Friday, July 1, 2016

Kudos for above-and-beyond customer service...

Kudos for above-and-beyond customer service...  About 18 months ago, I purchased 30 sets of the garden hose quick-connect shown at right.  I converted all my hoses to use these, and I absolutely loved how easy it makes changing hoses, sprinklers, etc.  I always had trouble getting the connections watertight with standard hose connectors, plus it was extra difficult (especially to undo them!) if it was cold outside.  These things make it a snap, literally.

But there is one problem with them, and I'll call it a design flaw.  The problem is that the female half of the connector (on the right side in the photo above) has an O-ring inside it – and if you are stupid enough to turn on the water when there's no corresponding male half inserted in it, that O-ring is likely to blow right out.  Your chances of locating it in the grass is somewhere between slim and none.

So a couple weeks ago, I found the LR Nelson company's web site and wrote to their customer service department describing the problem, telling them that I had several connectors made useless by this, and asked them if they had replacement O-rings or (failing that) if they could tell me the dimensions of the O-ring.  They're readily available in just about any size under the sun, so even just knowing the dimensions would have made me happy.

I got no response by email, so I just wrote it off as another failed attempt to get customer service (a far too familiar occurrence), and I made a mental note to find another source for quick connects.  Then this afternoon I discovered a box on my doorstep, from the Fiskars company.  I think of Fiskars as a company that makes scissors and pruning tools, so when I saw the name on the label I was scratching my head trying to remember what the heck I had ordered like that.  Then I opened it up and discovered – complete replacement quick-connects for all 11 female connectors that I'd had a washer blow out on.  Instead of sending me some O-rings worth a dollar or so, or the dimensions which would cost them nothing at all, they sent me 11 new quick-connect sets worth about $80.  It turns out that Fiskars acquired Nelson in 2014, which is why the box came from them.  Well, Fiskars/Nelson has a surprised and happy customer here. 

That's definitely customer service above and beyond, and kudos to them for that!

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