In the summer of 2016, a man walked into the local hardware store and told the owner he was going to use his own brand of insulated drape.
He explained that he needed to find a way to protect his dog from the elements, and that he was working on a product that would.
He needed an insulating drape that was both sturdy and durable, and he wanted to give the customer a product for his home and family.
“We have been working on this product for a while,” he told the shop owner.
“It has a great design, and it is durable.”
A few days later, the store owner, who did not want to be identified, got a call from a representative from the manufacturer.
“The product is in great shape and it’s been through many cycles of production,” the representative said.
“There is nothing we can do about this product.”
The representative went on to tell the man that he would be getting a refund.
The man thanked the company, and the representative left the store without returning the phone number.
“You’re really great,” the store manager told the man.
The next day, a customer called to say that the store was closed because they had received a defective product.
“They were just about to cancel it because of it,” the man said.
The manufacturer of the product had contacted the man to ask about it.
The store manager agreed to pay for the repair, and they went to the factory to do it.
It was the kind of customer service that a manufacturer should expect from their customer, but they received no response.
So they called the manufacturer again.
This time, they had gotten a response.
The representative told the store that the product was still being produced and that the manufacturer would pay for a repair.
“I had no idea that this was a situation like this,” the manager said.
Within a week, the company was paying for the product.
Within six months, they were paying for it.
And within a year, they would pay a total of $200,000 for the replacement of the insulation.
“When it’s a brand-new product, you want to have it tested by somebody, but in this case, there was no one else who would test it,” said the manager, who added that the company should have paid for a second test before the refund.
“A customer should be able to decide on whether or not they want to keep their money, and we should be doing this.”
The man told TIME that he had been contacted by more than two dozen other stores that had been affected by this defect, and all of them had also received the refund in a timely manner.
“If we could do this in a few weeks, maybe we could save a few thousand bucks,” he said.
But the man told the managers that they should have waited a month or two to make sure they got the refund, as the company had promised to ship the product to the customer by the end of the month.
The manager told him to call the manufacturer’s customer service line and explain the situation, and to try to get a refund by email.
The managers declined to do this, saying that it would take too long to get to the customers.
A week later, he called back.
This person, he said, said that the refund was already processed, but the customer would be waiting.
So he called the customer service number again.
The person there told him that the customer was waiting for the company to get back to him.
“So we called back, and I had a phone call back from the customer that said, ‘We just received your email,'” the manager recounted.
The customer service representative told him, “The customer has already gotten his refund.
He will send it by the mail.”
The manager said he thought about calling back, but he didn’t want to get into a fight with the customer.
“He had already told me that he wanted the refund,” the shop manager said, “and we were not going to go that far.”
He called the factory again, but again, he was told that the order would not be shipped until the manufacturer had returned the product, and if he did not receive it by Monday, he would have to pay a $300 fee.
The shop manager called the company again.
“At this point, the customer is not going anywhere,” he explained.
“And he is not happy about it.”
The factory had sent the order out to the manager’s warehouse.
“Once they get to this point,” the managers said, they can decide whether or a refund is possible.
“But right now, the manager can’t get it.”
It’s not clear how the manufacturer has managed to produce the product for so long without being contacted by the customer, and without knowing the customer’s name.
“As a company, we have a responsibility to the consumer to be transparent about this,” a spokesperson for the manufacturer told TIME.
“In this case we were being transparent, and in fact,