/ Alpkit customer service

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Brumbler 13 Jan 2020

I've had Alpkit stuff before and always been impressed, and I'm trying to repair and reuse things rather than replace them. With that in mind I thought I would take my northface jacket to get cleaned and repaired by Alpkit which has been an absolute joke.

I dropped the jacket off in October and was told someone would ring me back within a week to arrange everything and that it would be £10 for the repairs and £26 for the wash. A week later no phone call so I tried ringing, after about 6 attempts I spoke to someone who told me it would be £20 for the repairs and £25 for the wash and that someone would ring me. Another week went by and finally the person doing the repairs contacted me and left me a voice mail saying it would be £32 for the repairs plus £26 for the wash. I tried to ring back multiple times but never had anyone answer the phone. A few weeks later I rang up again and was told that the jacket had already been repaired, which cost £16 and that they needed to check I was happy for it to be sent to Ambleside to be cleaned which would be £26. I then spoke to the Ambleside store in December who took payment from me for £46, at this point I wasn’t going to argue with the constant changes in price and was told it was going to be posted out to me as soon as it was ready 

As I was wondering where the hell my jacket is I rang them up today to find that they had posted it out to the wrong address and that royal mail will look at the end of the month and hopefully send it out to the right place. I was told that I should wait until the end of the month and then submit a claim through royal mail and that it is my responsibility to try and track the jacket down. The most compensation I can get from royal mail is £50 which will just about cover the cost of the repairs let alone the £250 it would cost to replace the down jacket Alpkit have lost.

Has anyone got any advice on my rights here? As I was pretty much told we've lost your jacket that’s your issue now!

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SteveX 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

I would decide what I want, ie a clean functional down jacket, write this in a letter, saying that you are sure that this will be resolved amicably, but if not resolved within 14 days of receipt you will County Court action, stick a stamp on it and post it recorded delivery.

I am sure that Alpkit will sort you out, I suspect you have dropped down the back of the Sofa so to speak and they will be gutted you have been treated like this.

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Stuart (aka brt) 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Who has told you that it's your responsibly to make the claim? The burden usually lies with the sender - proof of postage is free. Sounds like a drama. 

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captain paranoia 13 Jan 2020
In reply to SteveX:

> I am sure that Alpkit will sort you out, I suspect you have dropped down the back of the Sofa so to speak and they will be gutted you have been treated like this.

My experiences with Alpkit have always been good, but this does sound like a series of errors (and therefore not a one-off error).

I'd like to think Alpkit will take steps to prevent these errors occurring in future; I can't remember how long they have been running an off-brand repair service; maybe it is 'teething troubles'. But, for a brand that concentrated on mail-order only for many years, you would think they would know about how to deal with postage, addresses, insurance, etc.

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Neil Williams 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> Who has told you that it's your responsibly to make the claim? The burden usually lies with the sender - proof of postage is free. Sounds like a drama. 

If they misaddressed it then the Royal Mail isn't the one who should be compensating anyway, they have presumably done what they were told to correctly.  Alpkit should cough up for the full value due to their negligence.  You could try the Small Claims Court if they won't do it willingly, plenty online about it.

Post edited at 20:04
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Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to SteveX:

Have you called them?

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two_tapirs 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

You can raise a claim online: https://www.moneyclaims.service.gov.uk

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SteveX 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

> Have you called them?

Why would I call them?

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MonkeyPuzzle 13 Jan 2020
In reply to SteveX:

> Why would I call them?

Have you read the OP? They might owe you a jacket.

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The Lemming 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Up until reading the OP, I have only ever had great customer service from Alpkit. In fact staff from Alpkit have communicated with me via these forums to resolve issues quickly and effectively with positive outcomes all round.

This OP will hurt them quite a lot as they have a good reputation among the UKC community.

Personally I'd start by reading about your Consumer Rights and what can be done next. If you have not done so already, start making written accounts of all phone calls and who you have spoken to and then take things form there.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

Scroll down to Supply of Service for a good place to start.

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Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to SteveX:

> Why would I call them?


Sorry - I meant OP to call. 

Or, because not all heroes wear capes and you aim to eliminate injustice (or misunderstandings about raincoats) wherever you find it.

