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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Summit Master
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Finally stopping that crazy suffering that is ice, climbing to concentrate on great ski tours!, .
Interest: Anything that can drag me to the mountains. Backpacking is #1, followed by climbing, dayhiking and camping with family.
Posts: 3,782
Default Manufacturers that stand behind their gear

or not?

I'm too lazy to search right now if there is an existing thread on this, and maybe we need a new one anyway.

Companies that I've dealt with that have really stood behind their products:

1. Outdoor Research. Their Infinite Guarantee is no BS. Anytime I've had even the slightest issue with OR gear, they replace, fix, or whatever is needed to make it right.

2. Black Diamond. I had an issue with a pair of crampons, and they overnighted a new part to me. In fact, they sent a whole assembly, not just the part I needed. Oh, they sent a spare too! Then, next year, they changed the design to improve the part.

2a - Black Diamond - Diamir Fritschi Bindings - Support for the Ski Tech Shop from BD/Diamir is great. They stock the shop with tons of spare parts and work hard to find bits for even the oldest bindings that might come in.

3. MEC (in general and their brand) Okay, call me biased, but since they instituted the "Rock Solid Guarantee" I've been nothing but impressed with how they stand behind everything they sell.

4. Salewa - DynaFit. Okay, I haven't had an issue with my DynaFit bindings, but when coming across people that have, Salewa has always jumped up and made it right, and fast. A little short on the spare stocks compared to BD/Diamir, but still excellent.

Good, but not "do whatever it takes:"

1. MSR. I have a ton of MSR gear, and don't hesitate to buy their products. But, they could step up their service once in a while. Break a pole? You'll get new ones as they really stand behind their pole guarantee. Have an issue with a tent body? Well, that's another thing. I had to have mine repaired locally, and luckily MEC picked up the tab to honour their own guarantee, but I wasn't all that impressed. I've had few issues with MSR, but I can't say "wow, always awesome."

2. Komperdell. Well, it's true that those twist-lock poles break. Komperdell will stand behind their product, but it seemed like a giant hassle, so I just bought a pair of BD's and called it "caveat emptor."

3. Naxos. Well, they're not being distributed by BCA anymore, and I'm not sure if they're even in business today. BCA had to drop them as getting support from Naxos was terrible. I never considered their bindings for myself as I knew that fixing them could be a total pain.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 02:30 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: May 2010
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Posts: 544

I agree with mec standing behind their products 100%

I have had 2 situations in the past couple of weeks that have had me nothing short of impressed.

#1 Matt and I were leaving for our Cantelon lake trip and in a combined effort we managed to crush his new gps in my truck door, he goes to mec and tells them the story claiming 100% responsibility for the damaged product and they gave him a complete refund!

#2 first time using my gaiters I put them on the wrong foot(rookie mistake) and the straps to tighten the tops kept getting caught on each other and one eventualy breaks off. I go into mec and explain my complete ignorance of how to use their product and they give me a full refund.

M.E.C. has my support all the way.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Victoria, BC
Interest: Love the outdoors. Hiking, backpacking, geocaching, camping, canoeing, and kayaking. Did I say camp
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We were in Seattle last weekend so we dropped off Billygoat and Excape's 6 year old MSR Hubba Hubba for repairs. Was really windy when we were in Downton Creek on the last long weekend, a pole snapped in the wind and tore a hole through the fly.
MSR just shipped them a brand new tent instead of repairing the old one. How cool is that?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 03:00 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Mountaineering, Backcountry Skiing, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Photography
Posts: 1,521


Voile - I broke a toe bar (Voile Switchback) and they sent me replacements ASAP from Utah, free shipping. I requested to replace both toe pieces, as they had changed the alloy to prevent this problem and I suspected that my other binding was a ticking time bomb. No problem they said.

