It isn't often that I have the opportunity to write about great customer service - I'm more often ranting about misadventures of clueless BAH organizations like Sympatico. So, it's a real pleasure to relate my experience with Giancarlo Gabellini of Gabellini Dance Shoes.
Many of my regular readers (and friends) know that I'm an avid salsa dancer, one of the Salsa Dealers at Salsaholics Anonymous, and one of the organizers and host of Toronto's weekly, free, outdoor salsa party, Sidewalk Salsa (every Thursday evening from 21:15 to 23:30 at the south-east corner of Bloor and Spadina, from May through October). Based on the recommendation of Anthony Persaud, a few years ago I tried a pair of Gabellini dance shoes for my teaching and practice and found them to be outstanding - the right balance of support and flexibility, well constructed, and offering just the right mix of traction and spin with their suede soles. Having nearly worn out my first pair, I ordered another two pairs, one white pair for teaching and practice, another black pair (a nicer looking style) for "going out." Because of what seems to have been perhaps a bad batch of suede from the supplier, the sole on the "going out" pair wore down to leather and separated from the shoe very prematurely.
When I wrote to Giancarlo, he immediately responded with the suggestion to have the shoes repaired locally (and he offered to subsidize part of the cost). Moreover, he contacted all of the other purchases of that particular model of shoe to alert them to a possible quality control problem with the suede, and checked up on the manufacturer to request a higher-quality, thicker sole on all future orders. That's the type of attention to customer service that not only ensures repeat business, but merits endorsement and your patronage.
I love my Gabellini shoes (albeit in a different way than I love my favourite partner!). More important I love the way Giancarlo takes care of his customers. If you're a salsa dancer looking for a great shoe for practice, and especially if you're a male dancer looking for great shoes for dress, you can't go wrong with Gabellini Dance Shoes.