On Sunday 18 August I ordered a new clerical shirt online from J Wippell and Co Ltd. My current three shirts are getting a bit faded and past their best so it was time to order a new one. A black one, of course (is there any other colour, other than for a bishop?), in the formal ‘tonsure’ style.
I received a very polite email a couple of days later:
Reverend Dear Sir
Thank you for your order for a shirt.
This item is not in stock and is therefore being specially made, we anticipate dispatch to be around the 2nd September 2013.
We apologize for the delay and we will email you when we dispatch your order.
Ah, not ideal. I have an institution in St Andrews to attend on Wednesday 4 September, and if there are any delays in the mail then it may not arrive in time. I emailed them back:
I actually ordered the shirt primarily for an institution in St Andrews on Wednesday 4 September, as the dog collars on my current tonsure shirts have all but one disintegrated! Do you think that the shirt may have arrived by then? I’m happy to pay extra for faster delivery if so.
And as a company that understands exemplary customer service I was assured by a return email that schedule had been revised and the shirt would now leave the factory on Thursday 29 August.
It didn’t. It arrived at my house on Thursday 29 August. What tremendous service.
But just take a look at how long the new ‘dog’ collars are!