UKC

RAB - Fantastic customer service

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Top marks to RAB. I bought a Valiance jacket a little over 12 months ago. The velcro on one arm has lost all adhesive qualities. Called, the chap said that's not right. I sent it back on Monday, they acknowledged that this was unusual, said it couldn't be repaired and sent me a brand new jacket which has just arrived.

Very impressed.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Great to hear about stuff like this. Thanks!

 Ciro 03 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Call me a hippie, but I don't think a jacket getting binned because a velcro tab lost it's stickyness sounds like a great result. 

Why on earth couldn't they fix it?

In reply to Ciro:

I did ask that question and I am awaiting the reply. Im hoping they can/will recycle the old coat and make something useful from.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Great to hear. 
 

I had a similar experience with BD. Bought a revolt headlamp about 3yrs ago, late last year it stopped charging due to the supplied batteries dying. They asked for a copy of my purchase receipt and sent me a brand new head lamp no questions asked. 
 

Companies like this will keep getting my business. 

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

That’s good to hear re Rab.

Pity that Arcteryx are unable to either repair or replace my Alpha SV jacket that has a broken zip on each pocket. 

Really disappointed with the level of service from this premium brand. Especially as I had to pay £20 to send the coat to them in Switzerland. 

Anyone else had a similar experience?

In reply to Tom Ripley:

If we're on the subject of aftercare services generally, Patagonia get a thumbs up for repairing my Black Hole duffel after it got mangled by the baggage handling machinery at either Heathrow or Manchester - it returned like new.

Also Mountain Equipment for repairing the puncture wounds in my Tupilak pack after its encounter with the exit chimneys of the Cassin whilst containing my crampons (so abuse above and beyond really).  Very neat. 

 Ciro 03 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Surely the way to make something useful from it would be to return the new one, ask for it back, and glue/tape/sew a new bit of velcro on?

 Iamgregp 03 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

Perhaps that jacket is being sent back to where it was assembled so they can look at the problem, work out what went wrong with this one, and ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated meaning more returns, wastage and lost revenue...

I’ve got the same one, best coat I’ve ever had. Velcro tabs are fine on mine after a year so obviously a manufacturing fault on that one.

 Ciro 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

I find it hard to imagine anything in the assembly process of the jacket would cause a fault in the velcro that would take over a year to show up.

Perhaps they had a bad batch of velcro from a supplier over a year ago, or perhaps the velcro has come into contact that has affected it in it's 12 months+ of use. Either way, I wouldn't have thought there would be much to learn from inspecting the jacket now.

I'm guessing Rab simply accept that part of being a premium brand in a disposable consumerist society is you'll have a certain amount of frivolous returns every year and it's cheaper and better for their reputation to ship a new jacket than contest fault or run a repair shop capable of simple jobs like replacing worn velcro, that we would all just have done at home 30 years ago.

 neuromancer 04 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Didn't work for me. I give Rab shit marks. I've been bought and have bought a few Rab bits as presents over the years. They've all inevitably failed - zips or stitching. Every time I've contacted Rab they've completely disowned me and told me any contract or warranty is with the original shop it was bought from, which is inevitably useless. Oh, let me just call up my ex girlfriend and ask her where she bought this jacket from. Or let me drive the length of the country up to newcastle again to pop into that small outdoor shop. Utterly unlike most other brands who have been helpful when stuff has broken unreasonably. Garbage. Weren't even interested in repairing them, even if I paid.

It never lasts as well as my arcteryx, ME or OR stuff, and the fit is the most variable across the range. I always tend to avoid their stuff now.

Post edited at 15:48
 Iamgregp 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

You might be right, but then, you might be wrong. Like you said, you’re guessing. 

So let’s not criticise their environmental credentials before we have any clue as to what the circumstances are.

 James Malloch 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> If we're on the subject of aftercare services generally, Patagonia get a thumbs up for repairing my Black Hole duffel after it got mangled by the baggage handling machinery at either Heathrow or Manchester - it returned like new.

Patagonia “repaired” my RAB and Mountain Equipment jackets in one of their stores free of charge.

I was having a browse and someone asked if I’d like my jacket holes patching up. Obviously just a very basic repair but it’s held out okay for the last year.

