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October 15, 2007 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Zappos brings customer to tears (in a good way)
posted by growabrain (38 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Zappos too! They don't always carry the latest season's lines, though. If you're looking for a tried and true classic, it's great. Specially the reviews.
posted by Titania at 7:55 PM on October 15, 2007


Another Zappos fan here. This little story moved me, and renewed my faith in individuals working within larger businesses.

But if I end up seeing this debunked on Snopes, I'm going into full torch and pitchfork mode.
posted by maryh at 8:01 PM on October 15, 2007


One night I had a dream. I dreamed
I was walking along the beach with Zappos.

Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to me, and the other to Zappos (sandals).

When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.

I noticed that many times along the path of
my life there was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in my life.

This really bothered me and I
questioned Zappos about it:

"Zappos, you said that once I decided to wear
your shoes, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

Zappos replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

THANK YOU ZAPPOS!
posted by Falconetti at 8:01 PM on October 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Zappos replied:

"My son, my precious child,

I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,


Those sandals looked terrible on you,
Knowing you would want to return them
And that you weren't walking on a carpeted surface

it was then that I carried you."


fixed that for you
posted by felix betachat at 8:07 PM on October 15, 2007 [14 favorites]


Zappos killed my mother in a drunken hit-and-run just outside of St. Andrews. Good luck reworking that karma, hoof pimps.



(But what a return policy!)
posted by biddeford at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zappos is great, but my BS detector is deafening.
posted by Camofrog at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


But if I end up seeing this debunked on Snopes, I'm going into full torch and pitchfork mode.

I read that as "I'm going to fully torch Pitchfork Media" - I couldn't quite see the connection, but it somehow still seemed a reasonable thing to do, anyway.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yeah, as much as I love zappos (omg! any shoe! on your feet in less than 24 hours! and cheaper than a department store!), the first time I read the story I thought it sounded like an urban legend or something hatched from the dark minds of someone in marketing. I sincerely hope it really happened and I'll still love zappos either way, but something about the story seemed too good to be true.

I just can't imagine a super huge internet company like that would do such crazy awesome customer service things without being recognized for it. If it was a local store and they knew the customer sure, but a huge net brand like zappos? If you think about, you'd have to send out dozens if not hundreds of flower arrangements every time someone gives you a story over email with the hopes that someone, someday would share it with others and bring that goodwill back to zappos.
posted by mathowie at 8:41 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pepsi Awwwww.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2007 [7 favorites]


I read that as "I'm going to fully torch Pitchfork Media"

And I read that as "I'm going to fully torch Pajamas Media", which I must say put some ideas in my head.
posted by maryh at 8:46 PM on October 15, 2007


Did you know if you tell the bus driver your mom died he lets you ride for free?
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2007


Zappos brings customer to tears (in a good way)

I cried!

Pepsi Awwwww.

I laughed!

Thanks for sharing this.
posted by gummi at 9:16 PM on October 15, 2007


And I read that as "I'm going to fully torch Pajamas Media", which I must say put some ideas in my head.

Don't be silly. Pajamas are flame resistant.
posted by fedward at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2007


Don't be silly. Pajamas are flame resistant retardant.

Fixed that for you.
posted by Poolio at 9:26 PM on October 15, 2007


Are you calling me a retard?
posted by fedward at 9:33 PM on October 15, 2007


Does that make this a flame-out?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2007


The way that was written it made it sound like she made up her mom dying as an excuse but I'm going to assume that's not the case.
posted by puke & cry at 10:36 PM on October 15, 2007


I buy all my shoes from Zeppos.
posted by davejay at 11:19 PM on October 15, 2007


I torch all my pajamas with zippos.
posted by doublesix at 11:26 PM on October 15, 2007


I make all my shoes out of hippos.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:28 PM on October 15, 2007


(and riff on my rhymes with the seppos)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:31 PM on October 15, 2007


(If you really really want to believe what that blogger wrote, read no further.) Here's why some of us are suspicious: the writer says that Zappos requires returns to be sent within 15 days, and the customer has to get the package to UPS. In reality, you have way more time than that, and your mail carrier will probably pick up the postage-paid box, like mine does. "You can return your purchase for up to 365 days from the purchase date....We will provide you with a pre-paid UPS or USPS domestic label to return the purchase to us."

