Harkila kit and retailer customer service

Youngjm

Well-Known Member
Hello all. This is not a rant, but just to keep everyone informed. I have had a failry negative expereice with three pairs of Harkila wellies.

I wear wellingtons on a daily basis as home and last June I decided to buy some wellies with better support and warmth and grip than what I have had before so I could use them stalking.

I tried on various brands but I settled on Harkila 17” Forester Full Zips as they fitted around my calves – this is normally a problem for me. I was impressed with the comfort, fit, warmth and grip. I told all my friends about them and was really happy.

Unfortunately, during a hunting trip in Germany, the zip on one boot broke (specifically the metal slider split in half). It was awful timing but I put it down to poor luck and hopefully a one off, as Harkila had a good reputation, I thought.

On my return to the UK I called the retailer and explained. I sent them back (at my cost). After two weeks of not hearing anything I called and was promised a call back. It did not materialise. I called again and was told I would not be getting a refund or replacement until the Harkila rep had seen them. After a further week (ish) I called and reminded the shop that my contract is with them not with Harkila and as such I wanted a replacement. I was told it could be months and then a week later a replacement arrived. By this stage I was told the shop would not cover the postage to them if the faulty item.

After a discussion they said they would on this occasion. So the new boots arrived, I opened the box and the stitching on boot (around the top rand vent) was missing or not there and the boots were clearly faulty. I was disappointed that they hadn’t bothered to check the item before sending it to me. I posted it back again, demanded a full refund for the product and postage. The whole returns process took around 5 weeks which I think is unacceptable and inconvenienced me greatly not having wellies during this time (my old ones had given up totally by this stage).

The attitude of the retailer and service from them was so bad I will not be purchasing from them again. I will vote with my wallet on that!

After seeing Ardmoor well recommended, I bought a replacement pair of Foresters from them at the beginning of the year. After wearing them in 6/7 occasions (walking the dog, nothing hardcore) the stitching which holds the zip to the boot appeared to become loose. I don’t know if they had arrived loose or if the stitching had come undone subsequently. I called Ardmoor who have been very helpful. I sent pics and batch info to them and they refunded me for the boots and I didn't have to go through the annoyance and inconvenience of sending them back.

I have however, decided I won’t be buying anymore Harkila footwear after this experience and repeated failures in kit. Subsequently I have seen many disparaging comments about your footwear on various forums (including this one) from users, so perhaps I shouldn’t have expected much from the wellies? However for the price I did and I don’t think this was unreasonable.

I emailed the Harkila rep to tell him about the crappy boots and great service from Ardmoor. I have decided not name the other retailer with whom I was unhappy.

The rep emailed back within a few hours apologising and saying he hoped Harkila would live up to my expectations in the future. His response was fairly text book but swift and polite.

I don’t think I can afford to give Harkila any more chances, 3 failures in 3 successive items, annoying retailers (in one case) is all too annoying. This combined with horrendous price tag means I will stick with other brands.

Anyway, just though I should share my experience. Also well done to Ardmoor who really have been excellent!
 

Vulpesvulpes

Well-Known Member
Just bought a Pro Hunter shirt and it was faded along the folds. I think they sent me an ex display item. Not contacted them yet though.
 

Rugged & Tough

Well-Known Member
What baffles us is why some people run shops when they are not interested in the core reason they exist " THE CUSTOMER". We are a store and based in Milton Keynes, we are an Agent for Harkila and we will and have deal /dealt with any problem, EVEN if you did not buy the item from us. This is what Authorised Dealers do!
Here is what I think anyone should expect as a standard level of service for suspected faulty items:
We would request a photograph of the problem first and then make a call on whether to request the goods back "AT OUR EXPENSE". We have often replaced boots just on the photo alone, as I am sure our customers on here will testify.

However please ensure that you look after the goods, read the care label and use the appropriate cleaners etc on them. We will give you free of charge on full price garments and boots aftercare products so you have it ready when you need it.

Couple of common problems which do get customers hot under the collar when nothing can be done:
Not reading the Care Labels
We have of course had experiences where for example a customer used conditioner on the Harkila Norja Cardigan which the care label explicitly says "DO NO USE CONDITIONER", the result being is that the conditioner caused the fibre blend to unravel and unfelt. Sadly there was nothing we could do, but return the item to the customer and stress the importance of reading the care labels. The smell of the conditioner permeated the sealed bag the item was kept in it was so strong. (We would as a matter of course recommend NEVER to use conditioner ever on your clothing)
Not using Mink Oil on Leather:
Wet dry wet dry washes all the oils out of leather and therefore as we all know it will harden and crack. A good routine of from the get go feeding the leather will help prevent this problem.
Thorns:
Avoid wellies in and around the hedge cutting season, we have seen many blackthorn thorns embedded in the sides and soles of leaking wellies

Apart from these two things, we have been selling Harkila for years and wear it ourselves. Returns by sales are very very low.

