Waterfield Cases\SF Bags 11" MBA Case\Sleeve = Horrid Customer Experience! Avoid...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bella92108, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    So last week mid-week I ordered a case from Waterfield, the sleeve for the Macbook Air. They said it'd ship by Nov 1... Nov 1 it didn't ship, and I emailed, they said it'd ship by Nov 2, didn't happen. Nov 2 I emailed and they said I could pick it up from them since I'm in the Bay Area... they replied that I can pick it up on the 2nd afternoon, I asked for the address, they said "call before you come"... the same thing happened on the 3rd, still said the same thing. When I call they have a "we're too busy to talk" message... so I decided to email. They replied today saying it won't be available for pickup today, try again tomorrow. And I emailed back saying this is getting frustrating that I keep getting a different story every time, and they keep telling me tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, and don't even tell me where to go to pick up, nor answer the phone.

    "Gary" (or someone emailing on his behalf), emailed me back telling me that I'm obviously not satisfied and maybe I should just go to the Apple store and find a case, and that he cancelled my order.

    That's the absolute worst customer service experience I've EVER had with an accessory vendor. Arrogance should be EARNED, and judging by their size and standing, they haven't earned the arrogance afforded to companies like Apple. I will NEVER buy from them again and NEVER recommend them to anyone.

    I've heard several people here in the area say they're shady and operate "local" sweatshops in garages, I guess that's why they're so evasive when I ask where I can "Will Call Pickup" the case, and why they never answer the phone.

    I'd avoid these guys like the plague. My instinct told me to hold out for inCase to release a MBA 11" case, so now I'll do that. There's a reason why companies like inCase are successful. They meet their commitments, and provide service, and don't have unearned arrogance.

  2. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    Well, I got an email from 'Gary' who seemed perfectly nice, and informed me that mine would be shipped tomorrow, with priority mail. Haven't had an issue thus far, and their response on email is nice, and very personal.

    They said it would ship on the Friday when I ordered, and lo and behold it did so. As for sweat shops, I wonder where Incase products are made?
  3. macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Just a counterpoint - I think those guys rock. To be fair, I've never had to order something that was in super high demand, like a brand new product.....
  4. bella92108, Nov 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2010

    thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Yeah, I'm guessing every email comes from "Gary" ... I would have been perfectly fine if they hadn't given me the run-around for a week saying it'd be ready for pickup "tomorrow" day after day, or had they shipped it a week ago like they committed to when I ordered.

    Either way, it's not an acceptable way to treat customers, and I vote with my money so I'll vote for someone else.

    I'm guessing Apple has 10,000 orders for Macbook Air for every 1 case those guys make, if not more. There's nothing wrong with a company setting realistic expectations. What makes a company is how they respond when they fail to meet their own commitments. To say "sorry, here's $5 off, we will do our best to have it ready tomorrow" or to say "go find a case elsewhere" is why these guys have been a TINY company the 10 years they've been around and why inCase is a huge company after being in business for the same time. Apple has earned it's arrogance, Waterfield\SFBAGS has not.
  5. macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Sorry to hear about you poor experience. FWIW, I ordered my sleeve on Oct 25 @ 10PM, it shipped on Oct 29 and arrived on Nov 1. It's a nice product - looks almost Apple OEM. I have an iPhone case from them. Customer service has been good in my experience.
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    I prefer InCase anyhow, this was just a tide-me-over until InCase ships theirs, so much for supporting local companies. :-(

    I guess China wins again :-( :-(
  7. macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    I buy tons of stuff from them. They are the best.

    They are madly getting these new models out.

    Mind you, these are being made on almost no notice , and they must be frantic.

    I've ordered for the new models and they are about 3 days behind schedule.

    Bella, you case is isolated i'm afraid.

    Note: I've never had a retailer so pissed at me that they told me to not buy from them any longer. Must be humiliating.


    But I agree, don't promise things you can't deliver. Just greedy ( but I suppose I can relate to that a bit :) )
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    I'm sure they've made many happy customers, however obviously they're not so amazing that they've gone anywhere except a local internet-retailer. They don't sell in any retail, they don't sell through online distribution aside from their own site.

    I understand delays, and I was very understanding. My guess is they're stressed and they'd rather just cancel an order than deal with it... which to me is counterintuitive, but hey, they have to stay small somehow.

    I have NEVER in my life had a company tell me to take my business elsewhere because I expressed concern that they promised me a product 4 days in a row and I just want to know when (even if it's 2 weeks away) my product will arrive. That's not unreasonable.
  9. macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    Got this email earlier today as well...maybe you caught Gary at a bad time? Nonetheless, it's unacceptable. Good on you for bringing it up, hopefully someone there will read this thread and make appropriate improvements.
  10. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Maybe. Not my problem though. I'm the customer, and when you run a business it's unacceptable to not treat a customer with respect... he basically told me to f-off, knowing they sell the only case for the 11" right now. Running a business means sometimes you have to admit mistakes were made. They promised a date, failed, then promised 3 subsequent dates, and missed all 3. I wasn't asking for any monetary compensation, just an accurate date I can expect my product.

    Guess it was my first time giving them a shot, and my last. :)
  11. macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Also, I imagine you didn't deal with the owner at all. The emails are signed Gary, but that's just a form letter.

    Most likely just a sales person that has issues.
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    I'm guessing so... but who knows, it's obviously a tiny tiny company that occupies a suite the size of the average apartment in SF... so guess they want to stay small... and they will if it takes them 2 weeks to get a sleeve made, and treat customers like they treated me.

