If you are one of the two people who have been reading this blog since the beginning (just kidding, I'm sure there are at least four or five loyal readers), you may remember that we are always accompanied by our steel wire enforced, anti-theft bags by PacSafe on our travels. In fact, the bags are so lightweight, organized and secure, we carry one model or another with us all the time even in Toronto.
The "guts" of my Metrosafe200
Unfortunately, I had a bit of trouble with my trusty Metrosafe200 lately. I had bought the newest model of the bag just ten months ago, and I hadn't been using it that much - only on our trip to Buenos Aires in March of this year, and sporadically afterwards. Three weeks ago, I retrieved the bag from my closet in preparation for our upcoming trip to Buenos Aires this month, and started carrying it around to work. I was in for a shock - when the strap broke off!
It was the swivel anchor clip on the strap that was the problem - it rotates 360 degrees, and the rotation point had worn down. Now, I was pretty upset - the bag was quite new and still under warranty. I took it back to the local camping store that I bought the bag from, in accordance with the warranty instructions that came with the bag (yes, I kept that and the receipt.)
The camping store manager tried his best to convince me that I wouldn't be getting a warranty replacement. "Oh, that one year warranty return to the store thing is only for USA" was the first thing out of his mouth. When he realized I wasn't going to go away so easily, he went to the back for around five minutes (and I was in a hurry to go to work too!), came back out after checking Pacsafe's policy and reluctantly handed me a "Claim Check" form.
As I filled it he muttered prognostications of doom. Even after I told him repeatedly that the bag broke because of a structural problem in the anchor clip, he pronounced: "I don't think Pacsafe will cover wear and tear" and "My parents have Pacsafe bags and they don't have problems!" When I asked him how long it would be before I heard back, he said "Oh, at least a month or more - the Pacsafe guy only comes by once a month and he will have to take a look to see if your problem is covered!" etc. etc.
Well, I was quite irritated with that and although I was prepared to wait "one month or more" for a replacement bag that may or may not arrive, I decided last week to contact Pacsafe directly through their website to see what their position was as to the anchor clip problem. I wrote them a short message explaining the problem I had with the bag.
Pacsafe's regional manager got back to me the very next day. She didn't even ask for receipt or photos - apparently they had received reports about a bad batch of bags so she offered to replace my bag right away. When she learned that I was leaving for my trip next week, she even expedited the courier package for me. My message to Pacsafe was sent last Wednesday. My replacement bag arrived by UPS from Hong Kong - on Friday. Hooray!
Three hours after I received the bag, I received a telephone message from the camping store. It appeared that once the Pacsafe rep got notified of the problem from the store, he/she sent a replacement bag to the store for me on an urgent basis too. I called the store back and gave them the surprise news - that I had already received my replacement bag just hours before direct from Pacsafe!
As you can see I am very pleased with Pacsafe's customer service - they took the problem seriously and responded quickly. They sent me the newest improved model, with a sturdier, now lockable anchor clip and slightly redesigned compartments. They must have been listening to their customers, because they took a pretty great travel bag - and made it even better.
With their slash-proof straps, lockable anchors and other security features, Pacsafe bags give us peace of mind when we travel. Instead of writing morosely about opportunistic thieves pickpocketing our bags or doing slash and grabs, we could focus all our excruciating long-windedness on writing about all the great experiences we will have in Buenos Aires.
[Pacsafe didn't pay me to write this. They just replaced my broken Pacsafe bag really really quickly. Sometimes that's all it takes to get on my good side!]