 Babika 04 Apr 2021
In reply to Tom Ripley:

I also paid £20 to send my Arcteryx Alpha back to Switzerland last year. They hung on to it for about 4 months despite my repeated emails asking what was happening. Finally they sent it back with some re-proofing which hasn't sorted the problem. 

In the meantime I'd gone out and bought a RAB Firewall. Much better. 

 Jenny C 04 Apr 2021
In reply to neuromancer:

> ,..........  Every time I've contacted Rab they've completely disowned me and told me any contract or warranty is with the original shop it was bought from, .....

They are totally direct on that one, blame UK consumer law but yes your contract is with the shop you bought from not the manufacturer.

 Graeme G 05 Apr 2021
In reply to BattyMilk:

Bugger. Wish I’d thought of that. My supplied batteries have now been binned and I’m just using normal batteries in my ReVolt.

 deepsoup 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

Their choice though.

A couple of years ago I bought an 'old model' PeakUK drysuit by mail order from a shop in Cardiff, bit of a bargain because the new one had just come out.  I took it in to their factory shop at Darley Dale when it developed a leak and they told me exactly the same - strictly speaking my relationship is with the retailer and I should be sending it back to them.  But then went on to say that since I was there it would be a bit daft sending it back to Cardiff to then get sent back to the factory anyway probably.  They said the workshop was v busy but to leave it with them and they'd have a look at it as soon as they could. 

A week or so later I was just about to give them a call to ask if they'd got round to looking at it yet when the postie turned up with a parcel - they had tested it and found a dodgy bit of seam tape, which was probably a manufacturing fault, and a pinhole in one of the socks which was probably caused by a bit of grit in one of my shoes.  Both repaired, good as new, and posted back to me free of charge.

 Ciro 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> You might be right, but then, you might be wrong. Like you said, you’re guessing. 

> So let’s not criticise their environmental credentials before we have any clue as to what the circumstances are.

We have a clue to their environmental credentials in the OP - they said they couldn't repair a jacket that had nothing wrong with it other than some velcro that lost it's grip.

If a jacket must be replaced every time the velcro cuff loses its grip, it's either been designed in an environmentally unfriendly way or the returns policy is environmentally unfriendly.

It's ludicrous to suggest we shouldn't discuss the environmental impact of replacement instead of repair, on the basis of speculation that perhaps they needed to ship the whole jacket somewhere to work out what went wrong with a velcro faster.

In terms of environmental impact of consumerism, reuse and repair should come before recycling.

The velcro fastener on my probably 15 year old Katmandu gortex jacket broke last year. It was fairly straightforward to make a functional repair at home.

Post edited at 10:33
 freeheel47 05 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Patagonia were very god with me. Bought a very nice hardshell jacket from the Rock and Rin shop in Ambleside- obviously at a kean price. after several years it started to delaminate. Went looking for something similar (quality and price-which was impossible) at the Epicentre and an assistant suggested a return. Pondered as although I'm a skinflint I do have some oral compass- decided I'd bought a lot of Patagonia over the years. So-  email to Patagonia- 'well that's about the lifespan- but send it back if you like'. Washed- sent back and a lovely new jacket was sent to me  (about £300 worth). Thanks.

Good customer service has a real value- because people both become loyal customers- and tell their friends- etc. Like this. Who knew?

In reply to Graeme G:

Can’t hurt to give it a try. I’ve not had to send anything back to them

 Graeme G 05 Apr 2021
In reply to BattyMilk:

Doubt I’ve kept the receipt, I’m pretty bad at saving them. More fool me.

 Iamgregp 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

> If a jacket must be replaced every time the velcro cuff loses its grip, it's either been designed in an environmentally unfriendly way or the returns policy is environmentally unfriendly.

I'm not sure I agree.  Very few things are designed so that any and all components are replaceable. 

For example if you are designing something that you know will have a natural lifespan of 10-15 years, and a 3rd party component of it has a lifespan of 20+ years, and the best way of including it is in a way which makes it integral and non-replaceable, why would you compromise your design in order to make it replaceable?    

Given that this is a waterproof insulated jacket even if it is cared for very carefully it will eventually lose it's waterproof qualities and need to be replaced.  The velcro they use is likely meant to have a longer lifespan than the waterproof qualities.

> It's ludicrous to suggest we shouldn't discuss the environmental impact of replacement instead of repair, on the basis of speculation that perhaps they needed to ship the whole jacket somewhere to work out what went wrong with a velcro faster.

