Customer Service Done Right – Ploughshares

So… things get mixed up in the mail, right? Packages get lost, letters fall behind filing cabinets and mailmen get attacked by large dogs.

But sometimes, everyone does their job right but the package still doesn’t get to the right place. You see, in October, I ordered a copy of Ploughshares Solos Omnibus. Since I live in Iceland, and my parents in beautiful sunny Florida, I often have books delivered to their house, to save on postage. They then get the books to me later. Well, time passed and according to my parents my copy of Ploughshares never showed up. I was a sad little ducky. I mean, look at it, it’s beautiful:


 So I wrote Ploughshares a letter. (In hindsight, I could have been less… direct)

Hello Ploughshares, I ordered a copy of the omnibus a while back but have yet to receive my copy. Please let me know when I should expect it.

A few days later, I received a reply.

Dear Johann, I apologize that you did not yet receive your copy of our Omnibus Volume 1, it was mailed from our office on October 19th, so you are correct that you should have recieved it by now. I’m happy to send a replacement issue, but if you don’t mind I would like to confirm your mailing address first: Johann Thorsson (ADDRESS REDACTED FROM EMAIL) Please let me know if you have any questions! Best, Alexandra

I sent an email saying that that was, in fact, the correct address. Just to ensure delivery, I told them, send it in my father’s name. The good people at Ploughshares then sent the following email:

Dear Johann, I apologize for the delay, our office was closed for Thanksgiving break! I have resent your Ploughshares Omnibus, addressed to your father Thor Magnusson. Please let us know if he has not received it within the next week or two. Thank you for your patience! Best, Alexandra

What wonderful costumer service! But the story doesn’t end there. On what would be a related note, in November I received a package of books from my parents. It was Tolkien’s Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. Only thing was I never ordered them. My parents insisted that the package came to their house, addressed to me. So I sort of just… put them on my shelf. And then, just before Christmas, I get a phone call from my parent’s friends. They also happen to live in Florida (it’s a virtual commune of Icelanders, Florida).

They asked if I had “some Harry Potter books” that I had been given by accident. I said, no, no Harry Potter books at my house by accident. Something clicked and I said “I do have two books by Tolkien here that I don’t know what to do with, perhaps those are your books?”
“Tolkien, is that not Harry Potter?”
“No,” I said. “No,” and shook me head. It is only because of my even temperament that I did not hang up.
“I have two books here for you,” she said. “You got the wrong ones by accident.”

We exchanged books. Turns out… Ploughshares really did get there in time (the other was a copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin, a book I won over at

So… right now I have a copy of Ploughshares sitting next to me, and probably another one at my parent’s house in Florida, with my father scratching his head, wondering who sent him a copy of Ploughshares.

Thank you kindly, Ploughshares, for the great customer service. Also, so far, Solos is great. 

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