Mini Review: Hard Graft iPhone 5 Card Case and Rant

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by rkdiddy, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. rkdiddy, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
    After a very long-time lusting over Hard Graft cases, I asked for one on my Christmas/birthday list (actually this has been on my list for the last 3 years). I had a really hard time justifying the premium ($87 + shipping) price, but thought it would be a very neat present. To my surprise I opened up the package on my birthday (1/16) from my in-laws that contained a Hard Graft iPhone 5 Card Case in Charcoal.

    In an effort to be as transparent as possible, let me say that the review below I tried to be as unbiased as possible. I've had quite a few cases and sleeves for my iPhones and BBs over the years. After trying multiple combinations, I've found that my favorite is a phone covered in a clear skin with some sort of sleeve. I've been using a Beyza SlimLine Stitches Case which I really love. Besides always being fascinated by HardGraft, I've recently had my sights fixed on finding a phone sleeve that had room for my ID and 1-2 credit cards. Unfortunately, Beyza doesn't make a sleeve that has this option - so that is why I decided to ask for the Hard Graft sleeve. The caveat to this review was the very poor experience I had trying to exchange this product. You can read more about that at the bottom.

    Comparison Photos (Beyza on left and Hard Graft on right):

    Packaging/First Impression (3 out of 5):
    The case itself comes in very minimalist packaging (sorry no pics). As I picked up the case itself I was a little disappointed in the lack of heft of the case. Yes, you never want to add weight to your device, but I do think some weight conveys a sense of quality. I was also a little surprised that the sleeve didn't have a form to it - it's literally two pieces of leather sewn together. While the leather is nice quality, considering the price, it's actually kind of flimsy feeling. :(


    Phone Test (3 out of 5):
    The case is extremely tight and very difficult to insert and remove your phone (I'm sure it will loosen up over time). There is no way an iPhone 5 with any sort of case would fit in here (as expected). One of the things I didn't expect was the case wasn't lined with any soft material. One side is smooth leather (the outside) and the inside is non-smooth side of the leather. Shouldn't be an issue with scratching, just surprised that it didn't have a lining. It's also worth mentioning, since the case doesn't have a form to it, it's impossible to insert or remove the phone one handed.


    Pocket Test (2 out of 5):
    I placed the phone in the sleeve and placed it in my pocket. The first thing I noticed was the case adds what seems to be an unnecessary width to the phone. The way the leather is sewn with two pieces of leather sandwiched together, the seam adds a lot of extra width. The other thing I noticed was because the case isn't formed/shaped, the top (where the phone is inserted) seems to get folded over in your pocket which makes it difficult to remove from you pocket.


    Credit Card Slot (3 out of 5):
    Interesting enough the credit card slot is lined. :eek: It took a little elbow grease but I was able to squeeze in (1) ID card and (1) CC. I'm sure after the leather loosens up, I can get one more card in there. I think 3 cards is about the max.


    After trying the phone in the case for 2-days I decided it just wasn't for me. Maybe I've been spoiled with the Beyza sleeve or maybe the thought of owning something so expensive that I will end up just tossing in my drawer was a waste of money - I decided to contact Hard Graft to arrange an exchange. While this case didn't fit my needs, I think Hard Graft designs some amazing looking products. I decided I would send this sleeve back for one of their Skinny Fit cases. While it's approximately $15 more, I figured it would be worth it since hopefully it would be a case I was in love with.

    This is where things really went South...:mad:

    Return/Exchange Policy:
    I emailed Hard Graft requesting an RMA number and address so I could send back my case that I didn't care for and exchange it for the Skinny Fit case (paying the difference). I received an email back about 48 hours later notifying me that "unfortunately we can't accept returns of used products and we must be notified of the return within 7 days of delivery." I was speechless, if this was a $4 liter of Coke that I drank half of and decided I didn't want it - I would get it. But, we're talking a $100 sleeve (with shipping) that was in my pocket for 2 days. Why can't they exchange a used product? How do you know if it fits your needs if you can't try it out. I'm completely blown away by the lack of customer service by such an upscale/premium brand. :mad:

    My advice is unless your 100% sure the product is right for you, don't purchase from this company. A company that doesn't stand behind it's products or offers an ounce of customer service isn't worth the time or money. It's very disappointing as I had a few other items on my wish list that I had planned to purchase down the road. That will not be happening! :mad:
  2. PieMac macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2002
    I can understand your frustration, but Hard Grafts's return/exchange policy is clearly stated on their website and even though you just used the case for two days, it's still used. I personally would not be happy if I paid a premium price to Hard Graft and was sent an item that had been used and returned...even if it was like brand new. You could sell it on eBay and get back most of what you paid....Hard Graft has good resale value.
  3. ElCidRo macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2010
    I have a hard graft wallet - they are very beautifully designed, but in my opinion they are not worth their price. The quality is definitely not what I expected.

    HOWEVER, I don't agree with your rant. Why should they accept returns if the customer doesn't like the product? Its insane.
  4. Loqui1286 macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2013
    I understand where you are coming from. When ordering from an online retailer it is impossible to tell if you will like something without spending the money. While I do think it is stupid in the long run for Graft not to accept the return/exchange it is their policy and it isn't like they are shady about it. But your review did stop me from making the same mistake so as more people read this you may end up costing Graft a lot of customers.
  5. mysterydate macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2010
    Waseca, MN
    Some companies are crazy and offer 30 days to try their product out, which can be returned for any reason in that time. :cool:
  6. jno macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2014
    Same Problem With Hard Graft Customer Service

    I had the same experience with my hard graft case. It's awesome and looks great, but quickly became too loose for my iphone. My phone actually slid out of the case and cracked recently. I contacted the company about returning the case, but they just reiterated their return policy. They must be getting so many customers that they don't care about keeping the ones they have. I definitely don't want to deal with a company that doesn't value their customers enough to work for their business. Just bought a Twelve South Book Book and love it.

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