Keeping Good Customers

When I graduated from college in 1984 I was already enlisted in the US Air Force and on my way to Officer Training School in San Antonio, Texas. The first thing they did when I arrived (besides shaving my head) was to issue me a set of uniforms. For the first four years after getting out of school I wore blue pants, blue shirt, black shoes, and sometimes a blue jacket and blue tie.

It wasn’t until I started working at Indiana Bell in late 88 that I had to start buying “grown folks” clothes. Having never done this before, I cruised a local mall looking for help. I found it at a Bachrach store. I can’t recall the person who waited on me, but he was kind and caring and sold me a lot of shirts, pants, and ties as a result. More than that, he had my loyalty. I shopped almost exclusively at Bachrach’s for the three years I worked at the phone company.

When I started Port-to-Port Consulting, I didn’t want to have to wear suits and ties so my connection to Bachrach’s lessened. By the time I decided that it would be cheaper for me to wear nice dress pants instead of casual pants (my homage to growing up), I had to go in search of a new place to buy pants. Without hessitation, I headed for Bachrach’s, where a nice young man helped me to pick out several pairs and marked them for hemming. The first time I wore the black pants, I noticed a V cut into the waist in the middle of the back. I thought they had made some kind of error while taking in the waist. I took them back to be told that the pants were intentionally made that way. I told them I didn’t want them and they told me too bad.

I can’t remember how many years ago that was, but I know I haven’t been in a Bachrach’s since, even though they still send me junk mail. I’ve purchased many pants since then, from many places. Each time I buy pants I wonder why Bachrach’s didn’t do something to make things right for me about those pants. They would have sold me thousands of dollars worth of clothing since then.

General Patton said, “Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning.” The store won the battle over the V notched pants, and lost all of my future business. I won because they forced me to look elsewhere for clothes. Although I am neither, I do my dress clothes shopping at the Style Store for Big and Tall, owned by Joe Zuckerberg. Everyone there treats me superbly. I’ll continue to shop there as long as they do.

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