Joel on Customer Service

From Joel’s Seven steps to remarkable customer service

We needed some shirts for a trade show. I called up Lands’ End and ordered two dozen, using the same logo design we had used for some knapsacks we bought earlier.

When the shirts arrived, to our dismay, you couldn’t read the logo.

It turns out that the knapsacks were brighter than the polo shirts. The thread color that looked good on the knapsacks was too dark to read on the shirts.

I called up Lands’ End. As usual, a human answered the phone even before it started ringing. I’m pretty sure that they have a system where the next agent in the queue is told to standby, so customers don’t even have to wait one ringy-dingy before they’re talking to a human.

I explained that I screwed up.

They said, “Don’t worry. You can return those for a full credit, and we’ll redo the shirts with a different color thread.”

I said, “The trade show is in two days.”

They said they would Fedex me a new box of shirts and I’d have it tomorrow. I could return the old shirts at my convenience.

They paid shipping both ways. I wasn’t out a cent. Even though they had no possible use for a bunch of Fog Creek logo shirts with an illegible logo, they ate the cost.

It’s classic Joel doing what he does best.

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