Some time ago -- I'm not sure how long it's been -- I got a new backpack for carrying my laptop. For many of us that travel, luggage and laptop bags can be a big deal. Part of the reason is that, while there are many mediocre designs, it can be a challenge to find all of the features that really fit your style and travel requirements.
This laptop backpack, the most amazing laptop backpack that I've owned, is made by The North Face and, apparently, sold exclusively through REI. It's called the Overhaul 40. It's got a huge carrying capacity -- easily capable of carrying multiple laptops (as is sometimes a requirement). It also features some great luggage features like a side carrying handle and the sleeved back that allows you to put it over the handle on luggage. But best of all, it's a really great backpack, with good padding, a good hip belt, and a great balance on your back. It's designed like it was made by a company that makes gear for trekking. Even heavily loaded, it feels well balanced.
So a couple of weeks ago, I was bummed when I accidentally closed the car trunk on the hip belt buckle. At first, I didn't think anything bad happened. Then later, as the hip belt buckle just fell off, I realized that the cross connector had broken.
I was really bummed, but figured that with some looking, I could probably get a replacement plastic buckle at REI. And that was my plan until I was talking to one of my colleagues who does a lot of outdoor stuff. He suggested contacting The North Face, commenting that brands like The North Face and Patagonia have really strong warranties.
A quick search on the Internet, an email to customer service, and within two days, they are shipping me a replacement buckle! As a customer, I am wowed. One more reason why I love my pack. I've become a bigger fan of The North Face than I was previously.
It's a great example of what great customer service can do for your business. Contrast that with the many horror stories that I've written about. The North Face -- I would recommend them.