A Tale of Two Companies

Vasque vs Ahnu: a Customer Service Story.

Joe and I left for Canada’s East Coast in May of 2015.  We had just purchased a new pair of Vasque hiking boots for Joe and within one month of leaving Ottawa and doing only a handful of hikes Joe noticed that the sole and mid sole had started to separate.  Once our pace had slowed and we had good wifi Joe fired off an email with photos of the boot and receipt of purchase.  Vasque replied quickly saying they would replace the boots free of charge.  A few more emails were sent to sort out the logistics of where to send them, with our nomadic lifestyle we told them to send them home to Ottawa and meanwhile Joe would keep using the pair he had and repair the sole as best he could.

On the other hand I had a pair of Ahnu hiking shoes that I wore regularly and within one year the seam came apart at my big toe and there was a hole in the material rendering them no longer waterproof.  I was disappointed needless to say because I used to put a lot of wear and tear on my running shoes and I had never had a pair of shoes start to fall apart so quickly.  I contacted Ahnu in early September 2016 with an email including a photo of the problem.  I did not have the receipt with me but I knew I had it in Ottawa.  Ahnu replied quickly asking me to fill out a form describing the shoes and the problem (in my initial email I had already described the issue with a photo).  Within one week Ahnu sent another email saying my case was being reviewed.  Five weeks pass and I finally send an email asking on progress of my case, Ahnu responds by explaining that since I did not have the receipt they would date the purchase at time of manufacture which put the shoes outside of their one year warranty.  We were back in Ottawa by now and I found the receipt, which confirmed that the shoes were still within the one year warranty so I sent an email with a photo of the receipt.  Ahnu responds by asking me to fill out the same form I filled in back in September, so I do and request my preferred color choice for a replacement pair of shoes.  I will end this quickly now but several more emails were sent back and forth, keep in mind this is now about replacing shoes within their warranty period.  They asked me for a US mailing address ?!  I live in Canada and I bought the shoes in Canada, ship them to Canada!  Then they were going to send me the wrong color, which I had specified in TWO previous emails and finally when the shoes arrived on Nov 17th, I had to pay import fees because THEY DID NOT SPECIFY ON THE PACKAGE THAT IT WAS A WARRANTY REPLACEMENT, luckily UPS came through and refunded most of the fee.  Why did I have to jump through so many hoops to replace a pair of shoes that started to fall apart within one year AND were still under warranty?!  No matter how much I like a company’s product, if their customer service is bad I will not support that company, PERIOD.  Case in point, I needed to buy a new pair of hiking boots…I bought Vasque even though six months ago I was planning on buying a pair from Ahnu.

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