Let me open this review with my initial thoughts before I get into the meat of this review. I have been looking for a new backpack for awhile now, and this one looked like it could fit all my needs pretty well. I wanted a part at the back, near the straps, where a laptop would fit snug. Check. I wanted 2-3 other compartments, because I do tend to have a variety of items in it, my tablet and portable battery, my lunch for work, and work materials. Check. I wanted a front compartment for cables, business cards, and so on. Check. I wanted it to look good and by durable. Check. the fact this was a backpack from Blizzard, a company I trust, and who make games I love was just the proverbial cherry on top. I was very, very excited, even more so when I got it and saw it was everything I had hoped it would be from the pictures.
About a week after I got it, several days after getting home, I lifted the bag up onto my desk to pull out my lunch and saw this:
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I was sad, and upset. I had lightly used it at the Con, and only for a few days back here in Canada, and it was already torn! I looked the bag over, checking the seams and found this:
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I was really thrown. This is not Blizzard quality, I thought, but I had interactions with them before and I was confident that, as they did with a damaged crimson whelping I bought for a friend for $25, that they would have no issues replacing this $40 backpack. I opened a return ticket on the Blizzard Gear store and they got back to me saying, after a few discussions, that I would need to send the backpack to them, at my own expense, in order to get a replacement. I was surprised, due to the short time it was used and the fact I had never been asked this before.
I switched all my stuff to my old backpack, which I thankfully hadn’t left in California as I had considered, and went to the post office the next day. I was told it would be $35 to return the backpack to Blizzard. $35 Canadian on top of the $40 US I already paid for a backpack I had used for all of a week. When I told them that the cost to return it was just an unreasonable amount for this item, I was told
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we do not have a way to cover return shipping for international customers; our FedEx labels only cover domestic shipments. I am terribly sorry for the frustration! I’ll close this out for now, then. “
So there you have it. Seems the message on this is clear. No asking to see photos, no trying to work something out, no understanding of what exactly they were asking in the demand to have it returned, just, done. I have to assume that there is a cost limit on the replacement without return, but I had hoped for more understanding in this situation. I am not a serial returner, nor do I like to return things unless I have to, but this backpack worries me that these stresses are happening so early. Sadly, looking at the Gear Store page for the backpack, and it sounds like I am not the only one who had this problem, but at least the other person sounded like they were in the US, so will get free return to Blizzard and replacement.
Sadly, this experience makes me advise against buying this product, or any others which may arrive flawed, if you are not in the U.S.