Starting a few months back, I developed a mild obsession with getting a vertical form-factor laptop bag. My current bag that came with my laptop was starting to fall apart and was painfully un-hip. My first stop was MEC while still in Winnipeg over Christmas, but the bag that they had didn’t fit my laptop. Bollocks.
Then I moved on to Timbuk2, who have a terrific reputation for making stylish and durable bags. The Blogger looked just right, but pretty pricey. The measurements on the page did, however, indicate that my laptop would fit. After some hunting on the interwebs, I found a cheaper version and ordered it.
It arrived. My laptop definitely did not fit. Well, to be completely truthful, it fit with about 2 minutes of grunting and shoving and pretending like maybe this won’t be so bad every time… (Getting it back out was even worse.) Their site lists the allowable dimensions as 15 x 11 x 1.5 (inches), but in reality it’s more like 14 x 10 1/4 x 1 (inches). I was very frustrated. I wrote an email to customer support in anger, but then thought better of it and rewrote a calmer one. As it turns out, the website lists the incorrect specs (and still does, at the time of writing this).
The Timbuk2 representative who dealt with me was very apologetic and helpful. She offered me a substantial discount on the Hacker bag which brought it into the more-affordable-than-$120 range. She measured it at their place to ensure that the measurements on the site were at least correct for it (they are).
So, now I’m the proud owner of a Hacker, which has the fantastic feature of converting from a shoulder bag to a backpack for those longer hauls (but you’d never know it to look at it). It has a waterbottle pocket on the side that perfectly fits my signature espresso thermos, it’s also completely waterproof and apparently virtually indestructable. Finally, it’s stylish enough that I would actually use it when I’m not carrying my laptop in it–something that I definitely would not have said of my old bag.
So, the lesson: buying online can be a real pain in the ass. It’s a crapshoot, no matter how careful you are. The other lesson is that good customer service is a HUGE deal and something that I’m going to have to ensure that I do well in my own business. It’s not like they had to do anything, since I bought the bag from a third party. But their mistake is still what caused my mistaken purchase, which they quickly owned up to. It was refreshing to know that I was dealing with a person and not just a corporate drone. Thanks Timbuk2, for helping to resolve a crappy situation.
Postscript: if you would be interested in acquiring the unused Blogger bag from me (it’s the navy/grey/navy color scheme), shoot an email to matt AT somadesign DOT ca. Just make sure that your laptop fits the dimensions that I listed above. I’m asking $55 including shipping.