Going the extra mile…

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We always try to go the extra mile for our customers. This time it was 300. Almost.

In the run-up to Christmas, everyone’s rushing to plan the perfect festive season.

At The Alcohol-Free Shop, we’re part of many of those plans. Our customers look to us to help create great memories and we do our very best to keep our promises.

But sometimes things go wrong. Couriers lose parcels, tasks are overlooked in the whirl of activity, sometimes bottles are broken – and that means sometimes our promises are too.

We rely on producers to make the drinks we sell, transport companies to deliver them to us from around the world, and courier companies to deliver them to you. Even when we do our best, a problem with any part of this chain can cause other problems for us and, more importantly, our customers.

One customer was seriously ill and undergoing chemotherapy. He was looking forward to joining in the fun by raising a glass of alcohol-free wine with his family and making it a Christmas to remember.

He ordered six bottles of wine but we were told by the courier that the goods were damaged in transit and couldn’t be salvaged.

It was too late to get a replacement out to the customer by courier. He simply wasn’t going to get his wine for Christmas Day.

Unless we delivered it ourselves.

Every person who works at The Alcohol-Free Shop puts the customer first and makes an extraordinary effort to get things right.

We understood how much this Christmas meant to him.

Our co-founder, Chris Humphreys, put her own plans on hold to play Santa and save his day. She may not have Santa’s beard, but she showed she certainly has the heart.

She booked train tickets for a nine-hour round trip to hand-deliver the wines on Christmas Eve.

She left home before dawn to travel to Manchester to collect the wine at The Alcohol-Free Shop for the onward journey south.

With the tickets, and box of wine, in hand Chris was within 30 minutes of boarding the train for the next leg of the 300-mile journey when the customer reported his wine had arrived. One bottle was broken, but all was not lost.

The day was saved; the train ticket costs and time were not.

But Christine could now go home to spend the day with her family.

And the customer will enjoy his family Christmas as planned – and that’s what matters most to us.

Merry Christmas from everyone at The Alcohol-Free Shop!

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Founder and co-owner of The Alcohol-Free Shop. John is a recovering alcoholic who stopped drinking in June 2004. Born and raised in Manchester, he now lives in Malaga with his wife and young daughter. He came to terms with being an alcoholic many years ago, but still finds the concept his daughter is Spanish very strange.