Mixed results:

MEC - MEC guarantee is great, but it seems that every time I break ski equipment and go in to MEC to get it repaired or replaced they are out of stock for the season. What good is a refund if the product is not available. I can't ski on a credit card refund. I'd be happy with a repair, but MEC is unwilling to order parts etc. Broken Voile Switchbacks - no parts, not in stock. I had to deal with Voile myself. Broken Komperdell ski pole (my fault) - ditto. No parts, couldn't order anything. I had to order a single replacement lower shaft from Komperdell myself. G3 toe plates - ditto. G3 heel throws - ditto. G3 Targa ascent heel units - in this case I broke the "old" heel riser design. New G3 bindings were shipping with the "new" heel riser design, but the service department only had "old" heel risers in their parts stock. Guess where I ended up again 1 year later? You get the idea.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 03:01 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ask me next week, British Columbia, sometimes., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, soccer, hockey, running, photography, dogs, camping, environmental protection.
Posts: 1,910

For sure, another vote for MEC. I recently bought some boots there that after breaking in gave me tendonitis - I took them back with about 100km on them and the service desk gave me a full refund. Amazing service.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 06:28 PM
High on the Mountain Top
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Location: , AB, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, trail running, spending time with my wife, kids, and dog.
Posts: 1,294

Mchale Packs
Mountain Laurel Designs

I agree with MEC and OR.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:16 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada.
Interest: general mountaineering/ hiking/ backpacking/ skiing/ kayaking
Posts: 1,704

While I have often in the past stated my loyalty to MEC and think the return policy and guarantees are great. Still I'd like to give a plug for my local Valhalla outlet in Nanaimo. I think I can count 5 or more managers that I have dealt with since they first opened downtown and since been at three different locations. I have got good deals from them and have over the years bought two tents, mountain boots, hiking boots, packs, two pairs of AT ski boots, lots of climbing gear, clothes and always last minute food & fuel and webbing. While not a manufacture, I am very satisfied with the way they have dealt with me.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, UL Backpacking, canoeing, snowshoeing
Posts: 7,376

I see Marc beat me to the punch here regarding our Hubba Hubba tent. Maybe the diffeence was that we dealt with Cascade Designs directly, but I'm sure impressed with MSR right now.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Abbotsford, BC, Canada.
Posts: 218

Have a MEC fleece jacket. On 2 different occasions, I've dropped it a MEC for repairs (each sleeve cuff seam came undone). They repaired it free of charge. One time took a while as the lady who was doing their sewing was backlogged.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 04:56 PM
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Location: Beaumont, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: Hiking Kayaking Scuba Diving
Posts: 146

I would have to agree with MEC and REI. Also have had NO problems with MSR. I would like to add Cascade Designs to the list of manufacturers who back their products 100 %.
Andrew Klinzmann
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 06:16 PM
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: North Vancouver/Roberts Creek, BC, Canada.
Posts: 59

I had a problem with a Kelty tent about two years after I bought it, and customer service was great. I sent them the body to see what they could do about the seam, and they sent me back a complete new tent, they asked if I had the vestibule, and since the old one didn't work as well with the new tent body they replaced that too.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 09:58 PM
Headed for the Mountains
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Location: Vancouver, , .
Posts: 159

quote:Originally posted by aklinz

I would have to agree with MEC and REI. Also have had NO problems with MSR. I would like to add Cascade Designs to the list of manufacturers who back their products 100 %.
Andrew Klinzmann
I should hope so, as Cascade Designs owns MSR, as well as Platypus, SealLine, Thermarest, and probably one or two others.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 09:56 AM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Posts: 202

I think my favorite part about MEC is that they have a record of all your purchases. I came in once with fleece I couldn't remember if I'd bought there or not, they confirmed it and had it fixed up for me! Another time I came in with my BD Fliklok poles that the entire basket assembly and attachment point I had managed to pop off somehow on a ski lift at Mt. Washington. The guy looked at it, said, 'yeah, I think I can fix that', hammered away for fifteen minutes and had it all fixed up. Good stuff.

Also Cilogear. They respond to emails and are excited to hear about you using the pack. They tossed in some extra straps when i asked nicely. Hampered by being based in the eastern US, but good customer service regardless.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 10:11 AM
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Interest: Mountains....
Posts: 6,300

I have had excellent customer service through:
- Black Diamond several times
- Dynafit
- North Face - alot of people bag on them but I sent a soft shell in to have the zipper repaired on an item that was very used and a few years old. They noticed that the sleeve cuffs were worn out so they took the initiative and replaced them aswell all free of charge.
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