I am glad you wrote about your replacements because it gives us the opportunity to explain the procedure for handling this kind of issue. We have a replacement procedure whether the harness is damaged by a dog or a human, or it’s a manufacturer’s defect. Regardless of how the damage happened (or what the customer thinks happened), the procedure to get a replacement is the same - we need:
We need this information whether you request the replacement or if your customer does it themselves (more on this in a moment). We don’t usually require the harness to be mailed back (which costs time and money) as in most cases we can see the damage and assess how it occurred from emailed photos (it is after all 2018!). We prefer that each incident is handled ‘the sooner the better’ versus in a batch like in this case.
Our replacement policy is simple: If it’s dog or human damaged we ask for a small replacement fee ($6.95), if it is a manufacture’s defect, the replacement is on us.
The truth about damaged gear
As we all know, dogs are toothy, clawed, happy, playful, exuberant (and often muddy, wet & stinky) beings … whose friends are the just the same. They are like having fuzzy perpetual-4-year-olds with tails. And thus, they can be a bit ‘ruff’ on their gear. The truth of the matter is that most damage is assisted by our toothy friends’ teeth (or - less frequently - by a human who steps on a buckle or breaks it with by closing a door on it, etc.).
With over a decade of experience (and also working with our suppliers and competitors), we know a dog can not simply tear or rip 1200 lb. test material (our most basic material). 99.999% of the time the damage is caused by a tooth and harness interaction. Yes, there IS the very rare occurrence when a buckle or slider might unfortunately not be made to spec, or for some reason a seam gives out – that would be a manufacture’s defect.
If the dog damaged it/chewed
If a customer DOES say that their dog caused the damage, simply send them to our Chew Relief page and we will take it from there www.WalkYourDogWithLove.com/chew
If the cause is unclear
For everything else, simply send customers to our guarantee page here https://walkyourdogwithlove.com/guarantee (it is easy to find from any page on our site) or they can contact us at ServiceDog@WalkYourDogWithLove.com. And we will take care of the issue. Easy Peasy.
The ‘issue’ is that quite often a customer does not actually see the damage occur. And to add to this, they also present it by starting the conversation ‘I don’t know how it happened, and I also know my puppy didn’t chew it…’
All of this leaves you – our vendor - in a tough and sensitive spot, one that we totally understand: you/we want to help our customer, yet we also need to educate them so that this kind of ‘mysterious’ tear does not happen again. Yes, it’s very hard to look a customer in the eye and tell them that their dog ‘chewed’ or somehow interacted with the harness to cause the damage. And how does that help you keep your customer?
We have your back. And your customer’s too
The good news is that You don’t have to do any of this. As noted above, you are always welcome to send the customer to us. Most often, it will be quicker and easier for you and your customer:
The great thing is that we have a nice way to do this, and customers are usually Appreciative (yup, we get emails saying Thank You for how you handled the replacement). And because of the way we handle it customers learn how to prevent these issues in the future. Everyone wins.
Also, depending on the issue, we have ways to help customers have a working harness Right Now, while they wait for their replacement.
If you choose to handle the return, we hope you can educate the customer on how and why the damaged happened; and how it can be prevented in the future. There are a lot of great tips on the chew page. We welcome your thoughts and tips to make it even better. As a Dog Professional, we know ‘this isn’t your first time at the rodeo’ either.
If you are handling it on your own, we also need the above info to process the order. We are also always happy to get you a different color or size than the one with the actual damage. Is this the most perfect system? Maybe, maybe not, yet it works the best; the truth of Dogs is that they have teeth and investigate their world with them – and we are OK with looking that fact in the face, in a kind and loving way. We just want to help people Walk Their Dogs With Love.