*This* is how you do customer service.

With two large dogs in the Newbill household, we go through a lot of dog food. Pet Food Direct has great prices and service, and best of all, they have an auto-ship service. I was able to sign up to have my girls’ regular food delivered every four weeks so I never have to worry about running out or making a last-minute run to the pet store.

Last week I noticed that the end-of-April shipment was overdue. I checked the UPS tracking number on my order status, to find out that it had been delivered April 30. “Left in garage,” it said.

Um… not my garage! Well, these things happen from time to time. We probably had a new driver on the route who got our address confused with another that’s very similar. (We swap mail frequently, those other homeowners and I.) But this time they didn’t have it.

I went to the pet store for an emergency supply and emailed Pet Food Direct that my shipment was feeding someone else’s fortunate pooches. They immediately sent a replacement order and said they would file an inquiry with UPS. The second shipment came, my doggie girls were fat and happy, and all was well in the world.

Usual procedure in customer service, right?

The extraordinary part comes next.

Last Saturday another neighbor brought the box over. The original shipment that had been left in his garage on April 30.

Oh, dear.

I emailed Pet Food Direct. (It was Saturday — I didn’t expect that anyone would be manning the phones and a reply on Monday would be fine). I explained what had happened, told them I would keep both shipments, but of course I needed to pay for the second one and could they please charge my card on file in my account?

In just a few minutes I had this response by email:

Thank you so very much for being such an upstanding & honest individual. I have spoken with my supervisor & please do keep the food. We will NOT be charging any additional amount to your account. Please keep the extra shipment with our compliments.

I was stunned.

They thanked me for doing what was simply the right thing? They were surprised that I planned to pay for both shipments? And then they gave me the better part of $75 in merchandise for doing that?

This is how you do customer service.

Pet Food Direct has a loyal customer as long as I have dogs.