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I heart NB

Just wanted to relate my wonderful experience at the St. Paul store this weekend. I decided to impulse brew some cider, with just a smattering of google research ahead of time. I went in Saturday morning, right as they opened, and with a store full of people, the fellow at the register dropped everything for my dumb questions, gave me fantastic advice, and made sure I knew what I was doing. That alone was fantastic, BUT THEN:

It turns out the registers weren’t working. A second employee took a piece of scrap paper to write down what folks had, and just started saying “On the house, you can go, take it,” etc for everyone buying small things, rather than making them wait for the system to come back online. All my yeast, nutrient, etc was jotted down, and he said “Wanna call it $7?” I definitely had more than $7 worth of stuff in my hand.

It’s s*** like this, NB. Makes me feel really lucky to live so close to the shop.


So, there was not a calculator in the store? If this were my business, I’d be a little ticked that my clerks were giving stuff away.

So, there was not a calculator in the store? If this were my business, I’d be a little ticked that my clerks were giving stuff away.[/quote]

I’m sure there was a smart phone or 2 in the employee’s possession.

There is a good amount of mark up on these things. But I also would want my employees to get a lot closer to the correct amount than the wild guess the OP was given.

I think they made a judgement call… in my case, I got maybe three or four dollars worth of free small things. And made me happy enough to tell the story. The alternative would be to track down a calculator, go around the store adding up prices, slowing the process for everyone… for a measly few dollars. The difference in the customer experience between the two scenarios is pretty easily worth a few dollars. Think of the (hopefully) long dead thread about the end of flat shipping, where many many people were very upset over a bean-counter decision to maintain the bottom line.

That explains the high shipping prices :slight_smile:

No, that explains really great customer appreciation.

As it happens, I was in the store at the same time. I agree it was great customer appreciation and I believe store management was present and in support. I will be back again and again and again.

Cheers to NB!

You also have to think of the cost of NB not doing what they did.

  • Loss of future sales from disgruntled customers
  • Bad PR
  • Diminished profit margin due to increased labor cost. I can’t imagine there is too much of margin a small price item anyway.

Plus every NB employee I have ever talked to seems to be there because they love to brew beer, not to get the last penny out of their customers.

So, from every angle, they did the right thing!

My initial order for my brew kit was missing a $6 dollar item. I report it to them and they shipped me the missing item and a free glass. NB is first class!

I have to agree that what they did at that Northern Brewer store was good customer relations all around. So far I have no complaints about dealing with NB. Being from Western PA I have to do everything on line so I don’t make it to the store. Everything I had ordered has always been right. Yep, I do miss the flat rate shipping to a degree. I ordered a porter kit and shipping was over $11.00. On the same token, when my son was in Mortuary school in Pittsburgh we had to mail a letter that needed to be in Harrisburg in two days. Cost us $18.00 for a document envelope. Word of mouth gets around, and it is things like what they did that puts the positive in customer service. Wish there was a NB. store near me.

Honestly I don’t even see the shipping cost as an issue, most of the stuff on northern brewer is cheaper than my local brew store and it is always high quality. The markups made by local stores add up to more than what northern brewer is charging for shipping IMO

I’m not attempting to start a shipping price debate, rather I was poking fun at their not so recent cost increase in the shipping department. NB is a great company with customer service I personally have never had communications with. I generally order bulk grains and hops, so companies with free or reduced price shipping on large orders works for me. To each their own.

I was actually really wanting to brew some cider also and the guys at the mlps store really helped me out. Spent about $100 but they gave me some advice on how to increase taste and stuff. Also there classes are really helpful and entertaining as well. Definitely a great group of people, really love what they do. They also have some crazy patience on people who have the dumbest questions, i am one of those customers haha.

props - good for you

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