I didn't say we shouldn't discuss it.  I said you shouldn't criticise before you know the facts.  All I did was add a different point of view to the discussion.  I thought that's how discussions worked?

> In terms of environmental impact of consumerism, reuse and repair should come before recycling.

I agree completely.

To be honest, you may well be right about their returns policy.  Maybe they aren't good and maybe they should have repaired this, and maybe they are just going to bin the old jacket and cause more waste and disposal.  But let's not piss on their chips before we know if it's justified or not, thats' all I suggesting, and I think that's fair?

 neuromancer 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Jenny C:

UK customer law might say that, but that didn't stop Darn Tough from replacing my socks, Arcteryx from fixing a zip, Dynafit from replacing my broken heel piece, Mountain Equipment fixing another broken zip...

 Ciro 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> I'm not sure I agree.  Very few things are designed so that any and all components are replaceable. 

> For example if you are designing something that you know will have a natural lifespan of 10-15 years, and a 3rd party component of it has a lifespan of 20+ years, and the best way of including it is in a way which makes it integral and non-replaceable, why would you compromise your design in order to make it replaceable?    

Because wear and tear happens, and fasteners are prone to it. We shouldn't have to replace jackets when fasteners wear.

> To be honest, you may well be right about their returns policy.  Maybe they aren't good and maybe they should have repaired this, and maybe they are just going to bin the old jacket and cause more waste and disposal.  But let's not piss on their chips before we know if it's justified or not, thats' all I suggesting, and I think that's fair?

I'm not pissing on anybody's chips. I'm saying companies shouldn't be selling jackets that need to be replaced when a velcro cuff is no longer closing as it should.

 Iamgregp 05 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

No worries, you’re probably right in all honesty, and who knows, maybe this does reflect poorly on their environmental policies... 

I guess the point i was trying to make is that on the surface it’s easy to point at something and say that it should be repairable as it’s better for the environment.  But this might not always be true.

For example, imagine you’re designing a component for a car or some other device or other. If you make it a sealed unit you know you get a 1% fail rate after 10 years, but all of those will need to be replaced if this happens. If you make it a non sealed unit dirt and moisture get in there so you get a 10% fail rate, but it’s a fiddly job and you know that half of your customers mechanics or engineers will just replace the whole unit anyway. 

So what do you do? Make it non sealed and repairable, or make it a sealed unit and not repairable? You’ll get better customer satisfaction, and use less resources for the latter, but then it looks bad on the surface of it, and you leave yourself open to criticism.

Of course this is a silly contrived example, but it’s these kind of decisions that designers and engineers have make, and sometimes things can look a bit off, when actually it’s sound design.

Anyways, like I said, maybe that’s not what’s going on here, and maybe you’re right. Who knows?

Post edited at 21:01
 Ciro 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

> I'm not pissing on anybody's chips. I'm saying companies shouldn't be selling jackets that need to be replaced when a velcro cuff is no longer closing as it should.

And more importantly, we shouldn't be praising them for doing it, and thus encouraging the behaviour. I'm sure there are representatives of the outdoor gear industry who read these forums. As consumers, we need to drive environmentally friendly behaviours if we want to leave a planet for the coming generations.

 tehmarks 06 Apr 2021
In reply to Ciro:

You've said pretty much everything I wanted to say when I first read this thread, but I think that:

> And more importantly, we shouldn't be praising them for doing it, and thus encouraging the behaviour.

This is particularly important. And kudos to the manufacturers who don't take this approach - Patagonia et al.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Well, I didnt think that I would be so berated for praising the efforts of a UK based outdoor gear company. One which clearly has the customer at its heart.

I suppose I better not mention that they sent it me with the security tag still attached and so have asked or it back so that they can remove it.

 Ciro 06 Apr 2021
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Sorry if you feel personally berated, that was not my intent, I just wanted to prompt discussion and thought about how we view returns as a society. 

In reply to Ciro:

Has anybody had any dealings with Mountain Equipment, if so what are they like a dealing with faulty/damaged products?

I have an Areostat sleeping mat that's been used a handful of times over the last 12 months and a few of the internal baffles have came apart, meaning its now useless. I hope they will be able to help as I've lost the receipt... 


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