This post is very much a rant. If you don’t like reading rants, and I don’t blame you, it may be wise to move on to the next article.
Last month, I went on vacation. My cheap luggage from 1996 died and I bought a replacement – an American Airline branded set from Luggage America (. I was extremely excited about the new luggage with four freely moving wheels. My excitement lasted five days. On that fifth day, I took my first trip with the luggage. It performed quite well until I picked it up at the baggage claim when I returned home. It had a big hole in it. Luckily all possessions were accounted for.
As I bought it from a military base 3000 miles away, my options seemed limited. I could drive to the nearest military base, which at an hour away, would cost me a bit of gas money. My other option was to explore the 20 year warranty, something that comforted me significantly when I made the purchase. I wrote Luggage America via their website and asked for them to cover the shipping or repair costs. They responded that they’d waive the $9.50 check that they normally require for return shipping. Today I went to ship the luggage to them. It cost me $22 to ship the $60 piece of luggage… within my own state. It was nice of them to not require that I’d spend the other $9.50. As it is, it will cost me $82 for something that I was willing to pay $60 for. I’m not sure I got $22 of use out the luggage on one way of trip thus far.
When I found out that it would cost me $22, I replied back to their mail and politely ask that they reimburse me for all shipping costs. I hope they can understand that I would expect a product expected to last for 20 years to work for more than 5 days before I have to pay another 33%+ for the product. I did imply that if they sent back an upgraded piece of luggage (a step bigger from the medium size that broke) I would be happy with the company. I’m curious to see how that will go.
(Final interesting side note for conspiracy theorists: The luggage I bought is no longer available on their website. My luggage was made with an 840 D. nylon (not mentioned anywhere on the luggage that I could see), while the one new version on the website is a 1200 D. polyester. It’s only because I caught them upgrading their website that I noticed that the old version of the website had the luggage I bought.)
Early Retirement Extreme says
If you travel a lot and are willing to spend a ton for something that will last the rest of your life (and probably your children’s too), check out Filson. It’s that classical (classy?) function over form design that last forever. I own some of their winter clothes, no suitcases yet, but that’s what I’ll eventually be getting.
For now I’m waiting for my samsonite and the fake leather suitcase I inherited from my grandfather to break down on me.
Okay, so let me get this straight: you’re not only wanting the luggage company to waive their normal fee, but also cover the shipping costs, AND send you something you didn’t even pay for? Talk about being nickel-and-dimed…
Lazy Man says
Jordan, you don’t have it exactly straight. I asked for either shipping costs OR something extra for the money that I’m spending in shipping costs. Their product broke with normal use the first time I used it and resulted in me having to fork out 33% due to their poor build quality. If they give me that 33% back, I’m fine. Otherwise upgrade me so that I get something for the 33% more that I’m spending.
What if the luggage broke on every trip? In just six trips, I would have spent twice as much on shipping it back to them for repairs than the cost of the product to begin with. Plus I wouldn’t have to go on trips like the one I’m currently on with borrowed luggage.
That makes more sense… ;)