The Unbreakable Umbrella - my experience


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meef
March 11, 2014, 12:48 PM
Just recently had to deal with Real-Self-Defense customer service and wanted folks to know how it went.

About 4-1/2 years ago I bought one of the premium model unbreakable umbrellas. They have a 5-year warranty.

I gave it to my wife and it has had plenty of use as we live in the Pacific Northwest - a place where it is rumored to rain every now and then.

In the time she used it, unlike the promotional videos, she never: 1) beat any heavy bags with it. 2) mauled any pumpkins. 3) cut any watermelons in half. 4) stood on it while stretched between a couple of chairs. 5) subjected it to gale force winds. 6) abused it in any manner other than normal use.

Last week when she was deploying it, the section that holds all of the moving mechanism came loose and the umbrella could neither be fully opened or closed. And such is the construction of the umbrella that no fix appeared possible.

Not being too happy about having my spendy umbrella giving up like this (even after 4+ years) I emailed the company - and here's where I was impressed far beyond my expectations.

I told them what happened and asked what they wanted to do about it. They responded in less than 12 hours. At their request I emailed a couple of pics of the situation and they very promptly wrote back and asked if I wanted a refund or a replacement. No hassle, muss or fuss - just an immediate offer to completely stand behind their product and warranty.

Well, fair-minded fellow that I am, I told them that since I had actually had over 4 years good service from their product and I realize that nothing lasts forever - I would be satisfied with a price adjustment on another umbrella. Heck, when you buy a set of tires, they never give you give you back full credit for something with 40,000 miles or so on it.

They responded with essentially, "Nope. Thanks for the offer, but we're standing 100% behind our product."

They then shipped me another umbrella Priority Mail, and they paid shipping too.

Amazing. This kind of customer service impresses me so much I just had to share it.

In fact, I was so impressed I bought one of their new telescopic unbreakable models to go in the package they sent me. Everything is due here this Thursday. The entire turnaround from the time I first emailed them will be 6 days - and it would have been less than that except I was a bit slow in a couple of my emails to them. They were even responding on the weekend.

So there you have it. If you've ever considered getting one of these things, you couldn't be dealing with a better company, IMO. If you break it, or it should happen to break, you will be completely taken care of faster than many places even ship new orders.

:D

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Yo Mama
March 11, 2014, 01:10 PM
I pay extra for quality and customer service. It means everything to me. Good to hear they took care of you.

CWL
March 11, 2014, 06:07 PM
Great testimonial! I love hearing about good experiences with products & manufacturers.

I also have one of their umbrellas, owned it at least 5 years, and have had no problems with mine during all this time... granted, I live in Sunny California, but I have taken it with me often on business trips to Asia, where it has always kept the rain off. Never needed to hit anything with mine yet, but good to know that I can!

hso
March 11, 2014, 08:27 PM
WOW!

That's impressive.

rondog
March 11, 2014, 09:43 PM
The testimonial you just gave here is why they do this. You can't buy better advertising than a happy customer that's telling other people how happy he is!

Tinman357
March 11, 2014, 11:15 PM
Well, that seals it. I'm getting one

Gordon
March 11, 2014, 11:53 PM
me too

Deltaboy
March 12, 2014, 10:51 AM
That is great.

Madcap_Magician
March 12, 2014, 11:04 AM
And that's why Mr. Kurz does it. You were happy, bought another umbrella to go with your first, and two more people just from this thread now want to buy one.

Mine isn't broken, so I don't need to go through that process.

I think I might be able to take a little credit for the telescoping idea, I e-mailed them about a year and a half ago telling them if they made a telescoping umbrella about 21" long that could be used with stick techniques, I'd buy it in a heartbeat... they wrote back and said it was a great idea, and then about a year ago I got an e-mail saying PLEASE BUY OUR AWESOME NEW TELESCOPING UMBRELLA!!!

It looks awesome, but I haven't had the money to make good on my promise. You'll have to let us know how it is. :D

Sol
March 12, 2014, 11:15 AM
I've never seen an umbrella last more than one wet season around here.

4+ years of service is impressive.

meef
March 12, 2014, 12:00 PM
Madcap_Magician re: the telescoping umbrella.It looks awesome, but I haven't had the money to make good on my promise. You'll have to let us know how it is.You can bet on it. I'd been thinking about getting one for a while, but this experience pushed me over the decision line.

I fully expect it to be everything they claim. I know I always liked my wife's full-size one. I think that the concept of a compact one is a great innovation.

I will definitely be posting an opinion soon. And there's still plenty of rain left in this season (unfortunately) to put it to the test.

