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Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 04:28:14 MDT Print View

My wife ordered me a UL Inner Down Parka from MontbellUSA over two months ago, for my birthday. She started investigating why it hadn't arrived yet, and the customer service rep told her the order had been canceled because they can't ship to an APO.

First, it would have been nice if they had told us when they canceled the order and why. They didn't.

Second, there is no reason they shouldn't be able to ship to an APO. All that is required is that they ship USPS instead of some private carrier like FedEx or DHL. How difficult is that? It would cost me a LOT more to have something shipped internationally by private carrier. This is plainly just a lack of caring on their part.

I think Montbell has lost my business forever. Even after I move back to the US this fall.

Anybody know of a silimar product? 7.4 oz parka with 2.1 oz 800 down fill? GoLite is having their sale, but their down jackets are much heavier...

Edited by acrosome on 06/06/2009 04:45:46 MDT.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 04:34:38 MDT Print View

Montbell lost my business long time ago, no real loss there they are not exactly the best gear manufacturer. Try to use the numerous very high quality cottage manufacturers out there and support the little guys.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 04:39:33 MDT Print View

You too huh?
I tried to buy some gear from Golite yesterday but they 'don't accept UK credit cards'. A guy from Canada had the same problem with his Canadian card. Surely they could have offered to send it to you and your wifes US address and she could have sent it USPS to you.

Annoying.

As it happens, I just picked one of these UL down inner jackets up of gear swap for $85 shipped to the UK.

That's probably even more annoying. Sorry :o)

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 04:49:06 MDT Print View

Rog, you can raise my blood pressure without even trying, can't you? :-)

I guess, yes, I feel you pain regarding international shopping.

My wife is here in Germany with me, by the way. Being assigned to Germany was a full change-of-station for me, so my family came with.

Oh, and I added an edit. (You guys responded FAST.) Anyone know of a similar product?

Edited by acrosome on 06/06/2009 04:51:17 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 05:01:27 MDT Print View

http://www.phdesigns.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=27_67&products_id=240

PHD do custom work, maybe they'd put a full length zip in and sew the optional hood on for you.

Quality gear, the main man used to work with Rab Carrington.

Far more kudos than a mere Montbell.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/06/2009 05:05:33 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Dean, Rog on 06/06/2009 05:15:53 MDT Print View

Dean and Rog,

I've had stuff shipped to Australia via a mail forwarding service that is very simple and straightforward to use. I'm pretty sure they will ship anywhere and will use whatever postage service (even USPS First Class) and will charge you the actual postage cost plus $8.50 per package.

If you want to ship multiple packages and have them combine them into a single package prior to sending it gets more expensive. I've only used their "forward single package" option. It was all very efficient and straightforward. I signed up, then bought my NeoAir about 10 minutes later, and a couple of days later got an email saying it had arrived at their shipping address. I paid the shipping cost and it took about 2 weeks to get here via First Class. Total cost was about US$23 including their $8.50 fee.

Oh... the company is shipito.com. I found it after trawling the web for good reviews and reasonable prices. Other places with decent reviews seem to be more expensive (at least for single packages).

HTH

Cheers, A

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 05:30:45 MDT Print View

Holy crap, Rog! £170 ? Thats $270 ! Which I guess is on a par with the GoLite Inferno, but I think the Infero has more fill (and is thus heavier). And GoLite is having their sale...

Looks like a great jacket, though. A full-length zip isn't really important to me. (Actually, I'm willing to look at hoodless jackets, too.)

The problem with the GoLite jackets is that I was looking for a lighter jacket for use in the rockies in the summer and maybe shoulder seasons. A really heavy, thick jacket would be overkill.

By the way, my wife and I ordered a special "international" credit card from our bank when we moved to Germany, and we've used it all over the world with no problems, including internet commerce. Apparently the credit companies sort of make using their cards on different continents difficult on purpose. But if you talk to your company they may have a similar card. Ours was no more expensive, just "special."

Ashley- Yeah, I'm aware of such services, and they certainly have their niche when it comes to resolving annoying problems with shipping overseas. But my point was that there is NO REASON that a US-based company can't send something USPS and save me the $23. Screw them. I'll pay more than an extra $23 for a different jacket just to deny them my business, because they're being jacka$$es.

I'm vindictive that way.

Edited by acrosome on 06/06/2009 05:35:08 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 06:02:32 MDT Print View

Holy crap, Rog! £170 ? Thats $270 !

I know, I know. Still, if you get paid in some mickey mouse third world currency that's your lookout.

Just kidding! :-))

Anyhow, it's good to see you investing in sensible warm clothing during these times of Global Cooling. Snow in the pennines this morning. In June!

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 07:07:35 MDT Print View

> I know, I know. Still, if you get paid in some mickey mouse third world currency that's your lookout.

*chuckle* Not far from the truth, nowadays. But what the heck is a shilling? Why can't you loony Englishmen just use pennies like everyone else?

(If I'm REALLY lucky Rog is Scottish or Welsh, and I just burned him twice...)

(Also, pointedly not biting at Rog's Global Cooling gibberish.)

What do people think of the Feathered Friends jackets? Problem is, they seem more equivalent to the GoLite stuff, and GoLite is on sale...

Edited by acrosome on 06/06/2009 07:16:26 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 07:27:06 MDT Print View

Never had any FF stuff so, dunno.

