The state a parcel arrives depends upon the jurisdiction. Here in the UK the Distance Selling Regulations dictate the sellers and carriers response to a damaged delivery. For example, whether the item is sold as an auction or buy it now impacts on the sellers responsibilities.
The BFSP and FW anecdotes are examples of 'above and beyond'. Or are they? Perhaps this is just marketing in a clever way?
The general GW ones are examples of excellent customer service. Personally I have never had anything other than excellent customer service from GW. Thinking about it I have only ever had excellent customer service in any 'hobby' related shop whether online or B&M.
I pre-ordered the Warhammer box set featuring Bretonnians and Lizardmen. 5th Ed in 1996 if I remember correctly, but prepared to be corrected! Anyway, order did not turn up a week after release so I phoned GW. A replacement was sent and a couple of days later both boxes arrived, the first one in a Royal Mail bag saying 'sorry we may have damaged your item'. Nothing broken of missing so i phoned GW and informed them and I would send the replacement box back. They said no keep it.
Excellent customer service but the cynic in me thinks the cost of refunding me posting back etc made it cheaper for GW say 'keep it'.
However, I started to receive minis from GW with a printed compliments saying 'because we like you'. After receiving a few pre-releases I phoned up GW and asked what this was about. The GW person said something along the lines that the Royal Mail lost approx 0.01% of parcels overall but lost 0.1% of GW's parcels. As I was honest about my double delivery they added my details to a list of 'nice' customers to send out the odd pre-releases. The last package I received was in about 2000/2001 when they sent me a unit of Phoenix Guard for Warmaster when it was released. Over this period I received quite a few minis including the odd limited edition or special release. Seem to remember receiving some Space Marine mini that was silver plated and mounted on a plinth.
Was this 'above and beyond'? Or is giving away product for whatever reason all part of the overall marketing budget and strategy, ultimately not 'above and beyond'. Or am I just being too cynical a these days?