April 12, 2008

Lands' End Free Shipping. Do You Follow The Rules?

At dinner Thursday evening, a guest asked me about my profession. When I mentioned the companies I've worked for, she said, "Oh Lands' End! Did you know that I get free shipping from Lands' End on every order?"

She told us that she assembles her order online, then calls the 1-800-356-4444, and reads the items residing in her shopping cart. Then she "gets crabby", telling the agent she will not pay for shipping and handling. The agent, being a kind, humble person from Southwestern Wisconsin, waives the $16.95 fee on her $210 order.

The obedient soul who follows directions pays 8% more than the crabby individual.

I've sat in executive meetings where this topic comes up. In every case I can remember, my leadership partners and I elected to give a better price to the crabby customer.

Our industry will have made progress when we figure out how to not be punitive to kind customers who follow the rules.