Customer Service is not dead in America

Custom Hide 1945 Army briefcase

This has very little to do with the goals of Confederate Colonel, but there are some things that just must be told. We have all heard – and voiced – complaints about the poor customer service that has now become the standard. I want to tell you about a company that absolutely excels at providing a top quality product and backing it up with the kind of customer service that is almost unheard of today.

I ordered a custom leather briefcase from Custom Hide. As the name implies, they will build a leather product to your exact specifications – right here in America. Not Mexico, not China, not India – America. As you might expect, it doesn’t happen overnight. I waited several months for mine to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. It was exactly as I had specified. The leather was top-quality. The stitching was tight, and perfectly uniform. The hardware was solid and flawless. It was built to my exact specifications with the kind of craftsmanship that you can admire just for its own sake.

OK, so where does the customer service part come in? As I said, it was built to my exact specifications. Unfortunately, I thought it would be better to leave off the brass latch that comes standard on their “1945 Army briefcase”. The problem with that is that the leather “bows” a bit when it is picked up by the handle. I just didn’t anticipate that, but that is what I requested. After I received my briefcase, I posted a review of it on a web forum where briefcases were being discussed. I mentioned this design error on my part and said that if I had it to do over again, I would do it differently. Today, I received an email from Custom Hide. They had seen what I had written, looked up that job, and then offered to do whatever was needed to make sure that I was totally satisfied with my Custom Hide briefcase. That, my friends, is first-class customer service that deserves to be told to others. I now consider myself a Custom Hide customer-for-life. If you are in the market for top quality leather goods, I would highly recommend you go to Custom Hide.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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2 Responses to Customer Service is not dead in America

  1. Interested Reader says:

    I have been considering a Custom Hide briefcase and like you wanted to do away with the latch and/or quick release hardware on each strap. I’m trying to avoid anything breakable, whether 3 or 30 years down the line. Can you post the solution to this issue you ran into? It would surely help me decide which briefcase to start with and how to modify it to fit my specifications.

    Much appreciated.

  2. I ended up having the latch installed as it should have been in the first place. My thoughts were exactly as yours – avoid anything that could mechanically go wrong years down the road. Good idea, but badly executed on my part. That design is a classic because it works, and has been a proven design for decades. The center latch needs to be there – it will not work well without it.

    They have, in their catalog, a one section and a three section briefcase. I had them make a two section. It is perfect for my needs. The back section holds a notepad, an umbrella, glasses, a canvas zippered pouch (sold by Duluth Trading as a bag to hold screws and nails, etc.) that holds USB drives, pens, pocket slide rule, mints, and any misc. junk. The front section holds a Bible, a Dell netbook, and a stainless steel water bottle.

    One other change I made is that I had them leave off the sewn-in pockets, pen holders, etc. that are normally on the back wall. I am very glad that I did that. The canvas pouch is much better suited for holding things than those pockets.

    Here is the inside before the center latch was added:

    Here is the outside before the center latch was added. It is rather plain looking. The latch makes a major improvement in the appearance.

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