How to Return a North Face Product for Warranty Repair

In the fall of 2000 my spouse and I were preparing for a long, cold, North Dakota winter. We decided to purchase two North Face jackets to protect us from the wind, rain, snow and cold arctic air we were sure to encounter in the coming months. The North Face jackets lived up to their name and the quality of the products are as enduring as the company guarantees. Recently the zipper on my jacket failed when one of the teeth broke off. Since the products are under a lifetime warranty, I knew I could send the jacket back for repair–not something you can typically do for a broken zipper. This allowed me to save money rather than purchasing a new jacket this fall. The following will provide a visual guide to help you send back a product for repair. “The warranty does not cover damage caused by accident, improper care, negligence, normal wear and tear, or the natural breakdown of colors and materials over extended time and use,” (The North Face Warranty Policies, 2010), but the company will repair your product for a reasonable charge if is not covered by the warranty. This is a great asset to prolong the use of your North Face products.

How To Send a North Face Product for Repair

The warranty department will evaluate your North Face product to determine if it falls under the Lifetime Warranty and make repairs or a replacement as necessary. If the product does not fall under the warranty, then the company can make the repairs and bill you along with the return shipping cost.

Step 1: Clean your product. This is in accordance with California State Law and you will be charged a cleaning fee if the product is dirty upon arrival. My jacket can simply be laundered in the washing machine at home.

NOTE: Check your products care guide before cleaning. This can typically be found in one of the inseams of the product or contact the company for directions.

Step 2: Thoroughly dry your product to keep it from spoiling during shipping.

Step 3: Create labels for your product to assist the repair technician identify and fix all problems you have with your product. For example, my jacket needs to have the main zipper replaced, an seam on the interior of a pocket sewn, and a small hole repaired. I created three notes in Microsoft Word detailing the location and issue, printed them out, and cut them in strips to attach to the jacket.

Step 4: Attach the notes to the product in close proximity to the issue. I attached the three tags on the zipper of the coat, the zipper of the pocket to be repaired, and the sleeve of the jacket closest to the point where the hole exist using twist ties.

Step 5: Neatly fold your product and place it in a protective bag if possible. Placing your item in plastic can prevent oil, dirt, and other materials that may penetrate the box from coming in contact with your product.

Step 6: Write a business letter to the North Face Warranty department detailing what you need repaired on your product. Be sure to include your mailing address, name, and other contact information.

Step 7: Create the USPS Priority Mail box or use a box of an appropriate size for your product.

NOTE: The Medium Flat Rate Priority Mail box is available from the United States Postal Service free of charge. Check with the Post Office Employee to find out if a less expensive method of shipping your product is available. The Priority Mail was the least expensive choice for me.

Step 8: Place your product and letter in the box.

Step 9: Address the box to: The North Face Warranty Department, 14450 Doolittle Drive, San Leandro, CA 94577, ensuring you include your return address on the package.

Step 10: Seal the box using packaging tape.

Step 11: Return the box to the US Post Office.

Step 12: Pay for postage, insurance equal to the value of the product, and request confirmation of delivery or use a system that requires a signature upon arrival.

Step 13: Mail your package.

Once your North Face product has been received by North Face, according to North Face web page, the company will mail you a post card indicating the company has received the package and then proceed with repair proceedures. “The North Face cannot be liable for lost in-bound packages,” (The North Face Warranty Policies, 2010) so be sure your package has the correct mailing address and is insured in the event the package is lost or damaged in the mail.
After the repairs are made, typically four weeks, the company will mail the product back to you.

Making a product purchase from a company as reputable as The North Face provides you with some added benefits for long-term use of your products. Being able to send back my North Face jacket for repair will prolong the use of the jacket and save me a few dollars on purchasing a new jacket right now.

NOTE: This article is intended to guide you through the steps to return a product to The North Face Company. All information concerning The North Face Lifetime Warranty was current as of the publication date of this article. Please check with the company concerning the warranty of your product, any updates or changes to the warranty department’s address, and any specific questions concerning your North Face gear.

UPDATE: The North Face Company replaced the zipper, repaired the ripped pocket, and hot sealed the small hole for no charge. The jacket was returned by FedEx in about 3 weeks time. The jacket feels like new again! Although, I did not receive a post card from the company letting me know they had received my jacket. This may be because the turn around time was so quick.

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About Jeremy

Jeremy represents a husband and wife team working together to establish a quick, visual guide to assist others in ordinary tasks. Together they are the founders and editors of this site. In short, with their experiences combined, they are a jack-of-all-trades. For further information visit His and Hers DIY | About.

