Another cool thing was that last year Renaissance Learning had a program for used AlphaSmart called AlphaSmarts for Africa. If you sent it back to them, they'd recondition it in order to donate it to a poor community in Africa. I did this with my AlphaSmart, and I'm very pleased it's gone on to better things.
Here's another heart-warming story of commerce gone right:
I came upon the Squishable.com site via a link provided by my 20-something niece. Pictures of fat and adorable stuffed animals abound, including many "in-situ": the animals being held by people or placed in a room, so you can easily see they are rather large (the size of watermelon, only round).
They also had a "Bundle of Bunnies," three little bunnies stuffed into a carrot. At $15, I had a clue that they were not as big as the watermelon variety (which run around $38). On the page describing them, the dimensions are plain to see: seven inches long. My eyes fooled me, however. The close-up of the adorable bunnies had no context, and given the size of the other critters, I assumed they were bigger than they are, despite being told otherwise.I ordered the bunnies (I didn't want my shopping basket to remain "empty and sad"), received them in good time, but was disappointed at their size. I decided they'd do and just thought I'd live with it. Squishable uses Google Checkout as a payment method, and Google asked me to rate them as a vendor. I'm mostly lazy about such requests, but I did it this time, rating them a 4 out of 5 because of the size of the bunnies.Within hours I had an e-mail from Squishable saying they were sorry I was disappointed, that if I wanted to return the bunnies they'd pay the shipping, and here's a 20% off coupon on your next purchase. They even promised to put up some pictures that would help others avoid the same problem (when I checked the website recently I did not see any, perhaps because the bunnies are sold out). I was surprised and delighted. That is the way commerce is supposed to be conducted! Making customers happy is the goal of Squishable, and they certainly succeeded here.Both of these companies are small. Is there a moral in that story? Small companies are more service-conscious than large ones? This may be true, by and large, but I'm not sure there's a one-to-one correlation. Whatever the reason, these are two companies worth doing business with.