Jansport’s Warranty Delight !
This post is totally out of the range of topics I usually blog about. But I’m posting it here for a reason – there’s a lesson I learnt and it took a period of six years, hence the exception.
So, back in the day in 2005 (during IITJee prep days) I was lugging around these massive science text books and doing a commute of about 3 hours everyday in the insanely crowded trains of aamchi Mumbai. At some point, my old backpack gave way and I told Abba that I needed a new sturdy one and he gave me the OK to buy a new one.
So, I went to Bandra and bought a Jansport laptop backpack for 6000 Rs (125 USD). Now, that was a huge amount. And my dad was furious. He couldn’t understand why I needed a 6k backpack when you could get one for 200 Rs. In his opinion, I was trying to be a hero. And I get it now, why he would think that – I had just shifted from Dubai to Mumbai, hadn’t still cleared IITJee, and hadn’t earned a single penny up till that point in my life. So yes, he was justified in being mad at me.
My reason for buying a Jansport backpack – you got what you paid for, and they gave you lifetime warranty. When I told Abba that, he laughed at me. He said, “Who’s lifetime, the bags, or yours?”
Even one of my good friends at that time scoffed at me. And thought I was foolish and didn’t know the value of money. And was a rich spoilt brat.
Fast-forward 6 years.
Well. They were right. Partially. The backpack didn’t last. December 2011, it gave away. Finally! I was so ecstatic. I happily wrote a letter to Jansport and shipped the broken backpack off to them.
Here was my chance to prove to Abba that I was right. That I knew the value of money. And that Jansport would stand by their product and warranty.
I purchased this backpack from an authorized dealer in Mumbai about 6 years ago. I love this backpack because it was one of the only ones available in Mumbai which had a separate holder for my laptop, and it was super convenient for me while I traveled daily in the crowded Mumbai trains and buses to my college and back.
Now, at some point, because I was carrying so many books and my laptop, the seams near the point where the shoulder straps are connected to the main bag started giving away. I took it to the Jansport dealer in Mumbai, who, sent it in for repair at their local repair shop and fixed it for me at no cost. I was super happy and used it for another year or so.
Now, last year, I was happy to receive admission to Stanford University, and I of course brought my lucky backpack with me to sunny California. I’ve used it for a year now since I’m here and have taken it to class and lab everyday. I also use it for my hiking trips.
But alas, the seams are getting undone again. Plus the side holders have lost their elasticity. When I keep my bottles, they just slip out. Also, the inner lining in the compartments is starting to come off.
I’ve temporarily bought a backpack from REI, but am not at all happy with it. Its uncomfortable, doesn’t hold as much and I feel that it is bringing me bad luck.
Can you please fix my bag ?
– Saad Bhamla
A couple of days later, I received this email, followed by a phone call. They said, that they couldn’t fix my bag, but would be happy to send me a brand new one, of my choice.
And they did. When I returned home from my India trip, there was a shiny new Jansport Odyssey 39, waiting outside my door.
So, I called up Abba and told him this entire story. He said, ya ya, sweet story. You can blog about it all you want. I’m still right. It’s still not worth 6k. Do you know how many people can be fed in six thousand rupees, he asks me..
“No”, I reply.