Sometimes a customer service crisis really is just the basis for an amusing anecdote. And I thought we could all use a good laugh.
(Also, I tried to come up with a witty title for this post and then decided the event really just spoke for itself.)
Zappos sent me used underwear.
Fear not, while youâ€™re cringing and gagging I ran off to scrub my hands under scalding water. Now Iâ€™m back to tell you the tale.
The muppets are big boys now â€“ the type that have completed kindergarten and are now 6-years-old. It occurred to me that it was time to replace the brave underoos that had managed to survive years-ago potty training. Because kids grow.
So I did what thought was the easiest path from point A to B. I turned to Zappos.
I ordered several boxes of kids briefs â€“ size first-grader â€“ Trimfit Childrenâ€™s Wear, monster briefs.
And approximately 36 hours later, they arrived.
(Iâ€™m a Zappos VIP, ok? I like shoes. A lot.)
Immediately I began the unboxing process: stab through protective plastic covering, rip open cardboard, peel off tape securing garments to cardboard sheet, handily pull off tags, then toss in laundry pile to rid undies of any potentially remaining cooties.
But one box was not like the others. I stabbed the plastic per my system and the cardboard popped right open.
Out slide four pairs of undies â€“ none of them the brand Trimfit Childrenâ€™s Wear.
- Two Hanes brand menâ€™s boxer shorts
- One sports themed boxer briefs, brand unknown
- One Disney brand Mickey briefs
None had labels. The Hanes were bunched and puckered at their oversized elastic waistbands. Mickeyâ€™s printed label had begun to peel away from one too many washes.
OH MY GOD, THESE ARE USED UNDERWEAR! Ew ew ew ew ew.
I dropped that ickiness like a hot potato.
I calmed myself and dialed Zapposâ€™ customer service number.
Zappos Customer Service: Zappos Customer Service, how may I help you today?
Me: So, um, I have an interesting complaint. Pretty sure you guys sent me used underwear.
Zappos Customer Service: Oh my god! Holy shit Iâ€™m sorry!
This cracked me up. The very nice Zappos Customer Service lady was appropriately mortified. (Note, I am not identifying the lady I spoke with in case agents aren’t supposed to exclaim “Holy Shit” to complaining customers.)
As displeased as I was about the monstrous prior life of baby briefs that would never ever touch my babies bottoms, I certainly couldnâ€™t blame customer service.
My assumption is that someone took advantage of Zapposâ€™ generous return policy, shoving random retired pants into the box before shipping it back. Zappos may have repackaged the box in protective plastic â€“ but obviously someone skimped a bit on quality control.
Number 12, is this your fault?
In any case, a complimentary package of boys briefs are presently en route to me. (Who wouldn’t want free underwear?)
Ladies and gentlemen of outrage â€“ shit happens. Laugh a little. Iâ€™ll certainly shop from Zappos again.
But burn the offending undies. Because trust no bottom.