Tracey tells Consumerist that she bought an emergency Totes umbrella which broke disappointingly soon after purchase. She sent it in for a warranty replacement, and was surprised when the company not only refunded her shipping, but sent two new umbrellas to replace her defective one.
In late November, in one of those umbrella emergencies, I ducked into a Borders bookstore in Washington, D.C. and purchased a small Totes umbrella for about $20. Despite the price and their reputation for quality, it broke almost right away – it wouldn’t stay fully extended.
Those umbrellas have a lifetime warranty, but I didn’t get around to actually taking advantage of it until a week or so ago when I stumbled across the little form. Their warranty policy requires you to ship the broken item back to them at your expense and to pay them $5 shipping and handling for your replacement umbrella. Altogether that cost me around $10, which arguably was more trouble, expense and time than it was worth, but I figured what the heck.
To my surprise two days ago, I had a package from Totes that contained not one, but TWO brand-new umbrellas like the one I’d sent them. So that was a nice little bonus.
To top it off, yesterday I received a letter from Helen L. Bauer, someone in Totes>>Isotoner’s consumer affairs department. Her letter says that normally they charge a fee, but in this case, because the umbrella failed so quickly, they would not charge me. My $5 check was enclosed.
The quick turnaround, the refund and the extra umbrella were small gestures on their part that demonstrate that they stand behind their products. I was surprised and impressed.