In early March, I decided to pre-order the deluxe edition of Kina Grannis‘ album “Stairwells,” which was released in early April. In addition to the original CD (remixed and remastered), the deluxe edition also included a second disc with 5 additional originals, studio versions of 3 cover songs, and music videos for 4 original songs (including the official “Valentine” music video directed by Ross Ching – see the video below). Kina’s online store offered several bundles or packages for ordering an autographed copy of “Stairwells.” The deluxe bundle included the autographed deluxe CD and new goldfish t-shirt, but I had my eye on the limited edition deluxe bundle. In addition to the deluxe CD and shirt, the bundle included the “kg” canvas tote bag, “All the Pieces” photobook with 27 of Kina’s twitpic photos, and a signed one-of-a-kind frame from the “Valentine” video.
I tried to place my order, but every time I clicked “submit” I was faced with an error message. I tried a different bundle, a different credit card, and a different address, but I still got an error. Kina told me on Twitter that other people were having similar issues and soon put me in touch with Marcus, the co-founder and CTO at Moontoast, the company powering her store. After a few days of email correspondence, I was on the phone with Ben (VP of Engineering) and other Moontoast staff trying to figure out the technical issues. I walked them through my ordering process, and they tracked the error messages on their servers as I tried to place an order during our conversation. After several attempts at ordering and figuring out the errors, we ended our call with no specific solution set up. A few days later I followed up with Ben to see if all the bugs and kinks had been worked out. He let me know that they were able to figure out the problem, thanks to the time we spent on the phone. “The time you spent with us was very helpful,” Ben said. “And for that, your Kina Grannis order is on us.”
Awesome! They were taking care of my order, both by submitting the order AND paying for it! But would they let me get the limited edition bundle for free? Marcus mentioned giving me the deluxe bundle, but if I had to, I was willing to pay the difference in order to receive the photo book, bag, and “Valentine” print. Days passed and communication became complicated. I was notified that my order would arrive sometime in April. But what should I expect to receive? I checked my mail one day and found an autographed copy of “Stairwells” in my mailbox! Is this what they were sending me, or did someone buy it for me secretly? Or is there more coming? When I emailed Marcus, he said I should have received the deluxe bundle, not just the deluxe CD. I soon received another email from Moontoast apologizing for the mix-up and saying that the bundle would be in the mail. Would they let me pay for the limited edition items? I asked about it, but I didn’t hear anything back. A few days ago, I checked the mail and saw a package from Moontoast. Inside was the rest of the limited edition bundle – almost. I got the “kg” tote bag, a copy of “All the Pieces,” and a “Valentine” print. I’m currently using the tote bag as my daily purse, the “Valentine” print is on top of my bookcase with the signed CD booklet and other autographed items, and I am considering framing some of the photos from “All the Pieces” to hang on my apartment walls. One more thing to cross off the wishlist!
No goldfish shirt, but that’s okay. It’s more than what I expected to receive from them at all, and I’m grateful for their willingness to reward me for spending time with them on the phone. I feel bad for bugging them about my order, especially since they didn’t have to send me anything at all. They didn’t even have to place the order for me once they worked out the issues on the site. So thank you, Moontoast, for your generosity! When my budget returns to normal, I plan on revisiting Kina’s online store and purchasing one of her t-shirts. I love the shirt that uses the design from her Troubadour concert poster, based on her song “Stars Falling Down.”
Oh, and since I received the Stairwells CD several weeks ago, I’ve been listening to Kina whenever I’m in the car. Especially now that the sun is shining a lot more, I turn Kina up a bit louder and drive through downtown with my windows down! Maybe some pedestrians will become Kina fans?
Kina Grannis [Valentine – Original Song]: