It’s no secret that I break things on a regular basis. No, I don’t intentionally break them, I play hard and I expect my gear to be able to keep up with me. It has always been that way and I don’t see why it would change. Some gear is just made, designed or preforms better than others.
No matter how well it’s built or designed or the materials used, if it is made by man it can and often times will break. If it does break you hope the manufacture steps up to the plate and this is were you get to see them shine or fade to black.
I try to always give them the benefit of the doubt, give them the chance to work out a solution. A lot of times things get sorted out pretty well, every now and then you have to go through hell and high water to get a resolution. On more than one occasion I have had a small supporting part break, a spring, latch or clip. I think it is a great idea that manufactures have customer service personnel who can handle the replacement of these parts. The typical procedure is to call the “800” number and wait to speak with an representative. Then you have to explain the widget that broke and you probably have no idea what the hell it is called so you sound like an idiot trying to explain, “it’s the little thing with a hook, that is kind of blue” or something like that. We have all done it and I would bet an average call time with waiting and explaining then resolving has to be at best around 15-20 minutes and who knows at worse.
What if a manufacture had a more streamlined process? Say something like visiting a website with various replacement parts pictured. You scroll through until you find the one and select it, then fill out some standard shipping information and the replacement part is shipped off to you. And the best part, it is free!
Well, Surefire has figured out that a great first step in customer service is setting up exactly that. If you visit their Rapid Replacement Parts website and find the part listed among the over a dozen you are set. If not, you can visit their FAQ’s and if you still come up bingo, then you always have the option of calling in to try and get the situation resolved the old fashion way.
Recently at the Mid Range Marksmanship class I was pulling out my brand new E2D Defender Ultra, which I love by the way, bad ass little light for sure and the clip literally snapped off. At first I thought it just separated and I could reinsert it. Nope, I broke the damn thing. So, I reached out to some of my friends at Surefire and they commented about the Rapid Replacement Part they brought online. I checked it out and it literally took me a couple of minutes (actually 3) to find the part and type in the shipping information.
Probably one of the most stress free warranty issues I have ever had to deal with. Now of course, there are times when you have to call in and speak to a customer service representative, but this option is great. It would be awesome to see more manufactures recognize the value, the time saved and in the end the step forward in their customer service.