Monday, May 12, 2008

Product Placement

I got some lovely presents a few weeks ago at my birthday party. But one of them was a complete surprise. A friend of my husband and mine stopped by late in the afternoon with a card and an apology for her lateness. Everyone else had already gone home.

When I opened the card, there was some tissue paper inside. There was also a pen. And not just any pen. It was a Namiki retractable fountain pen.

I love pens. I have loved pens ever since I was a little girl, and I wanted my mom and dad to get me the 12 pack of pens you could get for Christmas at the local Woolworth's store. One of my high school teachers suggested that I switch from ball point pens to fountain pens long ago (this was before gel pens and roller balls were even a gleam in someone's imagination). I do have one fountain pen, a Lamy brand, which I consider affordable. And I have looked at the Namiki pens when we trek over to our local pen store, usually to pick up refills. But I have never dared to hope that I would ever actually own a Namiki retractable fountain pen. It is a luxury beyond my means.

Our friend had filled up the little cartridge (called a bladder) with a kind of blue-ish black ink. She showed me how to do this, for when I would want to refill it myself. But I didn't have any ink or cartridges yet.

Sunday I ran out of ink, so we went over to the pen store to get some bottled ink and some cartridges. We discovered that the pen lacked something like a 'cartridge cover' needed when you use a cartridge rather than bottled ink. Since it is an older model pen, he didn't have any replacements in the store.

So today I called the company, and explained my dilemma. She asked whether I could get a replacement locally. I named our store, and said that they didn't have any on hand. "Oh, that's too bad," she said. "Why don't I send you a complementary one?" And she took my name and address. She also gave me some good websites that I could go to for information about their products.

I told my husband, "That was one of the most pleasant conversations I have ever had with customer service."

After a moment, he replied, "It's because they think we're rich."

I'll bet Rolls Royce customers get pretty good customer service, too.


Barbara B. said...

:) that's cute!

(and it sounds like a darn spiffy pen!)

Lindy said...

I have a feeling your husband is right.

I guess now that you have a fancy pen you'll want to be writing a book... just a guess.

Diane said...

Barb, It IS spiffy. And can't wait until I get the cover.

Lindy, Maybe so... on the book :)

more cows than people said...

what is up with rich people getting better customer service? i think that is so true. i know... profit motive.

but... this just makes me think of those giveaways of expensive STUFF to very wealthy people in Hollywood, etc. they can afford to BUY this stuff. why is it given to them? i know. i know. profit motive.

phew... sorry to rant there.

anyhow... i love pens too and i'm glad you've got such a great one and good customer service to allow you to keep using it, rich or no!

Anonymous said...

more cows has a great point, no need to be sorry for the rant.

Looks like a great pen! Last time I had a fountain pen I got ink everywhere. I'll stick to my 1.99 gel pens.

Diane said...

dave-- I love those gel pens too!

dust bunny said...

I took a calligraphy class in college and used the ultra-cheap version of a fountain pen. All I remember of the class was working for days and days and DAYS on a long poster-type thingy..only to splatter ink on the last line. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!
Enjoy your very classy pen!

Crimson Rambler said...

salutations fellow pen-fan!!!

Wyldth1ng said...


I bet is writes real nice.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh my, those pens are beautiful. Enjoy having a bit of luxury in your life.

RevDrKate said...

Cool, a Rolls Royce pen. I finally did the book meme. It was a fun challenge.

FranIAm said...

Oh my- I love every single element of this post...

Your early love of pens.

The importance of ink.

Your dream come true.

Great service.

And of course - just you!

Jan said...

How wonderful! I love pens, too, and I have a Pelikan pen I bought in Germany from when I visited my daughter in 2000. I love it. I also have a Waterman. Yours looks really cool!

I knew we had a lot in common!

revabi said...

OOh such nice service.

I love pens too. Have since I was a kid also.

What nice gift.