A Cautionary Note Regarding Above And Beyond

Above and Beyond highlights exceptional and extraordinary acts of service performed by individuals. Several emails and comments have misconstrued our posts as tacit endorsements of the featured companies. They are not.

Companies rarely earn Above and Beyond posts – individuals do. A company hailed in Above and Beyond may spurn their next customer; a different representative might even spurn the same customer that praised the company’s service.

Remember Arthur? The Casablanca Fan Company replaced a broken switch on his twenty year old fan free of charge. That was the response he received after calling customer service. He had also sent an email to customer support. Below is the email he received after we posted his story:

Dear Arthur,
We truly apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail. Unfortunately the parts are no longer available from our vendor to repair your fan. We are able to convert it to a three speed fan at the factory for a flat rate of $110.00. Or you may contact an authorized service center in your area to assist you. We need your zip code and phone number to direct you. Please write back or call the consumer toll free line.

Thank you,
Customer Care
Casablanca Fan Company

Same customer, same company, different representatives, different responses. Only one representative went above and beyond. That is the service we wish to commend. Please take our praise with a grain of salt larger than Lot’s wife. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

PREVIOUSLY: Above And Beyond: Here’s Looking At You, Casablanca Fan Company
(Photo: hugovk)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Jim C. says:

    The company name sounded familiar. I finally remembered the connection. See “INSTALLMENT 45: September 24, 1982” on this page.


    Active reader and writer of letters and postcards Joanne Gutreimen tells how she and a handful of others got a CasaBlanca ceiling fan ad campaign killed by charging sexism, racism, and stupidity. The offending ad, depicting the characters “Rick and Sam” from the movie “Casablanca,” is reproduced (“Rick” is shown saying “You know, a dame will let you down every time, but a CasaBlanca fan will always hang true” while Sam hovers in the background). The text of Ms. Gutreiman’s explanation and the apology from a vice president of the sponsor when they pulled the ad is included.

    In the the installment after that, Ellison disagrees.

  2. superlayne says:

    The sad thing is, the one who sent the switch would probably be the one denied a raise, the other one obviously drawing in more profit.

  3. JNighthawk says:

    Nice comment about Lot, Carey.

    Honestly, though, people don’t “vote with their dollar,” no matter how much we wish it were true. Since that isn’t happening, companies really have no incentive, other than to feel warm and cuddly at night, to go “above and beyond.”

  4. JDAC says:

    It would seem to me that going above and beyond includes seeing it through to resolution.

    It’s all very good a CSR saying they’ll do that, but I’d wait until I’d received the switch (or whatever) before sending the good folk at Consumerist a gushing email.

  5. tricknick says:

    Love the comment about Lot.

    I personally never mistook the articles in the Above and Beyond section of The Consumerist as more than commending the excellent customer service represented in that particular situation. If there were multiple articles of that nature pertaining to one company, then I would start to think that you were promoting that company’s customer service not the company itself, but in that situation I would consider that appropriate.

  6. Artki says:


    >It’s all very good a CSR saying they’ll do that, but I’d wait until I’d received the switch (or whatever) before sending the good folk at Consumerist a gushing email.

    Oh, I got the switch. The fan is working fine. The email is something I got a couple of weeks AFTER the switch. They took a long time to reply to my original email. After I didn’t get a timely reply to that email, I called their 800 number.

  7. mac-phisto says:

    @JNighthawk: i try to vote with my dollars whenever possible, if for no other reason than b/c i don’t want to get screwed. there’s nothing worst than an “i told you so” from someone you know when you didn’t heed their advice. i’d much rather say, “you were right, this (insert product/company) is awesome!”

  8. JDAC says:


    Ah, OK, I stand corrected. Top marks to your CSR!