    How to stay small as a company:

    a) Overpromise, underdeliver.
    b) Tell your customers to shop somewhere else.

    Imagine if Apple did that, lol
  13. macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Sorry to hear about your experience, but I and many others I know have ordered a lot of products from Gary and they've been nothing short of professional and friendly.

    In fact, when the iPad first shipped, there was an issue with the fit of the case, and they knew it before the customers...What did they do? Sent mail out saying not to send anything back. Keep the case and use it for something else and that a properly fitting one would be on it's way right away.

    That's customer service!
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Well we'll agree to disagree on that one, when they replace a defective product (yeah, making a product to fit and it not fitting is a defect), they have an obligation to fix or replace it. We've become so familiar with sub-par customer service that when a company does what's REQUIRED, they look like heros.

    While they may have rapidly responded to that situation, it was damage control more than anything else. Or maybe I'm just angry because they've totally disenfranchised me as a customer for life.
  15. macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    It's not their obligation to reach out to you before the package arrives and tell you to keep that one and that another one is already on it's way.

    As with any seller, no one is perfect, but everyone I know has had nothing but a great experience from them.
  16. andyd409, Nov 4, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010

    macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2010
    I just got my case from SF Bags for my 11 inch MBA. It took over a week, I knew that going in. I even made some last minute requests for changes which were granted and it still shipped when they said it would, I fact it shipped two days early.

    I imagine SF Bags is overloaded with orders right now, I am glad to see a small business succeed. But maybe because of the overload they need some additional people at least in the short trek.

    BTW, I really like my sleeve for my 11 inch.

    SF Bags / Waterfield = highly recommended!

    Just MHO, YMMV

  17. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    I expected mine to ship or be available for pickup when they quoted Monday on my order. Then they said tuesday. Then wednesday... then today... at what point does it become a game? I was understanding that they've got a lot of orders, but comon, if you've been in business for 10 years you should be able to give a reasonable timeframe with accuracy, and if your customer service reps are telling people "tomorrow you can pick up" 4 days in a row and you keep failing the deadline, there's an issue.

    Keep in mind in the 10 years they've been in business, this isn't the first product that's been released, lol. Clearly they don't have aspirations to be a big company nor grow their business, and that's fine, just set realistic expectations. A customer can only expect what a company promises.

    Either way I'm not losing sleep over this one. I think their "cases" look like garbage, they're a bit to hippy for me, I prefer the modern, clean-lines like apple designs, and the crumpler\incase products are generally more in line with my taste. I thought the suade sleeve would hold me over till something else came along. I ended up purchasing the Crumpler 10" sleeve, and it works great, it's just a little short, as was expected.... but it'll do until something better comes along. I won't even deal with SFBAGS\Waterwhatever anymore. Just WATER under the bridge, lol
  18. macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010

    I have ordered lots of cases from them - some of them for high demand new models, and they always deliver 150%.
  19. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Yep. Most have good experiences it's why I ordered from them.

    I'm not mad at them for missing the mark in my situation. I'm mad because they screwed up and rather than taking accountability they told me to f-off and disrespected me.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    Unfortunately in this case we are hearing only one side of the story. Customers aren't always such little innocent angles believe me. :rolleyes:
  21. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Quite true. But when I plan my day tuesday based on them telling me Monday that it'll be ready for pickup between 10am and 2 pm, and to call for directions tuesday to find out that it's not ready and they commit to wednesday that it'll be ready for pickup between 10am and 2 pm, and to call for directions wednesday to find out that it's not ready and they commit to today that it'll be ready for pickup between 10am and 2 pm, and to call for directions this morning to find out that it's not ready and they commit to tomorrow I think I was pretty calm, I just explained that it's bad business to continue to do this. If they say "it'll be done in a week" then they get it done Monday, at least it beats their commitment.

    The WORST thing a company can do in regards to service is to overpromise and underdeliver.

    Either way, I'm done with them. You can make your own choices, I normally stick with well established national brands, because often times mom n pop companies like this can have issues like this... so I just will use my crumpler sleeve till inCase comes out with theirs :)

    I am curious in what circumstance you'd justify a company being disrespectful to a customer. While I may have been demanding, they were disrespectful.
  22. macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2005
    I've also ordered a bunch of things from Waterfield and have had great results each time, including some where I've had to exchange email with customer service.

    Most recent order was also for a MBA sleeve, which said it would ship by Nov. 5 when I ordered a few days ago, and sure enough I got an email with the tracking info tonight.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    You seem like a fairly level headed person so I don't believe you went off on them half cocked, in a circumstance where a customer is completely beside themselves and can't get control is the point when I tell them to hit the road, those are the types of people who give 1/8 respect and expect 100%.

    In your instance OP I don't see from your story you being that way. But unfortunately WF probably has thousands of orders to fulfill each day, I believe they also accept global orders not from just folks in the US. So unfortunately you were just a drop in the bucket along with the rest of their orders, and I guess they felt one unhappy person wouldn't make a big deal.

    Like you said best to stick with some of the name brands from big box retailers sometimes.
  24. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    Either way, I hope InCase or someone else comes out with a super-simple slip-on sleeve. I have the crumpler 10" sleeve, but it's a little too short... would be cool just to have a simple horizontal or vertical sleeve for it... the 11" is way too pretty to hide in anything thick or bulky :=)
  25. macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    Well if you know anyone with a sowing machine you could always go to a craft shop and get some kind of fabric/material and have them make you one. Don't see it being too difficult.

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