I want to share my perhaps unique experience with the w48 burton program and perhaps get some feedback from fellow riders.
In late 2005 i decided to treat myself to a burton jacket. I wasn't snowboarding at the time but i intended to pick it up, and thought i'd start with a good jacket. I also wanted to trade a robust down jacket for a modern technical one, so i went to the local dealer and asked for the warmest one. From their selection, they recommended a pretty plain looking jacket simply called 5/3. My friends mostly had jackets of this type, but they had smaller numbers. The jacket cost more than 300 euros
(thats $450 nowadays, but i think it was like $400 or less at the time). I thought it would be a good investment since all my friends had burton stuff and it last them for ages.
I only went snowboarding that season for two days, and i wore it around town for the rest of the winter. The next winter i spent in california and didn't even wear the jacket, and the winter of 2007/2008 i again wore it just casually, without snowboarding in it.
Just from this normal wear, small holes started appearing whever the jacket was creased. The zipper rubber also fell off, but the jacket was fine otherwise. In the winter of 2008/2009 i actually did manage to ride in it, and i did so for about 3 weeks. The jacket seams started getting undone after just a few days. First in one place, and gradually in others as well. The lift ticket pocket simply got devastated, and once the ticket fell out. The side of the jacked came open, but the edges were perfectly straight, it was just the seam that came undone. Unfortunately, since this was the only jacket that i had i had to continue riding in it, and eventually i've caught branches and stuff and that part got a bit ripped. But on another place, the chest, the seem also came undone even though the are around it shows no wear and tear, and the seam is pretty well concelied beneath the face, so there is no way that it could have teared.
At first i thought that burton is sipmly crap, but then all of my friends who had cheaper models, had their last longer. The jacket came with a warranty, and it happened to be the w48 "we backup our gear period" thing. I wasn't really optimistic about it since it's an older jacket and all... but hey it says lifetime, so i decided to give it a shot.
I called the numbers on the red card, first the USA one, and then the one in Austria because they told me that they function completely independently. The rider services looked up my location and told me to call a certain agent or dealer in another country (i live in Serbia, the dealer is in Slovenia). So i'm following the instructions from an official burton agent, to contact another official burton agent. I told the dealer that i would like to know if i can even claim a warranty, and that i don't have a receipt handy, but that i could find it if it's worth it
. The dealer told me to bring it to a local shop which they own, so they can take pictures and see if it's a defect issue
. I took the pictures myself just in case and i took the jacket to the store, along with the red w48 card, and the cardboard thing that was attached to the jacket, which had info about the model features and warranty as well, it also mentioned lifetime and w48.
The people at the store simply could not comprehend that i bought a jacket at a completely different store (they deal with Ride now) and that i'm trying to claim a warranty, but after i managed to convince them that they are a burton dealer and that i spoke with their boss, they told me to leave the jacket at the store. I didn't get any receipt for leaving the jacket.
Then i haven't heard from anyone in a couple of weeks, so i decided to email the pictures to the person i was in touch with myself. Again i got no response. I wasn't pressuring them since it was summer time, and i still had no receipt but i did try calling them on occasion. At one point, the person in Slovenia (the owner of the stores) told me to go to the store myself and instruct someone over there, to bring the jacket with him when he goes to visit their hq. Like they couldn't sort that out themselves, but i did go. The people at the store were like "Oh hell yeah, i know the jacket, but we took it to the warehouse somewhere and it's a mess down there...", thats when i got pissed off and decided to find the damn receipt.
When i found it, i pressured them to do something, at least give me some info, because all this time i didn't know if this would be accepted as a defect or damage or whatever. Again i call the dealer in slovenia and he tells me to bring the receipt to the store. I did so. Again i didn't hear from anyone in a couple of weeks and again i called them myself. They said that this is not applicable, that this is damaged and not a defect, but since i've been waiting for so long they're going to give me a new jacket anyway, as a gift. At this point i decided to start calling the number in austria again, and report this whole ordeal.
When i sent them the pictures, they wrote very confusing emails. They always mention the AK line, and a 1 year warranty
. My jacket is neither AK, nor did it say that it had a one year warranty, all it said was "we backup our gear period" and w48. Then they say that the seams getting undone is definitely a warrranty issue, but that the side damage is simply damaged. I claim that this rip wouldnt look so bad if the seems hadn't come undone first.
After getting in touch with a boss their who said he'll try to sort things out and see what the hell took so long and why am i in this situation (ski trip in 3 days, and that replacement arrived yesterday, haven't picked it up yet) i was promised a call. Again i received none and had to call them instead. Just now i received an email from this boss guy, saying that he did call the agent, that the agent said my jacket is 5-6 years old (it shouldnt be) that it's definitely out of the 1 year policy
without a proof of purchase it's a clear decline...
I provided a proof of purchase, and i still don't know where this 1 year policy thing came from.
At first my hopes weren't that high and i wasn't expecting to get a new jacket or anything, maybe just have mine stitched better than my grandma could do it. But i was mostly curious with this w48 thing. AFter this whole ordeal i really got annoyed, and wanted to see it through. My mistake was not demanding to get a receipt when i took the jacket to the store, but the people there were pretty confused by the situation, and got me confused after all the explaining i had to go through. I'm under the impression that the jacket was lost, and that's why they were so happy to give me a new jacket even though they aren't obligated to. It seems that the replacement is pretty inferior, as i understood it's supposed to be a 2/1 model, and navy in color (mine was black).
Anyway, here are the pictures of the jacket, i'd really like to hear 3rd part opinion on the damage and material fail. The really bad looking rip on the side looked as clean as the undone chest, but i kept riding in it and it ended up looking like this.