking number)

Hi Lehi,
Thank you for your order. Your Cavanaugh Cap will ship today via FedEx. Your tracking number is xxxxxxxxxxxx. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email or phone 800-xxx-xxxx. We appreciate your business and hope to serve you in the future.
Thank you,
Xxxx Xxxx V.P. Internet Sales

How often do you get an email like that when you order online? So that brightened me up a bit. Then, since I'm a slacker, and waited too long to order my Dad's birthday present (his birthday is Saturday), I had the guayabera and leisure shirt shipped overnight. I sent an email to cubanfoodmarket.com asking if it would ship today, and within 30 minutes got a phone call from Maria letting me know that my shirt out of the order was out of stock in my size. She cheerfully offered another shirt to me (which I think will be a great party shirt) and said the Dad's shirt will ship today and be here tomorrow, my shirt will ship tomorrow (I opted for ground shipping on that, and she threw that in for free) and I'm apparently getting a little something else with my shirt that she assures me I'll like.

THAT is what I'm talking about. The first thing I did after talking to Maria was to tell a co-worker what happened. He's the VP of Sales for my company, and his first comment was, "That's what will make you come back. They treated you right, and the first thing you did was tell someone about it." And now I'm telling the Internet.

Bravo to CubanFoodMarket.com and Falkoffs.com for reinforcing my faith in online retailers!


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