Full disclosure: The North Face is not nor has ever been a client anywhere I&39;ve worked (to my knowledge), nor have they resorted to any form of blogger outreach or influencer marketing to this blogger in particular. They have, however, taught me a few things that are worth sharing. Here&39;s why The North Face is as good as it gets:
1) After a couple years of traveling around with a North Face backpack that I bought from eBags due to its great reviews, the zipper on the main pocket started getting stuck, and in time it got so bad that I couldn&39;t use it. I figured I&39;d check to see if they could fix it. I wrote them through their website, "I have a North Face Surge backpack and one of the zippers is now busted. Can I get this fixed at a North Face store or do I have to send in the backpack? I have a store near me (the SoHo store in Manhattan) and can return it in person. I purchased the bag March 2009 via eBags. Thanks. – David". I sent this late on Saturday and by the time I woke up Monday, I got a response via email.
2) The North Face first shocked me with the response: "Thank you for contacting The North Face. We&39;re sorry to hear that one of the zippers has broken on your Surge backpack.  Our bags have a lifetime warranty, and we will repair that zipper for you&0160;free of charge.&0160; Please fill out the warranty return form and send the pack to the address at the top of the form.&0160; The Soho store can also send this on your behalf." I had no clue about this warranty when I ordered the bag. Guess which bags I&39;ll be ordering in the future?
3) I stopped by the store and they quickly processed the bag, giving me an easy way to track it.
4) A couple weeks later, I was surprised to get a FedEx from them. It turns out that The North Face wanted to replace my bag, but the exact item wasn&39;t available. Instead of sending me the next best thing, they sent a gift card for the value of the equivalent new backpack – over $100 (and about the price I paid for it in March 2009). The card was redeemable in-store or online. Remember, this was all for something that broke after a lot of normal wear and tear, probably due to my own fault, and I was expecting to pay to fix it in the first place. (See the image below. The big red icon is the envelope for the gift card.)
5) I went to shop the North Face site. I appreciated how it tapped into Facebook so I can see products that were especially &39;liked.&39; This isn&39;t anything that special, but not enough retailers are doing this. I liked a product I planned on buying and it instantly showed up on Facebook.
6) I saw some weird size on a ski mask I was checking out – LXL. Fortunately, they had live chat late on Sunday night and explained it was extra long, which is great for a big headed guy like me.