Come on - *BE* the person you aspire to.

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Brumbler 13 Jan 2020

Thanks for all the replies, I posted to gauge from the responses whether I was over reacting or not and if as I thought it should be their responsibility to get the jacket back to me.

I'll check out the websites people have posted and get everything written down and sent to Alpkit by recorded mail. I've rang them well into double figures now and probably spoken to at least 4 or 5 different staff members at two stores so it’s hard to remember who exactly it was I spoke to. I know the conversation today ended with me asking "so you have posted my jacket to the wrong address, lost it and its now my responsibility to try and find it or claim compensation from Royal mail?" Which got the response of "yes that’s right, I'm sorry we can’t be of any more help." So I think any further phone calls are pretty pointless!

It’s a shame as I like Alpkit and their gear and always recommend them to people when they ask about buying outdoor gear, but this experience has really put me off.

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Donny M 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Hi mate. I am a mail order company director and the bad news is that if the item was incorrectly addressed it is not an error on royal mails behalf and therefore they will not investigate or entertain a claim from them. 
 

The good news however is that it should be a much quicker process than the 3 odd months it takes to claim from Royal Mail, claiming from Alpkit. If you didn’t sign a responsibility waiver then they were legally responsible for your jacket at the time. As long as you have any form of receipt that is a legally binding contract between you and them, no one else. They compensate you, and then they claim from the dry cleaner, who Alpkit have the contract with (not you) 

Just ensure you speak to the highest up member of staff you can and not just the person who answers the phone. 
 

good luck. 
 

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Guy Hurst 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

I've always found Alpkit really good to deal with, on the very rare occasions I've had reason to contact them, and it's one of the comparatively few companies I believed to be completely trustworthy. I hope they maintain this faith by dealing properly with this issue, and hopefully letting the UKC community know about it.

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Alpnick 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Hi

This is Nick (Founder and MD of Alpkit)

Just been made aware of this thread and more importantly the issue you've had with the jacket. I'm currently sitting in the hathersage store, with all our store mangers and back to HQ later.

Im sure by the end of the day I can find out what the problem is, and do our best to resolve it. We have good record for customer service and this isn't something we intend to drop the ball on.

Speak to you soon.

Cheers

Nick

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Alpkit 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Hi Brumbler,

Thank you for sharing your feedback. Customer Service is an absolute priority to us so I am sorry that something has gone wrong here and the experience hasn't been up to scratch.

However, when things go wrong (as they sometimes do), I hope that we are able to remedy quickly and find a solution that you’re happy with. 

It appears that some miscommunication has occurred here and we will be addressing this with the teams at Alpkit who are involved to ensure this doesn’t happen again. 

We will of course cover anything lost through our postage. We will try to contact you directly but please do get in touch with support@alpkit.com or call us on 01773 41007 and we will sort this out for you asap.

Many thanks,

Alpkit Customer Support

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Brumbler 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Alpnick:

Hi Nick,

Thanks for that, I look forward to your response later.

Scott

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Alpnick 15 Jan 2020

In reply to Brumbler:

Just a quick update, I have spoken to Brumbler, and there is no doubt that we've made some very schoolboy errors in our service. I've been consistent with our team that when we make the first mistake (it happens) we have to go above and beyond to avoid the next and the next. It's been compounded by an error by Royal Mail but that's our problem to sort out. 

Brumbler is being very patient (which i am truly grateful for) so we will try and get the jacket back first, but if we can't do that in the next few weeks then it's up to us to compensate for it's loss. 

Cheers

Nick

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65 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Alpnick:

We all make mistakes and you deserve kudos for replying on a public forum, but there is an element in your reply which, if I was Brumbler, I’d take issue with. You state that you hope to return his jacket within a few weeks. I’m afraid I’d find this unacceptable given the existing  history. It’s winter and it’s likely that Brumbler could use his/her jacket now. Mistakes almost always have a cost and in this case it shouldn’t be Brumbler picking up the tab. If I was in your position and you couldn’t return the jacket within days I’d be offering to send a complementary equivalent Alpkit jacket. 

