Sunday, November 18, 2012

What happened to quality?

I apologize for not posting in a while. Truthfully, I got caught up in some other hobbies and neglected the blog. Also, I will warn you know, this blog post has nothing to do with my writing, but instead, something I've had happen recently that left me sour.

I typically try not to use my blog as a soapbox for anything negative. However, recently, I have had to buy many new pairs of blue jeans. In the past, I was a fan of Levi's brand jeans. In the past six months, I've had about five to six pairs malfunction--I know that doesn't sound appropriate for describing a garment, but believe me, it is in these cases.

The defects seem to be typical, from what I can tell by conducting an Internet search. Either the zippers split and become useless, the belt loops break loose, or the crotch rips out. There also seems to be a problem with holes forming from the upper corners of the pockets, but I personally have not experienced this. All of the aforementioned problem did happen to me!

At first, two belt loops broke free on a pair of my jeans. The second incident occurred at work when I went to the restroom and the zipper split open. I replaced those jeans with new Levi's, this time, opting for button-fly. When the crotch ripped out and more belt loops tore off, I sat down and wrote a letter to the company. After all, this tactic seemed to work when we exercised it in grammar school. I received a reply back from their Quality Control department asking me to return the jeans (I think it was a maximum of three pairs) so they could determine whether the defect was due to faulty construction or natural wear and tear. Apparently, I was supposed to send my jeans on my own dime. Instead of that route, I threw them away and bought two more pair. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, but I actually convinced myself that I just got a defective batch or something.

When the crotch of one of these next pair ripped at work as I was getting into my Jeep for lunch, I knew something was drastically wrong with the quality of Levi's jeans. In the past, Levi's were billed as strong and durable. It was a reputation cemented in years of proof. However, when a pair less than six months old rips as I am getting into my vehicle, then something is WRONG! Maybe one could argue that there was significant wear and tear from my job. But, that doesn't hold water when you consider that I sit at a desk all day long. Not to mention, I come home and sit on the sofa. The most strenuous activity my jeans see is me putting them or taking them off.

So, last weekend, while visiting my friend, I went shopping for new jeans. This time, I bought two pairs of Lee jeans ($30 a pair) and one pair of Sears's brand, Roebuck and Co. ($15 a pair--there was a sale). Compared to the Levi's, which were $45-50 a pair, the Lee and Roebucks are a hell of a deal. While it's too early to tell how durable my new jeans are, I can assure you that they are quite comfortable.

The reputation Levi's once had is quickly deteriorating, much like the jeans themselves as these links will indicate. It's sad that a company with a once great product would sacrifice their reputation to save a little bit of money by moving production to other countries just to save a few bucks in production. In the end, I think it will be a costly mistake for them and I predict that if they don't do something to save their image, they too, may go the way of the Twinkie!

No comments:

Post a Comment