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Did Mountain Hardwear rip me off?
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By jd4567
From New York, NY
Dec 13, 2011
A couple of years ago I bought a "Skyledge 2" two-man, three-season tent from Mountain Hardwear. I used it a few times. This year when I pulled it out, I discovered that the welded (not seam-sealed) seams on the fly had entirely delaminated. This was not a storage issue, the tent was stored dry and uncompressed in a temperature controlled closet. Speaking with a MH customer service rep, I learned that the delamination was not uncommon and probably the result of a bad glue-lot.

Here's what's got me pissed: after shipping them the entire tent at my expense ($15), MH offered to give me credit on their web-store for the original MSRP of the tent. I spoke to a manager in the warranties department and noted that the nearly identical "Skyledge 2.1" (which was designed to avoid the de-lamination issue) sells for $55 more than the "Skyledge 2". When I tack on shipping (to and from) it comes to $76 from my pocket to have essentially the same tent without the defectively welded/glued fly. MH would not look at my tent for warranty/service without my sending them the entire tent. They will not simply stitch the defective seem or send the tent back to me.

I'd be perfectly happy with a repair of the fly, or I'd be happy with a full replacement of the tent, or I would even be happier if they would just send me my defective tent back so I could work out my own repair.... but it feels like a giant rip off to ask me to pay an additional $76 to account for their defective manufacturing process. Three-season backpacking tents can often be had on-sale for not much more than $125 bucks or so.....

Am I off my rocker or does Mountain Hardwear really suck?

Interestingly, someone else who supposedly experienced this delamination issue almost at the same time that I did posted to Yelp saying they felt the warranty service was great because even though MH didn't have the Skyledge 2.1 in stock and even though they were planning to raise the price to $400, they were willing to honor the $350 price once they restocked the tent. I can't help but wonder if thats a BS Yelp post as it was posted roughly the same day that I had a telephone argument with the warranty manager......

-Jared


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By Woodchuck ATC
Dec 13, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Sad to hear of your problem. All I can say is my North Face VE-24 tent lasted about 15 years before the fly wore out. They replaced it with a new version for no cost at all to me, and delivered very fast. Love their quality and life time warranty.

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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Dec 13, 2011
I'd keep asking for your tent back. Don't see how they can make any claim to your property... strange.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Dec 13, 2011
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
You need to get pissed and develop a vocabulary that will essentially tell them to go fuck their mothers and to take the offer and shove it up their asses without actually saying that. Drop a comment in there as tactfully as you can about how you should have bought from The North Face as you originally intended to, and how ashamed you are now about ever giving them a chance to be your gear provider. If that doesn't work, well, you've lost nothing. Give it a whirl. I once got a free fleece and .3 Camalot from Moosejaw because I'm a goddamned wordsmith.

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By Josh Wood
From Oneonta, NY
Dec 13, 2011
hotlum / bolum route on Shasta
I bought a MH subzero jacket. The down in the back tends to all go to one side of one of the baffles. I made arrangements with the warranty dept and sent it in after washing (which was a huge pain). They "redistibuted" the down, meaning they didn't do anything. The jacket is cold on the right side as soon as all the down floats to the other side. I called them again, and they said that I could send it in again and they would see what they can do, but wouldn't commit to anything without the jacket in-hand.

I will never buy another MH product.

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By fat cow
From St. Paul, MN
Dec 13, 2011
perfect seam
basically what muttonface said. get a little crazy on the phone. make it clear that you have been a customer for a long time, have a good amount of MH gear, but that you will never consider purchasing anything from them again with that type of bullshit service. Maybe hint to the customer service rep that you are going to fuck his mother if you don't get your goddamn tent back. get angry, ask for someone higher up, and make it clear that his/her gross incompetence isn't worth wasting another one of your valuable breaths on.

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By funkyicemonkey
From Colorado
Dec 13, 2011
Well I cannot say much about Mountain Hardwear other than the quality has slipped for climbing applications, however I can say you've started the right way with this thread, keep it alive and alert customer services to it. It would appear that the fault is one of material and therefore a replacement with an equivalent would be the good PR thing for them to do - however you could get a new tent for the price of the shipping, not a terrible outcome. Ask them to ship it or credit your local gear shop at no charge to you. Hopefully some bright spark at MH will see this thread, post and solve the issue.
By the way I still use my 17 year old TNF Westwind. Once to Norway, Jordan, months in the alps, Adirondaks and a thousand weekends on rock in Colorado - still looks like new. Buy good, keep forever.

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 13, 2011
Yelling or cursing at the customer service rep is a bad idea. Threatening him is also a bad idea. Ask to speak to a manager. Tell him you want your old tent back. If you have to pay $15 to ship it back, it's worth it. If they flat our refuse, your options are limited (small claims court, write a letter to them) Then, you can take your tent to a place that will repair it and never patronize MH again, if you choose. Keep your cool!

Edit: You could also try speaking to a supervisor in a different department, say, sales, and explain that you are having difficulty with customer service. Worth a try.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 13, 2011
OTL
Show them the cheapest price online: backwoods.com/mountain-hardwea...

and make them match it with free shipping.

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 13, 2011
Lambface: Down, boy! Heel! :) There was a comment after yours that didn't have any disclaimers, like yours did. Just thought the OP should know that going ballistic on the phone doesn't help.

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By climbskihike
From Bay Area, CA
Dec 13, 2011
I have a friend who used to work for the Mountain Hardwear Warranty/Repairs department for quite a few years. A year or two ago they moved that entire department to HQ up in Portland or wherever Columbia Sportswear (which now owns MHW) is located. The MHW main offices are still in Richmond, CA, near where I live.

