Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Just Can't Have Nice Things (4)

To see the resolution for this story, click here.

I was so ecstatic mid-September 2005 when I finally managed to get my paws on a Rampage Sheepish Tote. ET posted a page from a magazine and I fell in love with the Rampage bag. I had to wait nearly three weeks before someone returned their bag so I could get mine. That meant checking on the site five times a day at work to see if they had posted any. Yes, I realize that three weeks isn't that long for an item I wanted but it was still annoying. I was happy when it arrived and took some pictures, thinking I would integrate them into a happy post at some point. Original pictures:

I would expect a bag that I paid $48 would last at least a year. That seems reasonable, right? Especially considering handbags I purchased from JC Penney and Target 6 years ago are still carried by my mother and are in good condition.

Sure, I expected the white shearling stuff to get a little dirty like you see here.

Imagine my surprise when, approximately 50 days after I purchased the handbag, one of the handles started ripping at the seam of one of the handles. At the time I thought "Eh, no biggie. It surely won't get any worse." Boy, was I wrong!

Fast forward to tonight when I was at the grocery store and the bungee cord in the middle of the handle finally broke. Unfortunately, there was no springy sound made. Here's what my handle looks like now:

I had already decided before tonight that I would contact Rampage and do a little passive-aggressive "give me my money back" dance. Here's my original email, with their reply:

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 10:43 AM
To: CustomerSupport
Subject: Rampage Contact Us - Customer Service - Defective Merchandise

Rampage Contact Us - Customer Service

Email Address:

Last Name: Harden

First Name: Rachel

Order Number (If you're writing about an order): 137414

Your Phone Number: 918-XXX-XXXX

Please Describe your Issue or Problem Please be specific.: The seam on
one of the handles on my Sheepish tote handbag has ripped apart, exposing
the blue "bungee" cord inside. Is this normal wear and tear for this item?
If not, what is the process needed for an effective repair? I live in
Oklahoma which is not within 100 miles of a store location.

I can take pictures of the product if they are needed.

Thank you,

Rachel Harden

Subject: RE: Rampage Contact Us - Customer Service - Defective Merchandise
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 12:26:59 -0800
From: "CustomerSupport"

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for your email - we apologize for the handbag. You might try
taking the bag to a seamstress. We'll certainly be happy to accept it
back for a refund - please remember to include your full name and the
order number, and return it to:
2300 S. Eastern Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90040

Thanks for visiting the all new!

Well, that was great news. My passive-aggressive thing worked. Take it to a seamstress...hah! I figured the better thing to do would be to FedEx the handbag so that I would have a record of where the shipment was and if it had reached Rampage. But to ship with FexEx you need a phone number for the shipment destination. I called their customer service and explained the situation. I asked "what is your phone number so that I may FedEx the shipment to you?" The woman replied, "Oh, that's much too expensive, just send it USPS."

Hmm...funny, but that's not what I asked you. Isn't it my business if I chose to spend more money on shipping anyway? As it is, if I ship it FedEx Ground, I'll probably pay $1 more. I checked at work on our dandy postage machine and the "get courtesy rate" on the FedEx page. But whatever. I'll just put the number from this page on the FedEx shipment and hopefully FedEx won't need to use it.

I'm curious to see how this pans out for me. Will they refund me $48 (the cost of the bag), $53.95 (cost of bag + shipping to me), or $ ~ $60.00 (cost of bag + shipping to me + shipping back to them), or a pecentage of the cost of the bag? Their choice (cost of the bag will make me a happy camper) and the timeliness with which they refund my credit card will determine if I ever purchase something from them again. I already feel like it's more trouble than it's worth with the shipping back and forth.

My next handbag purchase: Coach. Ridiculous amount of money, I know. But if anything goes wrong, Coach will fix it. Usually free. And it'll probably last 20 years. Think of all of the crappy handbags I would have bought in that amount of time. The cost-benefit would probably be in my favor.

Just for fun up soon...what exactly was in Rachel's handbag?


BKDotCom said...

Hmm... the title of this post should be "Overpriced and trendy doesn't equate to quality goodness"

You got your "nice thing", it's just a shoddy piece of poo. You'd rather have your money back than this "nice thing." Apparently the not so nice bags you gave to your mom are, in fact, nicer.

Rachel said...

But if I called it "overpriced and trendy..." it wouldn't fit in with my "I just can't have nice things" recurring theme.

Funny part of it is that in the world of handbags, $48 is really C-H-E-A-P. But it was pricey to me because I generally buy purses that are in the $15-30 range. No more!

giselle said...

Oooh!!! Coach. I have Coach sunglasses and I love them. Don't have a Coach purse.. I did get a D&D purse and my cat chewed the handle.

giselle said...

Ok, I look dumb. I meant D&B. Whatever, it was late. ;)

ET said...

I have to agree with Rachel that $48 does not equal "nice thing" equals "cheap bag." Still, I was shocked by the photos! I thought just the "leather" on the handle had cracked, but this is outrageous! Please, please, please buy a Coach bag. I told the ladies at the Coach store that I was trying to drag you in, kicking and screaming. They are expecting you. It will last FOREVER (unless you let Shelby eat it or something). I don't know of anyone who has ever complained about a Coach bag being defective, AND they have a lifetime warranty. And for a designer handbag, $200 to $300 is cheap. But once you go quality, you won't ever go back.

Oh, and Giselle, I just bought the Coach "Suzie" sunglasses in black (see blog for pic, "New York State of Mind") and they are FABULOUS!!! I now need a pair of green Oliver Peoples "Athenas" and I will be done.