MJI waste a lot of time energy kvetching about bad bankers, dumb companies, rude people, foolish airlines, and most especially — terrible customer service.

For a change, let me praise a company who does something right: Maui Jim.

I have had several opportunities to test their customer service, and they have gone over and above the call of duty. I have been delighted with their service.

The first experience I had with them was when our Labradoodle puppy somehow got a hold of my Titanium frame Ka’anapali Sunglasses — he chewed up the lenses (but did not break them). The glasses were unusable. Maui Jim allows repairs at a fraction of the replacement cost, so I sent them in with a check. When they returned, replacement lens installed, good as new, included in the package was a note — and a Milkbone dog treat — along with the winking suggestion that the Milkbone might prevent future eyewear mishaps. Smart.

That was over 4 years ago. Somehow, I keep find myself buying more Maui Jim products.

516-03_1Just last week, I put down my current favorite sunglasses — a pair of blue Honolua Bay shades — on my night table oin order to close an open bedroom window. The wind was picking up, billowing the sheer curtains. After I finished cranking the window closed, I turned to walk out of the room and — CRRUNNNCCHH — the curtains must have knocked the glasses to the carpet, and unknowingly, I stepped full on them, shattering both lenses into many pieces.

I had only mailed them back to the repair department a week ago today (Saturday), so you can imagine my surprise getting this email yesterday:


Your repair is complete and has been shipped.  Your package should arrive in 7 business days or less.

Thank You!

Customer Care Department

Now that’s how you do customer service!

If only more companies who interact with the public and consumers handled their customers that way.

From a a business perspective, what they are doing worked on me — I am a customer for life.

Category: Consumer Spending, Corporate Management

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

20 Responses to “Delightful Customer Service: Maui Jim”

  1. funkright says:

    I love their product, but unfortunately I haven’t had the same experience (at least in contacting the company to ask a few questions about the 2 pairs of MJ’s that I have which need fixing). Hopefully, we’ll here back soon. Glad you have had a good experience :)

  2. Fred C Dobbs says:

    I agree. They make good frames, and lenses, and give great support. It is pleasing to see an unsolicited kind word from an obviously high-flying, overly hard-working, super-stressed, extremely-well educated, and intelligent New Yorker for someone who obviously gets pleasure out of doing a common job uncommonly well.

    • Fred,

      you might want to be careful, or…

      you’ll find yourself–on the receiving end of–a Prescription for Charlie Rose, Signature Edition, Knee-Pads..

  3. PTRio says:

    I own seven pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. I always feared I would lose or break them, not knowing they could be repaired so quickly and inexpensively. Not only is their customer service outstanding, their product is like a massage for the eyes. I live in a very sunny climate, Rio de Janeiro, and am often near the sea where reflected light can cause serious eye strain, but not with the Maui’s.

  4. bkuyper says:

    I had a similar experience with OPPO Digital. My BDP-83 Blu-Ray player died last year, 2 YEARS out of warranty. I called OPPO to enquire if the player was repairable. A human answered the phone, talked me through a couple of diagnostic steps, and agreed the player was dead. They confirmed the player was repairable, issued a RMA number and gave me shipping instructions. When I asked about the estimated cost, I was told there would be no cost, other than shipping to OPPO. Ten days later I had my player back, good as new. Another customer for life.

  5. ZenRazor says:

    I’ve had the opposite experience with Oakley. I’ve been trying for eight months to get a refund after they screwed up an order. Incompetent and rude when they aren’t ignoring my requests.

    I enjoyed reading this post since my alternative purchase was a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.

  6. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    As far as recent experiences go, all I got is Comcast.

    Never mind.

  7. moreland01 says:

    Maui Jim makes great sunglasses. I’m sending a pair in for repair on Monday. Comcast, not so good. If Maui Jim deserves a 10, Comcast deserves a 1. I am waiting for Capitalism, Free Enterprise & Competition to kick-in and serve Comcast up a plate of whoop-ass.

  8. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    I believe, and I could be wrong (and I apologize for hijacking the thread), that the telecoms originally got tax breaks for the infrastructure build-out, but, in this new world of government by “capitalist” giants, did not act expediently. The cable companies, sensing the opportunity and having a need for high-speed, hard-wired, data capacity, anyhow, actually laid some cable. Now, we have telecom-born Fios finally trying to make inroads/grab market share, and Comcast (et. al.) offering unneeded land line telecom services.

