Hi guys, hope y’all are in the mood for some capitalism today! (Just kidding.)
If you guys don’t know, koovs is an online fashion website that I really like and frequently use, because dammit, when I’m sad I need my fashion fix to fix my broken soul. I’ve got quite a few great pieces from it over the years and the particular piece that led me to all this trouble was the following pair of shoes:
I bought these shoes in a comfy size 40 (yes, I have big feet for a cis woman) because I thought they were motherflippin’ GORGEOUS (LOOK AT THAT COLOUR. THE DELICATE SHAPE.). They even fitted like a dream, and the irrepressible sinner that I am, I loved them and wore them absolutely everywhere.
That was a mistake.
One fine day, I went for brunch with my friend. It was a great day: balmy, and soft, and I was in great company, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. The shoes were a little bit too squeaky; they were giving way too far on the sides.
So, as one will, I bent down to check if something was wrong.
What I discovered quite literally made by blood run cold (no, seriously, guys, for a second I felt my veins turning to ice): the worst possible shite had happened. The shoes were beginning to detach from the sole.
We’re going to ignore the irony of fact that the brand that manufactured the shoes is called Sole Story (!). What absolutely horrified me was the fact that they were just over a month old! No matter how dainty they may have been, no pair of shoes worth 899 bucks had any business dying after only a month of use. I was heartbroken, and pretty pissed. 899 is a lot of money for a college student from a middle class, and descending, background.
I’m not kidding when I say that they literally triggered a panic attack for me in the middle of the restaurant.
You see, I’ve had issues in the past with money, and my relationship with it (as ridiculous as that sounds). For me, as I suspect it is for many other people, money means power. It means a way to fend off helplessness, and to find security. So when I finally started earning a little for myself, guys, it was everything. As one transitions to adulthood, the idea that you have the power to control your own finances is immeasurable in terms of providing a confidence boost.
So that afternoon in the restaurant, I felt I’d made a bad purchase, like I’d just thrown away a huge amount of money, which made me feel terrible and just hate myself. There were issues at work here which were beyond the shoes themselves, as most things in life are: I was back to being the girl who felt horrible about herself because she was awful and full of mistakes.
Now, obviously koovs can’t do anything about my mental health issues (hah! I wish).
What they did do instead is something very simple, yet something I’ve not had the pleasure of encountering very often with companies: they took me seriously.
I got in touch with koovs that evening, via Instagram. Here’s what they had to say:
Like most people, I assumed that ‘the needful’ would be a few conciliatory words and placating gestures; I never expected them to actually accept responsibility for the mishap.
Flash forward to a day later and:
Not only did they agree to take the product back despite it failing quality checks and so on, they repaid the entire amount, in a mode of my choice (as opposed to a coupon or something which I’d be forced to use to buy more products). As far as customer service goes, this was incredible.
We all know we live in a world of ruthless capitalism.
Brands are not your friend: they are there to sustain an essentially exploitative system that oppresses all those who cannot, for whatever reason, accumulate resources. However, sometimes, within these structures, we have positive experiences that are worth remembering.
Maybe I appreciated this one so much because at the time, with pressures at home and in college, I was so stressed that it felt like a miracle that someone was actually listening to my frustrations. Maybe I’m over-reacting because of the way in which I, specifically, view the articles of clothing I own: as an extension of me, as something that helps to sustain my identity. For some people, clothes are a functional way to shield themselves from the weather and not be naked; for me, they are deeply personal items that I love. They are not just pieces of fabric; they are the weapons I face the world with.
Either way, I really freaking appreciated the action taken by koovs. It was a very considerate thing to do, and right now, I think we could all do with a dose of consideration in our lives. People at koovs, y’all are good’uns.
Have you had a positive experience with a brand at any point? What was it like? What did that make you feel?
Let me know in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you.
To emphasise, I haven’t been paid by anybody to write this post, because I’m not important enough for that (lol). This is just me writing a post to appreciate some great-quality customer service I received from a company at absolutely zero cost to me and quite a bit of cost to them, so I thought I’d make my appreciation known by putting it on my blog, even if it was in service to the kinda poisonous captalist-consumerist culture that we live in.
Here is a picture of me looking fine in those shoes to finish things up with: