1.28.2010

heys bad customer service follow-up: don't buy from heys

Follow up on this post.

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To Whom It May Concern:

Regarding the issue below, I brought my backpack to Heys and was shocked to learn that your company does not stand by its warranties. In addition, customer service was rude and dismissive.

You may wish to read the details here on my blog. [link]

I hope someone from Heys will be able to rectify this situation.

Laura Kaminker
Mississauga, ON

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Hi Laura,

Thank you for your email.

Here at Heys International, we pride ourselves in our customer service and we feel that your interpretation of the conversation you had with our customer service representatives is not accurate. We value our customers and treat all customers - whether warranty repair or not - with respect and do our best to help them out and often go above and beyond what other luggage companies would do.

For the record, we have sold tens of thousands of ePac backpacks and have not had such a problem with the mesh pockets, - therefore the issue is not with the material of side mesh pockets, as all our backpacks use the same material for their side mesh pockets. It seems more likely your issue was caused by either some object that was placed inside the pockets that tore a hole through it, or by some exterior outside object that it came into contact with..

We encourage you to research our product reviews online, below is a sample of ePac reviews. [links]

We are confident in our products and in our level of customer service, nevertheless, as stated above, we always try to do our best for our customers and so we are willing to offer you a 50% discount towards another backpack from our website at http://shop.heys.ca and also giving you your first backpack back to you and repair as best possible your existing backpack. Please note, this discount is a onetime offer and is being offered to you as a gesture of our goodwill and in best trying to get you another backpack in a cost effective manner.

Please inform us of your decision so we can further assist you and provide you with the proper information to move forward.

If you have any questions or further concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Regards,

CSR Team
Heys International Ltd.
[address, website, phone number]

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Heys:

This is a very unfortunate response.

Whether or not you have had problems with the mesh on thousands of backpacks, or hundreds, or only one, is irrelevant. There is a problem with the mesh on my backpack, and I didn't cause it, and you are not standing by your warranty.

Your offer of 50% off another purchase does not address the problem; it merely offers an incentive to spend yet more money on Heys products. I purchased a defective backpack, and the company won't honour its warranty. Why would I want to buy yet more products from the same company?

You might pride yourself in customer service, but in reality your customer service is very poor. I have made four purchases from Heys - one backpack and three travel jewelry cases. Now I will never buy another Heys product. Yet apparently, you believe it is more important to insist that the holes in the mesh are my fault than to retain my business. That is not "above and beyond what other luggage companies would do". It is short-sighted and foolish.

In my earlier email, I sent you a blog post in which I complained about Heys' customer service. Several readers have already commented on that post, saying that now they, too, will not buy Heys' products. I asked them to reserve judgment until I received a reply to my email. Of course I will be sharing this reply.

You may be interested to know that if you Google "heys customer service," "heys warranty" and several other combinations, my blog post comes up right after your company's website.

Replacing the mesh on the backpack, or if that's not possible, replacing the backpack, would be more profitable for Heys in the long run. The company is foolish to not realize that.

Sincerely,

Laura Kaminker

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(Final update here.)

27 comments:

M@ said...

It sounds like you didn't even bother to read the reviews you sent you. I mean, come on. If so many other people were satisfied, it is statistically impossible for you to be dissatisfied.

And I bet you're not the first customer Heys has had to explain this to. Like many companies, they would have great customer service if it weren't for all the complaints from customers.

Well, if you won't believe the assertions of a company like Heys over what you see with your own eyes, I'm not surprised that you're unsatisfied with their products or service. To paraphrase a description of another famous organization, I think their appeal will continue to become more selective.

L-girl said...

LOL :>)

Tom said...

I love that when googled our experiences pops up with bad vendors. It is a great bonus we get from our blogs.

I use a Swiss Army backpack, it's fantastic. Never heard of Heys and never will buy from them now.

L-girl said...

Tom, those backpacks look really nice, too.

Heys is advertised on bus shelters and billboards all over the GTA, especially in the burbs where we live. I bought this because it has a special padded compartment for a laptop - great for school.

There's an update above.

L-girl said...

I love that when googled our experiences pops up with bad vendors. It is a great bonus we get from our blogs.

Yes, absolutely! Sharing information online can definitely "assist" (ahem) companies in doing the right thing.

Were you able to collect on your judgement yet, from those used-equipment jackasses?

Amy said...

You go, girl! Most of us would have either (1)given up after the attempt at the store or (2) complained and then begrudgingly taken their 50% discount. Good for you to persist and point out their stupidity.

I don't know Heys, but I will be sure not to shop there!

L-girl said...

Most of us would have either (1)given up after the attempt at the store or (2) complained and then begrudgingly taken their 50% discount.

Really? Well then, this is a good leasson!

Sometimes persistence can be a burden, as I've had to learn when to quit and walk away. But there was no way I was going to spend yet more money with them. Bah.

Amy said...

Well, I can only speak for myself. I have a low tolerance for aggravation, so I might have complained after the first encounter (and have done so on a number of occasions similar to yours), but once I got a response, I likely would have give up. I guess I just figure I am fighting a losing battle, so why waste my time and energy which in most cases is worth more than whatever I am complaining about.

OTOH, Harvey recently returned a pair of jeans to Levi's because the pockets ripped after less than six months of wear, and they sent him a new pair, no questions asked. I should learn to be more persistent!

L-girl said...

I certainly choose my battles. I don't have unlimited time and energy to fight every little thing.

I also really value great customer service and that will keep me coming back. You may be the same way. LL Bean and Lands End are both amazing this way. They make any kind of complaint or return as easy as possible. I always shop with them because of that. (Also, like you, I hate shopping, so shopping online is great - when the compay is easy to deal with.)

Amy said...

I agree--Land's End and LLBean are amazing. They really live up to their lifetime guarantees. I recently threw out some very old cotton nightgowns I had from Land's End, and I gave a second's thought to returning them, since they were very worn and filled with holes. But that seemed wrong to me---I had had them for many years, and you can't expect cotton to last forever. But I bet if I HAD returned them, they would have sent me new replacements!

Harvey's father once returned an old pair of shoes to Thom McAn and got a free new pair. Harvey also did that with some Rockports he had.

So there ARE some good companies out there. TAKE THAT, HEYS!

Amy said...

Which reminds me---did you check to see if either Land's End or LLBeans carries the type of backpack you want?

redsock said...

Ecco shoes is also fantastic. I have a pair of semi-formal shoes which are very comfortable. The sole started to rip away from the shoe -- and this was maybe after 10-12 months of wear -- so I brought them into the store, thinking they could fix them for a decent price. I got a brand new pair!

***

Another thing we always talk about with these types of situations are the people who do not persist or who are (for whatever reason) unable to ask/demand what is rightfully theirs. So a company knows what the correct thing to do is and would do it, but the customer doesn't specifically ask for it, so s/he gets screwed.

redsock said...

For the record, we have sold tens of thousands of ePac backpacks and have not had such a problem with the mesh pockets, - therefore the issue is not with the material of side mesh pockets, as all our backpacks use the same material for their side mesh pockets.

I'll be interested to see if the mesh pockets on the new backpack are any better.

If not, does that mean L somehow received the only 2 defective ones out of "tens of thousands" of packs?

Amy said...

Really? Ecco also does that? Harvey now wears ONLY Ecco shoes (they are the only ones that give him good support), and he goes through several pairs a year. (He is very hard on shoes.) But he has never tried to return any. Good to know.

And I am sure you are right---complacency on the part of customers (like me) only reinforces the corporate indifference to customer needs.

L-girl said...

Which reminds me---did you check to see if either Land's End or LLBeans carries the type of backpack you want?

No. I suck at comparison shopping. Heys ads showed a design I thought was great, I looked it up online and bought it.

* * * *

Jockey is also a great company. I bought a bunch of underwear - "Jockey For Her" (TMI? I hope not!) - and after 1 or 2 washings, they started to develop little rips and tears. I had been wearing the same kind for years, so I knew that wasn't typical.

The company asked for one pair back, just so they could trace the code on the label back to the supplier and do better QA.

They sent me all new pairs, plus one extra item of my choice to cover postage for the sample I returned.

Heys, if you're reading, I now only buy Jockey. See what you're missing?

L-girl said...

Another thing we always talk about with these types of situations are the people who do not persist or who are (for whatever reason) unable to ask/demand what is rightfully theirs. So a company knows what the correct thing to do is and would do it, but the customer doesn't specifically ask for it, so s/he gets screwed.

Yes! Good service should be for everyone, not just for the assertive or articulate or persistent.

redsock said...

Really? Ecco also does that?

I can't vouch for every time, but they did it for me. And I didn't even ask! I went to the store I bought them at, so they looked up the order and knew exactly when I bought them.

johngoldfine said...

Re: the 50 % offer: whew, l-girl, you write a really good mean letter, always in control, never in doubt, momentum building, each phrase another escape hatch closed and locked, unanswerable except with capitulation.

And my students tell me writing skills have no real world application!

L-girl said...

Aw wow, thanks JohnGF. I will cop to having good letter-writing skills. An amazingly high percentage of my letters to newspapers get published. I have a lot of opportunity to hone my craft. :)

Amy said...

And I was going to say that you would have made a hell of a lawyer. But you already know that!

L-girl said...

Heh, thanks. As long as you don't tell me I would have made a good mother, we'll be fine. :)

Amy said...

I meant that lawyer comment as a compliment, though I realize some people might see it as an insult!

Tom said...

I don't think I ever will be able to collect on my judgement. They are already working under a new incorporation. I did it for justice more than anything. The guy changes his company name often.

Sadly mine is the only bad experience posted on the internet. Yet I get e-mails from others hurt by them.

L-girl said...

I don't think I ever will be able to collect on my judgement. They are already working under a new incorporation. I did it for justice more than anything. The guy changes his company name often.

True scum. I think under a new business name you can still collect, although I'm sure you'd need legal help to do it, and in that case it might not be worth it.

I know what you mean, tho. You did it because you had to. I'm glad you did!

one girls thoughts said...

I have purchased a number of luggage sets from Heys and my granddaughters zipper has been broken after on 6 months. I am waiting on their verdict. I am hoping that they will fix it as I would like to purchase some more luggage sets as gifts this Christmas. I am also curious what has happened with your backpack.....

laura k said...

I am also curious what has happened with your backpack.....

See the link at the bottom of the post, "final follow-up here".

laura k said...

...then the same thing happened to the replacement backpack. I solved the problem this way.