Made to Last?

Here’s a gripe of mine—companies that act as if their products are incredible, but do no have warranties or the customer service to back that up.

Recently, I bought a Bellroy phone case. I ended up returning it because it felt like a cheap leather case, but I noticed on the back of the box. It said Made to Last” and then right under it, Backed by a 3-year warranty”. To me, those things do not go together. Is it made to last, or is it made to last 3 years? Granted, I’m probably not going to have a phone case for more than 3 years, but still. I have a Bellroy bag and really like it. For the most part, it does feel made to last,” but I don’t love that if something fails after 3 years, my option will be buying a new bag.

Similarly, Our Place says We stand by our products,” but only has a 1-year warranty. When the handle of our highly lauded and recommended Always Pan exploded after a little more than a year of use, customer service said buy a new one. No way I’m doing that now.

On the flip side, checkout Patagonia’s warranty:

We guarantee everything we make. If you are not satisfied with one of our products at the time you receive it, or if one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, return it to the store you bought it from or to Patagonia for a repair, replacement or refund. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge.

I have bought a lot of Patagonia stuff over the years? And you know what? I’ve never had issue with any of it. So not only is it incredibly well made, if I were to have an issue, I know they’d work with me.

I’m sure it’s just a money and liability thing, but a time-limited warranty, with no option to even pay for repairs, does not instill confidence. Now, I don’t expect everything I buy to last the rest of my life. But I do expect a frying pan to last more than a year and a bag to last more than 3.

Companies like Patagonia make my life as a consumer much easier. But I guess it’s up to me to do more research and less impulse buying 😅.

April 18, 2024