/ Arc'teryx Gear - Quality Issues

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EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
I paid a large amount of money for a pair of Arc'teryx bibs and after three weeks of very low intensity use noticed the material pulling away from the sealed seams in a low wear area of the garment (above the small of the back). I arranged to return the bibs to Arc'teryx (at my expense) for what I thought was an assessment of the quality issue - instead they carried out a "goodwill repair". When I contacted them and pointed out that this had been a quality issue and not a repair issue their response completely avoided addressing my concern and instead talked about environmental responsibility and repairing damaged garments where possible. They didn't respond to my second email restating that it was a quality issue and not a damage issue.

Am I being unreasonable in expecting more from Arc'teryx customer service?


LJC - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:
Nope, not an unreasonable expectation.

The pocket of my Alpha SV delaminated, and when I returned it they said it was beyond repair and would I like them to recycle the jacket for me. Not impressed as I managed 60 second fix with some seam grip.

I've been hearing bad things across the board about their support, its just a shame their products fit me will and are mostly good quality.
Post edited at 11:10
nutme - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

You are likely dealing with 1st line support. Likely outsourced. Problem with any more or less big manufacturer.

Going to store in person may be a bit better option to get an answer. Workers in Chamonix store are actual alpinists who use things they sell themselves.
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to nutme:

Ordinarily that's exactly what I'd do but I bought these directly from Arc'teryx online.
Pedro50 on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

The six inch zip on the thigh pocket of my Gamma LT "pants" failed. I sent them to Arc'teryx who quoted me £48 for repair. I thought they might have done it under good will. I pointed out that the entire garment had cost £100 and that their quote was ludicrous. We eventually settled on £24 which was about the maximum I thought almost reasonable.

Osprey repaired a zip on my rucksack at no charge without quibble. Thermarest recently replaced my mat which had developed hernias at no cost.

I agree that for a premium brand Arc'teryx customer service is poor.
jon on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

I had a similar thing happen with Patagonia - a seam in the crotch of a pair of ski pants failed. Luckily I lived close to a Gucci store and they repaired it. It failed again. They said they'd replace the pants but that model was no longer available. So they replaced them with the new version of the pants - which just happened to be about 20€ cheaper than I'd paid for the original ones. They refunded the difference! So after two full ski seasons I had a new pair plus 20€. Not bad service!
GarethSL on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to LJC:

> Not impressed as I managed 60 second fix with some seam grip.

If anything 'laminated' ever de-laminates again, you can re-attach simply by ironing it on a medium heat as the glue is heat activated. I have repaired numerous pocket bags, hems and hanger loops on Arc' gear using this method and it works really well (often adhered better than from the factory).

EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:

That's exceptional customer service! I wasn't expecting Arc'teryx to offer that level of support but I would have expected a brand that is built on offering quality products to be interested in addressing a quality issue.
1
GarethSL on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

You should send a formal complaint, especially as you bought them direct, have you tried calling? Also which department did you use? Others have quoted much better success with the Canadian customer service department than that in Europe (I think the European one is essentially a returns department working out of their warehouse in Rotterdam as opposed to a dedicated warranty/ repair service, so just skip the middle guys).

I fear however that this will become a more common problem as Arc'teryx has grown so big and expanded into so many other product areas they can no longer keep up with the level of customer service that their brand has been built on.

Also true for the quality of their gear, they are trying to make too much too quickly... It's like 2008 all over again!
Furthermore, in 2015 Arc'teryx set a target for $1 billion in revenue so that pretty much says it all about what the brand has become, a cash cow for Amer. Shame really.
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

It was a site in Switzerland I dealt with. Repairs basically. The subsequent email exchange was through this route. The initial email to Arc'teryx was via Canada and I was directed to send the bibs to the Swiss site. As you suggest I will go back to the Canadian office and make a formal complaint.
MG - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

I'm not clear what you want here?. They repaired the fault, isn't that all that's needed?
GarethSL on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

Hope you have some better luck!

Apparently the repairs are out sourced to Swiss and the customer service dept for Europe is in Spain. Going through the Canadians appears to be the best bet, some really great customer service experiences mentioned on this thread: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/307317-Has-the-Arc-teryx-warranty-gone-to-shit?s=...
Kevster - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

Couple of years ago, I sent a harness back to arcteryx because the stitching was coming undone. Had to send it to switzland if irc.
They said they don't repair ppe, have any new one from the current range.
I thought that was reasonable and fair.
Times may have changed by now though.
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

The issue is that there was a problem with the quality of the product - there was a defect, there was no damage. Arc'teryx have treated it as a repair when it should have been treated as a failure in their quality control process. In those circumstances I would have expected them to replace the garment and not carry out a fix. If it had been damage - i.e. something that happens to clothing as a consequence of the wear and tear of being out in the mountains - I would have repaired the bibs myself.
2
MG - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

I'm not sure why you expect replacement. If the defect is repaired so it is no longer there, where's the problem? That's certainly all they are required to do legally (assuming they are over 30 days old).
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Kevster:

I guess so. Arc'teryx might just have misunderstood my concern - see MG above - but as they didn't respond to my email clarifying what the issue was I have ended up moaning about them on an Internet forum instead
cb294 - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:

Similar experience here (no refund, but unchanged price so fair enough.....). Whatever complaints you may have about Patagucci, their customer service is fantastic.

CB
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

That's your point of view.
MG - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:
> That's your point of view.

Also the law's!

I do find it bit odd you feel you need a completely new item, however, unless you feel the defect is wider and only come to light in one place. From a customer service point of view, I'd be most concerned with the time I'd be without my goods
Post edited at 13:15
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
The seam has failed in one place with very light use. Why should I have any confidence it won't fail elsewhere? In the end I might not choose to buy Arc'teryx gear in future but I'm probably not stupid enough to pursue a legal route to resolve the issue.