I don't need no stinkin' flowers to make me love Zappos. It's an incredible company -- totally customer-oriented. I'm crazy about Zappos, and I tell people about it every chance I get.
posted by wryly at 11:42 PM on October 15, 2007


The cynic in me is still looking for the affiliate tracking code in the Zappos link on that page.
posted by chipsotoole at 2:00 AM on October 16, 2007


What sets my BS detector ringing at full blast is the conclusion:

I’m a sucker for kindness, and if that isn’t one of the nicest things I’ve ever had happen to me, I don’t know what is. So…

IF YOU BUY SHOES ONLINE, GET THEM FROM ZAPPOS.

With hearts like theirs, you know they’re good to do business with.


That tagline sounds like a marketing department's wet dream. Why not just end by saying something like "So..

TO THAT INCREDIBLY KIND AND THOUGHTFUL ZAPPOS EMPLOYEE, A HEARTFELT THANKS."

The fact that one of their employees is a nice person who went out of their way to make someone feel good in extraordinary circumstances does not make the company a good place, nor does it mean that I should buy shoes there. It means that there is a nice person working there - just as there are likely some very nice people working at their competitors, too.
posted by googly at 6:47 AM on October 16, 2007


Here's why some of us are suspicious: the writer says that Zappos requires returns to be sent within 15 days, and the customer has to get the package to UPS. In reality, you have way more time than that, and your mail carrier will probably pick up the postage-paid box, like mine does.

This isn't suspicious. You have 356 days to return, but once you initiate the return online you have a shorter period to actually get the shoes back to them. That's the 15 days she's refering to. And you can print UPS or USPS labels, but I don't blame someone with a sick mother for not being able to get it together to arrange for a UPS home pickup or be at home when the USPS comes to get the big box. (You wouldn't just leave such a big box out on the doorstep for the mailman, especially if it contained $500 worth of shoes.)
posted by footnote at 7:03 AM on October 16, 2007


I bet it's true. I've had unparalleled service from Zappos. Just last week I placed an order at 7:30pm, and they were at my door at 5pm the next day. They also called me once to say that the shoes I had ordered were the last pair in stock, but they found a flaw in the pre-ship inspection, so weren't sending them. Rather, they had already refunded my credit card and e-mailed me a $15 coupon for my next purchase. They are based in Kentucky. Southerners are like that.
posted by kimdog at 7:42 AM on October 16, 2007


I really hope this one is true; what a great story if it is.

Another plug for Zappos, love love love them. Not that I buy shoes for myself anymore, stupid kids *grumble grumble*.
posted by jennaratrix at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hmm. Maybe I'll have to reconsider my stance on Zappos, which was set a few years ago when every return for every Google search for the kind of shoes I was looking for brought up the same damn Zappos search page. I declared personal boycott right there for googlebombing of some sort.

Maybe what I'll do is do some searching for various kinds of shoes. If they're not still crowding out the competition, I'll lift my ban.

It does reflect well on the company that something like this happened, though. Sure, it's almost certainly the result of individual employee initiative, but it's also almost certain that it was on the company dime and with their approval. That just doesn't happen in a company that doesn't care.

The company I work for used to be like that, oh, five, ten years ago. We would have had had the initiative to treat the customer with this much respect, and, while we would have known what kind of word-of-mouth attention it could bring, that wouldn't be why we did it. The company has since shifted toward sucking up to Wall Street following a change of CEO, and it's drained everything that would have been necessary for this to happen: budget to customer-facing but non-revenue-producing departments, incentive for initiative and creativity, and general desire to see the company do any better than necessary to ensure job security. And when you don't care about the company, you don't care about the customers. It amazes me that people in the business of business can't see this. Maybe it's the same phenomenon as economists being completely bewildered by the concept of tipping. If it doesn't have a dollar sign in front of it, they just don't want to know.
posted by darksasami at 9:07 AM on October 16, 2007


You know, at one time, this was the kind of customer service we expected... Now we accept being treated like criminals by the companies we do business with......

