I am American by birth. You wouldn’t know that from an American shoe store. The only shoe stores that carry my size put me in a European size 33 – the equivalent of a 2 on this side of the pond. So, to save myself from American salesmen and European prices, I order all my shoes online.
Even then, it’s hard to find a shoes that fits. So, I order a half dozen pairs at a time and return them all. And if you’re in the business of returning shoes, the best place to shop is Zappos. I would explain, but they do it so much better – like they do everything.
I bought shoes. They broke. I respect the fact that I wear my shoes hard, and didn’t think the company should cover because of it. So, I offered them a deal:
I’ve had great experience with the quality of Zappos products but my most recent sandal purchase started coming apart – sole separating from the shoe – after two weeks. Could I return them or at least be refunded the amount I’ll have to pay the shoe repair?
The response came back like a slingshot – fast and reliable:
Hi there! My name is Kaden, Zappos’ known crazy dog lover! When I’m not at home taking care of my Golden Retriever Max, I’m at work helping amazing customers like yourself! I’d be happy to help you with your defective shoe question! I am sorry to hear that the Sandal you purchased from us is defective. That’s definitely not something that we like to hear about our merchandise, and is not indicative of the high quality of service and products we strive to provide our customers. I am glad that you wrote us right away so we can immediately address this situation. Before I assist you, I just want to make sure we are talking about the same order. Your message made it seem like it was a shoe YOU wear, and the most recent order you have is for a pair of kids sandals. So, if you can please contact us by chat or by phone to confirm, we can get this all taken care of for you! If it is the kids pair of sandals, we still have the same item available in Tan, 1 little kid, and we would be more than happy to send a replacement out right away as an exchange. If you would prefer to order something else, please provide us with the SKU number, size, and color for the new item. When we process an exchange, the funds are transferred from your original order to the new order; this is so that we do not need to charge your credit card a second time. We only ask that your return order is received within two weeks of the exchange being shipped. For your convenience, I have emailed you a prepaid UPS return label. You will receive two emails regarding your return; one will be the return confirmation and the other will have the label as a link. Please keep in mind that the exchange request must be made prior to your return reaching our warehouse. Lastly, if you choose to return this item for a refund only, and do not want to process an exchange, our return time frames are super fast! Once you drop the package off at UPS, it will take about one week, for the entire return process to be completed and your refund to be issued. We will send you an email confirming that your return is complete. Please keep in mind, you’ll be refunded within 2-10 business days once the item makes it back to our warehouse. I hope I was able to cover everything for you today. I apologize again for the inconvenience. I do have everything on your order notated, that way the next Zapponian you speak with will be fully educated on everything we discussed!
You have an amazing rest of your day, and thank you so much for emailing in here at Zappos! Again, my name is Kaden, and if you need anything at all, we are here 24 hours 7 days a week!
Kaden Keys Zappos Customer Loyalty Team
I appreciated the email and made a mental note to deal with the exchange as soon as I had a chance. Three weeks later, I still had not made it to the post office. But Zappos didn’t let subpar customer response interfere with their superstar customer service. Instead, they took it one step further and sent me sandals before I’d sent in my return.*
Because they’re that good.
*I did return the shoes.