Threadless Replaces Stolen Shirt With Style And Grace

Matthew isn’t sure who got his order from, but it wasn’t him. UPS claims they delivered the package to Matthew’s apartment, but the reception desk would’ve been closed during the supposed delivery time, and Matthew doesn’t have his package. Rather than wait for UPS to complete its investigation, Threadless dug up an extra print of their sold-out design and sent it to Matthew, along with a little something extra…

Matthew writes:

I’ve been reading the Consumerist for a while now and thought I should pass along an excellent experience I had with a website called after an order I made was stolen from my doorstep.

Threadless sells t-shirts with original designs and I’ve shopped with them often. I was very busy with work a while back and had forgotten about an order I had made. When I finally remembered I check the tracking number and found that the package had been delivered more than a week previously. I live in an apartment complex and given the timestamp on the delivery the office would have been closed. As the package didn’t require a signature it would have been left on my doorstep while I was working and someone must have walked by and decided to pick it up. I contacted’s support to find out what my options were. They opened an investigation with UPS to try and find out what happened.

While waiting on that I went ahead and reordered the shirts that had been lost. Threadless only prints a limited number of each design and they don’t reprint them unless a particular design receives a lot of positive feedback from the community. One of my shirts had already been sold out, but I was able to replace the others. Eventually I received a call from UPS asking about the package. I explained what happened to the representitive. She asked me about replacing the lost items and I mentioned I had already reordered most of them. Later on I received an email from Threadless letting me know that UPS had closed the case after I informed them that I received the package. I responded that UPS was incorrect and told Threadless’s support what I had told UPS. Threadless wrote back that, during it’s investigations, for some reason UPS equates “I replaced the items” to “I received the package”.

They told me that they would reopen the case with UPS, but didn’t want me to have to wait on that. They told me they would refund the cost of my order plus the shipping, and including an extra $5 for the trouble, and not as a store credit (although that was an option) they were going to just credit the amount back to my visa. In the end I asked for a store credit instead because I knew I’d spend it.

Threadless could have told Matthew that he was only getting a refund and that would have been that, but instead, they gave him a little extra too. Because nobody likes having their shirts stolen, not that we’re bitter or anything.

The $5 refund is especially generous. Stores all too often apologize with a store credit, which is really just an invitation to shop with them again. Excellent service should be enough by itself to ensure repeat business. Great work, Threadless!


Edit Your Comment

  1. coren says:

    I don’t see the part where they added his out of print design in that letter – did it just get lost to the cutting room floor?

    • m4ximusprim3 says:

      @coren: what are you, the fact police? Jeez, just let them make up parts of the story. It adds drama.

    • supercereal says:

      @coren: I’m going to assume that

      One of my shirts had already been sold out, but I was able to replace the others.

      secretly means that “they printed up a sold out design, sent me their entire stock of shirts free, and cured cancer” in Consumerist-speak…

    • Matthew Berkhan says:

      @coren: This was me and to be honest I can’t remember if they replaced the out of print design because it happened a little bit ago. However, on a few occasions they’ve shipped me the wrong size for a shirt that sold out before I found the error. When that’s happened they’ve always printed out another one as a replacement.

    • rambow681 says:

      @coren: Consumerist explains how their articles are written here: []

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      @coren: Maybe because by the time they would of closed the UPS investigation it would of been too late to replace the shirts with both a positive or negative outcome- so he decided it would be easier to just order what replacements he could now while the press was still pressin’ them?

      I find it very relevant.

      • coren says:

        @verucalise: Um, that comment sounds like it wasn’t directed towards me, that or I need way more caffeine.

      • Jim Cahill says:

        @verucalise: As an avid Threadless addictee, I know that even if it says it’s sold out, they keep a few extras in the warehouse for size issues/returns. I found that out the time I ordered a men’s medium and received a men’s XXL. Threadless has some of the best customer service I’ve seen.

  2. OMG! Pwnies! says:

    I’ll be sure to keep them in mind for my future shirt needs.

    • outoftheblew says:

      @OMG! Pwnies!: I’m laughing at this … one of my advertising pet peeves is that phrase and its variants. “Keep us in mind for all your future _______ needs.”

  3. Bluth_Cornballer says:

    I’ve ordered several times from Threadless and have always been happy. Nice to see that their customer service matches their quality.

  4. cunninglinguine says:

    Threadless is awesome–I have several of their t-shirts, all of which were out of print when I first looked into purchasing them. Within a month or so of flagging the designs, I received e-mails saying the shirts were back in print. I’ve been very happy with them.

  5. outoftheblew says:

    I’ve always been happy with Threadless, too. However, when I had to return a t-shirt that had a seam coming apart, I wasn’t able to get the same shirt which was then out-of-print. There were other designs I liked, too, though, so I just think of that design as the one that got away.

  6. jhenley01 says:

    It’s gonna be funny when he runs into someone at his apartment complex wearing his shirt.

  7. CaptainSemantics says:

    Threadless is an amazing company and has very proactive customer service. And they’re awesome. I love the $5 sales!

