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Mont Bell

in 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)

Average Rating
4.44 / 5 (9 reviews)

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Steve .
( pappekak )

Good Warrantee on 11/29/2006 22:50:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

13 years ago I purchased a lightweight Montbell Parka. It served me well until the Gortex started to delaminate this year. I called the Boulder office hoping to find a place to have it repaired. They told me to send it in and they would take a look at it. Since I live in the area I dropped it by the Boulder store. Three (3) weeks later they got back to me. Bad news: unrepairable. Good news: free Gortex jacket of my choice sent by FedEx the same day.

I have to say I am pretty impressed with the way they stood behind a 13-year-old product. Hopefully the new jacket will last another 13 years!

Dinged 1 star because it took 3 weeks to get back to me.

[12/18/2006 edit] In response to BD and Miguel. My rating is for customer service only. The rating system allows me a choice of 4 or 5 and nothing between.

There were some additional factors I should have spelled out in my score of 4:
First, MontBell told me that someone would contact me in a couple of days: it took 21 days. I did do a follow up call after 7 days.

Second, MontBell mentioned the use of a loaner jacket since I had some trips planed. A loaner jacket wasn't possible - don't get hopes up if you aren't serious about a loaner.

That said, the person that finally helped me was great, discussing my jacket options. Note: MontBell policy was that I had to stick with a GoreTex jacket. My preference was to go with a Versalite Jacket instead of the Dyna Action Parka I ended up with.

Also, the rating in no way represents my opinion of the quality of MontBell gear (which I would rate 5). The 13 year old jacket I sent in looked new, except for the faided velcro. And the pants I have from 1994 still look new as well.

I am satisfied with the build quality of the replacement jacket: 2oz lighter but probably not as durable.

5 - Highly Recommended
4 - Recommended
3 - Above Average
2 - Average
1 - Below Average

Edited by pappekak on 03/03/2007 18:05:28 MST.

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b d
( bdavis )

Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Mont - Bell is great on 12/16/2006 19:29:21 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I don't know why the previous person rated MontBell, in my spelling, as a 4.

They are clearly a 5, IMO.

They are a backbone of the UL movement in the world IMO. Their website is great. So it would very wrong to think that the present rating of 4 represents their service because they properly and immediately responded to a purchaser's problem.

Their website is enough to give them a five. And, I have never had to deal with them because nothing I ever bought from them required it.

I wish I could buy all their gear and check it out.

Miguel Arboleda
( butuki )

Kanto Plain, Japan
Most-used Outdoor Gear in My Closet on 12/16/2006 20:36:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

(well, what do you know, I can't use the word "f*nny pack"!)

I've been using MontBell gear since 1977, two years after they started, when I bought my first rain poncho. I still have it to this day and it still works fine, has no leaks, and even smells okay... though the nylon has become brittle. Since then whenver I head into the outdoor stores here in Japan I inevitably end up buying MontBell because the prices are so much more reasonable than anyone else and I just simply love the designs. I have so much MontBell gear that I can't list them here, but it includes backpacks, WAIST packs, shoulder bags, rain jackets, insulation jackets, fleece shirts and jackets, walking pants, sleeping bags, sawanobori gear, bicycle bags, hats, gloves, sleeping pads, and quite a number of other things. Often I prefer the designs of Patagonia, but in Japan Patagonia is so astronomically expensive I can never justify buying anything from them. For me MontBell is the Patagonia of Japan... indeed, the president Isamu Tatsuno and Yves Chouinard of Patagonia were climbing partners back in the 70's.

I have a few little gripes... I find the zippers on almost all MontBell products to constantly get stuck on the fabric. They've begun changing the old maroon and teale colors to a better slection in the last few years, but there was a period when it seemed everything I got from them came in those two colors. Too often their jackets and shirts don't come with scalloped tails, or are shorter than the insulation layer underneath, so things are constantly pulling out of the back of my pants and exposing my back to the elements (I don't buy many MontBell rain jackets any more for that reason). And occasionally the sizing of things like pants and shirts are so Japanese-centric that though the length may be right, the waist isn't, or the waist right and the length not right. I can't wear any of their shoes because they are always way too wide. As they grow into the international market I hope they address these issues, since not everyone in the world is shaped like the Japanese.

In spite of these little criticisms MontBell is still my favorite outdoor gear company. I just bought their new super wool underwear, including a balaclava, for this coming winter season, and two chameece turtle neck shirts for work. I'm sure I'll continue to buy their gear for years to come.

