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Thanks For the Bats

This article was written by in Consumer. 11 comments.


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.

Freedom CandleThis 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. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Mrs. Micah

That is really nice of them. It can be really rewarding to work with small businesses that go the extra mile or two for customers. I’ll remember them if I’m ever in the market for a candle. :)

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avatar MS

By “bats”, do you mean the flying rodents? If not, I’m in the dark (more so than usual)

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,365 (Platinum)

MS: That’s right, flying rodents. The bats are included in themed Halloween goodie bags for the children.

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avatar Anne

Not to put a damper on this, because it worked out well for A. in the end, but it WAS the candle company’s mistake and they were contractually obligated to fix it, at their own expense.

I remember reading a study that concluded that people who had a bad experience with a company that was ultimately resolved were more likely to become repeat customers of that company. They got a warm and fuzzy feeling from the resolution of the problem, even though the bottom line was that the company screwed up.

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