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Ebags Buyers beware!

Just wanted to share a recent experience I had with Ebags. Note: I have been a loyal and frequent customer of Ebags for over 15 years and I have always been very pleased with everything I've purchased from them. However, my latest experience has convinced me to never purchase anything else from them.

In anticipation of upcoming travel, I purchased a "personal item" bag. Sadly, despite the description and photos I found ( and after test packing it) that it didn't meet my needs. So I decided t return it.

After 5 days of attempting this, I find I may have to keep the bag because (a) the website continues to indicate that it is "unable to print the return label". After contacting their Customer Service multiple times, I have been told that (a) they cannot provide a shipping address, and that (b) I just have to wait for the "system" to reset" and to continue trying until that happens.
So, in essence, it's now "my problem". Great.
That's it - no other options or solutions have been offered despite my requests for them.
I have also reached out on Twitter (which is normally very effective when dealing with these kinds of issues) and it's been SM silence. So, my advice is this: if you know there is absolutely no risk of needing to return an item, Ebags is probably fine. However, if you are not sure, I'd find another retailer.

Posted by
1649 posts

I have found that some browsers deal better with websites than others. I often have the best luck with Chrome or Firefox.

Posted by
7020 posts

While we're on the subject of (un) returnables: in early September Eddie Bauer had a duffel I ordered and paid for overnight shipping. Now here is where buyer beware: after the order went through, a red warning appeared that some items weren't being processed and leaving the warehouse for a few weeks. Hmm. I had an overseas flight 12 days later. So, long chat session where they gave me their rules: Orders can never be cancelled until they are processed. Have to wait until it is processed, arrives and then ask to return it and a refund. (Eddie Bauer is now owned by an investment firm. Adios customer service.)
So it was shipped from the warehouse in a neighboring state on Wednesday, indeed shipped overnight but 10 days after ordered. Arrived Thursday night, we left Friday morning and an unused duffel is in the garage. I'll deal with the refund later.

Posted by
2528 posts

Recently I had two experiences with return or exchange. I’ll give Land’s End an A+ for the way they handle returns. Just use the form on the back of the packing list, includes a label, no shipping charges. If you want an exchange, simply indicate on the return form. Easy!

Then there was REI. I was considering a grade of D but they deserve an F. Ordered a rain jacket that was too large. You must return it for credit less a $6 return shipping charge and then order the replacement as a totally new order. It took almost three weeks and as many emails to find out they received and were processing my return. Then they never credited my AMEX card. More emails to what is laughingly termed customer service. I was told to contact American Express. I completed all the necessary paperwork. When I purchased the rain jacket, I got a 20% promotional discount. First REI erroneously gave me a duplicate discount but no credit for the jacket. More emails. They finally reversed the discount and then credited the jacket - less the return shipping fee. It took seven weeks, many hours, numerous emails and accepting the outcome though I still came out $3 short.

Posted by
7840 posts

That's distressing to hear about REI. I've had unbelievably good service with them, including having them take back and FULLY refund cross country skies that were about 3 years old. They delaminated and I had taken them in to REI to see if anything could be done to repair them. The "ski guy" looked at them and said no, but lets do a refund on those. I was shocked. This was several years ago and it was an in person transaction.

I think Ebags is in trouble these days by the looks of their website. Just trying to survive the pandemic as a business. So, I won't expect much from them these days - especially after reading your post. I would still purchase packing cubes from them, though.

In general, I think shipping of items is problematic these days. My medical office no longer gets timely shipments from the supply house. The medical company warned me about the shipping delays - so, not surprised. I just anticipate longer shipment periods. Sometimes, I just order items for future stock - because I don't know when the items will arrive.

Posted by
2238 posts

Sorry to hear about your experience with Ebags. A couple months ago I had an issue with Quiksilver. I had ordered a rash guard for my husband to wear for cycling. The fit was not good. I went online to attempt to print a return label (wasn’t available) and was unable to do so. I called the company multiple times and finally got through. They printed it for me and emailed it. I ended up finding the shirt & size on Amazon.

Posted by
96 posts

Might I chime in here as a small business owner that presently does only online business due to the pandemic...... The USPS online ship and clip labeling system is down and has been for about a week. Do not try calling them for assistance as the USPS does not answer the phones - worse than the airlines. I have orders backed up that are usually sent via the USPS labeling system. Hopefully several days after the election they will get their act together again. Maybe the USPS has pulled most of their employees to work on the mail in ballot system. Presently they are a mess! One only has to do a simple Google search to understand how extensive the USPS damage has inflicted.

So what I am trying to say is that it may not always be the vendors fault. Give it until several days after the election and try again.

Kimberly

Posted by
2463 posts

I can recommend L.L.Bean for bags. I've never been disappointed with any tote, messenger bag, duffel, or full-size rolling luggage I've purchased from them. Quality construction, design, function.
The weight and dimensions of the bag are given on the web page or catalog page and are always accurate.

