Flashback to footwear

While we were in Portland, Maine, we stopped at Freeport at the L.L. Bean store.

I’ve been occasionally complaining about the quality of the customer service of certain businesses. So I thought I’d share a more positive story.

But first a bit of personal history. I was on the game show JEOPARDY! on November 9 and 10, 1998, which was recorded on September 16 of that year. I’ve quickly noted that I won $17,600 in the first game. I was less effusive about my second game. I was in a distant third place going into the last question. I had $2,200, Jim had $5,500, and Robin, $9,200.

The Final JEOPARDY! category was FAMOUS NEW ENGLANDERS: The clue was just a picture of a guy dressed rather like the guy here. I wagered $1,800 and got it right (LL Bean) ending with $4,000. Jim bet $3,800 and got it wrong, and finished with $1,700. Robin bet $2,500, which was incorrect but won the game with $6,700 in cash. Both of them gave Sears as the answer. Jim won a Panasonic DVD player; and I, a trip to Almond Beach Resort, Barbados, which Carol and I used on our honeymoon in May 1999.

In March 1999, my then-fiancee, Carol, took me to Portland, Maine on vacation. While we were there, we stopped at Freeport, ME at the L.L. Bean store; they weren’t all over the place as they are now. In the entryway was the exact same photo I had seen while taping the game show about six months earlier. We got snowed in at Portland and had to stay a couple of extra days.

In March 2013, I was wearing a pair of LL Bean boots when the sole separated from the rest of the shoe. My wife took them to the local LL Bean store – which did not exist in 1999 – who sent them to the repair unit.

The repair unit, though, could not fix them. But they would give me a credit for what I paid for them, as part of some lifetime guarantee I was only vaguely aware of. When did I buy them? I had no idea. “Had to be 1998 or 1999.” Well, in that case, it HAD to be March of 1999 [though I didn’t actually remember buying them, since I had not yet received the $17,600; the check arrived on March 17, 1999]. I explained that I had to make a pilgrimage to the store because it got me a trip to a far-away island. The repair guy loved the story.