Lands' End's Web Site


This is a company I really admire. For the last several years I have bought almost all my clothes from them. Socks and underwear - no, they only offer boxers or white briefs; I like those colored bikini briefs... that's a story for another day. But every dress shirt, jeans pants, and belt has come from Lands' End. Why? 

First, the sizes remain the same. I can buy an item today and I know it will be the exact same size as the one I bought a year ago.

Second, the products are of high quality. Nice tailoring and good cloth.

Third, the 100% satisfaction guarantee. They take anything back, any time, no question. And they'll send my pre-paid UPS shipping labels. That's great.

Fourth, the catalog is easy to read and has good pictures.

Finally, the customer service people who take the orders are incredibly helpful, nice, easy to deal with. I love 'em.

Besides, I'd rather spend my shopping time looking for the odd shirt, pant, or coat. For the mundane, everyday things I just as soon order them over the phone at midnight. Their web site is another matter.

I've tried to be a good web citizen and use the LE web site, but it just isn't that easy. It sometimes takes a lot of clicks to find what I want. In the case detailed below I think they have tried too hard to mimic the structure of the print catalog in the on-line story. 


Sent: 06 Nov 03 08:06

To: Lands' End Customer Service

On the web site I could not find my size (17x36) in the pin point shirts drop down box. (Turns out I needed to go to the Tall tab... it would have been nice if the web site told me that.) 

Anyway, so I clicked through to the Call Me page. I filled it out and got an "your request is being processed". I waited a few minutes and then called in myself. There was no indication of how long I should wait. Maybe my request got lost? I leave the diagnosis to you.




They got back to me in less than 30 minutes. And, they included a contact phone number for the customer service rep who handled the email. This company is just top knotch.



Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 8:31 AM 
From:landsend @
To: jschrempp
Subject: Lands' End

Please include the following line in all replies. Tracking number: UT20031106_0000001882

Dear Jim Schrempp,

Thank you for your message to Lands' End.

We apologize that you could not find your correct size on our Website easily. Lands' End does consider a 36 inch sleeve length to be a tall size. You can find that information under Customer Service at the top and then under size charts.

At this time of year we can be very busy at times and that could be the possibility for your having to wait for us to answer. We do apologize that you did have to wait for us today.

If we may be of further assistance, please let us know.


xxxx xxxxx. 
Internet Customer Service 




Hi xxxx xxxxx.,

Thanks for the note. I think you might have missed the point, my explanation was probably weak.

I know you consider a 36 inch sleeve a tall size. In your printed catalog this is very easy to see. However, on your web site this is very hard to see. When shopping on your web site for a shirt, I would like to easily find sleeve length 36; I could not. If you would like to make your web site the preferred method of shopping, you could try to make it even easier to use than the printed catalog.

About the call back... it would be a very nice feature for your "request submitted" page to give me some idea of how long I should expect to wait. Is it normally an immediate call back? Click - ring? Or is it a five minute wait? Or "we will call you within 30 minutes?" Or "we will try to call you within an hour?" My point is that your site should set my expectations about the expected call back time; it did not.

(BTW, I suspect that your application dropped the ball on my call back because when I called the 800 number for customer service the phone was picked up on the first ring - seems like plenty of operators were available.)

Just helping you with the gift of feedback...



With the power of web site searching and hyper linking I think I should be able to navigate to a type of shirt and find all the modifications I need. Maybe in the printed catalog one needs to separate the Talls from the Normals in order to keep the reader from confusion, but on-line I should click "shirt, tall, color" and then give a credit card.

As to why the web site's "call me" feature doesn't use the same bank of phone operators as the one's who answer dial-in phone calls, who knows. Let's hope they don't out source to India!


Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)