I jumped on COTH for a second today and ran across a recent thread about a consumer who was disappointed in the Ogilvy customer service experience. And it had three hundred and fifteen responses!
Holy smokes! Certainly a good reminder about the power of web publicity! In my personal opinion, I would almost always rather shop from a retailer rather than directly from the manufacturer. The cost is the same, it keeps the independents in business, plus there's a middle man to deal with any service issues for me.
Speaking of customer service, I recently had a lovely experience with Equuleus Designs. As you may recall I won a custom pillow from them in a Horse & Style Magazine contest over Holiday where I may or may not have run around my house shouting "I won, I won."
They asked me to send a photo in January that they could use for the design and I didn't manage to actually decide on anything until the middle of March. The pillow had crossed my mind a few times since but as it was a free gift I didn't want to be a bug.
When I returned from my vacation I opened the box and found not one but two pillows, the second au gratis for the time it took them! What a treat!