Isotoner/Totes Refunds Warranty Replacement Shipping, Sends Bonus Umbrella

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.

She writes:

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.