On the rare occasions I've had to return a clothing item, the return process was easy. A+ for the way they handle returns. Fill out the form on the back of the packing list, which includes a label. Mark whether you want a straight return, or an exchange.
If you contact them by phone for any reason, customer service is the best I've ever experienced. Polite, knowledgeable about all their products, and whatever they promise you, that's what will be done.
Refunds to your credit card will be made as soon as they receive your return item, and will appear on your next statement.
We are buying Christmas gifts for family members from L.L.Bean for all these reasons.

Posted by
496 posts

Some great suggestions here and I wish I could say I was the only person who had "order issues!" Good point about USPS - and yes, they are a MESS!
My issue is definitely a "first world" problem but given the experience, just wanted to share with you all and hopefully save you a bit of frustration!

UPS (United Parcel Service, not to be confused with USPS) is organized and delivering. But, for various reasons related to the pandemic - shipments are taking longer in transit. Plan on 5 - 7 days for what was 2 days. Companies that are distributors may also be experiencing problems with maintaining stock for sales and sending out. It's a domino effect.

Posted by
3360 posts

So that's what's going on with Eddie Bauer!

I recently had return issues with them requiring multiple phone calls and emails. They use FedEx Smartpost a lot and it was a classic case of the EB rep not being able to go off script.

FedEx had already admitted to me that it was their fault that the 2 returns I sent were lost because their driver had not scanned in the packages. They said that EB would have to file the claim because the shipping label was EB's, not mine.

EB kept insisting that I needed to handle it by going to the post office to find out what happened. Huh?

I finally managed to escalate the problem up to someone at EB who could actually fix the situation. The return was shown as received and my CC was reimbursed the same day. It probably helped that I'm a long-time customer, but I may not be for much longer.

The situation was further complicated because the guy at the Office Max store where I dropped off the packages insisted that they couldn't scan a FedEx Smartpost label. And that the FedEx Ground driver couldn't either. Wrong!

That kerfuffle happened when I took a 3rd package for return. He was adamant that they couldn't scan it. I told him that other staff members had been able to do that, and I insisted that he try. While I waited. With a line of people behind me.

Son of a gun, it worked! The combination of ignorance and arrogance that guy displayed was classic. When I checked online the next day, the FedEx ground driver had scanned the package in as well. I reported the incident to the store manager at that Office Max.

My conclusion with all this is that there are a lot of people working in service positions who have not been adequately trained. And that they are taking on added work because of the self-created problems the USPS is having these days.

I know our poor rural mail deliverer is having a very hard time. Our bank of mailboxes is the last on his route. Pre-DeJoy, our mail service was excellent. We could count on our guy filling the boxes between about 14:30 and 15:30 every day.

Now he doesn't get there until 1-2 hours later. I haven't had a chance to talk to him at length, but on the day after Labor Day, long before the ballot rush, he did say that it's been hell.

Posted by
477 posts

Not directly spot-on the topic but apropos Eddie Bauer: Shop and buy locally if you can but only if you wish to venture out to your local stores. They need your business. Returns are usually easier but returns become less frequent because you have seen and handled the item (maybe wearing latex gloves). Our local Eddie Bauer store is obviously on a death spiral (heck, so is the entire mall, except for the Apple Store), but they honor all online sales and promotions and, I have found, if they don't have it in the store, I probably don't need it. The luggage shop at the mall may not make it selling high zoot brands at full list. REI seems to be holding on.

PS: Wife: "You are not traveling till at least 2022. Maybe not then."

Posted by
7020 posts

Agree, need to buy locally... if the community has the stores. Our closest Eddie Bauer and REI are 2 hours away.

Furthermore, with students returning in our community, they created a hotspot, increasing caseload 5X, so Target and Walmart were off limits.

It's a retail desert.

Posted by
208 posts

I, too, had an unpleasant experience with E-bags after my first time shopping with them, so one and done. I purchased two items, a backpack and an underseat carryon, both having glowing reviews. As it turns out, both were cheaply made, and of unsatisfactory quality, especially the backpack, which was an e-bags product. I received two separate e-mails to review each item, which I promptly submitted, but neither one was ever published on its website. Guess they don't publish the good, the bad, and the ugly - just the good.

Posted by
496 posts

Just an update... Ebags was sold to Samsonite - which explains why my experience with them is so different from what I had come to expect from Ebags.
To be honest and fair, the Customer Service person I spoke with today couldn't have been nicer or more understanding and we joked about how crazy this all was!
So, I "should" get a return label in the next 2 - 3 days - IF it's approved and IF it all goes smoothly - lucky me!
Now, I should mention that the Customer Service rep said I could probably ship it back for less than Ebags is charging - but, OOPS! they can't provide the address!!!!

So, for those who love Ebags... time to mourn your loss. Yes, you will still "probably" be able to get Ebags products - but don't count on Customer Service because that is dead...