Good day FPN,
This event literally just happened a few minutes ago and I wanted to recount the details. Before I go further, I will say at the very beginning that the issues occurred in transit after leaving Goulet, this is a review of their customer service in dealing with such an incident. I'm also not affiliated with Goulet Pens in any way other than a customer who spends way too much on fountain pen supplies, but that's all of us right?
So I've been ordering from Goulet Pens for a pretty long time, since before the Noodler's Ahab came out, and I've made more than a couple of orders so I know their shipping habits by now. Over the weekend I ordered a shiny new TWSBI Diamond 580 in Rose Gold (buy one here, if you like), as usual I got my shipping confirmation from Goulet first thing Monday morning when they opened. The first odd thing I noticed is USPS tracking said the item would take several days to be delivered, I live about 1.5-2 hours north of their office (in the DC area) so I'm used to my packages from them arriving within 24 hours even with regular shipping. No big deal, something must be going on with the post office.
The day of delivery (according to the tracking number) arrives, and the pen does not. I check the tracking number again after receiving the rest of my mail, and see they misrouted my package to the wrong city; again, post office issue. The next day they've sent it where it needs to go and this is where things go from curiously irritating to bad. My box arrives and I open it up to find... nothing. The TWSBI box inside has the plastic case with the wrench and the booklet (you know the one I mean), but no pen. I was as crestfallen as a child without a puppy:
So I contacted Goulet Pens with a few pictures, and this is where the review starts. In less than 5 minutes I received two emails; one was an order confirmation for a replacement, the other was an email from Jeremy in customer service expressing his concern and he wanted to know more about the situation. I was also contacted by Jessica (who is a personal friend of my girlfriend, so we met each other quite recently) who recognized the order immediately. Between the three of us we discussed the state of the package, the outer box was banged up and retaped where torn, the TWSBI booklet was loose inside, there was no bubblewrap or cellophane (anyone who orders from Goulet understands this is a red flag), the TWSBI box itself was torn and taped over, and the TWSBI casing was missing tape on one side. We very quickly determined that something must have happened with the postal service, which I would not say is Goulet staff saying "oh it isn't our problem", this is a conclusion which I came to on my own from my personal inspection and past experiences and I fully believe the problem happened during transit:
At this point, they've already packed my replacement, they even made sure the pen was inside the package and sent me a photo of it. If it arrives without my pen again, of course I must challenge USPS to a duel. I'm confident in my abilities, I'm a trained rapier fencer and a biter.
I can't express enough the atmosphere of this company, it was a very human experience, no form letters or customer service templates, the interest and concern was sincere, you aren't getting the "jaded customer service rep punching a timecard" from Goulet Pens. This is also the only bad experience I've had while ordering from them, and clearly at no fault of their own. I'm preaching to the choir here for veteran Goulet customers, but this sort of personal touch is what put Brian and Rachel Goulet on the map in the first place; I think it's important to recognize that in 8 years since the company started, that core value has not changed. Goulet Pens has expanded and evolved over the years quite a bit, however they are no less personal and organic than when they were shipping out of their garage. I don't think that will ever change, because it's deeply ingrained into the company culture.
I hope that the US Postal Service can do something to mitigate the damage, but regardless I am sad that this incident may have caused them a loss of profit because of the lost merchandise, that being said I appreciate them taking care of me so throughly and quickly. I can only hope that this testimonial will steer more business towards them in the future, and the potential customer base will outweigh the cost of one misappropriated package.
A big thanks to Jeremy and Jessica at The Goulet Pen Company for giving 120% to taking care of the issue!
Edited by rakka, 23 April 2015 - 20:02.