Originally Posted by kronik
So.. did a bit of searching here and there and I do believe I see people saying that their stuff is durable, but I've seen some people suggesting not using it for check-in. I plan to check-in when necessary, but I may only need to fly about 4 times a year. Is GT a bad idea? I was looking at Tumi and Hartmann as well but I really like the appearance of GT.. I'd also like to have it for 10-15 years.
I was shopping for a laptop bag the other day and came across some Hartmann and Tumi. Some mildly tacky designs, less than impressive quality. Hartmann in particular, seems to have gone downhill quite a bit in recent years. I recently sent one of their briefcases for repair under their lifetime guarantee, and the re-stitching and hardware re-attachment they did on it was embarrassingly sloppy. My local worthless, piece of crap shoe repair place with their reliably shoddy workmanship would have done a better job. Plus in my letter, I asked them to do whatever they could to condition and treat the leather, which, admittedly, had taken a beating over the 10+ years. For that they charged me about $20.00. Fine. But when I got the bag, it didn't look much if at all better than before. I called to ask what they had done to it. They had cleaned it with water. $20 for a wipedown with tap water? Then I noticed that they had completely neglected to do the restitching in one area. So I had to send it back. I was unhappy with the stitching they'd done when they had to take the bag apart to repair the handle, but there was no way to redo it -- the new stitch holes were never going to magically disappear, so I was resigned to live with it. Then after less than 2 months of use the new closure hardware broke.
I didn't want to deal with the expense and irritation of sending it back and having to deal with their terrible customer service people again, so reluctantly, I ended up just tossing the bag, despite its sentimental value. Maybe there are practical limits on how long you should expect to be able to get service under a 'lifetime' guarantee...