UKH

/ Snapped pole - retailer refuses to repair/refund

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PPP - on 03 Nov 2018

I have snapped a trekking pole while scrambling uphill - I think it did get in my way, but the trekking pole's tip was well over my knee, so it shouldn't have had too much weight on it and it must have been the horizontal force that broke it. I've got a bruised shin now and just lightly got away without tumbling down Aonach Beag. 

While I would say that breaking an item should be the customer's fault, I am not so sure I would agree with that regarding trekking poles! I bought the poles this June and they were over £100. They are advertised as durable (with improved joints from a previous version!), versatile and 4 season aluminium pole. All of that sounds like it's not fit for purpose. 

The retailer says that the manufacturer would not cover this and I am still trying to sort this out with the manufacturer. Any previous experiences with that? Chase the retailer, as the contract is with them? 

webbo - on 03 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Given they are less than 6 months old and failed in the job they are supposed to do. I would contact your local trading standards office, who if they agree that the poles are not fit for purpose. They will be able to advise you on drafting a letter to the retailer stating your case and threatening that you will be taking them to the small claims court if you do not get a refund etc.

 

Post edited at 20:45
Mark Kemball - on 03 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Unfortunately, I know from experience just how easy it is to snap a pole, particularly on scrambling ground. If the tip of the pole jams between two rocks as you're moving forwards, this is the likely effect. This was my fault for not paying closer attention to where I was placing the poles.

Post edited at 20:47
Jenny C on 03 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Can't really offer advice on of this is warranty or not but other half is a serial pole bender and Nedlesports are his usual choice for replacement sections.

Think it's a combination of bad luck and clumsiness as it is when he has fallen so not applied force vertically through the pole. I on the other hand have a nasty cheap set of poles which have proven indestructible. 

Coel Hellier - on 03 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Poles are designed to be light-weight, and as a consequence they are built to take forces only in the direction along the pole.  It's unrealistic to expect them to take forces in other directions.

Thus, whether this was a case of a faulty pole, or instead user error, is unclear.

bedspring on 03 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

These are lightweight walking poles, not super tough scrambling poles. User misuse. Take responsibility for your own actions.

PPP - on 24 Nov 2018
In reply to Mark Kemball:

I am fairly certain it wasn't jammed. 

 

For what it's worth, I got a brand new set of poles, courtesy of Black Diamond. I am hoping it's bad luck and this set will last longer! 

CH - on 24 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Kudos to Black Diamond. I bent and damaged one of their Z poles whilst winter walking (rather than running so they weren't even being used for intended purpose). When I asked if they thought it could be repaired, they sent me a brand new pair, free of charge.

Post edited at 16:36
Pedro50 on 24 Nov 2018
In reply to CH:

The string in my BD Z pole snapped. They are apparently not repairable. they were completely offhand that a 30p piece of string had rendered £100 of carbon completely useless. 

Timmd on 24 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

If you want poles which won't break in the way your's did, I'm wondering if making some out of tent poles (the wider alu kind) could be a plan, where you have the section ends threaded, and then a collar screws over each end- or something else more secure than the 'click ping' way that poles slot together. 

All design is a compromise of weight and strength (and cost), trekking poles are nice and light because they're not strong in a sideways-plain.

Post edited at 20:37
Dave the Rave on 24 Nov 2018
In reply to Timmd:

Or just use a pair of good, old fashioned, wooden sticks that bend with sideways torsion?

Timmd on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to Dave the Rave: Where's the creative inventiveness in that? You couldn't take them to bits and strap them to your rucksack too.

 

Post edited at 01:19
PPP - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to Dave the Rave:

That'd be too hipster for me - got a long enough beard already and coffee as a hobby...!

Post edited at 01:21
PPP - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to CH:

Yes, BD are awesome. I should have not tried the retailer first, but the contract is with them. 

 

Meanwhile, Cotswold Outdoors replaced a jacket where a hem drawcord failed - still baffles me they just gave me 200-odd quid back that easily. 

pass and peak - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

You should think of poles like socks, you only ever lose/snap one at a time! Then your left with a spare, if you keep buying the same (read cheep) poles you'l always have plenty of spare ones back home! I now have my current climbing set plus 2 spare's kept in the vehicle! FWIW my other walking/trekking poles are BD Trail series (old style) and have proved indestructible, plus the replacement tips are cheep! pity they don't collapse small enough for climbing/scrambling. 

purplemonkeyelephant - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

I once worked in one of the big outdoor shops. A lady came in trying to return some poles that her friend broke. Apparently she fell over and the pole jammed between two rocks and the pole snapped. Then she mentioned her friend was overweight. On inspection the poles, which hadn't been adjusted since, were extended past the maximum recommended point. 

We said we weren't going to exchange them, to which she had a big hissy fit and said she knew a judge and we would be hearing from her, and then stormed out. 

PPP: Do you think the poles were being used normally when it suddenly snapped? And why on earth didn't BD just send you a spare part?

 

captain paranoia - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

> The retailer says that the manufacturer would not cover this

Just a reminder here: your contract, under UK consumer law, is with the retailer, not the manufacturer.

Dave Kerr - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to purplemonkeyelephant:

> ? And why on earth didn't BD just send you a spare part?

One strap on my bd poles fell apart, I contacted them and asked for a single new strap and they sent me a whole new pair of poles. It's possible they don't carry spares of some items, just complete sets.

 

John W - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I lost a brand new BD Z pole, emailed them to ask if I could buy a single replacement, and they sent me a brand new one, complete free. Brilliant service, above and beyond the call of duty.

Lusk - on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to Pedro50:

> The string in my BD Z pole snapped. They are apparently not repairable. they were completely offhand that a 30p piece of string had rendered £100 of carbon completely useless. 


Of course they're not repairable, how would they sell you new stuff?!
Sound as bad as Apple. Took a mate's dead Time Machine down to the Apple repair centre, they checked it over, sorry, it's unrepairable.  10 mins on the internet, 5 capacitors (about £2) and half a days work later, fixed.

Dave the Rave on 25 Nov 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> Where's the creative inventiveness in that? You couldn't take them to bits and strap them to your rucksack too.

Trees were not invented, my good Timmd, they just grew. 

Lurking Dave - on 26 Nov 2018
In reply to Lusk:

Let me fix that for you 

> sorry, it's economically unrepairable.  <sic>

How much were you putting on the cost of a technician for half a day???

 

mattdennies - on 26 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

Another big thumbs up for BD. I slipped with (my friends) alpine FLZ planted in wet ground, put most of my body weight through it and snapped one of the sections clean in half.

Emailed them expecting to pay for a replacement section or for a repair, they said they didn't have any in stock to replace them so gave me credit equal to the price of the poles!

Can't get much better customer service than that.

springfall2008 - on 27 Nov 2018
In reply to PPP:

If you paid on the credit card just take a claim back against the card company, they will refund you and chase the retailer.

 

uistgr on 07 Dec 2018
In reply to mattdennies:

have recently had an issue with one of my Salewa carbon poles where the faulty pole appears to have  separated slightly at one of the joints. After twice involving Salewa and the retailer Tiso with no satisfaction. I have now moved on but completely lost all brand loyalty I had with this retailer as they seem not to recognise the safety aspect associated with walking poles.  These were not cheap poles and the manufacturer could have easily either repaired or replaced the faulty pole. Only when you suffer the effects a broken pole will you appreciate how important the integrity of the pole is. Back to BD or Leki for me.


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