A few months ago, I bought a little sponge holder that has suction cups for adhering to the side of the kitchen sink. I paid $7.44 at Amazon and got free shipping because I have Prime. It took maybe half a minute to finalize the purchase.
But if my loyalty had been unswerving, I would have tried to buy the sponge holder from Miller’s ACE Hardware, which sent me this letter a few months ago:
They apologized for an inconvenience I didn’t know I experienced and refunded money I did not realize I was owed. They sent me a letter. With a stamp. Think of that.
But there was Amazon with free shipping and the i-click option, and how much time did I want to spend thinking about a sponge holder, anyway?
(Apparently way more than the average person, because I am blogging about it.)
If you are not fortunate enough to live near a great hardware store, the transaction is meaningless—it never would occur to you to think in terms of loyalty. But I do and I did.
This hardware store in a shopping center with the wonderful name of Ruthfred. I blogged about it in 2009:
And in 2013: