NOW I Get Why People Love Zappos!

So Jenn and I are getting ready to head to the Advanced Flash Workshop at Jade Mountain. I’m personally very excited about this on several fronts. One – I get to teach with someone who I consider to be one of my photographic idols, mentor, and friend: Joe Mcnally. Two – I get to have a couple of days of R&R in one of the most beautiful places on earth – Jade Mountain. Three: I get to stretch the photographic muscles trying to work my skills in Flash, HDR, Portraiture, and Post processing in Jungles, Waters, Architecture, and Beautiful Skies. Photographically, I could not be more psyched.


I’m Gonna Need Some Better Shoes

This is not photographically related, nor is it on photoshop, or HDR.  Its just me gushing about my experience with Zappos.  If you want to see how this story turns out, click on the read more section here!

I looked down at my sandals and noticed that my dogs are just beat. I’m a big sandals guy, and love to just wear them until they are down to nothing. The pictures above are from my last trusted pair – a pair of Timberland Trailwind sneakers that have been with for many MANY years. They’ve been to almost all of Europe, US, Latin America and are ever so carefully holding themselves together by the smallest of strings.. but still kicking.. ish. These Timberlands were immortalized in a RC Bobblehead doll my brother got me

Anyway.. we needed to find a pair of sandals to hit some water and some jungle trail. Rather than go to the mall and get the “Buy 1 shoe get the other at 50% off” and be ticked with both of them, I figured i’d give Zappos a shot. My wife’s reading the Tony Tsieh’s Delivering Happiness book, and there are just countless of tales out there on great Zappos stories. I thought. Hey.. why give it a shot!


I’ve Become That Customer Story..

I dont know if it was a combination of some technical back end problem or complete stupidity on my part (im betting stupidity on my part) I order two pairs of Keens sandals (a Keen – Whisper, and a Keen, Kanyon) and completely blank on the entire “I need these things delivered next day!!” option. I wake up Sunday morning 9am to find that the order is shipped. Ground shipping!!

If Jenn or I needs to change her size, they totally take them back for free.. but it will take days! We wont have enough time before we leave! Frantic, I jump on their website to get a phone number to plead my case. Im working the story well..

I see that they have a chat pod to talk to someone. Im thinking “When is the last time someone EVER got good customer service from one of these things. Its usually someone reading a script that really is just taking names and emails for someone else later to look at”. I kid you not in under 5 minutes the lady on there was like “hey.. how about this. How about we send a SECOND order out to you NEXT DAY AIR, and We’ll try to stop the other one. If you happen to get it just send it back.”

Im stunned, “are you kidding me?” Quickly I think to myself that now i’ve paid twice for this as they will need to charge me again. Before I even get to that part:

“oh, and we’ll just pull the funds from the first order so you wont have to pay for anything. Give me a second, let me fix that for you.”

Im sitting there just thinking to myself “So THIS is why people love these guys.. ” In the middle of all of that she types back “So.. hows your day going so far?”

Im like “you have no idea.. this is amazing. Thank you so much”

A couple of minutes after that, I have a new order and its on its way! AND the agent put me on this VIP program. Truthfully, I dont even know what it does… but it doesnt matter. Just like that – Zappos made a very very loyal customer.

So Where Are the Shoes!?

Sabine is handling unboxing duties over here….

Clearly shes impressed with the packing of the Keens.. these things matter..

The shoes are now exposed and looking Good!!

So Are We Happy? You Bet!

The shoes feel absolutely great, and the entire process was just wonderful ordering from Zappos. Jenn originally wondered if she would want the shoe a HALF a size smaller.. but I dont think she really wants to send them back at this point to try and chance it. Its so negligible that it doesnt really matter either way. Shes way happy with the shoes, as am I.

What I liked more was the overall experience of ordering with them. I thought that it was way cool that they were empowered to quickly make things happen for a customer. No overexplaining of what my situation was. No fighting with who was right. Just straight up “Lets Make it Right” kind of mentality. I talk a lot about tech, photography, photoshop, music – but I would have never really thought that i’d be that juiced to write about a shoe experience.

But when you get good service, you just want to tell your friends.. or blog it. They’re doing it right – and we’re totally happy for it!


  1. Nothing beats great customer service! My husband and I had a similar experience with the Tiburon Lodge in Tiburon CA when we came out for the G+PC. We had trouble getting out there as we were in a semi truck pulling a 53′ trailer (for my husbands work) and were looking at the possibility of not being able to keep our non-refundable room because of parking issues. Long story short, three employees came out to move vehicles in the parking lot so we would fit, and to top it off, they gave us a free room upgrade. It was a fantastic experience and because of it we will stay there again for our next trip to San Fran. Like I said, NOTHING beats great customer service!

    Glad you had such a great experience…now I am going to have to check these guys out as well. :0)

  2. I have had several dealings with Zappos and all of them have be great……

  3. I’m a long time customer of Zappos. They are the best, and perhaps last remaining, example of incredible customer service. Your experience was not unique, they do it every day. I haven’t bought use anywhere else for years now.

  4. I’m a long time customer of Zappos. They are the best, and perhaps last remaining, example of incredible customer service. Your experience was not unique, they do it every day. I haven’t bought shoes anywhere else for years now.

  5. Nice nod to one of my favorite stores. I’ve been exclusively Zappos for about 6 years, and never a bad experience. They took back a pair of defective shoes (came apart after a month) with NO hassle. Amazing.

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