Preshrunk reader Neil Forrester sent us an email which I felt compelled to run. I know we don’t open the mail bag all that often, but you’ll hopefully understand why we made an exception in a minute…

I know this isn’t really your problem, but I thought I’d pass on my experience.

I’m a big fan of your site, right from the start, and have managed to pick up some really cool shirts.

However, I placed an order with zeroboutique – the guys behind your very first post about the ‘ape-o-naut’ t-shirt – on the 1st of January, and am still waiting…

I’ve managed to get through to them a couple of times via email, and have got some pretty lame excuses.

It’s now the middle of April and I’m nowhere closer to seeing a return on the significant amount of cash I laid out in good-faith to these guys.

Like I said, not really your problem, but I did find them via you, and you might want to consider whether you want to recommend their service to your readers in future…

Since we recommended them to our readers, I’m going to make it our problem. I feel horrible when a company that we send traffic and sales to turns out to be nothing more than a bunch of shady twats.

By posting his letter, I’m hoping that we can shame ZeroBoutique into providing our boy Neil with some actual customer service. Who knows, maybe they’ll even send him his order. While we won’t hold our breath on either thing, it does feel refreshing to help a brother out. Keep your fingers crossed for him, okay?

Update: Neil sent this across the wire…

Whether as a result of my nasty emails, or the astounding powers of the blogosphere, I have now heard from Jason at ZeroBoutique, and he’s filled me in on the situation.

Apparently my order was “royally shnazzled” – whatever that may mean – but shirts are apparently on their way.

At the end of the day, I’d still rather give my hard earned cash to a slacker printing his own t-shirts than line the pockets of the corporate fuckwits hawking their tawdry sweat-shop wares at me whenever I venture onto the High Street.

So here’s hoping they fit after I’ve waited five months for them…

Our ego would like to claim that it was all thanks to us, but who’s to really know how everything went down. Still, four months is a long time to wait for anything you order off the internet. Because of that, we still remain reluctant to list anything from ZeroBoutique again. Hope you see your stuff soon, Neil.

Update: And now in the interest of fairness, we’re giving the chaps at ZeroBoutique a chance to respond…

This is Jason from ZeroBoutique and I thought I better write to put in my 2 cents worth on this issue. ZeroBoutique is a very small operation and up until 2 months ago I did everything myself. As a result, some orders do from time to time fall through the cracks and become late.

The order in question was supposed to be shipped by the end of February. That means that technically the order is actually only about 6 weeks late, not 5 months. I know, late is late, and I don’t like making a customer wait anymore than they like waiting. I did stay in contact with Neil several times and was aware of the problems with his order. This week he wrote me 2 or 3 times and I was too busy to get back to him right away – I guess he (justifiably) got pretty frustrated by the whole process, as would I. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I work very hard to ensure people get their orders complete and on time – I have filled over 600 orders successfully since Christmas alone – but occasionally things like this do happen.

I hope you won’t judge me or my line based on this one customer’s experiences – though if you did I guess I couldn’t really blame you. Anyway, I’m posting 13 new designs on the site today. Anyone who places an order and mentions the code “preshrunk” will get a 10% discount on their PayPal balance. Sorry again Neil!

I know how hard things can be for small businesses that are taking off. I’ve worked at my fair share of startups, so I have an idea of what they’re going thru. I feel sort of bad for raking Jason and the rest of the ZeroBoutique folks over the coals, especially since they were nice enough to give us a discount code for our readers. How’s that for blog justice?