My Fine Husband recently contacted a shoe company per a concern; he’s a brewer and needs safe, non-slip and waterproof footwear and the pair he had been wearing (happily) developed a premature flaw. He’s really good at figuring out what needs to happen, reading all the necessary (or at least provided) information the company shares in their Customer Service protocols so he did his diligence in jumping all the hoops to inquiry about a solution.

The company sent him a curious reply per his inquiry of a warrantee concern:

“Re: Consumer concern case number: XXXX

Good day and thank you for contacting [Whatever] Shoes.

We are pleased to inform you that we have resolved your case in your favor.

Your replacement product will be sent to you shortly.

We appreciate your continued loyalty to our [wahtever] family brand.”

Larry, clowning around in his work boots.

Larry, clowning around in his work boots.

Notice how the wording was like a lawsuit – ‘resolved your case in your favor.’ Seems very odd to me and we at first laughed it off. Then I started thinking about it and how it can be interpreted as slightly, well, off.


The idea of Customer Service is rife with opportunity to shine just as it’s ready to disappoint. One of the best service pros I know anywhere is Paul. He’s a career server and trainer and is proud of his profession. I bring him up since he’d surely like a go at this, in a nice way, to ask the company why they chose these words.

I think it’s good they were succinct, they thanked him and indicated appreciation. Why then would they kind of back-handedly word this to make the buyer feel like they’re in court…..Not sure.

He got his replacements last week, though they weren’t the exact same model. We could say ‘oh well’ here, yet it’s not quite all well.

Think about the words you use, where you use them, and how they can be interpreted. Think about them from your customers’ vantage point. Don’t get mired in the minutia but do take time to think about them, especially pre-publishing like in this case.

Words are powerful and useful when we can employ them as such.

Speaking of words, is it whom or who in my title??