Daily Archives: March 7, 2013

Customer Service X 2: Wong’s Drapery & Brenthaven

Two reports of good customer service.

First: Wong’s Drapery. In early 2010, I described our good experience with Wong’s Drapery, a small family owned company where we bought a set of vertical blinds for one window in our living room (“Wong’s Drapery is a small business that earned our recommendation the hard way“).

All went well until one recent day when we were in the kitchen when we heard a sudden snap and the blinds, which are mounted at an angle, went sliding down to the low end of the track. Snap, slide, quiet. Apparently some piece that allied the blinds to be pulled into place broke and that was it.

So I walked into Wang’s showroom on Beretania Street one morning and arranged a service call from one of the store’s techs, Stacy, who also did the original installation.

Long story short. Stacy came out, removed the blinds, figured out the problem, carted the whole thing back into town, and just a few days later reported the repairs completed and was back to reinstall yesterday. Now it’s like a new set of blinds, all the key parts replaced. Wong’s got the job done, and gets my repeat recommendation.

Second: Brenthaven. Early this year, I commented on my adventure ordering the cool iPhone 5 case from Brenthaven, a company best known for its computer cases. When I asked about options to the standard express (and expensive) delivery, the company’s great customer service rep who arranged to bypass their normal routine and ship via inexpensive regular mail. I received the case, put it on the phone, and really like it’s minimalist approach to protection.

Then it happened. I was at the Kaaawa post office, pulling mail out of our p.o. box, which happens to be on the bottom row. So I was leaning over and…yes, the phone slipped out of my pocket and went crashing onto the concrete floor. I feared the worst, but when I picked it up, all was well. Phone safe and sound. The minimalist design worked as advertised and gave the phone all the protection it needed.

[text]Then, on closer inspection, I saw that the corner of the case had been broken–well, chipped–by the fall. You can see it in the top corner of this photo. That was pretty depressing until I thought of Brenthaven’s advertised lifetime warranty. The iPhone case wasn’t on the drop down list to request warranty service, so I sent off an email inquiry.

The response was quick and positive. Yes, the case is covered, based on my photo of the damage. And, yes, they would send a replacement. It arrived this week, and I’m a happy camper.

Wonderful art from a 1937 train ride in Japan

Back in December 2011, I posted a batch of photos taken by UH Professor Carey D. Miller during a 1937, pre-WWII trip to Japan.

Miller, the internationally-known nutritionist who established the Home Economics Department at the University of Hawaii, traveled to Japan to meet with colleagues and observe farming and cooking techniques.

[text]Now I’ve found some other mementos from that trip while sorting my mother’s papers after her death at the end of January. These seem to be a series of ads about dining options on the Mikado Dining Car while traveling by train through Japan.

These are small, no more than 35, printed on fragile paper with wonderful art work.

I’ll have to await comments from readers who can translate from the Japanese for a more accurate assessment of what these represent.

–> See the collection of 1937 Japan train memorabilia.