My wife Amy bought me a 7 Year Pen. It supposedly has enough ink in its cartridge to last 7 years. To be exact, it can write for 2 meters a day for 7 years (5,110 meters, more than 3 miles)! Who cares? After all, it’s a just a pen. Nobody has a second thought about buying, using, and throwing away a pen. Actually, that is exactly the point.
We have become so accustomed to throwing away disposable goods as a society. While throwing away a single pen makes a little difference, collectively, they have an significant impact. According to Green Seal’s report, Americans throw away 1.6 million disposable pens every year. They end up in landfills, taking decades if not centuries to decompose. The chemicals can seep into soil, waterways, etc. If everyone started using products like this, our consumption can have reduced impact on the environment.
The pen made economical sense as well. The pen was around 7 dollars. If I didn’t lose it, that is just $1 a year. It was an example of a company providing a great solution that provides economical solution as well as helping the environment.
After just two weeks, however, the ink dried up. I was really disappointed – I had really wanted this to work. Curious about the quality of the product, I did a little research online. I found that most of people had no problem at all. There were, however, a couple of reviews mentioning the ink drying up prematurely. I guess I was one of the unlucky few. I wanted to give this pen another shot, so I sent an email . Within 30 minutes, I got a response from Jeanie from Seltzer Goods. She asked for my address so that she can send me a replacement cartridge. A week later, this is what I got in the mail:
- Two replacement cartridges
- A bunch of little badges
- A hand written thank-you card
- Blank card
Now that is customer service. These guys didn’t stop at providing a good and responsible product. They went the extra mile to make me feel good about making the right choice and being their customer.
What does all this have to do with what we do, investing mobile home parks? The contribution we want to make is to provide affordable housing to people who are overlooked by society. This experience was a reminder that we cannot be happy with just achieving the goal. We also need to look at how we do it. The way provide the benefit – the process we use, customer service we provide, relationships we build, can all be as important as the benefit itself.
If all goes well with these replacement cartridges, expect an update in 2025.