    BTW, if you’re in Chicago, you really should visit their brick and mortar. It’s tiny, but really pretty!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had nothing but positive encounters with them. I live overseas and work for the military. I placed an order for 10 new shirts, it came to about 180$ (inc shipping). 2 months later, still no shirts. Threadless and UPS cant decide on who is at fault, so Threadless just gives me 200$ in store credit (my decision vs cash back). A day later my shirts arrive. I was so impressed with Threadless’s way of handling the situation, i felt obligated to call them and tell them that the original shirts finally arrived.

    They were happy for me, and told me to keep the 200$ credit too! I have been a faithful customer ever since.

  9. H3ion says:

    We received a UPS package today (from L.L.Bean). It was delivered by the people whose house it was delivered to by UPS. Nothing was close, not the name, not the address. Fortunately, the people who received the package looked us up in the phone book and made the delivery. Screw ups are certainly not limited to UPS, which is usually pretty good, but when nothing matches you start to wonder if literacy is a requirement for employment.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @H3ion: glad they brought it to you! that must have been a little awkward for both of you though

    • ennTOXX says:

      honestly, in this day and age i wouldn’t doubt they really don’t even pay attention to the address cause everything is scanned and scanned again.

      it’s almost as if these days the literacy is performed by the recipient.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I had a really good experience with Threadless just recently. I ordered (2) 2xl t-shirts from them. I tried them on when they got here, they were too big, which was fine because I knew they’d shrink when I washed them. So I washed them according to the directions and dried them on low heat. When they got out of the dryer, I tried them on and they had shrunken so much they looked like ladies belly shirts on me, you could almost see my belly button. I emailed Threadless, they asked me to measure them. When they received the measurements they said to send them back because they wanted to see them. They got them 2 days later, determined the t-shirts were defective and issued me a refund immediately on my credit card and also refunded my shipping costs to send the shirts back AND they gave me a $5 coupon for next time for the trouble. I will definitely buy from them again.

  11. I Love New Jersey says:

    UPS is great. They just leave things on the stoop and sometimes claim that someone signed for it. The signed for stuff is tends to be the stuff that goes MIA.

  12. Shoelace says:

    UPS once lost a package addressed to me with prescription meds worth well over $1,000. When I called UPS I was told it had been delivered and signed for. Even after the signature file was found to be empty they continued to screw me around. Wish I had known about Consumerist back then.

    I’d love to see them nailed to a wall.

    • pax says:

      @Shoelace: This is why I REFUSE to do mail-order prescriptions through my insurance even though it’s cheaper. Most things I order through the mail are not hard core necessities, but I can’t imagine driving out to the UPS depot and arguing with them about the missing package that has my MIGRAINE MEDICATION in it.

  13. HogwartsAlum says:

    Now how am I supposed to save any money when you guys keep posting companies with awesome stuff who have great customer service?!

  14. smash says:

    As much as I love Threadless, I do find their service to be a little off. The fact that you had to re-order the shirts instead of them just sending you a replacement in the first place strikes me as odd.

    • jesspark says:

      @smash: Agreed on Threadless’s service being a little “off.” It’s like… they usually seem to get the job done if something goes wrong, but you may have to pull a couple of teeth to get there.

      I described the first part of my dealings with Threadless here and here, complete with emails, but, even after the whole situation was resolved satisfactorily (I kept the shirt that had arrived damaged, Threadless mailed out a new one, and other customers who’d commented on my blog post also had their damaged shirts replaced), the CSR who’d sent me the original condescending response still. kept. emailing. me.

      Despite the fact that I’d made an effort to avoid identifying her in any way in the original blog, she told me that my posting about my disappointment with my shirt’s condition and her reply was “quite hurtful,” and then proceeded to quibble over semantics for a couple more emails until I said that there didn’t seem to be any point in further discussing the issue and that that would be my final email on the subject. She finally stopped contacting me after that.

      It was pretty weird, bordering on inappropriate. : I’ve purchased shirts from Threadless since then without a single problem, but I wouldn’t want to deal with that particular CSR again. She seemed to take things a little too personally.

  15. Chongo says:

    Threadless was just featured on one of those “Extreme Offices” shows on Travel Channel (or Discovery).

    Why can’t my work have multiple ping pong tables, arcade cabinets and a skate ramp in it? :(

  16. Eldritch says:

    I love Threadless and I have multiple tees from them. I’m wearing one now, as a matter of fact. Their customer service is top notch and I’m glad to see them get such positive press. Yay Threadless!

  17. stpauliegirl says:

    Last Halloween, I was wearing Threadless’ “Communist Party” tee and a preteen boy dressed as The Joker pointed at it and said, “That’s a Communist Party! My dad has that shirt!” I gave him a $2 bill (because I am the type to carry those) for his comment and his nice costume. The next day, I emailed Threadless and told them because I thought they should know about the awesomeness of the kid. They gave me a store credit for $2 for sharing my story.

    They know what they’re doing; that $2 credit turned into a two-shirt purchase. I can’t help myself when it comes to their shirts!

