About fifteen years ago I graduated high school with no interest in going to college. Instead, I learned the trade of cabinetmaking and set myself up with a job right away. The position wasn’t exactly what I wanted. You see, I spent the vast majority of my time working with plastic laminate and flakeboard. We did some pretty interesting stuff but my passion was with hardwoods and furniture.
Anyway, while I was doing all of this work with plastic laminate I did a lot of filing. We would flush-trim the laminate edges to size then go back with a bevel bit on a router. The last step was to swipe over the laminate with a file to create a finished edge.
We went through a lot of files and I hated the ones provided by my employer. They were big, heavy, and way too aggressive. I decided I was going to buy my own. I walked into Sears Hardware and picked up a simple file. I was able to work much faster with a file I was more comfortable with and things were great for a while.
Unfortunately, plastic laminate (more the phenolic backer, actually) is hard on files. My file dulled to the point where it was barely cutting anymore. At this time Sears was big on Satisfaction Guaranteed with our Lifetime Warranty on tools.
I had my doubts but I took my file back on account of it no longer cutting. To my amazement, they replaced it free of charge. Over the couple of years that I worked there, they must have replaced at least one file per month for me. In all that time there was only one customer service worker that gave me a hard time.
I realize that tools dull and the warranty probably shouldn’t have covered commercial use but it set a precedent in my mind. If you are going to advertise ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ then you better back it up.
The first time I laid eyes on the back of the AJ Fernandez New World band I had mixed feelings. It is awesome that they guarantee satisfaction but what if I’m not satisfied? What if it is an amazing cigar but it just doesn’t taste good to me? What if I fall in love with the cigar, smoking dozens of them, and get a bum stick?
I’ve smoked at least three boxes of the New World. Of those cigars, I probably had a total of four that were problematic (cracked wrappers, tunnels, caps unraveling, etc). While that is a seriously low percentage in the grand scheme of things, the bands say Satisfaction Guaranteed right on them. So, what do I do about those four cigars I wasn’t satisfied with? Are they just empty words on a band – a sales gimmick – or do they mean something?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to stop smoking the Aj Fernandez New World. It is an excellent cigar at a good price. I just think it is a pretty bold move to make such a statement on a product that is so subjective.