* grammar adjustment
Post edited at 13:40
Pina - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Kevster:

That's pretty good. Had the same happen with one of the new Petzl harnesses, they said it was unsafe and that I should bin it but refused to honour the warranty (even though I was two years into a 3 year warranty) as it was apparently due to wear and tear. Have now moved to Arc'tryx so this brings a bit of hope.
99ster - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:
> It was a site in Switzerland I dealt with. Repairs basically. The subsequent email exchange was through this route. The initial email to Arc'teryx was via Canada and I was directed to send the bibs to the Swiss site. As you suggest I will go back to the Canadian office and make a formal complaint.

I had a seam fail on some Arcteryx liner gloves (worth £20 or so - also bought direct from Arcteryx) - and they wanted me to send them back to Switzerland. I pointed out that the shipping cost from the UK would be almost what they cost, not to mention the cost to repair & ship back to the UK from Switzerland. The customer service rep in Canada I was emailing agreed with me, escalated the issue & they sent me a new pair straight away (without me having to return them). I think ordering from the Arcteryx site can be part of the issue - as from what I can gather they don't have a UK admin office. And their default procedures are all geared around 'send back to Switzerland' to be repaired.
As other folks have mentioned - complain to Canada and I think you'll get a better response.
Post edited at 14:02
Timmd on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:
> The seam has failed in one place with very light use. Why should I have any confidence it won't fail elsewhere? In the end I might not choose to buy Arc'teryx gear in future but I'm probably not stupid enough to pursue a legal route to resolve the issue.

> * grammar adjustment

I felt the same when my Petzl head torch developed a fault within it's warranty time, it could have happened (again) when it'd have caused problems for me.
Post edited at 14:23
1
Goucho on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

Bearing in mind the very high premuim pricing of Arcteryx gear, not only should the gear be of the highest quality, it should be backed up by the highest quality customer service.

Unfortunately, Arcteryx is now run by accountants and marketing consultants, and both quality and customer service seems to be suffering.

My Alpha SV suffered a broken zip, and delaminating after only 12 month's. After several frustrating phone calls and emails, I was getting nowhere, so as life is short, I just put it in a bag and sent it back to them with note inside saying :-

"Your gear is overpriced shite, and your customer service is crap. Therefore please shove this jacket where the sun doesn't shine, and I'll stick with Mountain Equipment and Mountain Hardware for all my future needs".

A tad petulant yes, but also very satisfying
2
EarlyBird - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> Bearing in mind the very high premuim pricing of Arcteryx gear, not only should the gear be of the highest quality, it should be backed up by the highest quality customer service.

That's my thinking as well and the reason for my original post.

> "Your gear is overpriced shite, and your customer service is crap. Therefore please shove this jacket where the sun doesn't shine, and I'll stick with Mountain Equipment and Mountain Hardware for all my future needs".

> A tad petulant yes, but also very satisfying

Funnily enough it had come down to a choice between Arc'teryx and Mountain Equipment (Tupilak) for the bibs - I only went for Arc'teryx because I prefer a higher cut in salopettes. Wish I'd gone for ME.
TobyA on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Goucho:
Sounds a horribly expensive way of not really resolving the issue! :-/
Post edited at 08:35
TobyA on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

> The seam has failed in one place with very light use. Why should I have any confidence it won't fail elsewhere?

I'm a bit confused as to why getting a new pair doesn't leave you with exactly the same worry? Maybe the design isn't good? I would have thought the repaired seam was likely to be stronger.


EarlyBird - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Maybe you're right - in which case it's a shame Arc'teryx didn't assess the quality issue rather than just slapping a patch on.
ModerateMatt - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

From what I can see here buying Arc'teryx direct is a gamble in Europe if the item turns out to be faulty. I'm bias but I would recommend buying kit like that from a good local retailer that will fight your case for you.
AndrewHuddart - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:

Services seems to depend on who in their team processes the return. I returned a pair of trousers recently and it was slow go-ing until Wayne got involved. A new pair are now on their way to me after a very quick assessment and decision.

I bought my first Arc'Teryx jacket in 2003 (it finally died of worn-out old age last year) and have a few bits from them and these trousers are the first problem I've had so I'm gratified to have see them fixed quickly
jon on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> "Your gear is overpriced shite, and your customer service is crap. Therefore please shove this jacket where the sun doesn't shine, and I'll stick with Mountain Equipment and Mountain Hardware for all my future needs".

Did you really? Did they reply?

Goucho on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to jon:

> Did you really? Did they reply?

Yes. Not yet.
FreeHeelSki on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to EarlyBird:
I'm really suprised that you had an issue with the centre in Switzerland. I've had so much stuff back and forward to Suisse that l'm sure HM Customs and Excise had me under surveillance for running a suspected Toblerone-smuggling ring.

Like most folk on UKC, l use my Arc'teryx for what it was designed for, and every so often the stuff gets damaged. They've been great, and done superb repairs every time. Even when l damaged a set of softshell trousers by tripping over whilst in crampons on a walk-off in the 'Gorms, and they looked like l'd been attacked by a vampire Oompa Loompa, l asked for a repair, expecting some z-stitches over the holes. But as the trousers were no longer stocked, and they couldn't repair, they offered me a replacement at a fraction of the cost of a new set. Which l thought was quite considerate, as they could have easily and justifiably have said "we're not responsible for you being a feckwit during walk-offs...and we don't believe for a second there are vampire Oompla Loompas in the Cairngorms."

I'm sure Wayne was the rep that l dealt with, and he was great.

Is the stuff overpriced? Yep. Probably. But l've been happy enough with the after-sales service.

Shame you've had a poor experience.

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