Gore has created a brand based around its waterproof membranes, in the way that no other manufacturer has done. You will invariably pay more for a product that comes equipped with a Gore-Tex membrane, although we cannot promise that it will always be worth paying this premium. After all, if you don't go out in the rain a lot, a Gore-Tex product might be a waste of money! bike.
But what we can tell you is why Gore-Tex membranes are better. We can also explain what the Gore 'Guaranteed to keep you dry' promise means, and why it is so freakin' amazing. But importantly, today, we wanted to talk you through a new system for solving waterproofing issues.
But let's briefly recap on what Gore-Tex brings to the party. First, their membranes perform better. Nobody really gets close to Gore when it comes to 'waterproofing' and 'breathability’ scores. For their laminated membranes, they quote a waterproofing score of 28,000 mm. For breathability, 25,000 g/m2. That puts Gore not in a different ballpark to most other brands; it puts them on a different planet.
And then there's the quality of manufacture. Because Gore is intent on protecting its name, they tell a manufacturer how to make a product. If that manufacturer cuts corners the company risks losing its licence. You can't just buy Gore-Tex membranes by the meter. When you work with Gore you work in partnership. Which is why it's almost not possible to make a poor quality Gore product.
But really this email bulletin is all about what should happen if your Gore-tex product lets you down.
Any waterproof product can leak. It is less likely, perhaps, with a product that has a Gore-Tex membrane, but it can, and does, happen for all kinds of reasons.
The truth is that in nine out of 10 cases where a Gore-Tex product leaks, it is down to rider error rather than product failure. A half-fastened vent. A zip left undone. Water coming down the neck, or wicking up from the waist. And so on. Which is why we always ask customers to try to replicate the problem before we take it further.
Now, from a legal perspective, if there's a problem with a garment's waterproofing within its warranty period, your contract is with the retailer. That is the law. There's no two ways about it. But Gore wants people with leaking products to contact them directly. In fact, they point blank refuse to deal with retailers and distributors.
Now, if you want to deal only with your retailer, be it us or anybody else, so be it. That is your right. And you won't get an argument from us. But here's the thing. You will almost invariably get a better, more responsive service directly from Gore. And if a problem is found, you will normally get a better outcome. And that's because Gore's default option often seems to be to send customers a new jacket, or a cheque.
And so, reluctantly in some ways, we have come to the view that this is the best way forward if you have a waterproofing issue on a Gore-Tex garment. I say 'reluctantly' because we were initially concerned about being cut out of the conversation. But we have come to realise that going direct to Gore doesn't change things. Whatever happens between a customer and Gore, we are still here!
Of course, you can still decide that you want to progress a waterproofing issue through us, but let us explain the process. If you bring a leaking Rukka jacket in to us, for example, we will send it off for testing. If no issue is found we will return the garment to you. Doing this testing in the UK is the fastest way to ascertain whether there is an issue.
If the garment does leak, we will send it to Rukka. This has become harder since Brexit, but the importer sends goods back to Finland every 10 days or so. You will be without your jacket for up to six weeks; sometimes more. The Rukka importer is very good; they will try and supply you with a loan jacket, although this can never be guaranteed. We will have sent the jacket back to Rukka with proof of the leak from the test house; and so Rukka will repair the jacket, and send it back to us.
We cite Rukka, but it won't be a markedly different process with any other brand that uses Gore-Tex membranes.
But things will happen much more swiftly if you deal with Gore directly. They will also get you to send the jacket to their UK-based test house. If there is a problem that is easy to solve, they will sometimes effect a repair at the test house but, in our experience, they tend to just buy a new jacket from the importer, and send it to you.
All of which is why we suggest that, by dealing directly with Gore, the chances are that you will get a faster resolution, and often a better outcome.
Gore's phone number, by the way, is 00800-2314-4000. And everybody tells us that the process of dealing with them is pretty straightforward and painless.
Whatever product you buy will come with a waterproofing warranty from the manufacturer, be that two years, five, or even more. But Gore's own guarantee applies for what they term the 'useful life' of a garment. I suppose what this means is that if a jacket has hole through it from excessive wear, the membrane won’t be warranted. But recently we had a gentleman with a 12 year Rukka jacket that was letting water in. There was nothing we could do, so we directed him to Gore. He phoned us a few weeks later to let us know that, because his jacket was no longer available, Gore had sent him a cheque for £800, to buy a new one. Now even we were taken aback by this, but in recent months we have seen a number of customers getting terrific results from going direct to Gore. Results that, with the best will in the world, we know we could not have got close to matching!
But let us be 100% clear here. This is not about Motolegends shirking its responsibilities. If you want a leaking Gore-Tex product to be processed the way that we, and other retailers, have always handled them, so be it. It will be done. But it will take as long as it takes, because once we despatch something to the importer or manufacturer we are in their hands.
And so we re-iterate that if you seek a speedy resolution, (and why wouldn't you?), dealing directly with Gore is probably the way to go. And if you're not happy with the outcome, well we'll still be here at the shop, or at the end of a phone, to try and sort things out!
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