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Lord Yupa

February 2010

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Lord Yupa

Levenger: Customer Service Done Right

About a week ago, I purchased a handful of items from Levenger's outlet store, which is handled via eBay. Among the items purchased were 3 fountain pens, 2 dip pens, and a small picture frame. All of the items were new (they also sell refurbished items via their Outlet branch on eBay). They arrived in the mail Saturday.

Two of the fountain pens were perfect, as was the picture frame. However, the third fountain pen had been inked. it had a dried out ink cartridge in it (meaning it had sat for some time since it was inked). Additionally, both of the dip pens had fairly significantly bent nibs, to the point where they were well beyond being usable. The nibs on dip pens are usually fairly resilient, and the pens are still strapped into their packaging, so I don't think it was shipping damage. I think it was from handling before being packaged, and poor Quality Control somewhere that missed it.

Needless to say, this left me somewhat disappointed with half of my order. I've ordered from Levenger a couple of times in the past, and always had excellent experiences, which made this even more of a surprise. So, last night (Sunday) I sent them an e-mail explaining the situation, and detailing the issues I found with the pens. I was hoping they'd offer some sort of solution, but you never know for sure how a company will respond.

I have to admit, I was unprepared for their response. This morning at 10am, I received an e-mail from their customer service apologizing for "this mess". They also said that they would have new pens shipped out, and would e-mail me a return shipping label so I could send the damaged/used items back. At 4:30pm this afternoon, I got a second e-mail from Levenger customer service telling me that the replacement pens had been shipped, and giving me the tracking numbers for the shipments. At 5pm, an e-mail from FedEx arrived for printing out the pre-paid return shipping label.

As I mentioned, I was hoping they'd fix things, but I never expected such a swift and thorough response. This is an example of how customer service should be done. It's easily one of the best experiences I've had after an order problem. It reminds me of Newegg, who has a reputation for going above and beyond what's required. They've built up a very loyal customer base as much for their customer service as their prices (in fact, I've ordered things from Newegg that I could have gotten slightly cheaper elsewhere, just because I knew they'd take care of me if there was a problem).

And the strategy looks to be working for Levenger, too. I was contemplating ordering some things from Levenger's website directly, but after receiving my order (with it's problems) I was a little hesitant. It was the first time I'd had a problem with an order from them, but it only takes getting burned once to make you wary. Regardless, I'm so impressed with their response that I'm placing the order now, and will remember this in the future when I need other things they carry.