I’m the guy the type of guy that spends the money and buys the better outdoor equipment and clothing. That being said, I take of my equipment and don’t abuse it. On the two recent trips to South America and New Zealand, two of my items in the following picture broke while in use.
The breakage didn’t occur from negligence nor was it a result of abuse or overuse. What ended up happening was the zipper broke on my Arc’teryx Delta LT fleece(the black jacket I’m wearing) and my North Face backpack(the backpack in the picture). I was a bit miffed about the fleece because it cost about $100 and I recently bought it. The backpack was nearly 7 years old and was got some good use out of it so the broken zipper didn’t bother nearly as much as the fleece.
Initially, I didn’t think much about getting it repaired under warranty until a friend told me that he had a zipper on his old North Face backpack repaired. That’s when the light went off and I inquired with the respective companies to get the items repaired under warranty.
What broke on this fleece was the main zipper. I could have worn it without the zipper, but would have been an inconvenient while wearing in the wind or on colder days. So that’s why I attempted to get this repaired under warranty given the high price tag of this fleece that was purchased less than a year ago.
The process started with submitting a claim form online along with a photo. Once the form was submitted, I was instructed to clean the item and mail it to their repair facility.
After a few weeks, I received an e-mail from Arc’teryx stating that my item was received and was being repaired.
A few more weeks passed by and I received a follow up e-mail saying that my item was ready to be shipped out. I was thinking wow, that’s pretty sweet. At no point during the process did I have to talk to a representative to advocate or defend my position that my expensive fleece should be repaired.
The overall process took about 6 weeks from the time I mailed it out. I want to note that I mailed the item right before Christmas so there might have been some delays with staffing during the holiday vacation period. The warranty process was pretty easy and straightforward.
THE NORTH FACE WARRANTY REPAIR
The backpack was about 7 years old. So I had nothing to loose except my time in an attempt to get my backpack repaired under warranty. What broke on this backpack was a compartment zipper on the side. The backpack was still usable with the broken zipper, but I would loose access to storage in the side compartment.
The warranty process started by visiting my local North Face Store and filling out a form in person and stating what was defective with the backpack.
I wrote down that the zipper and a few other minor details that didn’t affect the fit, form, or function of the backpack such as the stitching on the top handle was coming undone.
About 2 weeks passed by when I received a notification e-mail that my backpack has been received at their repair center.
A month later, I received a follow up e-mail that the warranty department has shipped my backpack to me. It turns out, the warranty department replaced it with a brand new equivalent backpack of the approximate size, which was a nice surprise. Not that I’m complaining, the backpack isn’t from the flight series so it wasn’t as light as the one it replaced. Nonetheless, I’m completely happy with the way it worked out.
I never thought I would be able to get either one of these items replaced under warranty. I’m glad a friend told me that he was able to get an old backpack from The North Face repaired under warranty otherwise I don’t think I would even bothered. I think the bottom line is that if the warranty department can see that the items being repaired were not abused or misused, they’ll do everything in their power to remedy the situation. Both of my items were clearly well taken care of and so it was evident that the zippers failed before the remaining parts of the item wore out.