I saw an advert in The Atlantic Monthly offering a good deal on Oxford shirts, for first-time customers, at Paul Fredrick. I took the bait, becoming a first-and-last-time customer in one fell swoop.
The story is short, but a good example of why it's better to shop locally. The shirts I received were well enough made, but the fabric quality was mediocre at best. Worse, and the ultimate deal breaker, one was badly stained! I can't quite figure out what's going on with it -- but I think it is returned merchandise that has been re-pressed and packaged. The stain is clearly visible without removing the shirt from its bag, so who knows what other problems it might have, or what problems the three other shirts have lurking beneath their folds. Apparently Paul Frederick has the time to fold, package, and fulfill an order but is unable to see a blatant problem with their merchandise.
So all of them are going back for a refund. With a new customer, you have exactly one chance to get it right, and Paul Fredrick fumbled badly. Not only am I disappointed, but I'm also out nearly $20 for the combined two-way shipping costs. All it get for my two sawbucks is a bad taste in my mouth and the hassle of doing a return.
But I feel a teensy bit better having told you about it. Thanks for reading.