Archive for July, 2007

The Irony of the Pink Flamingo

July 7th, 2007

It happened on Friday, the afternoon before the 4th of July weekend.
One week earlier on Friday, Trellissa receives a phone call from a woman that needs a Hawaiian shirt for a party she has been invited to. She says she is known as the Pink Flamingo Lady. She collects flamingo things and would only like to purchase a shirt she saw listed on the web site. It is a cotton R. J. Clancey brand; Pink Flamingo Hibiscus ladies shirt in blue in 2X. She is curious how the sizing and makes this inquiry to Trellissa. Trellissa instructs her to use the size chart that is only available for the Paradise Found rayon ladies shirts. They settle on the 2X large.

The following Friday she calls Trellissa again to ask why the shipment hasn’t been shipped. She had not received the Federal Express tracking number.  We frantically run around the showroom in an attempt to locate her paperwork. It can’t be found anywhere. Then we have a brilliant idea. Let’s check the stack of 30 boxes waiting for Federal Express to pick up. FedEx is going to pick up in the next 30 minutes or so. Panic sets in. Lo and behold, there it is. All packed and ready to go. Then, I have an after thought. I never packed a 2X shirt. Hmmm. My hunch is correct.


We unpacked the box. Yikes, it’s a Medium! I placed the wrong size into the customer’s box. Trellissa proceeds to call the Honolulu factory in hopes that they have a 2X in stock, for the possibility of a drop ship direct from Honolulu factory to the customer.  They will do this in case of an emergency. Lord knows that rush and emergency do not belong in the same sentence as aloha wear. But, there are exceptions to most everything. Now the bad news rears its ugly head. The factory informs Trellissa that woman’s cotton shirts are not made in a 2X size. It does not exist. We immediately blame the data entry employee.

As a rule of thumb, and as common practice, we always place the blame of errors and omissions on to the person that isn’t working that day. Blame the person not here. It’s a safe practice. But, in this case the web guy did make an omission. A week earlier he was instructed to take down, remove, all 2X listings of cotton women’s shirts. He did so, as instructed, expect for that one listing of the ladies Pink Flamingo Hibiscus Blue shirt. Trellissa made a mistake by not telling the customer no 2X cotton ladies shirts are made. She simply did not know. She was new on the job. I made a mistake by almost sending out the wrong size. That’s how it is around here. The only customer calling to check on her order was the one that was packed incorrectly, and in this case, did not exist.

Needless to say, Trellissa was fired on the spot. This happens about three to four times a week. She is immediately hired back. It’s tough to find loyal workers here on this paradise isle, Maui. I fired myself as well, and indeed, re-hired on the spot. Web data guy was immediately reprehended and instructed to finish his mandate from last week.

After two phone calls back to the customer, we luckily found a compromise. She accepted a Men’s shirt in Large. The party was the next Tuesday. We ran after the Federal Express truck, literally, and handed the driver the box. It will arrive in two work days; Tuesday. All was well. We are human. We make mistakes. As I always say, One mistake always begets another mistake. In this case I was definitely right. TGIF!


Questions from Tourists Visiting Hawaii

July 2nd, 2007

Questions from Tourists Visiting Hawaii

Those of us who live in Hawaii meet lots of tourists. Here are some of the questions that I have heard:

What is the money exchange in Hawaii?

Which side of the road do you drive on in Hawaii?

Is there water all the way around the Hawaiian islands?

Do we need a permit to drive over to the other islands?

Can you drink the tap water in Hawaii?

Do we give tips in Hawaii?

What languages are spoken on the various islands?

Where can I get free coupons?

Are there any pearls left in Pearl Harbor?

How much are the tickets for the whale show?

Do they use the same whales for every show?

Where do they get the whales?

I try to give answers to these questions, but sometimes words fail me.

Maui Blackie – Blackie Gadarian

Customer's Communicate

Success does not come easy

July 2nd, 2007

Success does not come easy

The success of this web site comes from many years of dedicated hard work. It started in 1998 as a dream. The first five years were a losing proposition fraught with mistakes and much loss of money. I kept my day job. I never gave up on my dream. The web site is built on honesty and being up-front and in your face. I never have to remember what I say. I always tell the truth.


