Customer service

Amazingly great customer service from thinkTANK photo.

Close readers may recall that, several miles into my day-long hike along the Aletsch Glacier, back in Switzerland, that my backpack’s hip-belt suddenly failed – the padded belt portion simply became un-sewed from the body of the pack. Today I received the most amazing example of Customer Service I’ve ever seen…

In that July 1st post I wrote:

On my descent to the hut my backpack hip-belt encountered a sudden failure; the strap disconnected from the pack, the result of a slow failure of the stitching.  I spent a half hour at the hut’s picnic tables attempting to sew it back on – yes, I always carry a sewing kit in my emergency/repair bag, though I think today was its first use since I created this kit in my undergraduate days. (Imagine the many hundreds of miles I’ve carried that little kit, across a dozen states and as many countries!)   After the rusty sewing needle did a better job puncturing my finger than it did the belt webbing, I used four safety pins from the first-aid kit, and those held well for the rest of the day. For good measure, as you can see below, the safety pin’s clasp is sealed with my blood.

Repairing my backpack strap – which completely tore out from the pack.

Indeed, those safety pins held for another half-dozen hikes throughout early July, enabling many of the photos you’ve seen in the blog since then.

This pack has been a tremendous companion, purchased after test-fitting at least four different specialty photography backpacks before settling on this thinkTANK Rotation180 for my climb of Kilimanjaro in 2016. I’ve since decorated it with sewn-on patches from Kilimanjaro, the Adirondacks, the White Mountains, the NE111, and more. With so much sentimental value, and practical value, I wanted to repair the pack. So when I returned to the US (one month ago today) I contacted thinkTANK photo to inquire about having the belt repaired and anticipating a fee.

Instead, they replied that this sort of failure was covered under warranty; I sent them the broken parts and they sent me back an entire new pack. Wow! Now that’s what I call customer service. Many thanks to Jonathan at thinkTANK photo! I’ll slip the new belt pouch into my trusty patch-covered backpack and be ready for the next adventure.

Replacement backpack, because the hip-belt broke back in Switzerland.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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