I purchased a tent from Wal-Mart, in late August or September of 2000 (after my annual camping trip). I finally set this tent up the end of May, my "annual" set everything up and make sure it is usable/clean/ready to use this summer. The first night it was up, a wind started up and it blew down this tent (the others I had setup stood up to the wind just fine). I discovered that one of the poles had bent and broken where two of the poles join, cutting through the shock cording that holds all the poles together.
I contacted Wal-Mart about this and they told me they did not handle replacement parts for the tent. I could return it for cash or replacement. Since I bought it on close out, I doubted I would be able to replace it so I asked them who to contact about parts. I was given the phone number for the manufacturer, who I proceeded to call.
The customer service representative at Northpole
took the information I had, but since I did not have the instructions in
front of me (they were outside in the collapsed tent) she had to look up
the part. She made reference to it being the "long pole" which made no
sense to me, but according to the parts sheet it was the correct pole for
that model tent. Because I didn't have my
receipt with me (I have no idea where it is) I couldn't prove when I bought it (how could they have told over the phone anyway?) So they couldn't provide the replacement free, but they could ship it for free... sounded fair enough to me so I agreed to the price for the pole. 4 days later I got the package... and it was the wrong pole. That afternoon I retrieved the instructions from the collapsed tent, and called the company back.
I explained the situation to this representative and he told me that there had been a change in poles for that tent, which is why I was sent the incorrect one. I was told I could dispose of the incorrect pole any way I wanted to, I did not have to send it back or anything. They would send me the correct pole, which I received within 5 days.
Now this is customer service! Even with all my mistakes, the manufacturer quickly handled the problem. Northpole tents (Ozark Trail brand) will get my business (and money) again!