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Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Petzl on 03/14/2012 11:26:54 MDT Print View

Three weeks ago, I dropped/cracked the plastic case on my old Petzl Tikka torch headlamp.
Petzl tikka
it still lights up, and I wanted to see about getting it repaired, I'll gladly pay. I've see it on amazon for $20 used. I'm sure the housing case is less than $5

I contacted Petzl on their support warranty page. I got a canned auto reply response that they will contact me in 2 business days. No human contacted. So I moved on and bought a Black Diamond headlamp instead. Sorry Petzl, good product, but under staffing the customer support dept, lost you a sale from a loyal customer. :(

Thank you for contacting Petzl's Warranty and Returns department. We'll
respond to you within two business days regarding your mail.

For more information about our return policy and procedures, please visit
the Support page on our website:

Thank you!

Edited by RogerDodger on 03/14/2012 11:36:33 MDT.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
costs... on 03/14/2012 11:53:02 MDT Print View

Roger I understand your frustration but think about this...

The cost to maintain a phone/email staff to respond to warranty issues has a cost. That cost has to go into the price of the headlamps, the cost of the materials, or their profit margins. Think how many more customers would be affected if they raised the cost of their products or lowered the quality to be able to afford a heavily staffed warranty service department?

I would rather they keep their quality up, keep their prices down, and keep making money so they stay in business offering me a quality product at a competitive price rather than tote a large warranty department to solve problems. Possibly the lack of a warranty department is indicative of the low number of warranty requests they receive.

Also it's a $25 dollar headlamp. If they paid someone $12 an hour to handle your problem for say 1/2 an hour costs them $6 plus send you a part, postage, etc they might spend $10-$12 repairing your $25 headlamp that they made $10 selling to you. Now they have lost money keeping you happy. Plus maybe 50% or more of the people that crack their headlamp will just go and buy another headlamp, maybe another Petzl, now they have made another sale.

In modern day retailing it just does not pay to cater to everyone's cracks and issues. All of that has been cut out of the cost as the cost of the products has been driven down over time, the whole Wal-Mart effect...we want it faster, cheaper, not necessarily better.

I would argue that if you bought say a $100 Strikeforce headlamp you probably would have gotten a warm body on the phone and a replacement part. For a $25 plastic (made in China?) headlamp there just is no margin for it.

Edited by TylerD on 03/14/2012 11:58:30 MDT.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
2 business days. on 03/14/2012 12:20:45 MDT Print View

The issue can be easily solved by stating an accurate service level agreement (SLA).

At my job, I deal with customer expectations, and SLAs all the time.

I set people's expectation up front - "this is a low priority request, I'm swamped, the earliest I can get back to you is xx days."

My cousin told me a joke when we were kids, it goes something like this:

Q: How do you keep a dork in suspense?
A: I'll tell you later.

Their auto reply email states 2 business days. I generously waited 3 weeks for a response. I feel like the dork in suspense. If a company can't maintain a posted SLA response time, that's fine, don't set that expectation.

This kind of lack of customer support communication is why many people gravitate to buying from REI. So they can return or resolve the issue with REI's superior customer service rather than the true manufacturer.

I was gladly willing to pay all the repair cost because this was a special headlamp (to me) and it was reliable for many trips. So there would be no out of pocket expense for them.

I wasn't trying to swipe a freebie or abuse a warranty benefit.

They could have easily replied with anything, or at the very least say - this product is unsupported, and out of warranty, or recommend an authorized repair dealer.

also as a side note: most US companies have customer support phone lines routed to India, at a cost of roupies / pennies per hour to maintain.

Edited by RogerDodger on 03/14/2012 12:31:06 MDT.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: 2 business days. on 03/14/2012 12:48:30 MDT Print View

I gotcha, I see your point. Yes if they said 2 days they should have followed through or just said no support. I agree there.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
electronic on 03/14/2012 12:50:16 MDT Print View

i buy all my electronic gear from somewhere like MEC/REI ... they can deal with the headaches of warranty regardless of brand ... thats not my job as a consumer

thats also why they get my business

i had a princeton tech light develop a minor crack ... 5 min later i walked out of mec with a store credit