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Brands/companies with good warranties?

I just wanted to share my recent experience with a company I'd not dealt with before.

Last August I purchased a nice Samsonite backpack for one of my sons as a gift.

A couple of weeks ago he sent me a text telling me that one of the zippers on his new backpack had broken, and the seam by the shoulder straps was coming apart. What?!? I was disappointed to hear this, especially since I'd thought it was a sturdy bag, and he'd only had the bag for just over a year.

Fortunately I'd kept the receipt as well as the tags with the warranty information. "Limited 3 Year Global Warranty", reads the tag.
So, I contacted Samsonite and explained the problem. The customer service representative explained the warranty information details, then proceeded to create a "repair ticket", which he sent to me via email. I then took the backpack, along with the repair ticket, to a nearby Samsonite authorized dealer, and was told that the bag would either be repaired or replaced.
The gentleman at the shop gave me a claim ticket and told me to call back if I'd not heard from Samsonite within 3 weeks time.

The next day, I received an email from Samsonite, confirming that the backpack had been received by the repair center.
A couple of days later, I received another email letting me know that the backpack was not repairable and was covered under their warranty. The email also explained that the product would be replaced with a comparable product within 5-7 days.

So... Today, I received this new replacement backpack! This backpack appears to be much sturdier than the original one.

I like companies that stand behind their products! Don't you?

I'd love to hear about your experiences dealing with other companies who stand behind their products!

Happy travels! ; )

Priscilla

Posted by
5835 posts

I haven't had much experience with Patagonia's "Ironclad Guarantee" because my Patagonia stuff doesn't seem to wear out. My limited guarantee experience is the replacement of a lost backpack sturnum strap. I called, explained that I loss one side of the sturnum strap and Patagonia mailed me a replacement.

Similarly, no experience with my Columbia jackets that don't seem to break or wear out.

Posted by
7048 posts
  • REI (outdoor wear and gear; great return policy)
  • Tom Bihn (good quality bags, backpacks, luggage)
  • Briggs and Riley (good quality, high-end luggage)
  • LL Bean (clothing; great return policy)
Posted by
13638 posts

REI - amazing!

My brother and I bought XC skis a number of years ago. I decided I liked snowshoeing better so never used them more than a dozen times. Meanwhile after maybe 5 years he noted his were de-laminating. We looked at mine and yep, same thing. Next time we went to Spokane we threw them in the car and stopped by REI. Took them in, they called the "ski" guy who looked at them and said we've had some other people with this problem. We can replace or refund your money. We didn't have the sales slips but both of us are REI Coop members so he looked it up and refunded the total amount we paid. Could not believe it. Honestly, they were at least 5 years old and we had no expectations. Really, we just wanted them to know the product was faulty.

Posted by
5445 posts

LLBean no longer has its great return policy. It is one year now. I also believe REI has changed to a one year return policy. It is especially frustrating when you have items like luggage, hiking boots, tent, etc. that might only get pulled out once a year. We have a patio umbrella from LLBean. The umbrella looks new, living in MN, it is only used for about four months. The cord broke and all they could offer was the suggestion to go to a hardware store

Posted by
5697 posts

Not to forget -- Rick Steves. My Civita bag (of unknown age) had the drawstrings on the bottle holders fray, and I got a replacement in the mail.

Posted by
2454 posts

Laura beat me to the punch in mentioning Rick Steves products. Twice I have had zipper problems with Rick Steves bags (not the main zipper, but auxilliary pockets), and with a phone call and a photo showing the problem, I quickly received a new replacement bag at no cost.

Posted by
6184 posts

Thanks for the positive post, Priscilla. Too many posts are about bad experiences; I like good news in the morning.

Posted by
10037 posts

I second Jane’s comment, but actually when I saw it was posted by Pricilla, I was certain it would be a positive post.

Posted by
1194 posts

It’s great to have a company that stands behind its products. That said, I would rather that I never have to use the warranty.

Some products like Patagonia, Tom Bihn, etc have reputations that they don’t break. I would rather have that than deal with returning a defective product.

As Edgar said, Patagonia products just keep going and going and going. Some of my stuff is 15 years old and is only beginning to show wear.

Posted by
5445 posts

Unfortunately you don't really learn about the warranty until something happens. Then you find out how well the company stands behind its product. Its unrelated to travel, but a year ago I started to have a problem with my kitchen faucet. My husband always liked to comment on my "expensive faucet". The faucet was about four years old and obviously used a lot. I called Kohler to inquire about purchasing a part. I was told to take a picture so they could identify it and then they would send the part. No proof of purchase, no forms, no jumping through hoops. I was told they stand behind their products for life and I appreciate that.

Posted by
26436 posts

One thing that gives me pause about paying extra for a better-quality suitcase is the expectation that if it breaks, I'll have to send it somewhere. That would be totally impractical if there's a significant structural failure overseas (which is where over 90% of my travel occurs). Even within the US shipping any sort of suitcase with a frame would be quite costly since we now pay for the cubic volume as well as the weight. I love hearing about companies that don't require you to go through the awkward process of shipping the old suitcase back to a repair depot.

Posted by
5179 posts

Thanks everyone!

Edgar,

I agree, Patagonia products are well made and they do last! It's great when one finds out that a company does stand behind their products. A few years ago, one of my child's Patagonia down jacket had a broken zipper, so we sent it to Patagonia and the zipper was replaced at no cost.

Agnes,
Those are great brands, but I'm only familiar with REI's return policy.

Pam, Wow! What an unbelievable story! I love REI, especially their sales!

Jules,
Hmmm... It's too bad that LLBean changed their return policy and they weren't able to help you out with your patio umbrella.

Ken,
Thanks for sharing that interesting article! I've not bought any of the brands you've listed, but will keep them in mind the next time I need a good bag.

Laura, and Larry,

It's good to know that RS stands behind the products he sells.

Jane,
Thanks! I agree.

Bets,
Thanks for your kind words!

Cindy,

It’s great to have a company that stands behind its products. That said, I would rather that I never have to use the warranty.

I agree, completely! ; )

Jules,
Thanks for sharing your story about Kohler products, I didn't know that.

Acraven,
I hear you... I don't like paying for shipping either! I had the option to send the backpack to the repair center, but chose to drive it to the nearby authorized dealer instead! : )

Another company I've dealt with in the past few years is 'Brooks' running shoes.
My running shoes' (used for walking) soles started coming unglued after only wearing them a few months.
I contacted the company, sent a photo of the defect, a copy of my receipt, and... I received a new pair of runners!

What other companies stand behind their products?

Posted by
5445 posts

@acraven, you are exactly right in terms of the shipping and other expenses. I had a negative experience with Olympia suitcase and their warranty. Even if I'd saved the tag and been willing to jump through all their hoops, I would have had to pay the shipping of the replacement wheel and then the labor to fix it. In the end, some warranties end up to be rather meaningless.