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Good Customer Service Story = Thanks Scottevest – a Retro Roadmap Aside

Posted on: April 25, 2012


Now you may think I’m all sweetness and light with my joyful sharing of all sorts of neat vintage finds here, but there’s a “wicked crabby” side of Mod Betty too (just ask Retro Roadhusband!) And that side came out recently upon my purchase of an expensive (to me, thrift queen) piece of clothing that didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

But since all turned out well in the end I thought I’d share the good story -which starts with the crabby story – of me and my Scottevest Red Travel Trenchcoat.(Note, this is not a sponsored post, they in fact earned this thumbs up.)

So yeah, as I mentioned we were heading to Ireland with my mother, and I thought with all the traveling we were going to do that I should have a versatile jacket with me. When I read online (Mashable maybe?) about the Scottevest line of clothing made expressly for traveling (light, easy to clean,  with a gazillion pockets, some big enough to fit an ipad, camera, water bottle, sunglasses etc in) I deliberated for a while then took the leap and bought one even though the price was well out of what I typically pay.

Initially excited about my purchase when it arrived, and wanting to do everything Just Right, I washed it prior to wearing as instructed, only to discover that they had put some business cards in the pockets.

BUT they didn’t tell me that they were there, so I found them all balled up wet and gross and linty in the washing machine, with paper debris all over my new jacket!

I also later found that one of the attachments inside one of the pockets was meant to be removed prior to washing, but again was not told of this. See, that’s the thing that gets in my craw, a problem that could easily be solved by some simple communication. Just add these little tidbits onto the sheet that recommended the washing!

When giving the jacket a few test runs at home prior to our trip I noticed that some of the key buttons felt incredibly loose, and saw they had not been stitched on properly like one would stitch a coat button. I have more than my fair share of vintage coats, and it blew my mind that a 60 year old coat could have nice tight strong button stitches, but not this new expensive one.

I won’t even get into the fact that the paint was chipping off of the belt buckle, too. Oh wait, I just did.

Now the jacket for the most part was fine – if anything, for me it had Too Many pockets and I couldn’t remember which one I put stuff in, but that was more my scattered brain than the fault of the garment.

But unfortunately for most of our trip I went through Ireland with a button like this:
Poorly Sewn On ButtonEvery time I buttoned or unbuttoned my jacket, or took my camera bag off or on I was afraid that the button would fall off. It was the main button – right at the top of the jacket, and then wouldn’t I just look like a sloppy American if it was missing? Can you imagine!

Now, again had this been one of my many thrifted jackets I would’ve taken it in stride, but this was a New Expensive Item. So upon my return home I did what any modern person would do nowadays, I crabbed about it on the internets!

Yep! Posted that photo above and a 140 character expression of my disappointment to twitter.com/#!/scottevest just to see what would happen. Having been in a client facing role for most of my life, I’m always curious as to how different companies handle customer service situations, so I sat back and waited to see how much they valued me as a customer.

Here’s where the good news comes in.

Within a short time of my original tweet, I received a reply with an apology and an email address to contact for resolution. I emailed pretty much the story I just told above, and asked how they would like to handle this.

Again, within a reasonable amount of time I received a reply to my email, apologizing for the poor time I was having and giving me a number of options – return, replace, refund, discount on another product, so I was able to decide what would make me happy. EVEN BETTER, because I’m like this, I was glad to learn that they had taken my suggestions on how to improve their product (better sewing, remove items from pockets etc) and relayed them to the proper departments. A company that actually listens to their customers? I could possibly get behind them, even after the initial disappointment.

I had some cordial emails back and forth and within a few days I decided what I wanted to do. A few days later I received this in the mail – with the promise that they had checked the buttons before it was shipped:

Good Customer Service!(I also got a nice pouch to ship the Disappointing Jacket back to them at no charge)

There’s that old but still true adage that a person who is happy with your service will tell a small group of people, but someone who is disappointed will shout it from the rooftops. So while I did start out by shouting it from the Twittertops, I only felt it was right to proclaim just as loudly when they actually responded in the appropriate manner.

It may sound silly to think that that is so much to ask for these days, but c’mon, we’ve all been there recently haven’t we? The people from the phone company not knowing what they’re doing, the surly cashier, the “customer service” people who don’t realize that every interaction with a customer is a “should I stay or should I go” opportunity for a customer to leave? Some folks just don’t get it. I’m glad to be able to report that Scottevest gets it.

Now where shall I wear this trench coat next? Let’s Travel!

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  • Matt Smallwood

    Great story, Betty. I laughed, I cheered, I cried….the whole gamut of emotions…. 🙂 I vot e for the Pacific Northwest, one thinks, Betty. Portland and Seattle would be great places to wear such a coat.

    • We’re looking forward to go to Oregon to meet up with our Vintage Roadside pals, and Retro Roadhusband has been told if he’s ever in the Seattle area someone can book him a music gig, so they’re both on our radar. I’ll be giving the new coat a test run tomorrow as we’re heading into Philadelphia (as the IKE song goes ;-)) and the weather looks like I’ll need it. Photos to follow!

  • Matt Smallwood

    You have a good day in Philly, Betty. I think I may make a day trip to OC, NJ on Saturday. I WILL remember my digital camera this time. May have other submissions come Saturday night. 🙂

  • Matt Smallwood

    Okay, I created a gravatar at wordpress.com, Betty. In a few moments, we shall find out if it worked. 🙂

  • Matt Smallwood

    And it did not….LOL. Unless you see a picture of me on this post and the last one???

  • IT WORKED!!!

  • Matt Smallwood

    Ha! I didn’t complete the final step…which was clicking on the link button. 🙂

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