Emily Baines
January 13, 2016 11:24 am

Let’s be honest: While online shopping is a blast (and dangerously addictive), online returns are usually a pain. I mean, it’s anxiety-inducing, right? You have to fill out a form, make sure there’s a self-addressed and postage-paid return envelope, cross your fingers that there’s no return fee, hope that the return isn’t lost in the mail… I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Then we read stories like Kelly Kinkel’s, and realize sometimes online returns are not so bad. Sometimes the return process is better than the actual shopping experience.

In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Kinkel wrote that she ordered a winter coat from Zulily, but when she received the coat she immediately realized it would not be practical to wear around her two dogs.

“When I received my order, I could see through the packaging that the coat material wasn’t going to work well with the two breeds of dogs we have. Coarse dog hair and certain materials don’t mix,” she wrote.

So, like we all do, Kinkel called Zulily’s customer service department and asked if she could return the unopened coat for a refund.

“I spoke with a sweet young man named Patrick, and he let me know he would refund my money immediately,” Kinkel wrote in her post. Considering I’m still waiting for refunds from several online retailers after mailing back the clothes weeks ago, I’m already impressed. But it gets better: When she asked Patrick how to send the coat back he replied, “Please don’t send it back. If you know someone who needs a winter coat or if you would like to donate it to a charity, that would make us very happy.”

“I honestly thought he was kidding. It took me a moment to realize he was completely serious, and then came the tears,” Kinkel said. “I thought Zulily was pretty incredible before, but after today, I’m a customer for LIFE. The world needs more LOVE like that.” We agree.

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We have a sneaking suspicion that Kinkel’s Facebook post has won Zulily thousands of new customers. Other companies, take note: See how being kind and downright charitable can, in the end, lead to an even more successful business?

(Image via Buena Vista Pictures.)

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