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The L.L.Bean Backpack Post

The Klutter Koach (me) is very much into the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. If something can be re-purposed or re-used, I’m all for that. So when I purchase something, I look for quality because I don’t like having to replace things. When it comes to purchasing backpacks, L.L. Bean is the best. Not only are their backpacks amazing in regards to excellent quality and durability, but I can only sing the praises of their customer service department. An example of their wonderful service took place this morning. Here’s the story:

My daughter needed a new backpack for this past school year. We’ve had L.L. Bean backpacks for years, so we were thrilled that my parents were going to gift one for their eldest granddaughter.

The bag has been functioning as is should until recently (it’s almost July, and she’s had the bag since October). Somehow the material got caught in the zipper. It wasn’t a little stuck, it was unmovable stuck. My daughter tried to release the fabric with no luck. Her classmates tried, her teacher tried, I tried. For the first time in my 40+ years on this planet, I was not able to get a zipper unstuck. I knew L.L. Bean would advise me what to do, so I sent an e-mail to the customer service department. It said:

My father bought my daughter a backpack as a gift (in the fall). Recently, the material of the largest pocket got stuck in the zipper and we have been unable to get it out. Please advise on either how to fix this or if it can be repaired.

Within the hour there was a response in my inbox:

Dear Ms. Furman,

I’m sorry the zipper on your daughter’s backpack is stuck. A little liquid soap rubbed on the area may lubricate the zipper enough to allow it to work so she can remove the contents of the pocket.

We’ll be glad to exchange the backpack for a new one if you wish. Please let us know how you would like to proceed.

Have a great day.


(employee’s name) L.L.Bean International Customer Service

After reading the email I then proceeded to the kitchen and got out the dish soap. I used more than a little soap. I used a lot of soap. I tugged, I pulled. I got the zipper to move slightly, but it was still caught on the material. I squirted on more soap. I attached a pipe cleaner into the hole in the zipper pull because it was so slippery. I tugged and pulled more. More soap added. I added some heartfelt prayer. Then..victory came nearly twenty-five minutes later! The material was freed from the zipper! (The bag and the zipper were both intact from this ordeal, just a bit soapy and lemony scented).

I wanted to share my excitement as well as show gratitude for the advice so I wrote back to the customer service representative:

Dear ____,

It worked!! It took A LOT of soap and about 25 minutes of tugging, but we were able to free the material from the zipper. Thanks so much!

I LL Bean. I think you have the best customer service of any company out there. -Karen Furman One happy customer

Being the awesome company that L.L. Bean is, I received a reply to this message:

Dear Ms. Furman, I am so pleased to hear that the soap worked! Please let us know if we can help with an exchange. We want you and your daughter to be 100% satisfied with every product you own from L.L.Bean. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful compliment. What a nice way to start the day! There’s nothing we love more than happy customers! Have a great week! Sincerely, (name of customer service employee) L.L.Bean International Customer Service Is that awesome or what? Even after I fixed the zipper problem they still wanted to be sure I was 100% satisfied. I am thrilled the zipper is fixed. I am thrilled I didn’t have to worry about the cost of mailing the bag to America. Most of all, I am thrilled I didn’t need re-purpose a backpack that didn’t ‘spark joy’ due to the problem and have to spend money on a new one. The next time you need to purchase a backpack, check out L.L.Bean’s selection. They are 100% worth it. Thanks for reading. -Karen, aka The Klutter Koach June 29, 2016

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