02 February, 2007

Customer Service

I heard that Phil didn't see his shadow and that spring is on the way. Has winter ended? Well, January has at any rate, and it's time to put away my "winter" dishes. I refrain from calling them Christmas dishes because I choose to use them not only in December but clear through the month of January. The pattern is a primitive one of snow scenes, as you can see. I'm crazy about these plates, cups and saucers, but I love the story behind how I came to have them even more.

As some of you who read my blog know, we lived in Europe ten years ago. One day I was cruising around the local department store and spotted these dishes on display. I loved them, they reminded me of Grandma Moses! I picked up a brochure that was lying on the table near the display, learned that they were manufactured by Villeroy and Boch, and brought it home to show my husband. He feigned the proper amount of casual interest and suggested this might be a good idea for sometime in the future. I forgot about them and many months later found out that the pattern had been discontinued. That always seems to happen to me, so I can't say I was surprised, disappointed, yes; but surprised, no. Unbeknownst to me, around the same time, my husband learned the same thing. Back then he traveled frequently to Trier, Germany for business and one of his colleagues informed him that the V&B manufacturing facility was in nearby Mettlach, just a short drive from Trier; they may have these pieces for sale in their outlet there. My husband drove there, he checked, no such luck... but, even better, they told him if he wanted them they would "run them" as they still had the printing pattern available! There was a catch though, he had to purchase the entire set! Right then. We hadn't discussed this ahead of time as he wanted it to be a surprise, and he's not one to purchase things impulsively, but he told them: (I'm sure hesitantly) "Alright, go ahead". And so, they did!

I still can't begin to imagine this ever being done here, I have never encountered this level of customer service. Heck, it's hard enough to convince a store employee to check "in the back", or even to pretend to; let alone find someone who would ask... "Oh, is that what you want? No, we don't have it but we could make it for you"! But, I've digressed with my editorializing, back to the story...


I was home in the U.S. visiting friends and family when all of this occurred. I arrived back a few weeks later to find the entire dining room table spread out with this amazing array of dishes... tea pot and coffee pot, cups, saucers and mugs, serving pieces and tray... along with the customary plates and bowls! Yes, to say the least, I WAS surprised! Apparently, the way it's been related to me, Villeroy and Boch phoned him when they'd completed his "order" and he drove up there from our home in Geneva on a Saturday to get them. I'm absolutely sure this wasn't a huge sacrifice on his part...let's just say that the beckoning call of the Autobahn held a unique appeal of its own!
Life is Good!

10 comments:

Sioux said...

Life is good. And the dishes are beautiful. You and I are both blessed with good, loving husbands.

Laurie Ann said...

Wow, I'd say you husband is definately a keeper!!!

meggie said...

O what a wonderful story! And how special your set is, for lots of reasons, not least your wonderful husband's lovely thought.
Have you made note of this story to keep with the set? I am sure one day, the set will be valuable in monetary terms, though, not as valuable as it is to you, for the meaning it holds!

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Great dishes, story and husband!

QuiltingFitzy said...

Wonderful post about how much your hubby loves you!

Nancy said...

The dishes are darling and your DH is pretty darling, too!

Shelina said...

Wow, I can see how these dishes hold a special place in your heart. Your husband is so sweet to get order for you, and the company being willing to make them for you is extraordinary.

Sheila said...

I have seen this pattern around and thought how lovely it was. Lucky you to get the entire set, and to have a husband who knew and remembered how much you had liked it!!
Great story, and one to hand down with the dishes one day..
Hugs
xo

teodo said...

Your dishes are beautiful and is very interesting to read their story. ciao ciao

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

This is a great story!!! If I were you I would use these dishes more than just for Christmas too... goodness it is Feb. and still lots of snow in these parts! Bet your DH loves it that you love them so much too.

Cheers!

Evelyn