Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eagle Creek Rocks!

I am incredibly pleased with Eagle Creek luggage. Their Tarmac series (and possibly others) come with a no-matter-what damage guarantee. The claim is if your luggage falls off the roof of your car on the way to the airport and gets hit by the semi tailgating you, and you manage to duct-tape it back together and check it and the wheel gets caught in the conveyor belt and is ripped off and then the luggage handlers jerk the handle too roughly and tear it off while loading it onto the plane because it no longer has a wheel -- well, they'll fix it, for free, under a lifetime warranty. The only cost you have to lay out is shipping the suitcase to them for the repair or replacement.

Well, as it happens, Sarah and I were in REI over the summer (that happens quite a bit actually) and we were looking around in the gear garage, where REI sells off items that were returned (because REI has an awesome return policy that allows you to basically return anything anytime). Sarah spotted a Tarmac 28 bag which, as you can see from the link, retails for $340. Except this suitcase had been returned because all the zipper pulls had been torn off, a few of the zippers themselves had been torn off, and a litany of scratches and other surface damage was present. So of course REI discounts the gear based on how usable it is -- in this case, not very much so, and thus the suitcase was priced at $5 and some change. Then in late September I shipped it back to Eagle Creek -- thanks to my employer's stupendously negotiated rate with UPS, shipping costs were another $5 or so. Today, a brand-new suitcase, complete with tags attached and everything, arrived!

The whole reason I knew about this warranty bit with Eagle Creek is that Sarah got me a Tarmac 22 as a carry-on bag to replace the no-name one I'd had for ages whose wheel fell off a few years ago after an accident with a pebble getting caught in the wheel during the 2001 STP and she felt I needed a suitcase with a good warranty. I certainly don't plan to abuse the Eagle Creek suitcase, but it's nice to know that Eagle Creek does actually honor their warranty without hassles.

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