Is this proper customer service?

Paul in Idaho

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Aug 9, 2012
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699
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Southwest Idaho
I had an unpleasant surprise yesterday. I don't want to post negatively about the company, so will not name it, nor the product. I'd like your thoughts on how my situation was handled.

I have used this particular piece of backpacking equipment for several years, and really like it. Last year, it stopped working while I was hunting. I contacted the manufacturer, and was informed it has a lifetime warranty and I could send it in for repair or replacement. The rep told me this item was no longer made, and if they couldn't repair it, it would be replaced with the closest item currently in production.

Before sending it in, I decided to see if I could repair it myself, so I could use it for my last hunt of the year. Sure enough, I got it to work normally. It had just been jammed.

Since this item was well-made and I expected it to last a lifetime, I decided to go ahead and send it in to them this spring for a tuneup. In an email to the same rep, I explained it was now functional, and I just wanted them to lubricate it. When I shipped it last week, I included a note with it in the box that all I wanted was a cleaning and lubrication.

A couple days ago, I received a package from the company. I was impressed by their fast processing. However, when I opened the box I found, not my gear, but a replacement for it. The replacement is nothing like the original. Mine was a lightweight, carefully engineered and crafted piece. The replacement is more than twice as heavy, twice as bulky, and has the aesthetics of a brick.

I immediately emailed the same rep again and asked what happened. His reply was that their policy is to destroy items they can't repair, and send a replacement.

So, without warning, my item was destroyed and replaced with an item costing less than 1/3 of what I paid for mine. I told the rep they should have informed me of what they would do. His reply was that he told me in November it would be replaced if it wasn't repairable. I said that since it was functional when I sent it in, they should have told me that they considered it unrepairable before destroying it.

What do you think?
 

Cornell2012

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Jun 8, 2009
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Portland, OR
It seems that they had the right idea but poor execution. From their point of view, maybe they thought they were doing you a favor, but the two of you were on different pages. They definitely should have contacted you about it in my opinion.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

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Aug 9, 2013
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Wyoming
Bummer. Sounds like they might just be trying to get their new line into circulation, as they don't stand to gain as much from you talking up an item that they no longer sell. I'd maybe see if they could offer me some type of credit towards another purchase.
 

jryoung

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Jan 16, 2012
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Unable to determine due to velocity
It seems that they had the right idea but poor execution. From their point of view, maybe they thought they were doing you a favor, but the two of you were on different pages. They definitely should have contacted you about it in my opinion.

This, good intentions, poor execution.

Was the rep the one who recieved your product? Or did it go to some repair warehouse and the receiver of the product was unaware of your previous communication and disregarded your note because they already have a set policy?
 

mtmander

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Apr 29, 2014
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845
Location
Philipsburg, MT or NC
Darn , too bad they did not spend a little time in trying to repair your item. It was easier for them to send a replacement than try to repair it. Cost is propably a factor in their process , cheaper to replace than fix.
 

hank4elk

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Jan 8, 2015
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4,503
Location
SW NM
Did I miss something? What is the product? A zipper? Stove? Hiking stick?????
Many products are built to fail these days or just plain crap........................................or throw away in the first place.
Very few companies have what I call custumer service let alone a decent product these days ......like maybe 2% do.
 

Paul in Idaho

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Aug 9, 2012
Messages
699
Location
Southwest Idaho
Thanks guys. I agree with the 'good intentions poor execution' thought. I have been using their products for 15 years and have been very satisfied. All it would have taken to avoid this was for someone there to call or email me before proceeding.

@jryoung - I included a printout of the email conversation in the box, and added a hand-written note at the top emphasizing it needed only cleaning and lubrication, not repair. Company policy may have a role in this problem.

@hank4elk, no, you didn't miss anything. I'm purposely keeping this very generic so there's no way to know what company I'm talking about.
 

Summitthunting

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Jul 18, 2008
Messages
1,131
Location
Crazy, CO
Why not name the company and the product? You could save someone else from having their favorite piece of equipment destroyed and you might make the company rethink their poorly executed policy .
 

Gr8bawana

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Jul 14, 2013
Messages
4,323
Location
Nevada
@hank4elk, no, you didn't miss anything. I'm purposely keeping this very generic so there's no way to know what company I'm talking about.

If I get bad service someplace or crappy quality in a product I have no qualms about letting people know. For example the 3 different Olive Gardens we have visited.
When I get good customer service I am quick to point that out too.
 

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