It’s so very easy and commonplace these days to find fault with commercial activities, condemning them as soulless entities bent only on relieving you of your hard earned money. However, every now and then, you come across a company that, for no other reason than that they are run by good people, causes you to reevaluate your bias against big business. Yesterday I had such an opportunity.
Several years ago my wife and I purchased a Den Haan Trawler Lamp from West Marine. This fairly expensive oil lamp was destined for our first sailboat and was, in fact, a wedding anniversary gift we gave to each other that year. Over the years it has provided light and warmth on two sailboats and in our living room at home. However, it began to burn somewhat erratically and we became leery of lighting it because it required constant adjustments to keep the flame from getting too high.
I contacted Den Haan Rotterdam via their webpage to see if they could give me some advise as to correcting the malfunction. To my astonishment I received a personal e-mail from Mario den Haan himself recommending that I send them the suspect part for evaluation. I did so and within a week he e-mailed me again, advising me that his team had determined what the problem was, had corrected it and would mail the part back to me in the next days post. Again, I was astonished at the level of service and the personal contact.
Now comes the really good part! Yesterday we received a box in the mail from Den Haan Rotterdam containing not only the repaired part (now in perfect working order) but, essentially, the entire lower part of the lamp, including the fuel tank and a new wick! To top it off, they had included a Den Haan Rotterdam baseball cap, which is now my pride and joy!
As you read this, I hope it was clear that I did not purchase the lamp directly from Den Haan, nor was there any warranty stated or implied when we bought the lamp. We are neither wealthy nor influential and this company was under no obligation at all to respond the way that they did. All of their wonderful customer service was provided free of charge and ”out of the goodness of their hearts”.
In restoring our lamp, Den Haan Rotterdam (and in particular, Mario den Haan) gave us a truly remarkable gift.
Mario, if you get around to reading this, I humbly THANK YOU!