Like I said, everyone makes mistakes but the way you deal with them will be remembered longer than the mistake itself.

Finally, FWIW, I am an existing and very happy Alpkit customer.

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jezb1 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Send him a jacket, at least on loan, until his original turns up.

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Guy Hurst 15 Jan 2020
In reply to jezb1:

> Send him a jacket, at least on loan, until his original turns up.

or the cost of a replacement, and a few goodies to partly compensate him for the time lost and inconvenience.

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Alpnick 15 Jan 2020
In reply to all:

Having spoken to brumbler, we discussed many of the options you suggest, and as I posted  I was very grateful that he took a very mature view and gave us a chance to get his original (Very nice 800 fillpower TNF jacket), back to him. 

I was clear that any point he can just ask for the full replacement cost of his jacket. He has my mobile so if he is unhappy with anything, he knows he only has to ring and we'll sort it out.

I hope that reassures everyone that we are dealing with this to brumblers satisfaction.

Cheers

Nick

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captain paranoia 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Alpkit:

> It appears that some miscommunication has occurred here and we will be addressing this with the teams at Alpkit who are involved to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

That's what I expected to hear. I foresee some staff training in the very near future...

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olddirtydoggy 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

Watching the outcome here with great interest as we're looking to help a new partner in the mountains to get kitted out.

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The Lemming 16 Jan 2020
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

I would NEVER hesitate to recommend Alpkit.

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olddirtydoggy 16 Jan 2020
In reply to The Lemming:

There are brands I would never hesitate to recommend but if the customer service went south, loyalty can change. Once upon a time Karrimor was a top line brand but look at where it's ended up now. MD's can leave, owners can sell up and the best creative staff can move to other companies with bigger budgets. I'm not suggesting for a moment that Alpkit has gone this way at all but feedback from members here and replies from companies are good indicators as to where a company may be heading. So far the reply from Alpkit here has been excellent but it is a concern it took a thread on a forum full of loyal customers to get his issue dealt with.

In an era of social media and communities like this we are witnessing here a mix of damage limitation and a genuine desire to see a customer right from staff that no doubt do care. Regardless of business, I'm sure the people at Alpkit are human and understand morals of what's right and wrong. Still, many of us here will be watching with interest to see how this plays out.

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marsbar 16 Jan 2020
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Karrimor is owned by sports direct.  That's why it's now rubbish.  I don't think it's a fair comparison.  

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The Lemming 16 Jan 2020
In reply to marsbar:

> Karrimor is owned by sports direct.  That's why it's now rubbish.  I don't think it's a fair comparison.  


I agree 100% with that. Alpkit are going above and beyond to rectify a problem that they are owning up to.

It took the OP to raise problems on here however the right person saw it and tried to help

Can't say fairer than that?

Post edited at 07:20
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marsbar 16 Jan 2020
In reply to The Lemming:

Yes.  It appears that some staff training is needed. 

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galpinos 16 Jan 2020
In reply to the thread:

This thread has taken an interesting turn. The OP has a genuine complaint that he's struggling to resolve through direct contact with the company so starts a thread. The MD of the company sees it, responds, and gets in touch with the OP and is resolving the problem to the satisfaction of the OP and post to that effect. One would imagine that would be it.

However, it would appear that "resolving the problem to the satisfaction of the complainant" is no longer enough and you have to also satisfy those potential customers following on social media. Interesting times.

*In our current age of consumerism with its inherent issues, surely just replacing stuff is the way forward. 

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Tricky Dicky 16 Jan 2020
In reply to The Lemming:

> Alpkit are going above and beyond

But they aren't are they?  They hope to have his jacket back to him within weeks - frankly that's pathetic.

They should send him a complimentary alpkit jacket to compensate for all the hassle and to tide him over whilst he waits for his jacket to be returned.  That's what other companies would do.....

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Euge 16 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

I am a loyal Alpkit customer, however, my concern is that it took this post to get things sorted!

And the OP still does not have a jacket.

Euge

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yorkshire_lad2 16 Jan 2020
In reply to galpinos:

I'd second galpinos post.  The OP had a problem (and admittedly did have to post on here to get a response), and now the company (in the form of the MD and someone from customer service) are on the case and there is a dialogue between the customer and Alpkit to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party.  Yet, the baying social meeja masses seem to want "more".

