Saturday, April 10, 2010
Brands Worth Loving - Baby Jogger
There are a lot of brands whose products I like, but every once in a while I come across a brand that is really amazing from start to finish. A lot of companies put out cool looking products, but not all of them can withstand heavy daily use. You can tell the really amazing brands - those that truely have amazing products - by the quality of their customer service. Baby Jogger is one of those brands.
I have two Baby Jogger strollers - the new City Select and a 2 year old City Mini (my parents also have a second City Mini that lives at their house) - and love them both. Smart design, excellent durabillity, good drive, etc. I can honestly say in two years we've only had two issues with our City Mini. About a year ago we noticed that the plastic "windows" in the canopy had cracked where they folded when the canopy was collapsed. We decided that it was not worth complaining to Baby Jogger about since it seemed mostly cosmetic, iit didn't impact the function of the stroller (in a deluge we would hopefully have the rain cover on) and we knew that in the next version of the City Mini (which my mom has) they had addressed the material for the windows to make it more flexible. Two weeks ago we had a more serious issue. In the course of two days two of the fabric loops that the straps attach to broke off. Luckily both times it happened at home while I was buckling in one of the tots and I could easily move it to the next setting and adjust to make it fit.
I snapped a picture of both issues with my blackberry and sent it off to customer service. Within a couple days they looked into it and wrote back apologizing for the delay and for the fact that they couldn't replace it under the warrenty (which is lifetime for the frame, but 1 year for the fabric). They did offer to give me almost 50% off on a new replacement seat and canopy - so for $65 including shipping I basically got a brand new stroller. I even got to pick a new color - my old one was red, dirty and covered in playground dust, my new one is sleek, black and free of grime and crumbs (at least temporarily). Now it wasn't free, but $65 is a lot less than I thought I was going to pay and more than fair for what is basically a brand new stroller.
(On a side note: on the same phone call to order the replacement fabric they also happily took my feedback on suggested changes for the City Select rain covers and storage bag to share at their weekly meeting with their product development team. Kudos to a company that asks for feedback and tries to feed it back into the design process to improve their products.)
A similar story comes from a close friend of mine with a 3 year old Baby Jogger City Elite. They also live in New York City and she has a very active daughter so her stroller has gotten three years of very hard, year round use. She also keeps a substantial diaper bag permanently draped over the handlebar. A couple months ago her stroller frame cracked right below the handlebar. I don't mean a little hairline crack, this was a full shear through you-can-see-air-all-the-way-through it kind of crack. Given how close it was to where her diaperbag attaches to the stroller it's not entirely suprising that the frame gave up the ghost (amazingly she was able to drive the stroller for another couple weeks with no problem). She spent a few minutes on the phone with custmer service and they sent her a full new frame that arrived within days. No charge, no questions, no hassle, no "please box up and send us your old frame so we know you won't resell it" business.
Its great to come across a company like this and we just felt they deserved some praise for having not only an amazing product line, but also an amazing customer service department to support it.