Well, not really, but I made out nicely. Some of the details will be scarce since it involves Christmas gifts for my wife, but the gist will be clear.
I went online the other day to order some things my wife had expressed an interest in. After I added them to the shopping cart, I poked around the site a little to see if I could find any other goodies to put under the tree. She really likes Lands End clothing so it was worth a shot.
Something caught my eye and, while she may have ended up returning it, I figured it was worth a shot because of the good price so I added it to my cart. Then I decided to check out.
While going through that process, I noticed the total of my order – $49.98. Lands End has a habit of kicking in discounts and special deals at the $50 level. This time it involved free shipping. I had a moment of pause.
The regular shipping would get the items to me by Christmas. That cost $8. If I wanted to realistically add something to my cart to get over $50, I would probably spend at least $8 so chasing the free shipping made absolutely no sense. I just had to suck it up and place the order.
As I looked at the e-mail confirmation, I noticed an e-mail address for any feedback on the transaction. So I sent them a quick note telling them I am a loyal customer and wondered if I could get the free shipping since I came so close to the $50 target.
They got back to me within a few hours with a fairly canned response (note to retailers who do this sort of thing – make sure the font style and size of the message that the customer service people paste into the e-mail matches the rest of what they type) that pretty much shot down my idea of cutting me a break. But I figured it was worth one more shot.
I sent a very simple message: “So no love for being two cents off?”
Just a little over two hours yet, I got the message I wanted to see. They had decided to manually override the shipping charge because I came so close to $50. I really appreciated it since this kind of service really breeds customer loyalty.
But that isn’t really how I pulled one over on them. I mentioned that the item I went out on a limb to purchase came at a good price, right? In fact, the color I wanted was no longer available in the size I needed because it was on sale. I liked the color I picked, but knew that this was an item either in demand or at the end of its life.
The shipping notice came just a little while ago. That item was no longer available, and that part of my order had been cancelled. But I still got the free shipping even though my order was less than half of $50.
I never would have been close to the $50 threshold without the cancelled item so I ended up catching a huge break. Remember, it never hurts to nicely ask these companies for some special service. Sometimes, it works out more in your favor than you could ever imagine.