The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

March 9th, 2005

Good Customer Service:

Although I’m known for spotlighting really, really bad customer service – and Ryan has had his share of negative Pings, too – we’re also quick to point out good experiences. I’m happy to report that my recent buying experience with qualifies as a good one.

As Pingers know, I’ve been looking to get some real shoes lately. And I found a pair I wanted… the only problem was that I saw them at a store I’d never bought from before, with a so-so return policy. I looked over at Zappos and they had the same shoes, but for $80 more. That’s a big chunk of change. So I called them up to see what they could do.

And, I’m happy to report they fully honored their 110% price protection guarantee. I was on the phone with a fellow for a good twenty minutes while we confirmed the price elsewhere, along with Zappos’ own stock levels. He honored the new low price, which essentially beat the other store’s price by 10%. As a bonus, of course, Zappos has free shipping, free return shipping, and a 365-day guarantee (!) on shoes. The nice part is that he upgraded me to 2nd Day Air shipping, but I checked the status this morning and the package is already in town! One day shipping – for free.

I was a little weary of buying shoes online, initially. But a free return shipping and free shipping policy makes it easy. Adding in superb customer service just about makes it a no-brainer. There are a lot of stores that could learn from what Zappos is doing right.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday March 9, 2005 -- 12:22:59 pm
Give details, please: as in brand, style, color, size, name and location of store with competitive price, and of course, Zappos number. I think a few calls from pingers seeking a deal would be good. In fact, we can make this shoe, whatever it is, the official ping footwear. Maybe we can even do a bulk order and get them cheaper.

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday March 9, 2005 -- 12:43:22 pm
Oh yeah, have you invested in cedar shoe trees to protect your new shoes?

10% discount, free shipping (and probably no sales tax), free return shipping and 365-day guarantee. Holy Toledo!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday March 9, 2005 -- 1:34:58 pm
Official Ping shoe? I think we'll have to get something a little more... toilet-proof.

Cedar shoe trees are on the horizon. Nice Ping reference though, Joseph.

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday March 9, 2005 -- 10:15:22 pm
Yay Zappos! I'm hard to fit, and when I finally found a shoe I loved, I wanted to stick with it. It's been easy to re-order the exact shoe from Zappos several times. I love 'em.

FROM: jk
DATE: Wednesday March 9, 2005 -- 11:11:32 pm
I could never order shoes in the mail! I have a narrow foot and not all shoes, even in the exact same size, are created equal. I will literally try on 5 pairs in the same size in a store to find the perfect fit.

Y'all are lucky.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday March 10, 2005 -- 7:30:33 am
So I got my shoes yesterday (that's one day turnaround,) and they were too big. The return process was just as effortless. I printed out a UPS label online, then called to ensure I was doing everything correctly. The customer service person was, again, helpful and courteous. She put the order through and took care of everything. I took the box with the pre-paid UPS label to the UPS Store a half-block from my office, and that was that.

The good news is that, again, it's a one-day turnaround and my shoes are out for delivery today. That's pretty amazing stuff.

FROM: Cat [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 10, 2005 -- 12:47:51 pm
jk: I'm also a very hard fit. What I did was finally find something in a store that was perfect, and continued to order exactly the same thing online. That way I don't have to go back to the store, find my favorite shoe is no longer the current style, and start all over again!

DATE: Sunday March 13, 2005 -- 7:42:42 pm
i buy shoes online most of the time, but my most recent purchase got me mad, it was my fault though, the shoes are just really ugly.

Paul January 28, 2008, 1:01 pm

Worth noting that I bought another pair of shoes from Zappos yesterday and was able to use the 110% price guarantee just fine. Great customer service, friendly (even at 7am on a Sunday morning!) and my shoes ship today.

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