Fred Fuller
March 12, 2014, 06:32 PM
http://real-self-defense.com/portfolio_entries/tips/

All this, and self defense tips too? What a company.

docnyt
March 13, 2014, 05:20 AM
Cool. Will move from wish list to shopping cart.

meef
March 13, 2014, 04:08 PM
Well.... they're here.

:)

I have to admit that I had some concern about springing for the telescoping model because it certainly wasn't cheap, and I didn't know if I could justify the "want it" factor.

Now that it's here - I'd do it again in a heartbeat. High quality piece of equipment and it even comes with a spare canopy, I guess that's in case you manage to damage the original one beating down a horde of zombies. I think you'd get quite a few of them before installing the new part would be needed.

A couple of observations:

Both of these are very inconspicuous as potential weapons, although I suppose members of the "Unbreakable Umbrella Club" might pretty quickly spot the regular size model.

But the telescoping umbrella is just invisible for all practical purposes. It looks like anything but a weapon (more like a compact umbrella, for example...:))

Walking around in sunny weather with the full-size one "might" make folks wonder why you're carrying an umbrella in July. Not so much so with the compact one. I just can't imagine it drawing attention pretty much anyplace. It's less noticeable than a completely healthy-looking person carrying a cane.

And after careful self-testing with it - I can assure you that you would not want to get hit on any part of your body with this thing!

Summary:

I like having things that can go hit/poke/jab handy for use for self defense. And these will even keep the rain off in the meantime.

Thomas Kurz
March 14, 2014, 04:57 PM
We are very grateful for your spreading such kind words about our company. As for “They responded with essentially, "Nope. Thanks for the offer, but we're standing 100% behind our product",” when you bought our product, you got our warranty. We give our word and we keep it.

Thomas Kurz
March 14, 2014, 05:04 PM
You can't buy better advertising than a happy customer that's telling other people how happy he is!

True, but we don't do it (stand behind our warranty) because it pays. That would be the merchant mentality. We do it because we said we would.

hso
March 15, 2014, 09:18 PM
Mr. Kurtz,

Good to see you back at THR.

I've been a happy UU owner for many years and mine has accompanied me from Kuwait to California giving me great confidence I could "weather" any storm.

meef
March 15, 2014, 09:27 PM
True, but we don't do it (stand behind our warranty) because it pays. That would be the merchant mentality. We do it because we said we would.And that right there is the philosophy for a successful and honorable life in general.

If more people/companies subscribed to it, the world would be a better place.

:)

ApacheCoTodd
March 18, 2014, 07:03 PM
Well, that's damn nice and refreshing to hear.

So now, your first one is relegated to non-functional-disguised-as-an-umbrella pumpkin mauler?

Derry 1946
March 22, 2014, 01:59 PM
Handy thing about living in New Orleans is there's a chance of a downpour any day of the year. An umbrella is never out of place. Thanks for the info. And it's actually pretty common to see people using umbrellas here as parasols on hot sunny days.

readyeddy
March 24, 2014, 05:06 PM
I will just add that it is one terrific umbrella. It is well made and will not fall apart like other umbrellas.

SleazyRider
March 24, 2014, 06:30 PM
Dang, I wish this company made computers, and cars, and refrigerators … and guns!

JN01
March 24, 2014, 06:57 PM
Is there a big difference in durability/strength between the standard fiberglass ribs and the steel ribs? Is the steel worth the extra cost?

Thomas Kurz
March 25, 2014, 07:28 PM
Steel ribs with steel hinges will last longer than fiberglass ribs with plastic hinges--likely more than a couple of lifetimes. Also an Unbreakable® Umbrella with steel ribs (Premium model) can take a couple more machete whacks than an Unbreakable® Umbrella with fiberglass ribs (Standard model), but then who needs that?

JN01
March 26, 2014, 03:56 PM
I hadn't thought about the hinges. Thanks.

alaskanativeson
April 8, 2014, 01:04 PM
Living on the coast of the Bering Sea, we got some occasional wind. By 'some occasional' I mean about 10-12 times a year usually lasting about 10 days during which it would be steady wind at 20-30 with gusts up to 80 or so. I bought one of these in about 2008, it had three hard years of use there before we moved to the Wind River mountains in Wyoming (another place that knows wind.) It was still working fine when I gave it to a fellow teacher who lived in Sitka, Alaska who wanted a tough, reliable umbrella they could count on. Now that I'm in the Alaskan Interior, neither wind nor rain is too much of a problem, so I wanted it to go to a place it'd be appreciated. If I ever go to someplace I need an umbrella, you can be sure I'll buy from these guys again.

BigBoyToyz
April 11, 2014, 10:15 AM
You just got me on the hook to buy 2 of their models.

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