Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Uline, I Think I Love You

Uline is total packing porn. Anything that needs to go into another thing to go in the mail, you can get there. Uline catalogs are cherished items in our house. Favorite items in the last one: box of rags, air in a can, bogus paper, strapping tape.

I knew I liked Uline for the sheer packaging geekiness of it, but now I love them for another reason: their customer service.

A few days ago, I bought a Dymo printer from Uline. Turns out, I bought the wrong one. Totally my mistake. I called them tonight, the Saturday before Christmas, at 5pm. I was prepared for the runaround.

They answered the phone after two rings. And by “they,” I mean a person, not a machine. I said that I needed to return something I’d bought, and the woman said, “Sure, Mister Powazek. From your last order? The printer?”

I was stunned. “Yes,” I said.

She said okay and gave me the return address and authorization number. Just like that.

Then she asked if I wanted a different one. I said yes, and described the one I’d meant to get. “I know the one,” she said. “Would you like to charge it to the same card as your last order?”

“Yes,” I said.

And that was it. No scripted false sincerity, no “your call is important to us,” no hard time about the return. Just three “yes”s and that was that.

This is the way business should work. Bravo, Uline.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.