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The Net Takeaway: So, there are some good eggs out there... Like Covertec

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Danny Flamberg's Blog
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Eric Peterson the Demystifier
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Geeking with Greg
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So, there are some good eggs out there... Like Covertec · 01/27/2006 12:36 PM, Personal

When I got my Blackberry, only a couple of “whoops” drops told me that I needed a case, something I’d never had to buy for my other phones (all clamshells). I mentioned the Covertec case I purchsed as part of my Blackberry Adventures and I mentioned some aspects of it there… but I’ve learned a lot recently about what separates a good company from a great one, and why we need to encourage good companies who make good products and stand behind them.

Covertec does make a good case; the many good reviews around the net convinced me that it was worth investigating. They have some very unique features, including a completely removeable belt clip which makes it a pocket case (Yes, I am aware of Krusell’s line, with a similar functionality, but they are much uglier). While it does require a screwdriver (which they thoughtfully provide), it’s removal makes the back almost completely smooth as if the clip had never existed. Very handy when you don’t want to look like you are carrying a tricorder on your belt. Pics and explanation of their “WIPS” system are here.

But, over time, I noticed that the clip was staring to weaken. That is, the portion which attaches to the belt has a flange plate on its rear (its the part facing us in this picture), but the plastic around the screws holding the flange to the clip portion was showing stress lines and fracturing. It didn’t appear to be immediately problematic, but it also didn’t create a sense of safety when your $400 phone is on a belt clip which is starting to shatter.

They had responded to pre-sales questions by next day, and then post-sales questions by the next day (now, who does that in the tech industry? No one else I can think of), so I figured I would ask them about this. I fully expected to get the usual varaition of “user error”, probably “don’t treat your products so roughly, as its obviously your fault”.

Instead, not only were they very concerned about the issue, they immediately Fedexed me a replacement clip… and a nice keychain, sort of a laignappe for my troubles. It was completely unexpected, just the nicest possible thing they could do.

Was it a bribe? No, it wasn’t money, and it was just a keychain… But to take the time to rush out a new clip via Fedex and throw in a little extra is practically unheard of in these times. But wait, it gets better.

The new clip was immediately put on the phone case, and another few months went by… and the same problem started to occur. Now, yes, it could be that my difficult job driving a desk and wrestling with SPSS could have caused the clip to flex in unexpected ways, but I doubt it. I sent another note about this issue, assuming that there is no way they would send me another clip but hoping they would at least let me buy a few.

Not only did they respond immediately (again less than a day!), but they apologized to me! They explained that yes, they had seen a bad production run of clips, and that this had happened to a small group of people recently, including myself, and their in-house shipment as well (meaning the replacement clip was alos bad, as we discovered).

And yes, fedexed the NEXT DAY, came 2 (2!) replacement clips… and another little laignappe, one much bigger than a keychain. I won’t say what it is for fear of lots of people bugging them to send free stuff, but let’s just say that it was completely unexpected, completely unnecessary, and very kind. Even my wife was impressed at the “over the top” behavior… and she expects quality service as a given in the companies she deals with.

Now, I am not suggesting that you be a bonehead and try to game Covertec into sending you free stuff. What I am telling you is that this is a company which stands behind their products in a way I’ve rarely seen, and I dare you to name 3 other companies which stand behind their products to this extent. We should do all we can to encourage this type of behavior in others, and reward it when we see it.

I heartily recommend Covertec cases. They are trying to play in the space Vaja, Sena, Bellagio, Krusell (to some extent) and Piel Frama have invented of luxury leather cases… but the Covertec cases are slightly more affordable, and tend to have some better design features. Yes, you think, “Of course he likes them. They sent him free stuff” and “So, they paid him to do this”. Well, come on: what company needs little ol’ me to care about them? They sell cases worldwide, why be so nice to some nobody in Mass.?

And that’s why I recommend them here. Not just because they make good stuff. Not just because they put lots of thought and work into what they produce. Its because they stand behind their products, not just for important folks, press writers, etc… but even nobodies like me (and, yes, even you) who make the choice to buy a case slightly more expensive than perhaps you intended, and who chose them from the many impressive options out there.

So, a hearty thanks to Covertec for being the kind of company I wish every product had. If you have an iPod, PDA, cell phone, etc. you can’t go wrong putting it in a Covertec case.

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