This is a guest post from someone who pops up in some of my more personal stories here on Consumerism Commentary. “A.” is a fourth-grade teacher in the New York City public school system.
Every Halloween, my aunt lends her skills to my fourth-grade class by creating bats out of sewn felt bean bags, which I present to the students as part of a holiday goodie bag. She has been creating these bats since I was a student teacher in graduate school. Every year, she sends off the new set of bats from her house in Georgia without even asking me, and I appreciate her hard work.
This year, I decided to officially thank her for her years of bats, but a standard thank-you note wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted to get her a gift, but I wasn’t sure what to send. My mom suggested buying her a candle from Freedom Candle, a small company based near my extended family in Connecticut. Whenever we visit the family, we stop by the store and buy a bunch of candles to be used later as gifts.
This company’s candles are the best I’ve ever seen. When the candle is lit, my house is full of its delicious scent. My favorite scent is Gran-berry, so I decided buy this candle as a gift for my aunt in Georgia in return for her bats. Since she will not be visiting us for Christmas this year, I ordered the candle online and noted for it to be shipped to my aunt’s house.
Soon after, I received a confusing email from FedEx. The candle was on its way to my house in New York rather than my aunt’s house in Georgia. I sent an email to the owner of Freedom Candle to ask what I should do. I fully expected to have been required to return the candle at my expense or place an entirely new order.
I received a response right away. They said the shipment was their mistake and I should enjoy the candle incorrectly sent to me. They would send another one to Georgia, no questions asked. I was so excited! I’m getting a free candle of my favorite scent. I quickly wrote another email to Freedom Candle thanking them. I expressed how much I love their candles and mentioned I would recommend them to everyone I know. This is what I call great customer service!
The next day, I received the misdirected shipment and opened the box. Immediately, the scent filled the room. As I was unpacking the candle, I noticed a pleasant surprise: there were three votive candles included in the shipment. A label on the votives said, “A little something extra from your friends at Freedom Candle.” I didn’t think this would be possible, but I’m even more pleased with my purchase than before. I will send another email to say thank you. In my experience, small companies like Freedom Candle have customer service that can’t be matched by the big stores.
For more from “A.,” keep checking Consumerism Commentary. I may be able to bribe her into writing more.
Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published December 4, 2007.