Anyway, I think they lost a lot of the longtime warranty and repair folks when they moved the department. Sounds like the service may have deteriorated as a result. So yes, complain loudly and insistently, but not profanely. They should be doing one of these three and if they don't you need to escalate it until they do.

1. Fixing your fly free of charge
2. Sending you a new fly free of charge
3. Sending you a brand new tent, free of charge.

A few years ago, when the warranty dept. was still in Richmond, I had a 10 year old MHW goretex jacket, they totally fixed it for me when it was leaking - I think they actually replaced an entire panel that had developed some pinholes from bivying on the ground in it. THAT is taking care of the customer. What they are doing with you is not taking care of the customer. It is not standing behind their products in the way that gives you the confidence to buy from them again.

Patagonia, Outdoor Research, North Face, etc all have a policy of taking care of their customers, and Mountain Hardwear does not want to become known as the company that does not.

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By grampa potate
Dec 13, 2011
Yeah!!! you cuss at them!!!! ##%$&*&*^^

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By Steve Bond
Dec 13, 2011
Photo.
Jared,
A buddy of mine is a pro at this. Got a defect from the North Face that the regular pathway through customer service was not solving. Called the regional sales manager. Had a good talk, got it taken care of. Escalate (nicely) to get to the person who has the power to take care of it. Try LinkedIn to find some names to start. Good luck man.

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By fat cow
From St. Paul, MN
Dec 13, 2011
perfect seam
Don't call me shirley. Frank is refering to my comment. You don't have to yell or 'go ballistic' but you damn well are entitled to be angry and let them know. having worked in a gear shop and in plenty of shitty customer service jobs, angry people get what they want IF their complaint is legitimate. Yours certainly is. Managers are there to make things right. Also, you can be tactfully pissed off. Talking sweet and taking it in the ass wont get you anywhere, they need to know why it's unacceptable so YOU need to let them know. And if you need a disclaimer, thats what i meant by 'hint' ie without actually saying. Word of mouth, review sections, and social networks make customer service representatives all the more eager to make amends because you can spend hours online writing novels about your experience and therefore dissuading potentially thousands of future buyers from purchasing products. Superiors look into that kind of thing, even give personal phone calls, and whoever you are dealing with will be liable for how they treat you the customer. So again, don't take it in the ass, get on your horse and get your tent repaired.

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By climbskihike
From Bay Area, CA
Dec 14, 2011
By the way, don't believe what you read on Yelp. Yelp is a very crooked business, to the point of extortion.

1. If you own a business they call you all the time trying to get you to pay to get your listing at the top.
2. If you do not pay them, guess what, you drop to the bottom on page 5 or 23 or whatever.
3. If you do not pay them, they remove positive reviews
4. If you do pay them, they remove negative reviews.

Look it up on google. Yelp is bullshit.

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By Russ Walling
From www.FishProducts.com
Dec 14, 2011
Russ
I hate to say it, because I was a big fan of MH, but I recently had a bad experience with the MH warranty center too..... the coating came off, like all the way off, as in gone, in the neck area of a rain jacket. They told me it was from "hair products" or something and not a warranty issue. Fucking hair products???? LIke "Jeri_Curl" or something? They did offer me a discount on a new jacket from stock, but I declined since I just wanted my jacket fixed or replaced. I did not want to throw down a C note or more on another jacket. I probably won't dabble in their products again, or will at least have to think about it way hard before dropping any cash. It's a bummer....

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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Dec 14, 2011
Back off on the Soul-Glo, Russ. Problem solved.

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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Dec 14, 2011
F@#k mountain hardwear and their shitty dept. Personally i don't rock Mtn. hardwear any longer. Marmot is where it's at. I had an armstrong stretch jacket delaminate, had it for around 7-9 years. I sent it back and they gave me a credit for the price of the jacket. the original price, no questions asked. Thats the effing custy service you need.

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By Peter Pitocchi
Dec 14, 2011
Pete belays 2nd pitch Little corner
+1 marmot treated me right too. Email this thread to MH and they'll get the message.

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By Loweball
Dec 14, 2011
+2 for Marmot. Over the last twenty years, I've sent them back several garments with either warranty issues or needed repairs (from my own stupidity) that I was actually willing to pay for, and they have always responded quickly and with no questions asked. On at least a few occasions, they actually replaced pieces I only wanted repaired, at no cost. Sort of surreal in this day and age.

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Dec 14, 2011
Buenos Dias!
Peter Pitocchi wrote:
...Email this thread to MH and they'll get the message.


Humbly disagree – just keep going up the chain of command. Be polite, but firm, that you are not satisfied.

Then, after you've exhausted the phone support staff, send a letter to whoever claims the title of Director of Customer Service/Customer Relations. Touch on four points: your past loyalty to their brand due to their excellent quality; the problem with the current product; the attempts you’ve made to resolve this; and finally the resolution you consider acceptable. Never swear or threaten. The only time you ever lose these types of battles is when you lose your cool.

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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Dec 14, 2011
the thing about my experience is, i wasn't expecting ANYTHING at all. Merry x-mas to me, i'll be a marmot man for life. I have lots of their stuff, and will be getting more. Can't say enough about their service.

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By Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Dec 14, 2011
Bunny pancake
Send one of their execs the link to this thread.

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By NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
Dec 14, 2011
Let them know you are blogging about the service you are receiving, I put that in all my initial emails and it seems to really help...

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Dec 14, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stile...
Jared Danziger wrote:
Did Mountain Hardwear rip me off?


Yes.

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By Chris Harges
Dec 14, 2011
Hi Jared:

I'm the brand manager here at Mountain Hardwear. Sorry to hear about your experience with your warranty issue. We're happy to make things right. Please let me know how I can contact you. You can email me a message through this forum and I'll respond with a call or an email.

-- Chris

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