Sunday, March 08, 2015

Customer Service as it Should Be

About five year's ago I needed to new bag to carry to the office.  I decided against the DC standard of a briefcase handcuffed to my wrist,  (I saw a guy on the metro one morning with one of these - they really do exist.) I seldom carry anything worth stealing.  I decided that a messenger style bag would work best.  I have had a handful of cheap one's over the years. They last a couple of years, and then split a seam.  

In looking around I found Tinbuk2, I was impressed by a couple of things.  They have an extraordinary reputation for quality,  starting with proven materials, good design and good craftsmanship.  If you order a custom made bag they are made in San Francisco.  If you buy their off the shelf designs (about 1/3 less expensive then custom), the bags are made in carefully selected factories in Asia that have agreed to a high ethical standard.  I liked this, it is not often that we get to consider the quality of life and working conditions of the people who make the consumer goods we buy.  It helped that Tinbuk2 was the fashion statement of the year when I ordered my bag.  

It has fared well.  I have traveled with it far and wide, and overall the bag is in good condition.  But - the buckle snaps started to break.  The first one went a year or so, first losing one side, then the other.  Then a few days ago the other one broke.  I checked with the shoe repair guy in my office building and he said he could install new buckles for $20 each, but he didn't have the parts and couldn't get ones to match.  It is an expensive bag and I would pay to have it repaired. 

I went to the manufacturers website to see if I could order matching parts.  I noticed the "lifetime limited warranty."  I read a little farther and it suggested emailing them a picture of the failure.  I emailed a couple of pictures, saying if I could buy the replacements I'd pay the shoe repair guy to put them on.  Within a few minutes I received and automated confirmation that they had received my email and someone would be back to me within two working days.  An hour later I received an email from a very cool dude.  He described it as hating to see a "soldier down" and saying that they would send out replacements right away.  Attached were instructions on how to change the parts on your own.  Come to find can take them apart by cutting the plastic not the strap, and once the old buckle is cut loose, the replacement will go on without tools.  The end of the closure strap does not have to be undone and re-sown.  I can change it myself (and save $40.)  

What wonderful customer service.  These are not cheap bags, and it so nice that they stand behind what their product.  When I need another bag, I will pay the premium and buy another Tinbuk2. 

1 comment:

  1. cross pens also exhibit this same kind of customer service attention. they repaired my 30+ year old pen for free.