Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Package

I stopped by my post office box today to find out I had a package waiting for me. I wasn't expecting anything, but I was hoping that it might be addressed from The North Face. And it was.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the beginning of this story, you can read it here.

Immediately, I grew very excited. After all, they sent me something apart from a letter telling me to piss off.

Minding the warning that I shouldn't open the box with a knife or box cutter, I gently sliced the seam and wondered what color my replacement garment would be. Black, maybe? That's a safe bet, a neutral color that everyone likes. Or maybe it could be orange - I love orange.

It was cornflower blue, the very same color as my beloved yet deceased predecessor. In fact, it was the exact material. My old jacket sent back to me.

My excitement flatlined, and I knew, walking out to my car, that I would find a note inside from North Face telling me that I could keep what was left of my jacket and go directly to hell. At that point, I would have preferred them to keep the jacket and send me nothing.

Upon further inspection, I pulled out a sheet of paper explaining that they had sent me a bottle of Revivex from Gore Tex to re-waterproof the outer lining. And, to my utter amazement, the inside of the jacket had been entirely re-seamed.

Honestly, the condition it left me in was laughable. My dad got to see it, actually, and it truly looked like a wild animal had gotten to it. The inside was gutted, and the part of the lining that wasn't torn from the jacket and pooled into a ball in the bottom of the washer was clinging lifelessly to the inner hems, taping glue cracked and powdery hanging on every edge.

From a business perspective, I imagine it took more labor and money to bring this jacket back to life than it would have to send me something else they had in stock. I never really considered that they would take the time or effort to do it, but they did, without explanation or confirmation that anyone read my story that I was so very proud of.

In a way, having a brand new inside is like placing an 80-year-old's skin on a 17-year-old's body. By the time it wears out for good, the outside will have been around tenfold longer than is probably appropriate.

I've taken the steps to reproof the outside of my brand new, ancient pullover (did I mention that it's a pullover? They don't make them like that anymore.) Now I just have to wait for it to rain.


Jennifer said...

That is so cool.

cae said...

Now THAT'S customer service - and thus good business! Awesome.

KJT said...

Pictures please...

(do I say that too often?)

Anonymous said...

See what an awesome writer you are? Who could have possible inspired the mis-guided, hating life, mail-opening employee at North Face to re-furbish your jacket (for free) and send it back with waterproofing spray? No one but Sharon Farmer! You are my inspiration.

That employee coordinated with a team of people to bring that back to life cause let's face it, what are the chances the the kid that opens the mail and reads it actually is skilled as a seamstress and in older northface sewing techniques? slim to none is my guess....

Impressive and SOOOO Happy your story ends with you getting YOUR jacket back better than ever. Getting a new jacket off the rack wouldn't have satisfied the longing left in the story.....

You should post a pic with your new - old north face.

hugs, Heidi

Anonymous said...

The North Face company f'ing rules. They shit's nice and warm to boot.