    Funny what happens when you crossbreed species. Some of the results are funny looking, others downright ugly, all abominations.

  9. b_thunder says:

    at $269 MSRP they better provide truly superior service and reasonable repair prices!
    they fixed my pair under warranty without even asking for proof of purchase. on the other hand ka’anapali and similar rimless models are known for easily cracked lenses near the nose bridge, so maybe they gave me a free replacement lenses as admission/non-admission of the defective design.

    • I had that issue with the ka’anapali type glasses, as there was very little structurally protecting the glass from stress transmitted from the frames.

      The Honolua Bay frame/lens combo are a similarly light design, but the engineering is much improved.

  10. louiswi says:

    Prominent business schools used to teach that a company was better off to take the money that they would otherwise spend on providing customer service and rather spend it on advertising and promoting their great customer service. Does anyone know if that is still taught? I’m thinking of Wharton in particular.

    • Bob K. says:

      Yes, that is a proven business model. My former competitor in the payroll space completely understands the metrics and focusses more on acquisition and operational efficiency over above and beyond service and out of the box solutions. You can’t argue with their success, even though it does not fit who I was and was happy to acquire their dissatisfied clients.

      I think only the big dog in the space can afford this model though. If we modelled it, we would have been out of business very quickly.

  11. econimonium says:

    There are two schools of thought, when you come down to it, on customer service. It’s either a cost center and run such that the cost is minimized and productivity is the key (think Comcast), or it’s embraced as part of the value proposition (think Zappos). There are arguments to be made for both models, especially in commodity type environments or luxury goods (like shipping my Prada manbag back and getting the strap repaired free vs. drinking half a bottle of scotch just to keep calm during an exchange with Comcast).

    So nothing is really “taught” here. But I can tell you that, after a skirmish with BMW and a blog post I wrote on my company website, that I got a lot of attention from the company. And that was my point. Sometimes there is a higher expectation of service, and that’s a key differentiator. Especially now when anyone can make their bad experience known to thousands of people at once instead of only their closest friends, customer service is going to become even more important. It’s nice to see a positive post on this, and it makes me want to look at this brand when I’m up for sunglasses!

  12. metphd23 says:

    I can say the same for Zappos. Fantastic customer service!

  13. The Window Washer says:

    And Zappos carries them a few on the way.
    thanks for the endorsement barry.
    Now you just need to come clean up after that leaky coffeemaker you linked to a few years ago.

    • You left out that its a pain in the ass to clean as well.

      You are NOT referring to the Capresso 465 ($200) is a fantastic piece of hardware, the workhorse in my house.

      I assume what you are referencing is the cheapo special Cuisinart Grind&Brew Coffee Maker that went on sale for $49. I referenced that because a) people bitched that $200 is a lot of moolah for a coffee maker; 2) it was on sale for dirt cheap. It is nowhere near the same quality machine as the Capresso.

      I assume that’s the one you are referring to? I thought I caveated that up enough (decent, back up machine, etc.) Guess not!

  14. Bob A says:

    a few goods and bads from my list
    capitalone creditcard: very good. answer quickly. solve the problem.
    paypal: it works. slowly. but you’ll never talk to a human. and you’ll be in limbo for 30 days or more
    hoping something happens.
    ebay: most ebay sellers are very responsible and quick to respond and resolve
    amazon: good
    att wireless: they answer quickly and they’re very good at giving you horseshit excuses and diversions on
    why you’re only getting 2g speeds on their “4g” network”
    (you can upgrade a service online. you will wait on hold or in line for an hour or more
    if you want to downgrade a service). then they lie to you about the reasons for the wait.
    and force you to listen to ads for more BS crap the entire time you’re on hold.

  15. KVannoy says:

    I bought a pair of Maui Jims in 2008 and the frame separated earlier this year. At the time I bought the glasses there was a lifetime warranty on them, but recent policy has limited it now to two years. when I sent them in I did not have a receipt or anything that proved when I bought them, but explained on the repair form where I bought them and what date. I did not expect them to honor my lifetime warrant but they to my amazement did. Wonderful customer service and I just bought a new pair while I was waiting for my old ones to be repaired. I wish more companies had as good as customer service a Maui Jim.