Rogue Wallet Replaces Entire Batch Of Bad Wallets, Stuns Customer

Michael writes that his wallet, which he purchased over a year ago, was starting to fall apart a bit. He recently received a new wallet in the mail from Rogue Wallet, the small company that manufactured his, but…. he had never contacted the company. He wasn’t dealing with a psychic wallet maker. (That would be awesome.) Instead, he discovered a company that very candidly owned its mistake and wanted to please customers even if nothing had gone wrong with their personal wallets yet.

In June 2009, I bought a wallet from http://roguewallet.com/. A couple of weeks ago (over 1 year later), some of the material started coming loose. I never contacted the company at all, but today I received a package containing a brand new replacement and this letter:

roguewallet.gif

Dear Vegan Customer:

A while back you purchased a patented front pocket vegan wallet from my company.

Thank you for placing that order.

It has recently come to my attention that the materials used, while initially looking robust, were not as durable they should have been. [sic]

I’m not talking about the standard 30 day manufacturers warranty here. When you buy something, it should be made right and it should last. For a wallet or a purse, we think it should last for a year or two at least.

The unit which we shipped out to you may not meet your expectations. And at the end of the day, those are the only ones that really count. If those expectations were met, that is great–but if they haven’t been, than please accept our apologies.

Based upon some very appreciated customer feedback, I have decided to replace your existing vegan wallet with a completely free upgrade. Our supplier let us down but that responsibility, ultimately, is ours and ours alone.

You will find your free replacement enclosed with this letter. There is no need to return the original and there is no need to request a Return Material Authorization (RMA)

I know this isn’t how most business is conducted these days–but as you can plainly see, we aren’t like most businesses.

We certainly aren’t perfect and have demonstrated that to you beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Our hope is that you’ll like the new vegan material and find it to be a more durable design.

And keep those new design ideas coming into us–we love to hear from you.

Diligently Improving,

Michael Lyons
Founder

They just sent out replacements to everyone who’d purchased this wallet. These guys rock.

Comments

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  1. Tongsy says:

    Next time I need a wallet, I imagine it will be from them. Excellent customer service.

    • Dre' says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. As a plus they also have RFID blocking wallets.

      • Twonkey says:

        In an age when customer service is becoming a lost art, it’s always great to see a company that appreciates how important it is. It’s even more impressive to see a company take the initiative like this. These guys will have my business too.

    • Pax says:

      Ditto, even though I actually do prefer leather wallets. That level of commitment to customer satisfaction may just be worth a change of preference!

    • fair_and_balanced says:

      How do you know that is not a marketing stunt to get more business?
      If they made more than 2x the cost of the original wallet, they could have preplanned sending everyone a letter like this with a 2nd wallet before everyone even bought the first one.

      This seems like a marketing plot, not great customer service.

  2. Chaotic Evil says:

    It’s really heartening to hear about businesses (even smallish ones) doing things to actually help out the customer. Seems like most businesses these days treat their loyal customers like criminals and thieves, or–at best–marks that don’t know the value of a dollar.

    Kudos to them.

  3. hypochondriac says:

    Nice of them, but the cynic in me expects someone to launch a class action over this.

    • consumerd says:

      I don’t see why… plus it wasn’t like they didn’t admit fault they admitted it and gave a free replacement. Now if they would just pay some law firm about $10,000 you would pretty much have the complete enchilada of a class action suit without all the fuss, fees and dates to remember.

      Plus the other thing is if they offered and shipped a replacement to you, can you really complain at that point? At that point it might be harder to get a class action going, everyone might feel they were satisfied and not even bother to join, or opt out.

  4. GuJiaXian says:

    Wow, that’s pretty impressive.

    • GuJiaXian says:

      I just checked out their website. It looks like their products (all of them, I think) are covered by an unconditional two-year guarantee (exchange or full refund). That’s pretty nice for any industry.

  5. Taylor@HiKarma.com says:

    Michael Lyons has earned at least one customer for life, probably at negligible expense to his company. After reading this story, even I visited their website (and I’m not typically a wallet guy). I’m baffled that this type of response remains so uncommon among business owners. Thanks, Michael, for setting an example for customer service.

