OK, so this has nothing to do with worms, at least not directly but it is about the great outdoors and we walk on the soil in the great outdoors and worms live in the soil, so…. oh look I told you the link was tenuous… anyhow…. I need to respond to Sprayway UK and the thought of doing it in a series of 140 character tweets is making me cross-eyed, so here’s a blog post about the whole affair!
The Back Story:
This all started a few months ago on twitter when I made a jokey tweet to @sprayway_UK regarding my ancient 20/20 Line Sprayway Jacket. I’ve worn this jacket on an almost daily basis in hail, rain and shine, in addition to seeing me up hills and mountains in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Austria, Bulgaria…. you get the idea .. for over TWENTY YEARS!!!!
This Sprayway Jacket has been called into service almost daily and in addition to the above, has kept me warm and dry on daily cycle and motorcycle commutes into work! (Worn OVER my protective equiptment I hasten to add … (grandad voice on) remember folks, if you ride a motorcycle ”all the gear, all the time” !!!) (grandad voice off)
Not once in all this time has it every let wind or rain through! Not once! Remember this is a daily use as well as extreme activity jacket and not once, ever, has it let me down.
That is some quality product by ANY measure you care to use!!!!
Now, the only problem that has emerged is on some spots on the jacket, the tape over the seams is starting to become detached. Only very small sections and not enough to bug me – yet – but having found Sprayway UK on twitter, I fired off a jokey tweet that I was disgusted that the jacket had only been good for some twenty odd years 🙂
I got a reply with an apology saying that particular jacket, which of course they no longer manufacture, should have lasted twenty five years at least.
LOLS all around 🙂
Then It Got Serious:
However, having made contact with @sprayway_UK on twitter, I decided to ask about getting the jacket repaired, roughly an idea of cost, and I was given the name of someone to contact and told they would get in touch with me.
So I contacted them again, a bit miffed, as I’m obviously going to send business their way (or so I thought!) and they couldn’t be bothered to respond to me. So I expressed my miftness! I was also a bit wary about trusting them with my beloved jacket if they couldn’t even get a customer response right!
It was then explained to me that there’s a bit of a disconnect between the twitter team and the managing/marketing team and the name I was given is of someone who is out and about a lot and not the ideal person to make contact with as a result and a different name was give, that of the Marketing Manager.
I emailed him and that’s when I found out Sprayway don’t actually do repairs but he recommened several companies who would and one in particular that enjoyed their confidence.
The Marketing Manager was extremely helpful and I was happy with that.
However, the Marketing Manager went on to ask for my name and address to send me a ”little something” to make up for the confusion/lack of contact and to regain my confidence in the company as I had stated if they couldn’t get some basic info to me there’s no way I was going to trust them with my jacket, but that’s when I thought they actually did the repairs.
What a pro I thought. And I duly emailed my details.
And now I really really really was annoyed!!!!
I hadn’t asked for anything from them. Just some details for repairs which they supplied eventually.
THEY initiated the idea of sending me ”something” as a goodwill gesture. Great. I was expecting something like a promotional teeshirt or a cap or something similar… usual promo stuff…. but it just irked the hell out of me that they requested my details for this goodwill gesture and two months later … nothing!!!
So I took to twitter and lambasted them! Not because I didn’t get a free teeshirt, nothing like that, it was about what appeared to me to be diabolical customer service. It was about having an engaging and promotional twitter account that had nothing behind it in terms of customer support and service and what appeared to be yet another big company using twitter to beguile people.
Full Disclosure – I had also just woken up when I tweeted, after a series of really hectic and exhasuting nightshifts, and I wasn’t in the best of moods nor was I being particularly reasonable!
In essence I told @sprayway_UK to stick it and when it came to replacing mine, my wife’s and the kids technical clothing, Sprayway won’t see another penny of our hard earned money!
To my shame now, I also slagged off what this ”something” probably was – I think I might have referred to it as a tatty teeshirt and they’d be using me for free advertising!
I received a response saying they’d already posted out something and presumed I’d received it!!! More claptrap I thought. I didn’t believe them! I told them if I HAD received something I’d have photographed it, publicised it and bigged them up for great customer service, not ignore it!!!
And that, as far as I was concerned, was that.
Sprayway was dead to me.
And for what? I could never and would never deny the almost mythical quality of my 20/20 Line Jacket, and as a result we’ve always bought Sprayway gear which we’ve always been happy with.
Sprayway aren’t the only suppliers of great outdoor gear out there but because of the sour taste interacting with them in social media had left I’d decided I was going to look elsewhere when the time comes to add to or replace our gear. They seemed to me to be yet another company who portrays one image in social media, but dealing with them when you’re unsatisfied about something is an entirely different matter – much like my recent experience with O2 – but that’s another story!
A big box arrived in the post.
I hadn’t ordered anything from anywhere so this was exciting and a little bit confusing 🙂
I opened the box to find a well worded, personal and sincere letter of apology from the Sprayway UK Marketing Manager and…. a Grendal insulated GORE-TEX Windstopper hybrid Mountain Jacket in the most awesome retro Blue and Green colour scheme, borrowed from Alison Hargreaves’ Sprayway high-altitude suit.
This is going WAY above and beyond what was required and is nothing short of the most awesome customer service in the world!
Yes, I was annoyed at what seemed to me to be messing about, but I was also ranty and unreasonable. However, Sprayway didn’t take the view Oh, random irked customer and he got the info he wanted, sod him … nope, The Marketing Manager really did come through and I’m absolutely elated with the jacket, a gesture of good will that is quite extraordinary and more than generous.
Not only have they rectified the situation, they have ensured I and my family remain life long Sprayway customers 🙂
And of course, all family and friends are now aware of just how well Sprayway have dealt with my complaint, twitter has been duly notified and you, reading this blog 🙂
Spread the word – this is what awesome customer service looks like 🙂
Find them on twitter @sprayway_UK and give them a follow.
Check out their awesome range here http://www.sprayway.com/
For Quality and Technical Specification their gear speaks for itself but just as importantly for Incredible Customer Service they will not be beaten!
Postscript: A poignant story….
The photo of Alison Hargreaves is used with the kind permission of the photographer John Paul Photography of Inverness (John Paul Photography 01463221682 12 Diriebught Road, Inverness IV2 3QW)
While speaking to him this afternoon to get his permission to use this picture of Alison, he told me that he met her after she’d climbed Everest. His car at the time had a registration plate K2…… Alison noticed this and told John she would be climbing K2 next.
John said if she climbed it – he would give her the number plate…
…. Alison never returned from K2 ………