It was time to replace an old straw hat this summer and I elected to try the services of Brent Black's The Panama Hat Company, the Hawaii-based firm with perhaps the largest share of the Montecristi hat market.
Mr. Black's hat was impeccable and quickly delivered but his service had a few things that could stand improvement. For one, I live in a building with a door person, but I was forced to go to the post office to pick up my hat since a third-party signature was not acceptable. This despite the fact that everyone else in the world seems happy to ship packages containing much more expensive items without that inconvenience.
Then, the hat was delivered in a specially constructed shipping box instead of a hat box that could be used for storage, which meant I had to beg a box from another hatmaker. Most makers ship a hatbox inside a standard box.
Least pleasant of all, when I suggested to Mr. Black that his competitors do things a bit more conveniently, I received a rather defensive response offering to take the hat back if I didn't like it.
A great hat but a less than great experience.