I received my yellow trailstar 8 weeks after ordering which was 2 weeks sooner than I expected. It showed up with a round patch about the size of a quarter on one of the panels near the bottom, covering a small tear.
When I ordered I had never dealt with a cottage manufacturer, and didn’t know what to expect from the experience. I started to get an idea after sending an email to which I never received a reply, and after receiving the trailstar I am less than impressed with MLD.
I realize that I am ordering specialty gear but I assume a reasonable amount of follow through and quality is built into the price. For example the superlight bivy is in the ballpark as far as price, but the bristlecone bivy from Katabatic is the same weight (my superlight is 7.5oz not 7), $20 less, and what matters far more is backed with great customer service.
I am not totally bagging on MLD, they have some great items that really show the ingenuity of small businesses. After paying plenty, waiting forever, and receiving an item that is not quite what I ordered, I think being a little frustrated is understandable.
If I sent MLD an email stating my dissatisfaction with the patch hole on my brand new trailstar I am not sure I would get a response. If I sent them a message linking them to this post I am pretty sure I would, that is the power of BPL and having contact with a large part of their target market. It reaches a point, however, where I feel like I have to muscle them into giving me what I ordered. The fact is, if they read this post and wanted to send me a replacement I would decline, because I feel that it detracts from my point.
Is a trailstar with a small patched hole just as usable as one without? Yes, but it still feels like a bait and switch. How long does cutting a new panel take? How much does it cost? I can’t imagine the answer to either question is “lots”, so then why did it happen? I am guessing for the same reason my email went unanswered.
Saying “patch it, most people don’t say anything, and if they do we’ll replace it” is not an attitude that I appreciate. If you want to sell ‘stars with a patched panel, offer a discount, otherwise give me what I paid and waited for.
Thank you for post. I understand now that I received a mis-shipment. Given the circumstances I think my initial impressions to be justified, except for one. Until the end I phrased my frustration in a reasonably objective way, but the last paragraph became a condemnation of your assumed intentions which was, as most judgements are, incorrect.
Given that fact I am thankful for your patient response. No further action is required in order to make it right, I am happy with my Trailstar and I am sure it will perform wonderfully. I can almost guarantee that due to your excellent customer service I will return when I save enough for a solo tarp.
Since this post appeared in your google search, and since I do not want it to reflect poorly on your company I plan on editing the original post to include my final words and to convey to anyone who reads it, my complete satisfaction.