fresh air

It will not surprise you, if you’ve known me for any length of time, to hear that I once received 2 different shoes in the mail… in the same box. AND- I didn’t realize they were slightly different until after I’d put them on (on the porch… straight out of the box and fresh from the UPS man’s hands) and looked up to see a baby calf loose in the yard.  With no time to lose, I jumped off the porch and chased that rascal all through the yard and through several pastures and piles of poo.  It was not until Baby was safe and secure that I sat down again and realized… LAWD, Kate. They sent you 2 different shoes. And now they’ve been worn outside AND are covered in mess. SO. RAD. Apple pie, anyone?

Y’all are nodding right now because that’s just something that happens in my world. I know.

What’s surprising is that I emailed customer service and explained myself. I explained myself, I apologized for the ridiculous situation, and I asked for a discount. I figured a request for an exchange was going a bit far considering, and I just thought I’d take the long shot and ask for a discount credit.

What could I lose? 

Paul emailed me back the same day.

And he restored my faith in people.

I wish I could buy him dinner.

Wherever you are, Paul, thank you. Thank you for playing along, for making me laugh, for fixing the problem, and for having a good time.  High-five and power to the creativity, Man. There’s an apple pie here on the farm with your name on it.

Here’s his email to me:

Hello Kate!

Thank you for contacting the Customer Loyalty Team. My name is Paul, er, I mean… Captain Anomaly! I will be happy to use my super powers to aid you today!

I am very sorry that you received defective shoes (and for the pesky cows thinking they can just hang out in your yard. Darn teenagers! Er, cows!). Neither of those are a normal occurrence, nor is it indicative of the high quality of service and products we strive to provide our customers. Luckily for you, I was recently in an experimental lab explosion involving a lamp, a giraffe, and an expired pack of Bazooka bubble gum. Now, I have some totally awesome WOWing powers that I can use to take care of this for you!


Whoa! What was that?! Look closely, do you see it? If I use my super vision, it appears to say… 126478842. What does it mean? That, my friend, is the reference number for your new order. Those are the New Balance Classics W574 in Blue/White, size 7.5 Medium. Just like when I am flying, this package is moving with super speed, and should be arriving to you on 5/1! Using one of the plethora of powers in my arsenal, I have transferred the funds over from your original order to this new one, so that you were not charged at all.


Oh gosh! Did you witness what just took place? Quickly, look to the inbox of your e-mail. You should see a few e-mails from us, but one of those will contain a link to your prepaid UPS return label! Just put that first item back into the original packaging and tape that new label on the outside with clear tape. Please be sure to remove the old shipping label, or cover it up entirely with the new one. Then just drop that package off at any UPS store within the next two weeks.


Holy smokes! What could have occurred just now?! I have used my laser vision to vaporize that poor customer service experience and created a coupon for you to help mend your online experience wounds in this troubling time.

That coupon is for $15 and is a one time use, non-refundable coupon that can be used on your next order within 90 days. Please accept this as a further apology for what has happened. The code to use that coupon is below for your convenience.

Hopefully this will help you with your unfortunate shoe situation. I have added some notes to have our warehouse double check that new pair for quality before sending them out to you, and to warn them of the potential cow remnants upon the returning pair, so those will definitely not be sent out to any other customers. Alas, I do not have any immediate solution for the cow predicament, but I will try to think of something and head back down there pronto! Now where did I put my knee pads and cattle prod…

If you need anything else, I would be glad to fly down there and assist you. Permitted that I am not busy fighting the evil Doctor Normality, my bitter adversary. Captain Anomaly, awaaaay!

The inconspicuously clad “Captain Anomaly”,


Customer Loyalty TeamZappos, Inc.

After reading this, Trace said, “We need more of this in the world – lightheartedness – laughter – imagination – giddiness – and superhuman problem solving skills.”

Amen, Sister.



About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

10 responses to “fresh air

  • Missy

    Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness! I want to buy a pair shoes from Zappos and then return them just so that I can get an email just like this! That is something to be framed. What graciousness! Welp, you made my Monday sister.

  • Mandi Watts

    Wow! That is the most awesome customer service experience ever! I have always liked Zappos, but I like them even more now. In fact, I think I might need a new pair of shoes…

  • MC

    Wow. That’s so great. I love it when people are awesome.

  • cara maat

    LOVE this, katie! thank you so much for sharing.

  • Susannah

    amazing!!! sometimes decent customer service is hard to find, so when you see an example of awesome customer service, it really makes an impact. I love his sense of humour. And the way he is making what is likely a discouraging job (complaints!returns!) really fun. Thanks for sharing!

  • steph

    Are you kidding? I can’t believe he had the time and hilariousness to write that. Not many people in that line of online customer service work have such an awesome sense of humor that they are actually able to share. Love it!

  • amy

    seriously? I am buying something from them.

  • jo

    I LOVE zappos – and this just made the love deeper! And also – this is one of your best stories. Classic Kate :)!!!

  • Kim Aguilar

    I kind of want to order shoes now, and have them be totally awful, just so I can get an email from Paul. Holy Amazing Batman!

  • Kaylee Page

    oh my heavens! I want to meet Paul. I want us all to serve him apple pie, a glass of milk and make s’mores together.

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