Arc’teryx and Danner Boots…why hast thou forsaken us?!?!?

So…I’m a gear whore.  That definitely rears it’s ugly head as it relates to both my cigar accoutrements, as well as my workplace gear.  I’m an EDC (everyday carry) geek somewhat – due to workplace training, I damn-near ALWAYS have a pocket knife (primarily as a tool, NOT a weapon) and little LED flashlight in my pocket.  I also generally try to have a seatbelt cutter and window punch tool (Res-Q-Me tool) on my keychains and duty gear.  I like to have a small “go-bag” of basic 24- to 48-hr essentials on me, usually in my vehicle if I’m out and about – I’m VERY impartial to this kick-ass 5.11 “RUSH / MOAB” single-strap pack, and have travelled with it both domestically and overseas, and it’s an extremely modular and well-executed piece of kit.

That’s just kind of my mindset, to have EDC stuff and gear on hand, even before getting into the Military Police, from my years of doing civvie Search-And-Rescue before – “plan for the worst, hope for the best”, “expect the unexpected”, etc.  So, over the years, I’ve bought, used, sold, and stockpiled some very unique and task-specific gear.  I’m glad my wife doesn’t back-check the credit cards too much!!!!

Anywho, so I’ve recently got back from some more deployment travelling stuff, and getting prepped and ready the last few weeks and months for a decent-length full-on deployment, and I’ve been getting some new gear and such.

Danner Boots.  Always worn them on patrol.  Have had a number of pairs over the years (mostly all different variants / colours of the Kinetic boots).  Looking to get some more pairs, including some hiking shoes.

Arc’teryx LEAF.  The “dead bird”.  Used a fair bit of their gear in years past, loaned from buddies and whatnot.  But trying to get set-up finally with my own LEAF account, and order some of my own gear.

And whaddya know, but both decide to fail horribly when it comes to the customer service aspect.

With Danner, I tried a few various types of boots, mostly tan or coyote colour.  Ended up focusing on the Desert TFX GTX / Gore-Tex.  HORRIBLE fitting boots.  Very drastic pinch points and whatnot at the ankles, really over-engineered and not-realistic lacing system, etc.  So, I go through the return aspects, and while it only took 2 days to order and have shipped out, it was “expected to take” upwards of 6-8 weeks to process my returned boots, and actually give me my refund back.  They had the shipment, but didn’t have enough people to process the return (wish they ran it like Amazon does with returns – very slick).

But in the interim there, I wrote some reviews.  Frankly, I posted one for the Desert TFX GTX on three different occasions.  After the 2nd time of it being up there, but then removed / deleted, I e-mailed them.  I was told, simply, that due to foul language it was removed.  There was only one insertion of a “WTF” in there (and literally, just those letters).  But, after a revision and resubmission, still removed and gone.

Honestly, I was VERY unflattering in my review.  And as a long-time Danner fan, I was definitely feeling let down by some of their products.  I’m actually waiting on more to try, and keeping fingers crossed.  But this experience had me look at their pages, and the reviews.  They actually don’t list them in order in any way.  It looks like they bury unflattering reviews on following pages.  Stuff is not on there in any reasonable chronological form.  And plainly, they have no issue deleting / not-publishing very harsh and critical reviews.  Very much a “controlling the message” aspect.  Hey – then LISTEN to people’s complaints (I noticed the issues I brought up have been brought up by lots of other people online outside of Danner’s reviews/webpages), and make a better product.  Quit ruining a great product, over-engineering and throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and then disappointing long-time customers.

So then we come to Arc’teryx LEAF…

I finally decided to get myself an account set up back on March 9th.  Weeks and weeks of getting ad e-mail sometimes every day (after I SPECIFICALLY unchecked boxes and ensure I would NOT be requesting to be put on spam mail lists).  But no follow-up about my submitted documents for an Arc’teryx LEAF account.  So I e-mail and e-mail, and finally get the following response just a few days ago:

Hi Keith,

Thank you for your email and apologies for the delayed response. Unfortunately we regret to inform you that this program is no longer operational.

We are committed to maintaining the highest level of customer service across all of our programs, however we learned that the LEAF Purchase Program has limited uptake yet requires significant program maintenance. For this reason, we made the decision to discontinue the program in order to refocus our efforts on other customer initiatives.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and ask that you please contact your local Arc’teryx tactical retailers for direct purchasing needs.

https://leaf.arcteryx.com/ca/en/stores/find-a-store

Kind regards, Oliver

WTF???!?!  Arc’teryx, that dirty ol’ dead bird, is discontinuing the LEAF program?!?!!?!?

What I’m understanding is that the products will be available, but no more discounted purchasing options now for military / LE members.

A quick Google search, and nothing to be found.  Nothing in any news releases, and nothing either to any of the various newsletters or a blog by Arc’teryx, as far as I can see.

I worry – who knows about this?  Figured I’d share it here.  Any military / LE members, those who have been enjoying the LEAF program for years…any word on this?

Frankly, I find this all very disappointing.

There’s lots of these companies out there that have BUILT their brands’ reputations on the backs of the military members, first responders, outdoors professionals, etc., who have purchased, used, and SWEAR BY the legendary quality and performance of these items.  Lives are trusted to this gear sometimes.

Due to all of this, these companies and brands have received MILLIONS OF DOLLARS’ WORTH of FREE ADVERTISING by those professionals using and spreading positive word-of-mouth on this gear.

So now they just bail?  They don’t respond to issues adequately, they hide bad reviews, they drop reasonable-discount programs in support of those who helped build their businesses?

Reminds me a bit of when I was posted to the base in Halifax, and I went to the Roots Canada store at one of the big local malls, and I found out that Roots had just recently cancelled their discount program for Canadian Forces members.  It was a 10 or 20% program (I want to say it was only 10 or 15% off).  But, the staff clerk ironically explained to me, the same corporate-internal release that notified stores of that discount ceasing for military members, also stated that a new discount program was being offered for all NHLPA members, to the tune of 40% or so.

Nice.  Very nice.  Thanks for nothing, I guess.

But spread the word about Arc’teryx – who knows; hopefully they’ll reconsider dropping the LEAF program.  Fingers crossed.  But my further e-mails have gone unanswered.

Cheers all.

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