Tuesday, October 22, 2013

47 Brand: there actually is such a thing as good customer service

Recently, I’ve been in the market for a ultra-large baseball cap for my husband.

And in this house, at this time, that would be a Res Sox cap.

Since he’s a bigger Celtic fan than he is a Red Sox fan, I would have conceded and gotten him a Celtics cap, but I couldn’t find one in quite his size – at least on my first mosey around the ‘net.

And I really did need a large size. At a minimum, 2XL, maybe even larger.

Jim, who is exceptional in so many ways, is perhaps most exceptional when it comes to his head size. While not of Frankensteinian dimension, and while it really wouldn’t strike you as outsized if you were to meet him, it is rather biggish.

Anyway, the other night, a bit after midnight on what had been a fairly grueling day, I was on a mission from god to find a baseball cap that would fit his head.

Although I was I aware of the brand, and in fact have a couple of their caps, I did not head directly for 47 Brand. But I ended up there, and am delighted that I did.

First there’s their interesting back story:

The company was started in 1947 by twins Arthur and  Henry D’Angelo, Italian immigrants whose family had fled Mussolini in the late 1930’s when the D’Angelo brothers were twelve.  The family landed in Boston.

As was often the case with poor immigrant kids in the 1930’s, the boys started hawking newspapers, and over time found their way to Fenway Park.

Fast forward a few years, and, when the Red Sox won the American League pennant in 1946 (only to lose the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, of all things), the brothers got the idea of selling Red Sox pennants. While college pennants had been shaken (not stirred) for many years – Boola, Boola – the D’Angelos may have been the first to do an MLB pennant.

Their pennant business grew into a souvenir shop and on into the current 47 Brand business (formerly known as Twin Enterprise), which sells all sorts of sports-related apparel.

D'Angelos

Here’s a picture of their Fenway Park brick-and-mortar from a while back.

But, I, of course, was shopping online.

Where I found myself in the wee small hours of the morning, trying to figure out just what size to order.

They did have a handy-dandy cap measuring pdf, which I printed out. But it must have been the wee small hours, and/or the exhaustion, but I couldn’t get it to work quite right.

When I measured our heads – for by now I was also in the market for a new cap for myself – I found that I was an XL and Jim was a 6XL, which really seemed too gargantuan in both cases.

Then went ahead and ordered an XL – and, just to hedge, an L – for my cap of choice, figuring I’d return the one that didn’t fit. I also figured I’d need to do a bit more research on the Jim super-dome front.

So I slept on it.

Having awoken clear of brain, I decided that there was no way in hell I was an L or an XL. I also went ahead and measured both of our heads using an old-fashioned, plain old sewing box measuring tape. I then contacted the customer service at 47 Brand to confirm that my newer translation of our cap sizes was correct, which would make me a Medium and Jim a 2XL.  While I was at it, I asked if I could rescind my earlier order, which would be too big for me and too small for Jim. (Are you still with me on this????)

The customer service promise was that that they’d get back to me in the next day or so.

In real life, they got back to me in the next minute or so, letting me regular rsknow that my new assumption was correct, and that they’d canceled my earlier order. For a couple of reasons, I had to go back and forth a few times for some clarification, but the anonymous customer service person could not have been more helpful and pleasant.

I ordered Jim the conventional Red Sox cap.

And, since I am already the owner of the conventional version – not to mention one that shows two red sox, another black and orange one (with jaredsox capck-o-lantern) which I sport during Octobers when the Red Sox are not still in play, and a very nice red one with a green B wearing a Santa cap that comes out in December – I got myself a fun one with an old-time logo that used on occasion when I was a kid.

Anyway, the caps arrived and I couldn’t have been happier with mine. It is as complete an object of my affection as I’ve had in a while.

(Not everyone, I’m afraid, will recognize this as a Red Sox cap.

Over the past weekend, when I was out representin’ , I ran into a younger friend – younger by a decade or so - who’d grown up in the area, but had never seen this particular logo. He thought maybe it was for a minor league team.)

Alas, Jim’s – which fit the back of his head just fine – was a tiny bit snug in the front.

So I packed it up and returned it to 47 Brand’s Westwood, Mass. HQ.

The next day, I got an e-mail letting me know that my refund was in process.

I went back on line, found that the original cap I’d ordered for Jim came in a 3XL, and bought that one.

Fingers crossed that it will arrive by tomorrow, and we’ll be able to don our rally caps and watch The Olde Towne Team take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Mostly I want to give a shout out to customer service at 47 Brand.

Whatever our boys of summer do this fall, you done good, and I tip my brand new cap to you.

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Also want to mention that 47 Brand customer support sent me a recommendation for a cap site if it turned out that they didn’t stock a size that was large enough.

And while I’m at it, how about a blue red-B cap with a shamrock on the lid. Like my sister Trish has. So I’d have something to wear for St. Patrick’s Day. Sorry, but the Kelly green is a bit too Southie/Townie for my taste.

1 comment:

Maureen Rogers said...

Swapped out the non-fitting 2XL for a 3XL that fits. Victory is ours!

With luck, the winning streak will apply to the Red Sox, too.

Caps on!