12 February 2008

Props to Rainshield and owner Adam Ziskin

Posted by todd under: Raingear; Reviews .

Sometimes companies mess up badly when it comes to customer relations.

You might remember that AOL phone call, when the rep simply refused to cancel a poor guy’s service. It was a PR disaster.

But then there are times when a company stands behind its product — no dissembling, no waffling, simply: We are better than that. We will prove it to you.

I’m happy to report a prime, praiseworthy example of the latter in the case of the leaking rain pants.

Last month I gave a favorable review to my O2 3Flow rain pants. Soon after that, they leaked on a couple of rides. I e-mailed company owner Adam Ziskin and informed him of the problem.

He e-mailed back and asked for a little more information.I provided it.

He asked for the size. I gave it.

I will put some pants in the mail, he said.

That was it! I got the pants a few days later.

There several things to note here, and all of them speak well of Ziskin.

First of all, he’s not afraid to put his own e-mail address on the company Web site.

Second, he responded within a few days of my original message. (You might be surprised at how few cycling-related companies answer their e-mail.)

Third, after I responded, he followed up.

Fourth, he kept after the problem until it was fixed (if you’re counting, he wrote me a total of four messages — at least two of them on the same day, within hours of each other).

Fifth, he made no excuses, and he didn’t blame the customer.

Look, nobody’s product is perfect. Even the best stuff is going to fail from time to time. Somewhere, someplace, somebody is going to screw up. Quality control is going to fail. The question is, how well will a company respond when that happens?

It’s about trust.

Will the company seize the chance to keep a customer, and defend its name?

I own four Rainshield garments. Three have been excellent. The fourth failed — but it was replaced with minimal hassle.

That means I can continue to recommend Rainshield, and I will continue to buy its products. And I will do both with confidence.

Mr. Ziskin, I applaud the way you do business, and I hope you succeed wildly.

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Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.

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I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!

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