Edited by butuki on 12/16/2006 20:37:15 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Patagonia Balaclava - Kid's priced at: $17.50 - $35.00
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Scott Peterson
( scottalanp )

Northern California
Mont Bell - Personal Touch on 12/23/2006 20:58:54 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

After reaching out to Nels (who I think is their customer service dept. in it's entirety) with a size exchange on a garment, I explained that I would like for him to repair my UL thermawrap jacket sleeve that I burned a small hole in while using a stove. I volunteered to pay for it, and he explained what process they might use. He did not seem to want money. A short 2 weeks after sending it in, I received a brand new jacket in the mail with my resized exchange. Nels took a genuine interest in me and provided top notch service. I am not certain any company can keep such a personal level of service up when growth is a factor, but for now...Montbell is like the neighborhood store for light gear.

Brett .
( Brett1234 )

Liberal return policy on 12/24/2006 10:07:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I could describe numerous positive experiences with MontBell, but one example comes to mind first. I was deciding which sleeping bag(s) would comprise my sleeping system, and I bought a total of four MB bags over a period of a few weeks. Did the usual indoor/backyard type tests, and decided on two of the four. MB took the other two (still in new condition with tags off but included) as returns, with no questions except concern I wasn't happy with them.

MB's return policy is not as good as REIs; but given the high quality UL gear they sell; it is rarely needed. And in the case of 'used' sleeping bags, I've heard REI will not take returns.

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Ryan Hutchins
( ryan_hutchins )

Somewhere out there
excellent customer support on 04/12/2007 13:19:36 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I returned a VERY old pair of MontBell gore-tex rainpant to the store in Boulder while living there. The Gore-tex was delaminating. I had cut all the tags out of the pants and they were seriously hammered (16" tear from a crampon incident that I had sewn and seam sealed). Although the return process was long (they had to take pictures, email them to Japan and wait to hear back on what model they were) they gave me a credit for the pants and were very helpful on the phone and in person. MontBell is at the top of my UL gear company list.

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Edwin Lamberth
( ALFisher )
Great return policy and customer/website report on 05/08/2007 16:00:29 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

MontBell's customer communication via web/email is excellent. Just drop them a line and you'll get a quick response.

Also, I had been looking at their new UL Burrow synthetic bags, going back and forth about a long or regular. Finally, Nels at customer service just says order them both (free shipping) and send the one you don't want back, no questions asked. Great point, so I did.

Had a little trouble with the website, which turned out to be more of credit card than a MB problem. Picked up the phone and Nels helped me out again. Problem solved and order done. Even helped me join the MB Club (for points) even though my order was done by phone (supposed to do a web order for the club).

To top it all off, I forgot to add one of their UL trowels to my order. I sent Nels an email and asked if it was too late to throw it in. He said the order was complete, but then took care of it anyway!

I am going to try out my new bag soon and will probably replace some more of my stuff next year. I bet you know where I'll be shopping.

Dean F.
( acrosome )

Back in the Front Range
Bad experience on 09/03/2009 23:46:57 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

My wife ordered something I wanted for my birthday from MontbellUSA (not the main company in Japan). She included several ways of contacting her. Three and a half months later it hadn't arrived, so she investigated. After an hour on the phone she learned that the order had been canceled, because Montbell couldn't be bothered to ship to an APO address.

Two points:

#1 It would have been nice if they had notified us that they had canceled the order.

#2 There is no reason they couldn't send the item USPS instead of FedEx or whatever the normally use. Companies who can't be bothered to send the occasional item USPS (which is the only way to send it to an APO) automatically lose my business. A lot of servicemembers live overseas

Other people on this site have mentioned other problems with Montbell's customer service. Granted, every company has the occasional hiccup, but not even emailing about a canceled order? Come on.

I'll never deal with Montbell directly again. To my shame, I was tempted into ordering one of their UL Down jackets because it was on sale for a RIDICULOUSLY low price, but this was through a different distributor. Who would send it to an APO. So he got my business.

Edited by acrosome on 10/29/2009 19:03:31 MDT.

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Paul Iracki
( piracki )

San Francisco
Great experience returning gear on 05/17/2010 13:14:00 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought my wife some UL down inner pants online & when she received them, she notice the seam at the waist was unravelling. She called and got a shipping label. She also asked if they could be replaced with a large rather than the XL I had ordered (the XL was on sale as it was the older model). They promptly sent a replacement Large in the new model at no extra charge.

Prompt, professional service. We've ordered from Mont-bell and will continue to do so as our experiences have been great-to-date.

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