    • Hirayuki says:

      At least one, yeah. I’m sure more than a few of us who read this story (like Tongsy up on top there) will consider Rogue Wallets the next time they’re in the market for a wallet or purse. You definitely catch more flies with honey.

      • jvanbrecht says:

        I am in the market for a wallet.. and I will certainly consider, and most likely buy a wallet from them. I have had my current wallet since 2001.. its murdering the magnetic strips on my cards at the moment, but it has lasted (its a standard nylon type Billabong Branded [it has sentimental value based on when/where I bought it] wallet..]

  6. Doubts42 says:

    That is so cool of them that I am going to avoid making the snarky anti-vegan comment that I so want to make.

    • jason in boston says:

      The vegan wallet is 1 of 20 or so wallets (real leather) on their website. I wanted to make fun of the vegan and the quality of the materials until I actually went to the website. Next time I am in the market for a wallet, this will bet he first place I look.

    • dangerp says:

      Yeah, the letter is confusing. It makes it sound like it is a vegan company, but on their website they seem to have dozens of real leather wallets. However, I’m trying to figure out what shape the bills are that you’re supposed to be putting in this thing…

  7. drburk says:

    They’ve gone Rouge….
    I’l leave now.

  8. SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

    I read the title as being a wallet with an anti-theft shock device turns on its owner. My great imaginative mind.

  9. Extractor says:

    This is probably the best customer service ever. It’s also resulting in a ton of free advertising for them. Wonder how they will react in the future for another product. Has anyone had a negative experience with them?

  10. Britt says:

    Does anybody know if their wallets fit Canadian bank notes? I’m definitely interested!

  11. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    I havent been to the site yet but how did they know his diet preferences?

  12. kompeitou says:

    I dunno, maybe only 10 people bought wallets from them.

    • veritybrown says:

      I wonder about that, too. The company mostly sells leather wallets, so I can’t imagine a lot of vegans being willing to buy anything from them. I, however, have bookmarked the site for the next time my husband needs a wallet.

      • Bye says:

        You must know some funky vegans. All of my vegan friends are happy to patronize stores that have an option for them regardless of whether or not the store also sells things that are not an option for them.

        Perhaps if there were a BBQ joint that had a Bocaburger on the menu, they might not be so willing to go there, but I’ve found that my vegan friends appreciate retailers catering to their needs.

    • FoxCMK says:

      I bought a rogue wallet a little while back – maybe 2 years ago – and I simply ate the cost, tossing the thing after about four months when it almost completely fell apart. I doubt I’ll see one in the mail.

  13. Ramona_Little says:

    Well, I just bookmarked their site for when I next need a wallet.

  14. Dalsnsetters says:

    Day-ummmmm. That is truly impressive customer service. Very refreshing to see….

  15. pantherx says:

    I’ve been looking for a new front pocket wallet too… convenient.

  16. kadath217 says:

    I meant to write in about this, too. They replaced my wallet, and I was happy with it. I can’t even begin to express my surprise and pleasure with this company.

  17. Slick36 says:

    I was in the market for a new one, so I ordered one based on this blog alone.

  18. Maous says:

    If companies realized how much good press they get for doing things like this, I think we’d be getting a higher standard of customer service and respect as a consumer. Maybe we should make a public service announcment? */The more you know~…

    Oh, and being one of the dozens of folks who are no doubt flocking to the site to check it out I found they even have RFID blocking wallets. Double kudos points for these guys.

    • Maous says:

      *Announcement. Eep.

    • stormbird says:

      +1 on the RFID wallet. (500-word rant about the stupidity of RFID goes here)

      • jvanbrecht says:

        RFID has it’s place.. So your rant is not completely warranted. RFID in things like Passports and Credit cards, however is a very bad idea.

        The original purpose of RFID tags, was not to store anything that is sensitive, in fact, primarily its use is in inventory systems, which is great, being able to scan a giant pallet rather then inventory each item on said pallet. RFID tagging servers in a server room makes system inventory exercises that occur every year much easier.

        As for credit cards, and passports, well, RFID has no place, there are plenty of other contactless forms that could be used, but not as cheap…

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        [Insert rant on two-factor authentication here.]

