Reputation is everything. The reputation of a business is built on products and service. And we always aim for the best.
Customer Service is built into our price, which covers everything. Main ideas:
- Our customers will be taken care of
- Things will go wrong sometimes, and we'll try to overcompensate
- If there is something we should be doing, please let us know!
- If you want a refund a year down the road, just say so. We'll cover your shipping and issue a full refund when the garment arrives. The reason does not affect the refund, but it may affect any future transactions
- We are fine with refunding people who simply need the money
- We answer the telephone 24/7/365 ... it's quite rare that we (95% Ralph) would not personally answer the phone whenever you call. But starting in March 2023, Alex has wanted to handle most incoming calls. The best way to understand our customers is to speak with them
- If you have a problem or a question, there are a lot of ways to get in touch.
- In USA and Canada, standard shipping is free
- Outside USA and Canada, we split standard shipping costs with the customer
- If something doesn't fit, we'll cover shipping for the return and the replacement. So sometimes this means incurring triple shipping expense
- No extra charge for credit cards or PayPal (and the processors do take a hefty chunk of the proceeds)
- Just about all kinds of payment accepted
- You are welcome to visit our home/showroom during a scheduled Open House, or by appointment, whenever convenient for you. Usually people stay an hour or two and have a meal or drinks
- We love feedback, and are happy to publish input from customers on our website and social media. And some of our best ideas have come to us from our customers. THANK YOU!
- If you need a payment plan, talk to us
- We try to be as open as possible. There is a lot of info on this website. If you don't find what you are looking for, please ask. The Main Menu at the top of every page links to info on Inventory, Production Status, Blog
- We no longer offer custom garments. Some people are truly not going to fit into our standard-size garments, and those folks are welcome to order Fabric and have custom garments made
There are no other dealers of WeatherWool. If you bought a WeatherWool garment from someone else, whether new (nope!) or used, we assume no responsibility. We cannot guarantee transactions in which we did not take part. We cannot support people who are not our customers. And we have heard about theft of some of our garments.
And here is a video from, I think, May of 2019. I should probably re-shoot, but I'm still no good at this!
Almost all our customers are a pleasure to deal with. But we have thousands of customers, so some situations have come up! Some more perspective on customer service:
- Everyone has seen the signs in restaurants and bars: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Same here
- At this writing, I've been claiming age-19 for 50 years, which to most people means I'm OLD. I'm not going to deal with aggravation. Anyone who aggravates me gets a full refund and best wishes. We will turn ourselves inside out to facilitate a sincere, honest customer. And of course the same for our business Partners. If I think something is not right, I may ask for an explanation, which will usually clear the air. But if not, I can live with that, too.
Some people have definitely taken advantage of us. There are definitely folks out there -- very few in our WeatherWool experience -- who are deliberately abusive. It took me a lifetime to learn this. It was maybe 5 years ago, I was telling a friend about how people who trespass on our place in The Swamp and leave garbage behind. If they didn't leave garbage, I would not even know they'd been there, so I didn't understand why the garbage. My friend explained that these people want us to know they were there, and like thinking we know they've trespassed, and that they've abused our land. Interesting!
Anyhow, in the context of WeatherWool, we don't have much exposure to any individual, so it's not really a big deal, but I will put a stop to any behavior that seems deliberately abusive.
Here are some examples of unsatisfactory interactions:
- We always refund people who want a refund. But we've had people buy in the Fall, wear for six months and want a refund in the Spring, saying the garment was inadequate in some way. Such folks have gotten their refunds, but when they come back for another piece, unless they can explain their actions/thinking, we don't give them another chance
- Some people want to try two sizes. That's completely understandable when doing mail order. But what some folks don't understand (or don't care) is that if a garment is in possession of a customer for more than about 10 days, even if the box just sat in a closet unopened, we consider that garment USED. We'll still accept the return, and refund for it (although a lot of people expect us to send two sizes but only pay for one), and cover all the shipping. But after 10 days with a customer, the garment goes into the Lending Library at a $100 discount (take a look). And we'll have a talk with the customer if we hear from him again.
- Some people will get two different garments, or different colors, evaluate them in the field, and then want a refund for one piece. We'll refund, and we'll take a hit on all the shipping and the return of a used piece. This info goes in the customer file, and we'll have a talk should the customer ever come back
- Some people want to exchange for different size after they've worn a garment for a while. We will do the exchange, which costs us $150 minimum, but we'll have to have a talk if we hear from the customer again
- Once, a guy wanted a refund for several pieces that he'd purchased 2-3 years previously, saying they didn't fit ... two All-Around Jackets, Anorak, Pants, Double Hood, Mouton Hat, Big Brim Boonie Hat and Neck Gaiter ... I doubt we'll hear from him again. But if we do, I doubt we'd see clear to sending him any more wool!
- A Customer Reviewed our Hooded Jacket (review can be seen on Hooded Jacket page) about my terrible customer service. We remember things a little differently, but the gist in the review is accurate. I am very leery of sending a second piece to a customer who wants a full refund because a garment did not perform in conditions well out of the range for which it is intended. But this guy really wanted some more wool and I relented against my better judgment. He must have written me a dozen times while waiting for the Hoodeds to be made. And then once in my possession, he contacted me every day asking about his wool. I told him we we'd ship his order in turn, but he continued to contact me daily. On about the 5th day he phoned me and I told him he was a PAIN IN THE *** and that his order was canceled and he should not contact me again. His Mom then phoned ... the guy is 20 ... and Debby handled things Mom-to-Mom.
- Sometimes a customer will return two or three garments, in series, with comments like NOT QUITE WHAT I WANTED ... JUST A LITTLE TOO BIG... if that's all the person says, I get the feeling we're just wasting postage and we'll shut it down
- Some people are extremely hard to fit. We're a small company, so we try to make our sizes so they'll work for the most people. Guys with unusual shapes generally expect a garment to fit kind of weird. Short, fat guys will often accept that the sleeves will be too long or else the garment will be too tight around the middle. Short and fat or tall and thin, they have had sizing issues before, so they often accept. But sometimes not. If we have three unsuccessful fittings, we have to back off.
BUT ... even for the above situations, the Lending Library is still available, and I hope it works!!
The bottom line here is that some people are difficult to work with, and so we won't work with them.
Overall, Customer Service has been a highlight of this business. We've become friends with some customers, and many customers have spent significant time here at our home.
The Lending Library has its basis in Customer Service ... items returned because someone needs a different size or wants a different garment are the basis of the Library. And Lending has been a great way for people to become familiar with WeatherWool, and for us to interact with customers. Here is a note from a customer: "After using this ShirtJac for the past week via the Lending Library I have decided (and my wife insisted) that I need to have this forever. I've hardly taken it off! Let me know what the best way to make payment of the $450 is and I'll make it happen straight away. Thank you for offering such fine products and customer service!! Look forward to hearing from you soon. Have a great day!"
Another cool thing is that customers using our garments will highlight areas of possible improvement and give us ideas. We place huge value on customer input.
26 May 2023 --- Ralph