The Customer is Always Right

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Here is a simple but powerful rule – always give people
more than what they expect to get.


It’s that joyous time of year when retail customers yell at service people, cashiers have permafrown and the parking lots are obstacle courses and human hunting grounds. So is it any surprise at all when customer service is a bit slow or less than helpful? Well, no.

A few months ago I was looking for a new hydration pack. I had decided on a whim to run an off road 25k at night, just for kicks. I had a pack, it was old but it worked. It didn’t fit perfectly. I hated cleaning the bladder, it was a pain. It seemed reasonable to want a new one. I wandered in and out of 3 different local outdoor and running specialty stores in town before Joe piped up and said, “you know I just got a new pack for mountain biking and I bet they have something that would work for you, let’s run by Spokes.”  Fine says I, not that I thought I was going to find what I wanted but I knew I could at least get a decent coffee there to soothe the headache coming from looking at too much spandex, lycra and running quote t-shirts. So I got my coffee and started thinking about getting some Honey Stinger nutrition even though I had just picked up some Pocket Fuel from Go! Running. Slow girls need to eat while running. Don’t even try to contradict me.

I wandered over to the rack where all the bright and shiny new Osprey hydration packs were hanging. I picked up a Verve 7 to check it out. I thought it might be a bit big but it had features I like. First, being a women’s specific pack it fit my shoulders much better than my old pack and it had a lot of adjustment options to fit the straps, I hate pack straps hitting me in the wrong places, so unattractive. It’s designed for a shorter torso so it didn’t hit too low in the back. The magnetic valve clip on the sternum was a plus, I have ripped up too many shirts with velcro.  The 7 has a panel pocket with internal organization and a slash pocket for easy access. The Verve 4 has the same 70 oz reservoir but not as much storage space. Sometimes I run to my carpool spot for work and I have to carry stuff with me, I require storage. The other feature it had that the smaller Verve 4 didn’t have was a shoulder pocket. I think the website says it’s for a cell phone or MP3 but it also holds a GU just right. That brings us back to eating, but it’s more convenient to have access without stopping and I don’t always have pockets in my running shorts.

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Fast forward about five months and  the pack has been worn and thrown in the back of the mobile Arkansas Outside office countless times. I get my pack out and start filling it with all the necessities for a short course adventure race. I put it down to go find some silly required gear like waterproof matches or something and when I come back to the kitchen, my pack is damp. What the heck? I take the bladder out and there is a section about the size of a dime with tiny little pinholes in it.  AARRRGH, it’s the night before the race, I’ve got to go track down an old pack.

It took me a couple of weeks to remember to check Osprey’s site to find out what kind of warranty they offer. Turns out they’ve got an All Mighty Guarantee. Not making that up, that’s the actual name of the guarantee. So I fill out an online form and press send. As I’m looking at some other stuff on the site I notice that they have a separate form just for reservoir returns and it requires a number off the bladder itself and a photo of the damage. I meant to fill out the right form, I just didn’t get around to it. Imagine my surprise when I open an email from Osprey customer service that tells me my new reservoir is on it’s way. No mention of “you didn’t fill out the right form” or anything, just “hey, we’re sending you new one, do us a favor and send the damaged one back for QC.”

Mullet Run - Northwoods Trails - Hot Springs

Thanks Osprey Packs for making this so easy. You have a fan.

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I don’t have a picture of the pack because I spend my time imitating a chicken, not taking photos.

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One Response

  1. Yay! Another Osprey fan for life! Glad to hear they took care of you. I ripped the outside pocket of my Osprey Viper when it was only a couple of weeks new and they took care of it promptly without any fuss. Not only did they send me a brand-new pack but they sent one with a new reservoir too. CS like that can’t be beat.

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