Zappos is delivering happiness through time travel experiments

Guest blogger Rocky McGredy and his housemate Will got a big dose of "Delivering Happiness" from Zappos.

A couple of weeks ago, I was fervently pouring-through Tony Hsieh’s business story, Delivering Happiness. I found myself falling in love with the Zappos business model and their down-to-earth approach to business as well as customer service.

 It’s rather inspiring to read about such feats of empathy.

I could call Zappos right now and somebody would answer. I could also guarantee you that they’d be friendly, helpful, and funny. This is just a beautiful cultural anomaly. It’s heartwarming to know that people like this exist. If you haven’t read a Zappos story, or seen a Tony Hsieh speech, then I highly recommend doing both. You’ll feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Reading Delivering Happiness has given me the feverish need to spread the word, if for no other reason but to inspire people the same way the book has inspired me. Now when I hear someone talking about making purchases off the internet, I tell them about Zappos. Their culture is infectious. The most amazing thing is that people have listened to me.

I recently suggested that my friend Will make his next clothing purchase from Zappos. I assured him that he wouldn’t be disappointed. He chuckled at how passionate I was about the subject, but complied nonetheless. Will’s first purchase was pretty standard, he was fairly “whelmed” about the whole experience. If anything, he was glad that he received his order.

Regardless, my words must have made an impact because Will made a second purchase from Zappos a week later. This time, there was a problem with Will’s order. Nothing major, but the date of the order showed that it had been delivered a year before he’d even ordered it. August 2010. He had never even HEARD of Zappos in 2010.

 Noticing the mistake, Will decided to make a call to their customer service.

Little did he know he was about to get a taste of the “Zappos Experience.”

When Will brought the anachronism to the attention of the representative on the phone, he was told that Zappos was experimenting with time travel. HaHaHa. The shoes should already be in Will’s closet.

After sharing a laugh, the representative told Will they were going to upgrade his account for free and he’d would receive his order the next day. Will has informed me that he’ll be making the majority of his online purchases from Zappos starting now.

He was delivered happiness, even before his order arrived.

And I learned another amazing lesson about what paying it forward can do sometimes.

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