I’m passionate about getting my customers’ orders out to them as fast as possible. I will not tolerate people who want to tell me when, and how high to jump. I work 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week picking, packing and shipping my customers’ orders. No one offers more service and dedication. My feedback on Yahoo, EBay and, from honest people, is proof beyond a shadow of doubt. I will not tolerate people who lie. I will not do business with people who are bullies and think they know more than me on how to run my business.


I had one lady the other day who called and spoke with my assistant. The lady was upset that she did not get a response to her email request for an exchange. She told my assistant that she sent two un-answered emails to me over two weeks ago. After a simple look at her existing order, I knew she was full of baloney. Her order was less than 6 days old !


So, deal with me straight and I will give you what you want as quickly as possible. Don?t play games. I have no time for such nonsense. Just tell me when you want it in your hands. Pick some alternate choices whenever possible, especially in the kids items and the Men?s cotton shirts. I mean what difference would it make to a 24 month old kid whether he or she got a pink outfit instead of a fuchsia one? There are dozens and dozens of prints for Men’s cotton shirts. Many prints are so similar, I have to stare at them to see which print it is. And, please use the size charts. They will be a great benefit to you. I receive about 20 boxes per week in returns. 16 of those boxes are for exchanges for a different size. Use the size charts. They work.


The mean, demanding and thoughtless customer

July 1st, 2007

Now comes the customer who becomes irate and says my customer service is “awful”. She “demands” a refund. Like, I can’t wait to give this person’s money back and block her IP address so I never have to deal with her again. Yes, I can do that. I can block your IP address so you can never get to my web site again from your PC. Not that she would ever want to shop with me again. But, just as a precaution, I take this tact. I could not refund this transaction fast enough. It was truly my pleasure. She did not receive an email or a phone call within three days of the time she placed her order on-line. I did not inform her that the $ 16.98 kiddie cabana set for her niece will not arrive in time for the birthday party. It was not in stock in the size and color she selected. She made no alternate choice of color or print.


And, this is funny. She picked U.S. Priority Mail as her shipping option. My goodness, you want it in a rush. You need it in your hands by a specific date. Why in the world would you select the Post Office as your shipping option? The chances of the cabana set getting there on time, even if I shipped it the same day was slim to none. She should have gone to Sears or J. C. Penny for her kiddie outfit. She placed her order on a Friday afternoon, after 7 PM, local time. It’s the Friday before a three day Holiday weekend. No work on Monday, it?s King Kamehamea day. (How could she know that?) King Kamehamea day is an important Holiday here on the Island of Maui. There is a big parade, Front Street is closed. Many businesses are closed. Saturday and Sunday really can not be included in packing, shipping or delivery time. Nor, can the Holiday be included..


It is common to experience a power outage here in Lahaina. This is not uncommon here on the island for this to happen many times a year. Entire areas are down without electricity for hours at a time. Power outages affect the Internet service, the phone lines and of course, there is no air conditioning. You may not know it, but it’s very hot and dry in Old Lahaina town in the summer months. You simply can not work while sweat drops from your forehead on to the apparel. Communication and Internet usage are disrupted for many hours. And, it is also common to be stuck on the other side of the island, in a long line of traffic on a two lane highway because the road is closed due brush fires. There is only one main road from the airport, Wailuku and Kahului to the Westside, Lahaina. Some days the Federal Express daily shipment from our Honolulu factories does not deliver our boxes in the morning. They may come late in the afternoon or not until the next day. Rain can cause delays here on the Island.


The point here is that there are mitigating circumstances beyond my control and your control. And the world does not revolve around you, the customer. The word Rush and Aloha Wear do not belong in the same sentence. So, before you get mad at me and slam me with stupid, thoughtless, negative feedback, take five minutes out of your hurried life and read the page that tells you what to expect when it comes to shipping and delivery time before you place your order. The link is easy to find. It’s on the top of all 2,500 pages. It is called “Important Information & Shipping” and it’s in red letters. Try to plan more than five days ahead. I ship from an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Please consider the possibility that five days might not be enough time to leave for an order to get to you when there is a week end and a holiday in those five days! Sheesh.