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I promised to keep you posted on the jacket situation...

2004-02-17 - 5:14 p.m.

I have to say, this has been resolved in a manner far exceeding my expectations and I have a whole new respect for Columbia.

As recounted previously, I followed up with the company via email when the zipper broke and they got back in touch with me pretty quickly telling me to send it in so that they could evaluate whether it was a default with the jacket and thus covered by warranty. Fair enough. I sent it off and included a brief note pointing out the state of the zipper but also mentioning that Id never been 100% satisfied with the jacket overall as Id always felt damp in the rain and it was supposed to be waterproof.

A couple of weeks after sending it I got a message on my phone saying that theyd done a waterproof test as a result of my note and found that my jacket was indeed leaking so they were willing to replace it with a new one.


I just called them back and not only are they willing to replace it with a jacket slightly better than the that one I originally had (the equivalent line now includes pit zips), if I dont like the colour or look of the one they have available (almost all of their stock for this year is gone so they only have one type theyre holding back for situations like mine), I have the option of waiting until their new winter line comes out in August and picking from that.

Double yippee!

How cool is that, really? Even if I don't choose to wait, that is a nice option to offer. Yes, Columbia is expensive but man, when you buy their product they really stand behind it and lifetime warranty really does seem to mean just that. They have totally won my loyalty today, especially when I contrast this to my experience at another store who wouldnt even look at the clearly-defective zipper on an expensive suede jacket that Id bought from them. Yes I bought it just over a year ago but Id hardly worn it until my Columbia jacket had to be sent off. They told me that it would cost them a whole forty-five dollars to replace the zipper. This store sells a lot of business wear for women and, since I work in an office, that savings to them of $45 has cost them potentially years of business from me.

Take a largish hit but win a customer for life; refuse to take a small hit and lose one. Really, which company do you think made the better business decision?

Before - After

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