Why We Love GSI Outdoors

Some months back, while I was cleaning our GSI mugs (probably after a LARP weekend) one of the insulating sleeves fell on the floor, and since I wasn’t paying attention, a certain pitbull deemed it acceptable to use said mug cozy as a chew toy (see above for Exhibit A)

It didn’t make the mug unusable, but if I happened to forget about the…errm, extra ventilation holes in the bottom, I would sometimes unintentionally make contact with the hot metal, and burn my fingers. Suckage.

On something of a whim, I recently e-mailed GSI to enquire about purchasing a replacement cozy, since I couldn’t find one on their website.  I sent along the above photo, as well as a picture of the guilty canine, and an explanation as to the fate of our insulating sleeve.

Sibbald Lake 209

A few days later I received a wonderful e-mail from their customer service department. In addition to being a fellow pitbull owner (the woman I was in contact with even sent a photo of HER dogs to me, which was totally adorable) they also generously offered to send a free replacement cozy! Awesome. Talk about great customer service.

We do own quite a few pieces of GSI gear (reviews forthcoming):

Halulite Minimalist Cookset (2)

Waffle Iron

Spice Missile

Stemless Wine Glass (2)

Gourmet Nesting Mug + Bowl (2)

Mini Spatula

However, after this exchange, and the extremely pleasant rep I spoke with on the phone today, who enthusiastically took my address and promised to put my insulating sleeve in the mail today (I am in no hurry) I think I will definitely continue to purchase GSI gear, simply because I like knowing that if I have a problem with any of their products, I can pick up the phone and talk to a real person who actually cares about helping me with a solution. Having worked in customer service myself for many years, I really value companies that go the extra mile.

GSI makes a great product (obviously we’ve been buying their stuff of our own volition for some time now) so I don’t mind steering myself in the direction of their brand, if I happen to be in the market for something they carry. They’ve shown me that they care about consumers, and not because they are sending me something for nothing, because I would have happily paid for a sleeve, and still left the exchange feeling warm and fuzzy. In this day of massive corporate machines, where the bottom line matters more than the people who buy your product, it’s nice to have an experience with another human being, instead of one of those shitty “form replies” I so often get when I contact a customer service department.

*I didn’t get paid or receive anything awesome for writing this. I just really believe that we need to draw attention and praise to companies who still go the extra mile, not only to encourage them to continue doing so, but to motivate other companies to follow their example.

About the author

Mike & Cal have been backpacking around Alberta for the past decade. This site is where they share trip reports, photos, and tips and tricks for getting outside.

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