Swan Customer Service

So on WB Day I purchased a mixed case of reds from Swan after they posted an offer. I had never tried their wines before. At a blind tasting of five pinots we all agreed that one bottle was corked. So I wrote them and asked if they would replace the bottle. Reply today says that they do replace corked bottles at the winery. But if I want to pay $20 for shipping they will send me a brand new bottle. Pretty lousy customer service if you ask me. I have requested a refund.

I complained in a thread last year about wineries that don’t respond or address corked wines. Based on what I was told in that thread I’ve finally stopped telling wineries about corked wines. Not sure that it makes me feel any better though.

Am I missing something here? You told them you had a corked bottle, they offered to replace it and that’s lousy customer service? Go buy a single bottle shipper, add shipping and insurance and what do you get? I get about $20.

I don’t understand the issue. Especially since you didn’t even purchase the wine from them in the first place.

FWIW - I agree with Brian on this. pileon

[scratch.gif] He did … he bought a mixed case, no? or am i mis-reading…

I think it’s lousy customer service to charge him $20 shipping for a corked bottle.

Compare to say Rhys…09 Family Farm… where it’s not even corked… it’s a CHANCE of brett (some have it some don’t). they just said “keep all the bottles, we’ll replace all”.
night and day.

I dunno. I fall on Joseph Swan’s side on this one, especially if they will agree to a refund.

Rhys goes above and beyond, but that is not the norm.

That’s a tough comparison. Rhys is well funded, sells luxury priced wines and not Kevin’s sole business. Joseph Swan is a family operation that was never rolling in cash and the majority of their wines are value priced. I’m a fan of both operations, but they are opposite sides of the spectrum.

The response seems completely fair.

At minimum they should provide a refund - which is fair. I can understanding the shipping issue either way. Essentially they’re offering to refund you and that’s the end of the transaction. If you want to buy another bottle direct, then it’s another transaction entirely.

If Swan offers a refund the customer is made whole, IMO. Will the customer ever buy Swan again?

I wouldn’t call it lousy, just not great. Try Dominus. They don’t replace corked wines at all. That’s lousy. At the end of the day though, I doubt the OP buys wines from them again.

True… spoiled i guess :slight_smile:

Brian, I bought the wine from Swan. I stated that pretty clearly I thought. Why should I have to pay anything for a faulty wine? It doesn’t work that way with anything else. Just because I happen to live 3,000 miles away from the store it doesn’t seem right that I have to pay anything for a defective item.

And at this juncture they have not responded to my request for a refund. If they give me a refund I have no complaint, I guess. Just think it sucks that they refuse to give me another bottle on their dime for any added expenses.

IIRC the original cost of the wine was not much over $20.

Sounds as if this was purchased directly from them. And sounds as if they are offering a refund - but you would have to pay for shipping.

If I were them, I would either offer a refund or credit against future orders.

Doesn’t seem outrageous for a small operation at all . . .

Just my $.02 . . .

They did not offer a refund. I have requested a refund in lieu of having to pay an expense for a wine that was faulty direct from the winery. If they honor my request for a refund I will post it here. But nada so far. They are very difficult and slow to communicate.

My original shipment was destroyed in transit and they were advised of this by the shipper. Instead of hearing it from Swan I heard about on the tracking and had to get in touch with them to see what they were going to do about it. It took what I thought was a long time to get it fixed and get my wine. It is not a customer friendly winery IMO and I doubt seriously if I will be back.


Just so you know - and I know I’ve said this before - what sucks is that the buck stops at the winery, yet it was the cork company that supplied a ‘faulty product’. It really gets me going thinking that there is no recourse on the part of the winery - everyone else gets their money back in the process except the winery, which either refunds your money to be a good customer service oriented winery or doesn’t, and looks like a heel . . . kills me . . .

I mis-read the OP and thought you bought it on Wine Bid. Regardless of that look a manufacturers warranty fir any product. It always states “return prepaid to 123 Our Street, Our Town USA 12345”

Only wine customers expect everything to be free. Profit margins on things not manufactured Asia are slim. Other costs cannot always be absorbed.


One note of damaged shipments - if they use a third party, as I do, they will not hear about these things as quickly as you might think. I had a customer recently who only received 11 bottles of the case they were supposed to receive. I asked the third party shipper and they told me that they found out it was damaged in shipment. I asked when they were going to tell me, and they said that they get lots and lots of these but the shipping companies don’t necessarily ‘forward’ this info to them in a timely manner - most of the time, the situation is determined by a customer who asks the questions. So that is not that uncommon.

Just another viewpoint here . . .

Yep. Also, as a Berserker Day offering I’m guessing the wines were sold at a discount. Another good deed goes awry.

I can see your point Larry. I am not in the biz but it looks like there should be some recourse for you with the cork supplier.

And thanks for the insight on the shipping issue.


This used to be my signature…

“If you don’t like it, just go on the internet and complain about it to a bunch of people that don’t give a sh*t about you or your problem”…

Get over it. Take your $20 and harden the f*** up. Jeez.