  19. 339point4 says:

    They just earned a new customer. My husband was in the market for a wallet anyway, and I’m about to buy him one from Rogue Wallet after reading this story.

  20. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    After reading this I like this company so much that my husband is going to get one of their wallets for Christmas. His is too fat and uncomfortable when he’s driving anyway.

  21. wbabbit says:

    Ordering one now. Kudos to them!

  22. theycallmeGinger says:

    I love these stories! It’s pretty tough to avoid all of the stores with poor customer relations, but it’s easy to support places like this. Good products, great customer service. I bought 2 wallets as gifts this morning.

  23. PunditGuy says:

    Can’t order one; site is acting like it’s getting hammered. Consumerist effect?

  24. Scoobatz says:

    Kudos to this company for providing some outstanding customer service. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be rushing out to buy my next wallet from them (like some of the other commenters on this post). Remember, Roguewallet still sold the OP a defective product, and the OP never provided any feedback about how much he liked or disliked the product. Only that he was amazed at the customer service.

    In the end, quality of the product is the most important feature — not the experience of dealing with salespersons or customer service. How many people have never shopped around for insurance or banks, because they love the service they get — even though they are paying way too much for premiums or getting few benefits?

    Don’t get my wrong. Customer service plays a big role in my own purchasing decisions. And, the way this company handled this defect was extremely above and beyond the call of duty. However, I think it’s often best to look past the marketing gimicks and customer service depending on the product being purchased.

    My wife bought me a Coach wallet about 10 years ago. I use it everyday, and it looks and feels brand new. The pockets are still tight, none of the leather is faded, and it certainly hasn’t fallen apart yet. Honestly, if I ever need one again, I’ll get another Coach one.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Except that these days Coach has started going down in quality, relying on the name brand and reputation for durability in order to make sales, rather than maintaining their previous production standards.

      Though you do bring up good points, it is good of Rogue Wallet to own their mistakes, and to try to make sure their products are of a lasting quality, and that is certainly worthy of support.

  25. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    I too am in the market for a new wallet. I will be buying one from Rogue tonight.

  26. SlyPhox says:

    #GetsIt

  27. phudgee says:

    Awesome story!!

    They also have one thats made in the USA.

    Thats the one I just bought!

  28. webweazel says:

    Just from browsing the comments here so far, I see they just sold about 11 wallets to all of us. Plus, maybe to some others who have not commented here.
    That’s how it’s done! Treat people well, and they let people know.
    Kudos!

  29. BarkIsNutritious says:

    Just bought one – I was sort of in the market anyway.

  30. HeatherLynn30 says:

    Um. WOW. That’s pretty much the opposite response I got when complaining to Personalized Doormats about how their doormat fell apart after only a few months of use, and unfortunately, I think that’s the standard. Most companies don’t seem to give a crap anymore when they’ve failed a customer.

    I wish more businesses did it this way, though! Amazing.

  31. ellemdee says:

    Ridiculously awesome, proactive customer service and vegan products? Sold.

  32. ready2mosh says:

    I just bought one also, the shipping price can’t be beat either, $2.50 or free if you buy 2 or more. I currently have a hardcase front wallet and it’s dead, so this came along at the right time.

  33. Minj says:

    I’m still chuckling at “vegan wallet”.

  34. Tomas says:

    Wow!

    That’s all, just “Wow!”

    The best advertising a company can do. :o)

  35. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    Nice. I’m going to go check out their stuff as I think I might want a new wallet. Btw that whole vegan thing threw me off for a second lol

  36. sopmodm14 says:

    wowsers, thats very impressive !!

  37. eman187 says:

    I bought one of these wallets back in March, the salmon RFID wallet and so far it’s pretty awesome. Except for a little darkening from dirt and everyday use it’s held up well.

  38. AT203 says:

    Good PR. I’m actually in the market for a new wallet, and I don’t purchase leather, so I’d be happy to do business with this company. OH! And their wallets block RFID as well. They’re just pushing all of my buttons!

  39. nutbastard says:

    “Vegan” Wallet? Should last 1-2 years?

    I’ll stick with my cow skin wallet, which is in its 9th year and hasn’t broken a single stitch.