8 Comments

  • J
    October 21, 2010 | Permalink |

    I purchased a North Face Jacket and returned it to the warranty department due to fuzz balls being all over it from just one washing. I never received a post card from them so when I called the customer service warranty department the rep was very rude. Telling me that they no longer had my jacket in stock (although they have it online but she said that comes from a different warehouse….umm, can you say NOT EFFICIENT). She also told me that I had purchased the Spring fleece (not true, it was the fall jacket…apparently it was logged in wrong. But Im sure she wouldnt believe me). She had a crabby attitude and told me that it would take two to three weeks to mail me a gift certificate….umm, what?. I will never buy another North Face product again. Poor quality and custmer service.

  • Jeremy
    October 21, 2010 | Permalink |

    J,
    It is unfortunate you had such lousy customer service and the product performance quality did not meet your expectations. During my supply chain experience I have learned most companies expect a certain percentage of defects in their products. With North Face, the company has two quality lines of clothing–the real rugged-mountain-climbing-gear type products and then the everyday wear type products such as t-shirts, sweat shirts, and even many of the lighter weight jackets and fleece products. I would expect (making a bold assumption since I don’t work for North Face or know anything about their manufacturing standards) that many of the lower end or everyday products have a higher defect rate than the high-quality gear the company sells (these are the products the company has built its reputation on). I have noticed the Gore Windstopper Shell jacket I use as a liner for my North Face jacket collects a great deal of lint and hair (very “magnetic”). It has bothered me since I purchased the product, but I believe it is just the nature of the material. It can be very disappointing to purchase a product, especially one that you think is of higher quality, only to have the product not live up to its brand image. You may consider writing a letter to Public Relations department at North Face to express your dissatisfaction with the product along with the poor customer service you received. I have taken this approach with other products/companies and it usually ends positively for me. The company needs to know about satisfaction issues and gathering that data can help the company improve its products.

    Jeremy

  • NW
    November 2, 2010 | Permalink |

    Thx for the guide Im planning to return my jacket or been thinking about instead of buying a new jacket.. Awsm instructions :)

  • Jeremy
    December 11, 2010 | Permalink |

    NW,
    Glad the post helped. I wasn’t ready to let go of my North Face jacket because of a broken zipper. Plus it was much cheaper than buying a new one!

    Jeremy

  • Tom Ford
    January 4, 2011 | Permalink |

    Hello I recently bought a North Face for my business trip up to Alaska , unfortunately the zipper broke. Anyway I was curious if they shall notify me via mail,etc on the price if they decide to fix it.

    Thanks

  • Jeremy
    January 4, 2011 | Permalink |

    Tom,
    The zipper repair on my North Face Jacket was covered under the company’s warranty program. I included a request in my letter I sent with the jacket to be contacted if any repair cost more than $50. The company did not contact me during the repair process because the zipper replacement was free.
    I would expect your zipper replacement would also be covered under warranty unless the damage to the zipper was caused by something you did (i.e. your dog chewed on the zipper, etc.) or you purchased the coat at a North Face Outlet store. The products purchased at the Outlet stores are not covered under the same warranty programs.
    According to the North Face web page under the Lifetime Warranty section the company states,

    “Q7: What do repairs cost?
    The cost of non-warranty repairs varies from one repair to another, depending on the cost of the materials and length of time it takes for us to do the repair. If you are concerned about the expense, you can ask us to notify you of the repair costs. After your product is assessed, we will send you a postcard with a final estimate, and request that you call us to approve the charges. You may also give us a limit, i.e. “Please notify me if the repair charges exceed $40.”

    I hope this information helps. If you have further questions concerning your product you can contact the repair department at North Face at 1 (866) 715-3223.

  • Reka
    April 5, 2011 | Permalink |

    My zipper broke too, and I was wondering HOW the company knows who the original owner or if it’s from the outlet store…

    I bought my jacket from a friend, so that means I’m not the original owner… Would they know?

    Thank you!

  • Jeremy
    April 7, 2011 | Permalink |

    Good question. I don’t believe there is a product registration requirement when buying North Face gear. Other than integrity there really isn’t anything that I am aware of letting the company know the product was not originally owned by the current owner if that was the case. Often products are marked in a special way if they were purchased from an outlet center. The tag may be cut or marked with a code to indicate it was sold at an outlet center.

    North Face will still repair a product even if it is not under warranty. You can submit it under the warranty program and the company will notify you if a cost will be associated with the repair. Often, even if there is a repair cost, it is less expensive than buying a new product.

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