Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Companies Going the Extra Mile - 2015
I have purchased a lot of stuff this year, a lot more than I expected, from a number of different game and miniature companies. Some through online purchases some through Kickstarters and as much as I could from local brick and mortar stores. I haven't received bad service from anybody, in fact I would even say that levels of service have been increasing. When you know that your customers can literally buy from almost anyone you have to find a way to make your business stand out. For me a number of companies have really stood out in 2015. I'm listing these in alphabetical order, just to try and be fair.
1) Fife and Drum (US)
Once again I had to stick my toe into another period, this time AWI. I had been attracted to the Fife and Drum miniatures for some time but I didn't pull the trigger until "Der Alte Fritz" mentioned that he was running a special for some Minden Miniatures that would be a good fit for the AWI. In my order I mentioned that I was curious about his line in general for the AWI and he promptly sent me samples to check out, and not just a couple of samples, but 1/2 a dozen or so plus a couple mounted generals. Now that's really stepping up to the plate in my book. And while I haven't really haven't done much with the AWI stuff this year you can be sure that a couple of orders for minis will be going to Fife and Drum.
2) Hasslefree Miniatures (UK)
I may have a bias here, but if you have ever meet any of the folks from Hasslefree in person you would be biased too. Kevin and Sally White are just terrific people and Arty keeps that website and the orders flowing out the door. If there ever is a problem you will be told about it, they don't keep their customers in the dark and you might think they use a Tardis for their shipping.
3) Reaper Miniatures (US)
This is another instance where I'm probably a bit biased (I have some pretty good friends that work for Reaper) but if you have ever dealt with Reaper Miniatures then you will quickly find out that these are seriously good people. Their customer service is just phenomenal, if you receive a bad mini or a bad paint or something is mispacked (a rare thing) then it will be taken care of, in many cases that same day. Orders go out of their warehouse at lightning speed. I made on order last Sunday during the height of their 12 days of Christmas promotion and had it in my hands on Wednesday. Its a shame they don't do historicals!
4) Too Fat Lardies (UK)
I know from their forums that Rich, personally, hasn't had a particularly good year. Yet the two couple of times that I emailed him because I forgot to download something he has been on top of it and re-activated the download for me, usually within an hour or so of my request. I already liked Chain of Command better than Bolt Action but when you do this kind of thing you really help create loyalty from your customers.
5) Total Escape Games (US, brick and mortar store)
The Colorado Miniature Painting Alliance (CMPA) has had a tough time finding a new home since Attactix closed down. I think we have finally found a permanent home at Total Escape Games. They have welcomed us into the store to sling paint around once a month and worked with me to find a set of consistent dates (third Saturday of the month now) that was going to work for both the CMPA and the store. They really came though for us and the group makes an extra effort to always buy something there.
6) Warlord Games (UK)
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I have just started working on an armor conversion for the Kampfgruppe Von Luck pint sized campaign from Too Fat Lardies. I'm actually doing a couple of conversions using their armor kits. The first one required obtaining a German 15cm howitzer gun barrel. I sent an email to Warlord asking if I could purchase just the barrel and recoil mechanism Harry responded saying that he would just throw it in with my next order. When that didn't happen he was going to personally put it in the next order. Well the next order came when they were swamped with orders from their Tanksgiving sale. When the order team said there was no way to find my order Harry grabbed a box and sent it off himself. Now this is truly going the extra mile. It really adds incentive to getting the conversion done too and I'll be bundling all of that material up to send to Harry.
While I received a lot of stuff over the the year from a lot of companies these five really stand out for me. Keep the minis flowing guys!