You may be familiar with 2 emails sent from Famous Smoke Shop Just prior to and then again on April 1st. The first one outlined apparent leigislation which allowed Famous Smoke Shop to sell Cubans on a trial basis. The second one announced their "Cuban Heritage Sampler". It turned out to be an April Fools joke, but many of those who make their living in the cigar industry were duped as well (even my local cigar shop owner!). The announcements were so well written that John F. Kennedy himself probably rolled over in his grave twice, once for each email (he made Cuban cigars illegal). What was even more amusing was the response from their own customer service reps taking orders for the sampler. Special Kudos to the marketing department at Famous Smoke Shop
. Well done!
Buyer's Guide Sampler #10
A "fair and balanced" sampler! 15 of Cuba's best legal cigars, and more.
One of THE BEST collections we've ever assembled for our buying guides! An affordable 15-cigar sampler featuring classic "Cuban Heritage" brands that were taken from the island and made abroad after the Communist Revolution. It includes names you know and love, like Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, Trinidad, Gispert, Punch, Cohiba and many more. Get yours now!
* While supplies last! A $102.56 value
The first rep I got on the phone at Famous Smoke, I'll call her Sally; was apologetic and cautious. I told her I wanted to order Cubans, and she explained that it was an April Fools joke but get this, the Cuban Heritage Sampler was still for sale, just that it wasn't really Cuban. I laughed out loud. She didn't. Sally admitted that she had taken many complaints, many people were offended and the joke was quickly removed from the site.
Needing to have some fun with this, I waited a day and called back. This time it was Tim, and he was going to be my bitch. When I asked for Cubans in a stern voice, he immediatley began stumbling over his words trying to reference the email. He carefully asked if I was in front of my computer and he could direct me to the Heritage Sampler page. "I have my credit card handy and I'm ready to order now" I said. "Well sir, if you could let me explain..." Tim said. Poor guy. I pretended to be offended, and I could almost see Tim's sweat coming out of the receiver. "So now you are saying this was a joke on me and that I'm stupid?" I asked. "No one said you are stupid sir..." he trailed off and I Iet him go. Tim had buttons to push everywhere. When I started laughing, so did he, but it was a nervous yet boisterous bark. It took him a minute to regain himself. I think he was more relieved that I had finally let up. "These marketing guys are brilliant" said Tim proudly. "Of course they are Tim, because they get to sit back and enjoy while you and I are the monkey boys." He laughed again and that was the end of the call. Just before Tim hung up, he asked if I still had the email, and then asked me to erase it. Really? He must have been worried that the Nazi's might get a hold of it. So for your amusement (and the Nazi's), I have pasted a portion of that announcement here. Again, special Kudos to the marketing guys at Famous Smoke Shop. Despite the ruckus, the Cuban Heritage Sampler still looks like a good buy.