Flashback to footwear

I’ve been occasionally complaining about the quality of the customer service of certain businesses. So I thought I’d share a more positive story.

But first a bit of personal history. I was on the game show JEOPARDY! on November 9 and 10, 1998, which was recorded September 16 of that year. I’ve quickly noted that I won $17,600 in the first game. I was less effusive about my second game. I was in a distant third place going into the last question. I had $2,200, Jim had $5,500, and Robin, $9,200.

The Final JEOPARDY! category was FAMOUS NEW ENGLANDERS: The clue was just a picture of a guy dressed rather like the guy here. I wagered $1,800 and got it right (LL Bean) ending with $4,000. Jim bet $3,800 and got it wrong, and finished with $1,700. Robin bet $2,500, was incorrect, but won the game with $6,700 in cash. Both of them gave Sears as the answer. Jim won a Panasonic DVD player; and I, a trip to Almond Beach Resort, Barbados, which Carol and I used on our honeymoon in May 1999.

In March 1999, my then-fiancee, Carol, took me to Portland, Maine on vacation. While we were there, we stopped at Freeport, ME at the L.L. Bean store; they weren’t all over the place as they are now. In the entryway was the exact same photo I had seen while taping the game show about six months earlier. We got snowed in at Portland and had to stay a couple extra days.

In March 2013, I was wearing a pair of LL Bean boots when the sole separated from the rest of the shoe. My wife took them to the local LL Bean store – which did not exist in 1999 – who sent them to the repair unit.

The repair unit, though, could not fix them. But they would give me a credit for what I paid for them, as part of some lifetime guarantee I was only vaguely aware of. When did I buy them? I had no idea. “Had to be 1998 or 1999.” Well, in that case, it HAD to be March of 1999 [though I didn’t actually remember buying them, since I had not yet received the $17,600; the check arrived on March 17, 1999]. I explained that I had to make a pilgrimage to the store because it got me a trip to a far-away island. The repair guy loved the story.

One thought on “Flashback to footwear”

  1. Man, Roger, TWICE? And both times a winner. Love the LL Bean story. That company used to be all USA products, but since Sears bought them out…

    Did I tell you I was on Wheel of Fortune and won… zero? Talk about humiliation on national TV. I’m great at puzzles, but I sucked at the actual wheel. Of course, I did as instructed and gave every spin all I had. The other two were cagier than I, but no matter. The fiasco set in motion the eventually divorce from my OH-so disappointed husband, Riley’s dad.

    All’s well that ends well! Amy


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