The Amazon delivery began with such extraordinary promise. Not only did it include the super-affordable and Gumby-like-flexible tripod Smartphone holder, but also a note from the top dog at the device’s distributor.

And this communication was no lip-service brimming with empty platitudes. Instead, what greeted me was a warm, earnest note pledging supreme customer satisfaction, capped by his e-mail address, and an invitation to contact him if I had any questions or concerns.

About a week later, after encountering some difficulty with the product, I shot this e-mail:

Hello, Mr. Doe*!

I received this tripod (photo attached) via an Amazon order a few days ago, and appreciate your note—very impressive!!

I wanted to make sure I knew how to adjust it to slip in my Smartphone safely and securely. So far, when I do it, it’s been a struggle and I don’t know if I am doing it in the ideal way. Trying to slip the phone into the space as I stretch it is difficult, and I am concerned that it will break each time.

A quick phone call from someone is all I need….or perhaps an instructional video?

Thank you!

The note includes: “I will do whatever it takes to fix the problem or concerns you are having.”

Another eight days passed, so I sent this follow-up:

Good evening, Mr. Doe*….

I wanted to follow up on my e-mail of last week (below). Not sure if you saw it? Or if you replied but I didn’t see your reply?

Thank you!

That second e-mail was a week ago.

Brand promise made, brand promise broken. Here’s hoping that the tripod won’t soon be broken, too.

*Last name isn’t actually Doe. Giving the guy a bit of a break.

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