This a true story.
Recently my favorite fly-rod broke. Shattered to pieces. Not while catching a monster fish. Not because I closed my truck door on it. But simply because its time had come.
After twenty-five plus years of fishing with this secondhand beauty, I thought I deserved a new magic wand. So I decided to treat myself to a real nice one.
I searched the internet (something that didn't exist when I purchased the last rod). I read articles, watched videos, read reviews, searched on chat groups, you name it. Then, I found it. More expensive than I was comfortable with, but I rationalized that I may not even be able to fish in another twenty-five years, so why the hell not. Life's too short for a crappy fly rod.
As soon as it arrived I unboxed it, set it up and took it out for its maiden cast.
I hated it! HATED IT!
For all the pomp that went with this respected companies name and price tag, I found the rod to be rigid and lifeless. There was very little play in it at all. Could it shoot line out far? Yes. Could it catch fish, absolutely. But I wanted a rod that required a sensitive and delicate touch. I wanted it to be a ballerina, not a football player.
I returned it.
I was soon captured by articles that spoke of the revival of fiberglass rods. People where once again making and connecting with them for all the reasons I listed, plus, they tend to be much less expensive then carbon fiber. Heavier, but more sensitive and less expensive.
I decided on an Echo "glass," five weight, and immediately fell in love. I loved it so much, I purchased another, lighter weight version as well. Best part, the two of them still cost less than the first one.
Then, on day six with my new best friend, while sliding it into the secure, truck top rod holder I had literally just completed, "Snap!"
"You have got to be f$%@ing kidding me!"
Yep. Just like that. And it was nobody's fault but my own.
What to do?
Call in the lifetime warranty of course.
I expressed mailed it back to the company on the other side of the country and even added a few gifts to say, Thank you for creating such an awesome rod. Sorry I'm an idiot. Please help me as quickly as you can because I have a fishing trip next week.
Just in time, they got my rod and boomeranged it right back to me. But it never showed up. The supposed day of arrival came and went. My trip (the first fly-fishing based coaching experience that I offered) came and went. So, I emailed asking, "When should I expect to see it?"
Their reply, "Four days... ago."
As it turned out, Big Brown delivery company claimed it went "missing." And so, the nice lady at Echo Fly Rods said they would reimburse me when they got reimbursed.
WTF? Really? NO! But... But... Seriously?
Every interaction I had with this company up to this point told me they, like Sagefire Institutute, were all about relationships first! Now they're telling me it'll be minimum 8 to 15 days. And, "maybe..." What did, "maybe.." even mean?
I couldn't believe it. Or accept it. I wondered if I was being an entitled little jerk? Certainly, I can wait another 15 days. I mean its already been about two months since I snapped my original rod. My First World Problem is hardly an issue worth crying about. But still...
I decided to call.
I called the lady I had been emailing with knowing that my voice would transmit something different than words on a screen. Something more human. I was calm and legitimately peaceful when I asked if anything could be done.
She explained it was company policy and I had to wait.
I said I was surprised. I understood, but was surprised. I explained about the work we do at Sagefire. The importance of relationships before business. I might have sounded like a nut, but the lady listened. She said she understood my frustration, sincerely apologized for the inconvenience which was not even her fault of course, and promised to let me know as soon as she heard back from Big Brown. In the end, I was satisfied. I felt, in spite of the policy, heard and respected.
An hour later I got the following email:
"After talking to you, I know how you feel and I totally am for taking care of our customers as soon as possible. So I am sending a new rod right now."
This may be a little abstract but I'm going to trust that you'll get what I'm saying - this is what Nature-Based Coaching is all about. Building healthy, regenerative relationships that have the potential to serve and last many generations.
Registration for our Sept 2018 Nature Based Coach Training program is open and filling.
I hope you'll consider joining us.