• Seattle-based company offers touching return policy

    By: David Wagner

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Seattle-based zulily promotes that there is “something special every day.”

    The online retailer offers 15,000 brands with a dizzying array of clothing, toys and home product choices. 

    This week, the online retailer got a special delivery itself from the social media gods.

    When Texas mom Kelly Kinkel ordered a coat that didn’t work for her, she called zulily’s customer service department. 

    The company representative immediately offered to refund her money. 

    It is what the employee did next that was most memorable to Kinkel. 

    <center><div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1135631629789922" data-width="300"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1135631629789922"><p>When a woman tried to return a coat from an online retailer, she got a surprising response that brought her to tears. &gt;&gt;kiro.tv/SurpriseResponse</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/">KIRO 7 News</a> on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/KIRO7Seattle/posts/1135631629789922">Wednesday, January 13, 2016</a></blockquote></div></div><center/>

    "He said, 'Please don't ship it back. If you know anybody who could use a winter coat this season or if you have a favorite charity that you would like to donate the coat to, please do that. That would make us very happy,'” she said.

    Kinkel said she paused, thinking there was a joke coming.

    “I was thinking he wasn’t serious at all," she said. "From a humanitarian standpoint, it blew me away. It just profoundly touched me.”

    The McKinney, Texas, mom wrote on Facebook about her customer service experience, hoping her post would go viral. 

    It generated tens of thousands of page views with some people commenting that they had similar experiences with zulily. 

    Crane Fowler wrote, “After seeing this, I immediately downloaded their app and will be making a purchase.”

    Zulily doesn’t have a set-in-stone policy when it comes to donating customer returns, but says the goal is to make customers happy with 88 percent of them being repeat shoppers. 

    “Our ultimate goal at zulily is to deliver an exceptional customer experience. In an instance, such as this, when a customer reaches out to my team, we want to make sure that we do our best to have the customer leave with a positive interaction and experience with our brand. Like the breadth and depth of our product, each customer service experience is unique,” said zulily’s Maureen Shea who leads the company’s customer service team.

    Kinkel said she has become a zulily fan for life. 

    “For people who are big time players in retail, I think they should take note," she said. "Because this is the kind of sentiment and these are the kind of core business values that are going to keep moms like me coming back time and time again."

    As for the zulily coat, Kinkel plans to donate it this week to the Samaritan Inn in McKinney. 

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