I’ve had a bit of bad luck with a (currently unnamed) surf shop in Cape Town. I bought a 4/3 Rip Curl Ultimate Elasto wetsuit, and after about 8 months the inner seams started to break and crack. The cracks made the liquid taping bend and curve and the gaps caused tones of chaffing and there were holes forming in the gaps of the suite – which were two reason to return the wetsuit from whence is came. Needless to say returning the wetsuit to the surf store is when the fun started.
I returned the wetsuit to the surf shop (still not named) under warranty with the till slip, bought a replacement suit, and awaited the response from Rip Curl about the wetty being either fixed or replaced. After a few weeks I heard that there was no stock of the old season, and they were waiting on new season stock. I thought this was fair enough, no stock means no stock and I would have to wait a bit, but I already had a nifty replacement Billabong Solution Platinum, and I was going to get the next seasons Ultimate Elasto.
I returned to the surf shop about 3 months later (still no replacement wetty – at this point I am starting to feel sorry for someone who wouldn’t have the cash to fork out for a replacement wet suit like I did), and the story I got from the store was that Rip Curl had changed ownership and the store was struggling to get the new owners of Rip Curl to honor the warranty on the suite. I figured this was a legitimate hold up, but I felt confident that Rip Curl would stick to their part of the deal regardless of who owned Rip Curl SA at the time.
Now we have moved through time from June 2007 to March/April 2008, and I hadn’t heard anything in ages and ages from the surf shop, since they were in contact with the new owners of Rip Curl SA. I basically asked for a resolution, any resolution, from the store and I hear some excuses that I won’t go into detail about but there was a lot of flack given to Rip Curl and another big wetsuit brand for their warranty’s in South Africa
rted in July 2007 and April 2008 and I went to the store again and I was looking for a final resolution – after a little more than 6 months of waiting. The store manager told me that the new owners of Rip Curl were basically not keen to replace the wetsuit as the owners were not surfers and they didn’t understand the problems were legitimate claims. The shop manager then said my wetsuit was still in the basement and I could have it back and look at it if I wanted.
The flag got raised at that point, and I managed to find the contact details of Rip Curl Australia and Rip Curl America. I sent them the details above and they promptly forwarded my mail to the blocks running Rip Curl down here in South Africa.
Here is a summary of the dates:
- 8th of August 2006: My old 5/3 Ultimate Elasto was stolen from my car
- 15th August 2006: I bought my new 4/3 Ultimate Elasto no later that 2 weeks after that (I would have died from dryness), putting the purchase date roughly in the middle of August 2006.
- 20th of June 2007: I returned the wetsuit within 12 months of purchase
- 20th of June 2007: bought a new suit while I waited for the broken one to be fixed.
- 30th April 2008! Finally picked up the replacement wetsuit – a cool 9 months later.