You remember how I mentioned a few days ago that we just put some inflatable mattresses on top of our spread-out tent and call that “camping”? It was not looking too good for our upcoming “vacation” this year.
A couple of weeks ago we were invited by Giorgos and Maria to join them in some sort of annual pilgrimage to a small church at the top of a mountain in the Dikti. The fun part, as they said, was that lots of people would gather half way up the mountain the eve of the special day for barbecue and camping, spent the night (or what would be left of it) there in tents and hit for the peak early in the morning, on foot, mind you. Well, we joined them, had a lot of fun with the first part and hated them for the second part. Anyway, we “camped” out there and had our inflatables with us. When we got up at 6 o’clock in the morrning it was still dark, and when I gathered the inflatables I lost a quick-air-release plug of one of them. I only discovered that when we were back home and I checked the mattresses in preparation of our upcoming trip. Without the plug the mattress was useless.
I went back to the shop where I bought them to ask if they had spare plugs. They didn’t. I went to numerous other shops with the same inquiry, and with ditto results. I still had the boxes the mattresses came in when I bought them. The box indicated that they were made by INTEX, a company I had never heard of and which I feared would be some obscure Greek importer. But fortunately I found an address in Long Beach, California, and one in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. Whoooowheeee! I was saved, or at least well on my way to being saved. After some googling I found both websites, one in the US and one in the Netherlands. The Dutch one was a bit of a disappointment at first, as it did not have a section where I could view or order spare parts. But the US site had, complete with prices and order numbers, and my missing plug was right there in position one. Cost of the plug US$1.04. Peanuts. Shipping to US and Canada only. Bummer.
After some searching I found an e-mail address for the Dutch branch and wrote them a letter explaining my case and would they be willing to sell me a couple of plugs and ship them to Greece? I explained that I would be willing to pay for them (of course) and even use the phone (long-distance) to place the order, as that was company policy as explained on the website. That was on Sunday evening. On Monday morning, at 10:03 an e-mail from Intex arrived. At that time it was 9:03 in the Netherlands. The person answering my e-mail must have gotten to the task at the moment he or she arrived. Figure that for the first day of the week! My happy surprise jumped in leaps when an extremely courteous Lee-Allen Williams kindly asked me to send them my postal address, so that they could send me some spare plugs, courtesy of the company! As in FREE, GRATIS, KOSTELOOS! How’s that for customer service?! For once in my life I agree with a company stating on their website “Imagine a company so dedicated to QUALITY, SERVICE, and PRICE that it builds the best Customer Service department in the industry.” Imagine indeed! GO INTEX! GO! You just made us happy campers! This morning the plugs arrived with the post.
So, guys, I think they deserve a friendly plug (pardon the pun): if you need Above Ground Pools, Airbeds, Boats, Inflatables, Saltwater Pool Systems or Swim Gear, give Intex a chance. You won’t regret it. The Dutch site needs a serious make-over, at least I couldn’t get it to function properly with Firefox on my Macintosh, I think they need a professional web designer who knows about usability, but the US site is great, just get the reference numbers from that site and phone in your order to Roosendaal if you’re living in the Low Countries.