  18. Michael Belisle says:

    If Threadless used shipper release (which they appear to have since the package didn’t require a signature), then they absolutely should replace the T-Shirts or refund the order. The whole point of shipper release is that the shipper saves on shipping insurance by not requiring a signature and accepting liability for any loss or damage after delivery.

    But I’m wondering what exactly UPS does in their investigation when there’s no signature required. Doesn’t seem like there’s a whole lot to investigate.

    • Vanilla5 says:

      @Michael Belisle: There really isn’t. There’s options in the DIAD (the signature tablet) to say “Left on front porch”/”Met woman at door”/”Left on back porch”/etc. and whatever the driver puts in is what they kinda go with if there’s no signature for that package (and no signature required).

  19. wishing upon says:

    UPS is always coming to my door asking me to “sign for my neighbor.” I know it’s so they make one less trip coming back but I always wonder if they think that’s a little, um, unsafe?

    • elislider says:

      yeah thats a weird policy they have. i came home once expecting a package, it wasnt there. my neighbor 2 houses down (who i had never talked to, i think they were drug dealers and they looked really white trashy) happened to see me and brought me over a package he had signed for me. i was very confused. how does ups know that i trust my neighbors?

  20. sickofthis says:

    What’s the quality of the shirts like? Are they pretty beefy?

    • Chongo says:

      @sickofthis: They used to be american apparel but I heard that they now make their own? It sometimes just depends on the shirt itself… pretty much in between American Apparel and Anvil t-shirts…. a little “slim” if you know what I mean.

    • elislider says:

      @sickofthis: their original shirts from way back when were fruit of the loom or some other generic shirt with the tag cut off. now they either print american apparel plain jersey (the AA standard issue, very soft, smooth, a little stretchy, cotton) or their own in-house brand which im not too familiar with. the AA shirts are more slim and fitted, but longer, while the threadless brand shirts are a tad shorter and less fitted i believe. they have a sizing chart on their site

  21. Anonymous says:

    I had ordered a shirt from Threadless once where the adhesive from the package it came in somehow got smeared on the shirt. The customer service was excellent and sent me a new shirt once i sent them a pic of the damage. Once before I was accidentally sent a wrong size, and the customer service person who helped me were excellent as well. I understand sometimes things like this happen as a result of human error, but Threadless does a fantastic job dealing with these kind of problems when they happen. Great company to deal with.

  22. shifuimam says:

    Threadless has excellent customer service. A shirt I bought was marked down by $5 like the day after I ordered it, and they were more than happy to give that difference in store credit when I emailed about it.

    Of course, if you get on their mailing list, you’re in danger of ordering shirts every freaking time they have a sale…lord knows I did. I had to take my email off their list so I’d quit spending so much money there.

  23. Allen Park says:

    Threadless is pretty awesome, but nothing beats the customer service I got numerous times at Same deal as Threadless, they sell vintage style t-shirts, and I’ve had nothing but spectacular experiences with them.

    First time, I wanted to buy a shirt that was on sale, but when my order was processed, the owner e-mailed me and said my size was sold out, and shouldn’t have been available to begin with. He said because of their fuck-up, not only could I choose to get a refund or store credit, but I also had the choice to grab one of the shirts not on sale without worrying about the price difference.

    And if that didn’t blow my mind, the second time I ordered stuff the warehouse somehow forgot to ship the shirts, and after two weeks I inquired about it. Owner e-mailed back saying the order got lost in the process, and went even further than before, saying that for my troubles (which I didn’t have, since I forgot I ordered the shirts to begin with), he’d throw in any extra shirt on the site, on him. And on top of that, they expedited shipping, so it arrived on the very next day.

    Needless to say, I’m a lifetime customer of theirs now.

  24. Allen Park says:

    @stpauliegirl: Who DOESN’T have that Communist Party tee? Every single time I wear mine there’s always some douchey kid that exclaims, “hey bro, I have that exact same shirt! Rad!”

  25. Malkin says:

    American Apparel was similarly nice to us when UPS failed to deliver, but swore up and down that they had. American Apparel quickly replaced our entire order- not just the part that “disappeared”.

    Unfortunately, because we opened a case with UPS, (one that UPS never resolved, by the way) we are now on UPS’s blacklist, and now cannot have anything delivered without a signature. We end up having to have most of our deliveries held at their warehouse, where we then have to go pick them up ourselves. After years with no trouble, and having had items delivered 3-5 times a week, UPS has refused to work with us. They goofed up once, refused to admit it, and now have lost our business in every case where we have an alternative delivery option. Uff.

  26. elislider says:

    I’ve had equally good support from them. A long time ago (back when they only had 30 or so designs available) I bought a shirt and it came with the stitching burned/melted away a little bit. it left sharp jaggies that scratched my tummy :( and must have been from the printscreening process. I didnt even notice it until after a couple washings and thought maybe it was my clothes dryer getting too hot. I send them an email and a lady replied that she went and checked their remaining stock and a bunch more of that shirt had the same problem. they sent me a new shirt for free and gave me a $5 coupon :) happy threadless shopper.. speaking of which i just ordered 5 more from their site last night . $5 sale!