My take on it would be that there is now a dialogue between Alpkit and OP to the satisfaction of the OP, we don't know the full detail of that dialogue, but we should let them get on with it, and sort it out between themselves without being judge and jury when not in possession of the facts.

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Neil Williams 16 Jan 2020
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

Agreed.  If the OP feels he is getting nowhere he can of course come back to the thread, but it's up to him what he agrees with Alpkit.

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deepsoup 16 Jan 2020
In reply to galpinos:

> However, it would appear that "resolving the problem to the satisfaction of the complainant" is no longer enough and you have to also satisfy those potential customers following on social media. Interesting times.

Sounds outrageous when you put it like that.  If the 'complainant' had come straight here I'd agree with you, but after being passed around all over the place it seems that making it public in front of a forum full of 'potential customers' (and loyal existing customers) is what it took to finally get their attention.

Alpkit don't *have* to satisfy the baying mob on social media, that's up to them, but the many (many!) glowing recommendations made to those potential customers by satisfied existing customers are quite a valuable asset so they would probably be daft to just throw that away, especially if they're slightly belatedly keen to make it right for the OP anyway.

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deepsoup 16 Jan 2020
In reply to Tricky Dicky:

> That's what other companies would do.....

It is?  I'm really not so sure about that. 

If things have been resolved to the OP's satisfaction, I don't see what business it is of any of the rest of us to be making demands on his behalf.

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Brumbler 16 Jan 2020

Just a quick update to this thread. I should have earlier but have been pretty swamped with grant proposals at work this week.

Nick from Alpkit contacted me as he said he would and we had a chat on the phone about the issue. There have clearly been some errors along the way, and he has been very good about helping me resolve the issue. Alpkit have now said they will chase up the jacket/claim through the royal mail and should the item not turn up then they are going to cover the costs of a replacement jacket.

As I said to Nick on the phone I didnt really want to start this thread, as I am a big fan of Alpkit and have always recommended them. It's unfortunate that this happened but I am now very happy with how the situation has been resolved. I also appreciate the time out Nick took to ring me and sort this out.

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olddirtydoggy 16 Jan 2020
In reply to marsbar:

I never compared the 2 companies as similar. Maybe have a read of my post again.

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bouldery bits 16 Jan 2020
In reply to Brumbler:

I'm a big Alpkit fan, having bought an original, UK pertex, pipe dream 400 when they first appeared which is still going strong. 

Just bought some cycling Bob tights from AK which I am very impressed with. 

Glad to hear it's being sorted properly. 

Cheers,

BB

Post edited at 23:18
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Ramon Marin 17 Jan 2020
In reply to Tricky Dicky:

It seems that because Alpkit have come in here and been responsive they seem to be not doing a good job. I like all the other major brands asked to be as accountable as they asking Alpkit to be. I don't ever recall Petzl being apologetic about the Nomic wobble heads for example...

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leon 1 17 Jan 2020
In reply to Ramon Marin: Ramon, not to invalidate your point and whilst personally I think Alpkit are excellent and have done a reasonably good job of responding to an awkward situation on here, I really do feel that when you come on to comment about Alpkit you should at least declare in some way that you have a tie in/partnership with them.

https://www.alpkit.com/pages/alpkiteers/ramon-marin

This is not an attack on you personally and perhaps this needs a separate thread to avoid hijacking this one, but I do feel that any climber commenting on companies that they have sponsorship ties to can not usually be seen as objective unless they declare their interest.

Leon (dreaming of a Greggs sponsorship)

Post edited at 17:12
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Emily_pipes 14:24 Wed
In reply to Brumbler:

Glad to see Alpkit being responsive and helpful, even if the OP did have to go to a public forum.  It encourages me to keep buying their stuff.  I wish I had a similar experience with Paramo and major seam failures on a pair of so-called winter trousers that were only a few months old, but neither the standard customer service channels nor UKC naming and shaming did me any good. It was a few years ago, but I'm still ticked off because I had to eat £100 on that one. 

Post edited at 14:29
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