I hopped on the train. I was perfectly comfortable getting a few cigars from my local B&M every now and again, or ordering online from venues like Cigars Daily – both of which I will still continue to do. But something came over me and the idea of Privada just stuck in my brain that this may well be a good experience in my renewed hobby of cigars and pipe smoking – of which pipes are my personal preference, but I do have a weekly stick. Aged cigars and hard to find cigars, or even exclusive cigars intrigue me, so on March 28th, I took to plunge.
I think I had my first package 3 days later on April 1. Like all the un-boxing videos, everything was pristine. The aesthetic of the whole experience was a pleasure, which I am sure is similar to all cigar of the month clubs. My order was the monthly membership, plus my first highly anticipated lancero in the Rose of Sharon by Southern Draw. There was one thing wrong…the package was missing the Rose!
Now, I do not like to over-react to things. I knew this was a simple oversight, so I e-mailed Privada to let them know. I got a response from Brian, the founder. I know it is a small operation, but it also came quickly. He apologized for the oversight and offered to ship it right away with a few more leafy goodies to make up for the error.
I said that would be great and thanked him. A few days went by and I did not get a shipping notice, so I e-mailed again to see if there was one. Brian once again jumped on it, and where most would have given a new shipping label and moved on, Brian pointedly again apologized because the label, instead of being created, looped back in with other orders. So, he immediately fixed it and I promptly received the notice and then the cigars a few days later.
Now, believe me, when I say, I was blown away. He did not throw excuses or any BS my way, and I ended up with a second SD lancero! I feel like a king up here in Ohio!
I want to say, the only thing that Brian was ever obligated to do was to ship my 1 cigar that was missed. And while I am so pleased by the kindness of the extra leafy goodies, I am more pleased by the dedication to customer service that he and his team gave to me. The focus of Privada is clearly not a widget shipping company servicing customers, but, seriously, a club with members of a shared interest, with the company playing that same role. It is in many ways a bonding experience.
Brian and I traded a few more e-mails and is a stand-up guy. The response was superb to even someone who has only been a member for 2 weeks. My future membership is secure with Privada Cigar Club. It is truly a personal service in an age of corporate widget operations.
Thank you Privada! And Brian, if you’re up in Columbus, Ohio, hit me up! I have a bottle of Ohio whiskey and some cigars we can share!