I used to do Tech Support for the Mac users at a small, local, ISP, back in the days of dial-up access. We believed in making it work for the customer, no matter what it took...and we never charged for making that happen..

I did house calls, I picked up groceries once or twice for older folks, I even attended a funeral for an older customer who developed cancer... I continued for a few years to help his 80 year old wife stay in touch via e/mail with her family, even after I was no longer working for the ISP... She would send me home with baked goods and bottles of wine when I would stop by to unclog her hard drive or get her internet working again...

We used to be like that... all of us... What the fuck happened?
posted by HuronBob at 9:30 AM on October 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


This isn't suspicious...
posted by footnote at 9:03 AM on October 16

Eponys...blah, blah, blah
posted by jaronson at 10:24 AM on October 16, 2007


...It amazes me that people in the business of business can't see this.... --darksasami

You know, at one time, this was the kind of customer service we expected... --HuronBob

I can't agree more with the above two commenters (and others).

Somewhere along the way, a lot of companies and businesses started applying all there energies to maintaining the "bottom line", at the expense of their (IMHO) real bottom line--their "front line" employees. They are usually the lowest in the hierarchy and the lowest paid in the company, even though they are the ones who actually interact with their customers. Those employees are usually the "face" of the company and have the most impact on how customers view that company. Smart companies take care of their "front line" employees and then those happy employees will take care of the customers. (Costco comes to mind.)
posted by jaronson at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2007


What I like the most about this post is the recognition of how nice it is when anyone, including a business, is actively generous and considerate of others, goes the extra mile.

When I was young I heard that expression, "That's business!"said with a sneer, meaning it's part of business to lie, cheat, connive. When I asked why it couldn't be otherwise, grownups said things like, "Don't be naive." or "You're so idealistic." So I was afraid when I started my own business that it was necessary to be a bastard. And I found it isn't necessary at all. I do business honestly and with love. It's not always hunky dory but in the end it means loving work, feeling loved too and, imo, being part of something good in the world or trying anyway.
posted by nickyskye at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2007


(Costco comes to mind.)
And Trader Joe's, and...umm..that burger place in California. You know. That place.
posted by inigo2 at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2007


"We used to be like that... all of us... What the fuck happened?" posted by HuronBob

Our Jobs were outsourced to very nice people in Hyderibad who probably will light incense at their Ganesh shrine for you, but cannot drop by because they live 12,000 miles away.
posted by Megafly at 1:00 PM on October 16, 2007


We used to be like that... all of us... What the fuck happened?

No, we used to buy shoes from the store downtown, the one run by our next door neighbor and he brought us flowers at our mom's funeral because she was his third grade teacher. Now we get shoes on-line, don't go downtown if we can avoid it, and we fear our next door neighbor, that's what the fuck happened.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:16 PM on October 16, 2007


inigo2: In-N-Out?
posted by Xere at 4:22 PM on October 16, 2007


What happened?

CEO pay in excess of 4000x the wages of front-line employees is what happened. Executives laser-focused on very short-term gains at the cost of long-term viability. A super-wealthy cadre of executives holding massive numbers of stock options and thus focused so much on increasing their paper wealth that they sacrifice all other stake-holders.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on October 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, 2 days late to the party, but I have the definitive answer: It's true. Apparently, it's all true.
From an email I just received from Zappos.com:

"We are very proud to say that this story is 100% true! It has amazed and honored us that this story has spread so far and wide!
I know several websites have a comment posted that the flowers were probably purchased by the Customer Loyalty Representative that handled this issue. However, the flowers were sent by the company as a whole!
We take pride in the level of compassion that we share with our customers and welcome them all as members of our growing Zappos family!
We hope that there will be many more stories such as this in the future!

Amanda K.
Customer Loyalty Representative
Zappos.com
The Web's Most Popular Shoe Store!"

Maybe a few too many exclamation points, but still, a lovely gesture that one sees all too infrequently these days.

Excuse me, I'm going to go bake cookies for my customers now.
posted by SPUTNIK at 5:52 PM on October 17, 2007


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