About twenty years ago I received a Tilley hat as a birthday gift. I wore it from time to time, but was not what you would call an avid hat wearer at that time. More recently, particularly during the sunniest summer days, I wear it to protect my increasingly evident pate from the sun’s damaging rays, as it pokes through my rapidly thinning tresses.
This week I noticed that right smack on the top of the hat the exterior surface had begun to peel away, exposing the material underneath. Soon, no doubt, my newly exposed scalp would be viewable and susceptible. Well, I thought, not bad for twenty years of use. The hat, as the saying goes, didn’t owe me anything.
Yesterday while taking a leisurely stroll along Montreal’s Laurier Street on a grand summer day, I found myself right in front of the Tilley Endurables Store with, what do you know, my ancient and torn Tilley hat planted firmly on my head. I had often heard that Tilley guarantees their hats for life, so I thought I’d go in and see what was what. I figured at least they may be able to suggest a means of repairing the tear, before I slapped a bunch of duct tape on it.
Upon entering the store I was greeted by an employee who asked how she could help me. I took off my hat and showed her the problem. She took a quick look at the tear and immediately showed me which hats were available for a straight replacement and which were more expensive than mine and would require me to make up the difference. That simple. No questioning what I had done to the hat, no small print technicality, just plain old-fashioned excellent customer service. A lifetime guarantee that is, oddly surprisingly, good for a lifetime.
Within ten minutes I was back out on the street proudly sporting my new Tilley hat, looking forward to another twenty years of sun protection. In an era when customer service is more myth than fact, it was great to be treated with such a professional attitude by the people at Tilley Endurables.