How Zappos Saved Me From My Own Stupidity

Listen up folks, because I am not one to aptly admit this, but I’m an idiot! I have one of the greatest stories in my recent memories of just stellar, out of this world customer service. Frankly, I’m embarrassed to be writing this, because it is pretty bad, but it’s Friday and I feel like having a good laugh at myself.

As many of you know, I am quite involved in the rigors of triathlon, so naturally it makes sense that running shoes are something very near and dear to my heart. On average, I go through two pairs a year (just for run training) and an additional pair or so for random day-to-day activities, exploration, and conquests of assorted galactic empires. That’s a lot of shoes, and the mileage that the soles of my running shoes endure is plenty, roughly 15 miles a week year round, which isn’t a lot but put that into perspective of also swimming and biking 21 and 340 respectively each month, that’s quite a bit. Regardless, I make my shoe choice carefully; or rather the choice is almost made for me. As I’m sure someone out there can relate to, it is a pain in the ass to find cool running shoes if you have wide feet! Ugh! Besides being almost impossible, my favorite brand (Mizuno) drastically changed my go to pair last year, forcing me to switch over. And so the stage is set for a tale of great buffoonish behavior…

Zappos, a killer online retailer that started with shoes (read: similar to Amazon starting with books), is quickly taking over the world. Known for their top-notch customer service, (seriously, look it up) and with HQ in Las Vegas, Nevada, this company gives its customers plenty of reason to love them. Free shipping and returns is just some super sexy icing on that cake!


So toiling down the path of shoe selection, I ended up ordering five different pairs of shoes from Zappos. In case you weren’t aware, it isn’t easy to fit even three sets of shoes into a cardboard shipping box, so naturally I receive a behemoth of box containing, unfortunately, not a single pair that worked with my Hobbit-like feet. Frustrating for me, and I’m sure frustrating for some poor Zappos employee who has to process a monstrous container of returned, sparkling running shoes. Round two was a bit more reasonable with “only” two pairs of shoes, neither which I found to my liking. So naturally I go about the process of carefully returning the now seven pairs of shoes, but in the hubbub I accidentally included a pair of shoes that I purchased at a local store, not from Zappos, and only realized my blunder a day after I had dropped the box at UPS. Needless to say, I thought the shoes were a goner…

So I submit a plea for help to Zappos service desk, and they kindly tell me that this happens all of the time. Honestly, I think they told me that to make me feel better :D but they provided great customer service as always, and said they would send in a request to the warehouse supervisor to see if they could track down the shoes. Truly, that was about 1000% more than I was expecting – I would’ve accepted the fact that I made a stupid mistake and that would be that.  A few weeks past, and my shoes were unable to be found. Much to my surprise, their customer service department apologized to me (the moron who shipped the wrong shoes in the first place) and more than made up for it by giving me a chunk off of my next purchase. Needless to say, I will continue to be their customer for a very, very long time. Quality products, killer customer service, and reasonable prices – pfff, I would be dumb not to keep shopping with them J

Normally, I write about customer service horror stories, but today I am pleased that the scenario was reversed. I’ve never heard of anything like it. Way to go, Zappos! Happy Friday indeed. What is your greatest customer service story you have to share?


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