UPDATE JAN. 26th 2011 at the bottom -----------------------------------
Here's my little Arc'teryx warranty story. It's a long story but stay with me, hopefully it will be a short one.
I heard about the quality of Arc'teryx way before I moved to BC. I was really excited to get to Vancouver, even if it rains a lot, I would have my Arc'teryx Goretex paclite Beta jacket to cover me. From biking in the, hiking, snowshoeing, to camping for weeks at a time, in rain or snow, all seasons, the jacket is, was, amazing...
I used it on a daily basis, in every province of Canada, but mainly in British Columbia, and North Vancouver, where Arc'teryx was founded in the 80's. I used it with my Arcteryx Gamma MX hoody from -45 Celsius freezing cold, in wet snow, or only the Beta jacket to protect me from the sun in hot days. I even brought it to Hawaii on top of the Haleakala. I even wore it with suits and dress shirt in fancy places. I could eat, sleep and dream Goretex.
I had no complains about the jacket, are you kidding me ? 550$ + tax, that's what I paid in 2007, and it has been worth every single penny, even more, since then. There does not lie one's problem.
One day I went for a jog in the rain with friends, all shivering and complaining. I was proudly wearing my Beta jacket which had kept me dry since I bought it. That day I thought I was sweating a little bit more than usual. Then, after a little less than 30 minutes, I started to feel wet, really really wet. It felt as if the jacket was not doing it's job; it wasn't anymore. Did you die on me my friend?
I took care of it as I should have. Washed it properly, dried it well, reproofed it carefully. Just like my boots, my jacket is the reason why I can do all I do in British Columbia. Is it raining here or WHAT?
Fill the form, get RA number, clean the jacket, put a note explaining the problem, attach a few pictures, tape the box, address to Arc'teryx Warranty, pay Canada Post, ship. Ain't that easy...
"We received your Beta SL jacket and have noticed the delamination around the shoulder/neck areas. We would like to replace the jacket with a new one for you , under warranty". I never thought I would have had to return an Arc'teryx Jacket, but hey, why do you pay 600$ for? Quality of product and warranty.
I was told that I would have to wait from the date of reception of November 22nd to December 5th and then get a new one shipped. I was gone back home for a week in the end of November so I could live without my hard shell for that period, no problem. On the 5th I was told that they won't receive the jacket for at least another month, or so, or maybe later. Whoooaaaa? [:0]
To top it off, the Beta jacket I bought was a stow hood, the reason I bought it is because I could hide the hood for my city life, the jacket looks really clean without a visible hood, and the fact that a hood stuck outside the jacket tends to fill up with snow, branches, water and squirrels. I hate that. The new Beta jacket doesn't have that option anymore, the hood is outside with no possibilities of zipping it in. The deal I was proposed was, if I find another jacket that would suit me, I can switch it to replace mine, for the price, they'd compensate me for the price of my jacket + 100$ and I would have to pay the rest of the difference, I thought, "wow, sure, no problem". So I picked a few jackets, went out of my way to go to different stores to try them on over the course of a few days, after crazy days at work (it's December, the busiest time of the year at work). I had a few discussion on the phone and email with the warranty department:
"I would take the Theta"
- We don't have it in stock
"I would take the Sidewinder"
- We don't have it in stock
- Not in stock
"Can you give me a list of what you have in stock?"
- We don't have a list of what we have, you have to give us what you would change it for and we'll check.
I want told it HAS to be replaced through Warranty, no buying it at a store or retailer and they have nothing in stock. So waiting is the only option no matter what. A warranty that will take months to happen is to my opinion, and opinions of my friends, unacceptable. I mean, my friends returned jackets to, ahem, other companies, and had to wait a mere week to get a brand new one back.
Since then, I am waiting, while the forecast in Vancouver is the obvious.... RAIN. RAIN. Snow-rain showers, Mixed precipitations, light rain.. And the forecast in the rockies is Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow. uh oh.....
For people who know a little about Goretex jackets is that you don't have the luxury of choice, it's not like you will have 10 jackets that will do the same job. They are very specialized. One for hiking, snowshoeing, one for ski, snowboard... they're all pretty different. I know it's the holiday season but I am still waiting for my Jacket that I might have, might, have, eventually, when Vancouver won't be raining anymore. I have snowshoe trips planned, and without a hard shell, if there's any rain or snow, the Gamma MX hoody won't cut it. So I plan to cancel some of my trips if the forecast is what it always is in BC, rain rain rain, until I get a jacket. I got my eyes on one of their jacket, because it's the only one that has the options I need and the only jacket that feels good on me. Although it's a more expensive jacket, I will pay the difference! Please don't let me soaking in the cold, cold Vancouver rain.
In the meantime, what the hell do I do?
I'll keep you posted.
Novermber 17th, package sent with defect jacket.
November 22nd, product received and validated as delamination defect under warranty.
So after calling many times the warranty department, leaving a couple of messages last week, and a few emails, I finally got a call back (actually 2) and finally asked, again, for a different type of jacket, which they have, in the right size but not the right color. At this point I won't make a fuss for a color because they don't have the color I would chose if I could. Guess i'll just be waiting for the new jacket.
Monday I sent an email to the warranty department. My email was short and simple. How can a product shipped on December 21st not be delivered a month later. I know postal services suck but, as I said in my email, the holidays frenzy is over, where's the package? In his answer, the manager simply said there was a mix up, they have the jacket and it will be couriered to me immediately. Which they did. So that problem is solved. I have the jacket in my hanger right now. Finally.
For the people that feel like they deserve a good (company-given) warranty for their expensive products, this review is for you. For everyone else, send me a couple of fat cheques because you are all obviously very rich and maybe not so smart, so I can buy whatever I want whenever I want and not bother with warranties just like you. Thanks in advance!