IMG_0603I’m asked why I buy Apple products, why I buy items online and why am loyal to specific vendors. Even though there may be many reasons for this one reason stands above the rest…

Once again I am amazed by how truly generous and sympathetic companies can be. And not just small mom and pop companies but huge conglomerates. Corporations that don’t need to prove anything still make single customers feel like they are their only customer.

A couple of days ago, after saying goodbye to my son and giving my wife a kiss, I went outside to find my truck had been broken into. The front passenger window smashed in. At first I just couldn’t believe what had happened. I’ve never had anyone break into a car before and all I could do was stare at the scene of tiny bits of emerald green glass littered on the driveway and everywhere inside the vehicle. It was very surreal.

At first I thought maybe the window failed. The inside seemed fine and I couldn’t find anything missing. It took a few minutes for me to figure out what had been taken… two brand new pairs of shoes. That’s what the thief took. That’s why the thief broke out the window of my car… for shoes. A $60 and $65 pair of skate shoes!

I was asked by numerous people how I felt and I don’t think anyone who knows me was surprised by my answer. I wasn’t really all that upset. This could have been so much worse. They could have broken into my home or caused much more damage to my car.

Zappos Lets back track a bit. A couple of weeks ago I decided to order some shoes for myself online from I couldn’t decide which style to purchase so I purchased three different pairs (two of which were almost identical) and figured I would return at least one pair. You see Zappos offers a 365 day return policy, no sales tax and they pay all shipping costs. This was my first order from them even though I’ve frequented their site many times over the past few years to window shop. I received the shoes and decided to return two pairs. I put them in my truck to ship back Monday morning from work. When I left work that afternoon to go home I noticed that I had forgotten to return the shoes and I just told myself I would do it the following day…

Tuesday morning the Huntington Beach police came out and took a report of the theft. The officer suggested I contact the store I purchased the shoes from and inform them what happened and to be on the lookout for any possible returns. Maybe, just maybe, the thief would be foolish enough to contact Zappos. I did as the officer said and the reply I received from the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team was very unexpected. Not only did they offer their sympathy, they informed me that they would immediately replace those two pairs of shoes absolutely free!

This is why I become loyal to a specific vendor, this is why I buy Apple products, shop at Costco, order from Amazon, purchase vehicles from Sunrise Ford and use an American Express card. These companies have amazing customer service. This is why I will continue to be a Zappos customer. I think those two pairs of shoes that I originally was going to return are going to be my two favorite pairs! Thanks I guess you really are powered by service!

I can only hope that my own company goes above and beyond anyone’s expectations. Such companies will be the ones that make it through these tough economic times while the rest fade way.