Zappos Puts Customer Service Above All – Takes $1.6mm Hit For Pricing Mistake

OK, so I’ll admit it – part of the fun of putting on an event like Brand ManageCamp is that I get to put together the agenda I want to see.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t do a lot of research to find out who you want to see as well.  But, at the end of the day, every one of the people on our agendas are folks I am jazzed about hearing from.

No exception to this is Aaron Magness from Zappos.  I’ve long been a fan of Zappos (as has my wife…unfortunately for our closet space…) and am a big fan of their approach to corporate culture and customer service.

A fantastic example just emerged over the weekend., a sister site to, experienced a programming glitch that capped all merchandise listed solely on at $49.95.  Given that this site has merchandise that normally costs up to $1,000 – that’s a pretty nice discount!

A normal company probably would have voided any purchases that took place under the erronious pricing.  But not Zappos.  At a loss to them of $1.6MM, they quickly decided to honor all purchases at the ridiculously low prices.  Not too surprisingly, they are getting a lot of love today from all over the social (and regular) media world.

Kudos to the folks at Zappos, and our friend and speaker Aaron Magness, for sticking to their principles.  An easy thing to do when things are easy – but not so easy when millions of dollars are at stake.  My guess is that the long term effects will net this experience out at a profit…

For more info on this, you can read the Zappos blog entry on it (written by Aaron) here…


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