All the best
Andrew

Rugged Tough Work Clothing, Country Clothing and Tactical

Unit 4-5 Stacey Bushes Trade Centre
Behind Screwfix
Milton Keynes
MK12 6HS
01525 211488
 

lochty

Well-Known Member
Had a very similar experience with Harkila and Pro Hunter clothing. which is why I won't be buying any more....
 

1894

Well-Known Member
Bought a harkila chrome fleece from Ardmore. Cuff stitching came undone. Complained, was offered refund and free postage. Cheque in post within the week.
 

diverdave

Well-Known Member
I have a pair or pro Hunter trousers, which for some reason became badly ripped on the inside, possibly washing machine damage, certainly not a warranty issue. i contacted Harkila via email, asking for an off cut of the lining material, to make a repair myself, but was told they did not have any available, and could not help. I bought a new pair of trousers, and was frustrated as they are good trousers.
However as luck would have it, i discovered that snowbee waders soft tough breathable material is exactly them same, it is the same colour, and looks and feels exactly the same, and i had a wader that had failed all its tests and was beyond economic repair (i fix an occasional wader) so was able to get a patch of material, cut it to size and thermally weld it into the trousers. The repair is invisible externally, fully waterproof and fully breathable. in use i cannot feel the repair, so am very happy with it. However i was disappointed that Harkila could not spare a 6 inch square of material, as i said in my email i was totally happy to pay for the off cut and postage, I understand when a company cannot help, but it is annoying when they can help but chose not to, and every company will have a skip full of off cuts and warranty written off products, so it could and should have been easy.
 

Roedeer 1962

Well-Known Member
So what are the best wellies to get these days , harkila had a problem le chameau are made in morroco so not as good so whats the best buy in wellies
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
So what are the best wellies to get these days , harkila had a problem le chameau are made in morroco so not as good so whats the best buy in wellies
I have a pair of Aigle neoprene lined. Had them for 18 months now and I am very happy
with them. I wear them every day and sometimes all day for work as well as shooting and dog walking. I won't buy. Le chameau ever again which is a shame as they used to be the best.
Tusker
 

Ratten

Well-Known Member
at the risk being called a tart, the leather Hunter ones (can't remember the name) have an excellent sole for grip and are comfortable for walking in. Also warm and breathable. if you can stand treating them occasionally they're good. look smart too if that's necessary in your line of work. looks like they've changed the design slightly to be more smooth leather (probably easier to clean!). worth a look.
 

Essex stalker

Well-Known Member
I have no experience of their wellies however I can only praise the customer service I had from Harkilla with a prohunter jacket. The stitching on one of the cartridge pockets started to give way after I caught it on a branch. Not really a warranty issue but I spoke to the Harlilla rep at one of the shows and was told don't worry, simply send it back to them and they would have a look. I did this and the coat came back a week later fully repaired and no charge. You can't ask for much better than that
 

andychas

Well-Known Member
So what are the best wellies to get these days , harkila had a problem le chameau are made in morroco so not as good so whats the best buy in wellies
just bought a pair of Skellerup Quattro Sport to replace my decathlon/solognac which split after a year. so far Im delighted, very well made, good grip, good price, warm and very comfortable (its worth following the sizing guides as they fit to foot size rather than a size bigger) roughly about £85
Skellerup Footwear Quatro Sport
 

Ben P

Well-Known Member
just bought a pair of Skellerup Quattro Sport to replace my decathlon/solognac which split after a year. so far Im delighted, very well made, good grip, good price, warm and very comfortable (its worth following the sizing guides as they fit to foot size rather than a size bigger) roughly about £85
Skellerup Footwear Quatro Sport
+1 I have also bought the above wellies and they are excellent.

Most comfortable wellies I’ve ever had and that is in comparison to previous pairs of Le Chameau, Aigle, Harkila and Muck Boots.

The grip offered by the unique sole tread pattern is brilliant too.
 

Pedro

Well-Known Member
Conversely, I have a pair of the full zip Harkila wellies and over the past 2 years they have performed well. The zips are holding, despite my legs just fitting in them and they have good grip and are warm. They are a bit on the heavy side though and to be fair, I generally use them for the standing around shooting type duties and wear more agricultural ones for tougher duties. I hope I haven't done the wrong thing by saying this now...
 

Vulpesvulpes

Well-Known Member
I kept losing my Harkila wellies and it turns out they were designed by George Michael which explains them getting sucked off in a bog.
 

AJS_NL

Active Member
We sold a lot of the foresters in the netherlands without any problems.
Also the aftercare of Harkila is great.
I have the wellies myself and nothing wrong with them.
I do have to admit in the beginning of some models, in my case the new kamko fleece, I had some problems with stitchings coming loose, but all nicely replaced by Harkila.

I think the real issue here is with the initial shop giving Harkila a real bad name.
 

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