Anyway, I'm a Brit, not an Englishman. The Swiss use Schillings too, and they have a bob or two in their back pocket. Probably because they generate half their electricity with nuclear and are net energy exporters, unlike you crazy Yanks. Tell me, between Cap and Trade, and the EPA, and the oil drilling moratorium, do you see the dollar improving on the forex market anytime soon? :-)

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 10:43:26 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,

FF clothing and bags are equal to the very best available, and they make them themselves. I have one of their jackets (bought off the rack) and one of their bags (custom-built). I also have an MB bag and jacket and they're not close in quality.

They've had bad patches on their interweb sales side, but IIUC those are in the past. Bags are mostly made to order but the retail store has a lot of jackets in stock (can also be customized to your preferences).

I don't know about overseas sales but can't imagine it would be a problem.

Cheers,

Rick

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re credit cards on 06/06/2009 16:19:54 MDT Print View

> my wife and I ordered a special "international" credit card from our bank when we moved to Germany, and we've used it all over the world with no problems, including internet commerce. Apparently the credit companies sort of make using their cards on different continents difficult on purpose.

HuH???

I question this whole idea. My wife and I have used our standard Australian-bank credit cards around the world with no problems at all. We have used them in ATMs in Europe and to buy stuff from international web sites, including American ones.

The only thing we do for security is to tell the bank when we are going overseas, so they don't worry about overseas transactions happening. Takes a phone call.

Cheers

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 18:36:06 MDT Print View

"Anyone know of a similar product?"

Hi Dean,

Check out Western Mounaineering's Hooded Flash Jacket. 9 oz with 3 oz of 850 fill power down, full zip, $260. They make very high quality gear.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/06/2009 19:14:44 MDT Print View

Same thoughts as Roger, I havent had any issues with an Australian credit card and we travel international often, mostly in Asia.

The issue is with the actual companies and not the banks.

For gear that I have not been able to get here in Aus I have generally found someway around it. Lots of people here on BPL have been very generous and forwarded items on for me, or bought direct from them.

I am interested in this shipto company though, it does look good.

Oh and remember there is always MYOG :) thru-hiker ship international and have some really good kits and fabrics.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/07/2009 03:30:13 MDT Print View

"Same thoughts as Roger, I havent had any issues with an Australian credit card and we travel international often, mostly in Asia."

Roger, Mark

In some countries banks issue credit cards that can only be used domestically. That was certainly the case in Japan, and like the other poster I also had an "international" credit card that could be used outside Japan.

[Just to digress a little, there was a degree of prestige associated with the "international" label - this links back to a part of Japan's recent history which is little known outside Japan: after WWII in order to preserve Japan's hard won foreign cash reserves Japanese citizens were not allowed to travel outside of Japan without permission (this is still the case for citizens of mainland China - I had Chinese colleagues who missed a meeting in Paris because they couldn't get their exit visas in time). So, having a credit card - and having a credit card that could be used internationally - was prestigious. Apparently the restrictions on travel were lifted in 1964.]

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad customer service at Montbell on 06/07/2009 03:43:29 MDT Print View

Great piece of history there, thanks

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: re credit cards on 06/07/2009 12:39:34 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,

The FF Hyperion jacket might be an option if the GoLite's overkill. It's certainly not cheap but quite a bit less than the WM Flight (their closest equivalent).

Ya know, with all this credit card falderal it would seem easier if more online merchants used paypal, although national banking regs might intervene anyway.

One good thing: the dollar has strengthened so much in the last year it's become worthwhile shopping out of the country again. You might try MEC in Canada to see whether that route might make sense. I got a camera from Canada in April and saved about $300 versus ordering it domestically. Twelve months earlier I wouldn't have saved a nickle.

Edited by halfturbo on 06/07/2009 13:25:43 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: re credit cards on 06/07/2009 13:06:23 MDT Print View

Ah well, yes, now, umm, where to start?

OK, quick praisee.

The English were originally invaders from the northern coast of Germany around 400AD. The Britons were originally the Pretani, the aboriginal inhabitants who covered pretty much the whole of Britain, or Inis Prydain, as the Irish called it, except for the Picts lands in northern Scotland, and maybe some of the Irish clans land who were incomers from the med.

Anyway, the Engles, Saxons and Jutes who invaded into the southeast were kept in seperate enclaves by the last roman British ruler Vortigern following the Roman withdrawal and used as mercenaries to repel further invaders, but after plague imported by Aquitane trading ships depleted the Brits, the Engles and Saxons expanded into the grainbowl of the south and displaced a lot of Brits, some of whom sailed across the channel and took over Brittany and the power vacuum left by the departing Romans. There was a rerun of this in the 650's AD and that's when my ancestors ended up in Brittany. Then they came back with William the Batard in 1066 to reclaim their birthright and kick some saxon English a*se at the battle of Hastings.


So that's why I style myself as a Brit rather than English, but Golite still don't care and won't accept my Visa card.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/07/2009 13:16:36 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Re: re credit cards on 06/07/2009 13:27:15 MDT Print View

Holy crud,I edited Dean's post instead of replying to it. Sorry! I don't know how to undo it.

Rick

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: re credit cards on 06/07/2009 14:10:26 MDT Print View

>>Ya know, with all this credit card falderal it would seem easier if more online merchants used paypal, although national banking regs might intervene anyway.

PayPal now offers the PayPal Plugin, which generates a one-time credit card number for merchants that don't accept PayPal -- I've not tried it for international orders.

I have used PayPal to order from Integral Designs...