I just got off the phone with Karbon trying to get a delaminated seam (welded seam that split -- I guess that is a delam?) on a pair of ski pants purchased this winter repaired. It was the worse customer service I have had with any ski apparel company and I just wanted to share what I have learned about various company's policies over the last few winters. My family buys a lot of gear and also has had things fail. I am learning to pick my brands by both how they hold up but also even more importantly how they stand behind them when they do not.
My issue with Karbon is the only way they will warranty repair this is to take it back to the shop I purchased it in. The only problem is the shop is closed for the summer -- and my son skis in the summer and I want this fixed now. There is no other option with them I was told since their offices are in Canada I cannot ship across the border to them. Usually I get any broken things fixed right after the season ends for summer ski trips and the next year. With Karbon that is apparently impossible. They also started with wanting to know if I had my receipt -- none of the other manufacturers I have returned items to needed a receipt.
I have had a lot of problems with Spyder zippers, zipper pulls and snaps on the bottom of pant legs. I was getting tired of shipping things back to them and I started buying other brands. However, it now seems despite the fact their zippers break at least they stand behind their products. I always had any I sent to them fixed. They once sent me a pile of zippers and pulls to have on hand and I had a zipper sent to me for a GS race suit I needed fixed faster than their turnaround time (and they offered to reimburse me for the tailor expense to have it put in locally -- although it was less than $10 so I didn't bother). But I was getting tired of the breakage so I started trying different brands.
First I tried Marker pants. The zipper pulls broke off the bottom of these two. I called up Marker and they asked if they were training gates in the pants -- I said yes after all isn't it mostly racers that buy the full side zip pants. They said they don't warranty for that. No repair. Last time I buy Marker.
I have to say the best of all has been Mountain Hardware. My son had a pit zip on a shell delaminate in the middle of the season when he really needed it. I was able to get them to do an incredibly quick turn around for me. I also had a problem with gloves that they replaced. They were a pleasure to deal with and stood behind their products well and most of their product have help up to the tough long seasons my family gives them.
North Face -- I'm trying to remember if I had any warranty work with them and cannot remember. But I had a pair of my ski pants that ripped on the inside of the ankle (from the edge of my other ski) when this happened I realized there was no heavier protective patch on these pants like many pants have (and they were high end woman's pants) -- they wouldn't warranty it but I was able to pay to put on both legs a sturdy patch on that inside edge. I was kind of mad at the quality and that the high end men's pant had the patch there but the womens didn't but ultimately I was able to put a few dollars into them and continue to use them for a few more years (and now I know to check the fabric on the inside bottoms of the pants next time I buy).
So, my first Karbon purchase will be my last. Too bad as they were not bad pants.