What you are about to read is true. It happened in one week. On an island called Long, in a state of New Yorkiness.

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Macy’s sent me “thank you” coupons in the mail. They were printed on heavy card stock meant to look like Macy’s credit cards. It promised 20% off my next purchase. 

Eddie Bauer sent me a $20.00 gift certificate to thank me for using my Eddie Bauer Friends card and purchasing over $200 in merchandise. Mark got one for $10.00. 

SW Airlines sent me a Hertz Rental Car coupon that promised incredible discounts on my next rental. 

I found the mall. In the Haven of Smith. I needed some summer type-tops. I wanted humidity proof – meaning you couldn’t see that I was sweating profusely – and cute. I’m at Macy’s. I find the perfect top. I decide to buy two (different colors of course). I proudly present my coupon. Oh, um this can’t be used to purchase these tops. What? She turned the card over. In a 2 point font the restrictions were listed. Not only could you not use this coupon on certain brands – like Ralph Lauren – you could not use it in entire departments – like housewares, furniture, cosmetics, jewelry, shoes – I’m not kidding. 

I’m pretty sure after reading the entire thing that they wanted you to buy some socks. 

Eddie Bauer is next. Armed with what I think is $30 cash I hit the sale rack. Found me some cool beachy shoes, presented my two gift certificates. Oh, you can only use one of these. Sigh. 

Hertz Rental Car – I’m going to Portland next month and need to rent a car. I’m already Hertz Gold so I get a wee bit of a discount but let’s use this coupon. I do as instructed, plug in my Promotion Code – and blammo. Big red letters at the top of the screen saying “This location does not participate in this offer.” Of course. 

Last night I ordered shoes online from Zappos.com. They offered free ground shipping. Sweet. This morning I get an email from them:

We have upgraded your ground shipping to overnight. Here’s your tracking number. I click on it – it tells me that the UPS guy is driving to our house right now with the shoes! Shuddup! This can’t be possible? It will have been less than 24 hours from the time I clicked the purchase button to the time I get the shoes. And they are coming from Kentucky!

That means someone had to, in the middle of the night, walk down a warehouse aisle and find my shoes and pack them up and put them on a plane!!!!!! 

Ding dong. I just got them. Incredible.

Keeping promises. That’s all I expect. If you take the time and money to send me a 20% off coupon – I expect to be able to get 20% off. 

But exceeding my expectations – which by this time were pretty damn low – is where it’s at. 

I will never buy a pair of shoes from Eddie Bauer or Macy’s again. Ever. Zappos.com has my business for life. 

Right now credit unions have an opportunity to stand out. Consumer’s expectations are at an all time low. The CU Warrior has a great post today about this very subject. You should read it. 

Oh, and thanks for reading this. It means a lot to me. 

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