During the weeks following the holidays, stores are overflowing with customers trying to return their unwanted Christmas gifts. The process is generally simple: go in the store, return the item, get your money back. However, one woman never respected the response she received when she attempted to return a winter coat to Zulily — a response that has since gone viral on social media.
Kelly Kinkel recently shared her experience with the online store in a Facebook post, hoping that it would go viral so everyone could read about what the company had done. She wrote that she had ordered herself a coat, but when she got it in, she quickly realized that the fabric wouldn’t work with her two dogs, whose coarse hair would get attached to the material.
“When I received my order, I could see through the packaging that the coat material wasn’t going to work well with the two breeds of dogs we have. Coarse dog hair and certain materials don’t mix,” she wrote in a January 4 post.
— SHEfinds (@shefinds) January 14, 2016
Because the coat wasn’t practical, Kinkel decided to send it back so she could receive a full refund, or discuss a possible exchange. She called Zulily’s customer service line and told them about her order, and asked how she could ensure the item was returned properly. The customer service representative, identified only as Patrick, confirmed that she would be receiving an immediate refund, but then told her to do something out of the ordinary with the coat. Rather than send the coat back, Patrick told her to donate it to a charity, or someone in need.
“I called customer service and asked how to return the unopened coat for a refund. I spoke with a sweet young man named Patrick, and he let me know he would refund my money immediately. I asked again how to send it back, and he said, ‘Please don’t send it back. If you know someone who needs a winter coat or if you would like to donate it to a charity, that would make us very happy.’ “
Patrick’s response to Kinkel brought her to tears. She wrote that she had always been a loyal customer to Zulily, but said she will now be a customer for life.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) January 14, 2016
“I honestly thought he was kidding,” she wrote. “It took me a moment to realize he was completely serious, and then came the tears. I just don’t know other companies that do this, do you? I thought Zulily was pretty incredible before, but after today, I’m a customer for LIFE. The world needs more LOVE like that. Honest business. Honest ethics. How refreshing!”
In response to Kinkel’s viral post, Maureen Shea, the vice president of Zulily, issued a statement to Us Weekly.
“We’re excited that this customer had a great Zulily experience. My team is dedicated to delivering exceptional customer service,” Shea wrote. “Our goal is to provide our customers with the very best prices for great, fresh and unique product each and every day. As such, all sales on Zulily are final sale. However, we understand that there may be rare occurrences where customers may have an issue with an item, or express disappointment with their order. Our policy allows customers who are disappointed with their order the ability to seek a resolution by contacting our Customer Service team.”
[Photo via Kelly Blue Kinkel/Facebook]