Broken luggage, but the manufacturer is missing in action. What about my warranty?

By | March 30th, 2017

When Ian Stifle’s luggage breaks, he’s not worried because he has a five-year warranty. Or does he?

Question: I purchased a Heys X-case 20″ rolling suitcase for my wife in 2011. It came with a five-year warranty. The handle pulled out of the suitcase completely in 2016, about 4 ½ years after I bought it.

We emailed Heys America, but it claims that since the suitcase was sold to us by Heys USA, which no longer exists, it is not their problem. We also contacted the Heys home office in Canada, and they said that they don’t have the parts for this kind of suitcase any more.

My understanding is that this is a manufacturer’s warranty, so the reseller that has the rights to Heys products in the USA is irrelevant. Also, it’s not our fault that they don’t have the parts to fix the suitcase; it is still under warranty, and they should replace it if they can’t fix it.

They offered us a coupon for a discount on a new suitcase from them, but why would I want that when they won’t honor their warranty? Any help you can provide would be great. They’ve stopped responding to us. — Ian Stifle, Newport News, Va.

Answer: The company should have honored your warranty, no questions asked. It shouldn’t matter if a division of the company is no longer operating. If someone is answering the phones at Heys — USA, America or otherwise — then someone should be in a position to fix your luggage.

Or should it?

A look at the Heys USA site suggests that there was a relationship between the two, but it no longer exists. “Please be advised that Heys USA does not have the rights to sell or service ‘Heys’ branded product [sic],” the site says.

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Now, I can appreciate the sometimes complex world of licensing that happens behind the scenes in the luggage world. But when it comes to the customer, it shouldn’t be this complicated. If your luggage says Heys, then Heys should honor the warranty. Full stop.

A look at the correspondence between you and the Heys representative suggests the two companies are completely separate. “Heys America does not service Heys USA products. We do not have access to Heys USA parts,” an employee told you.

Ahem, may I make a polite suggestion? Next time, why not change your name to avoid confusion?

Still, someone holds the liability for this warranty, unless the company is out of business. And both Heys — America and USA — are still in business. And that means someone is not doing what they are supposed to, at least in the estimation of my advocacy team and me.

You could have appealed this to Heys, starting with a brief email to its general service inbox ( You might remind them of the words of Heys USA President and CEO Harry Sheikh, who once declared he had a simple mission, to “Design the best products I can, treat customers well, treat employees and suppliers well, and sell a great product at a value to the consumer.” That might shake something loose.

Or this might: One of our advocates contacted Heys on your behalf, and it agreed to replace your bag.

  • The Original Joe S

    just about everybody is a dirtbag

  • PsyGuy

    Next time buy Samsonite.


    My last Samsonite barely lasted a year. Switched to Briggs and Riley. Five years on and it is still in great shape.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    This is why I don’t rely on any warranties for purchase decisions ever since Rowe furniture disclaimed their warranty on what was an expensive, but apparently very shoddy and poorly made sofa, due to bankruptcy. None of these companies ever stands behind their products (here only when shamed by consumer advocates).

  • Jeff W.

    You got the corporate runaround. But glad Chris and team helped make things right.

  • Maxwell Smart

    YEAH a bulldozer ran over my bag at the airport, so I demand a new one. It should be bulldozer proof.
    We never ever buy expensive luggage anymore(it all has a hard life). Last trip to USA bought a new soft large wheelie bag for AUD$39.95(USD$29). It came home almost like new. A few drops of super glue(think you call it crazy glue in usa) & slight tear/abrasion all fixed. Good for another 20,000 miles. I will keep repairing it, until it literally falls apart. No one would ever steal it, as it looks like I have no money.

  • PsyGuy

    Love B&R they make amazingly good luggage, but they are also much more expensive than Samsonite.

  • The Original Joe S

    Used to be chimp proof – if you remember the commercial.

  • joycexyz

    Looks like another company to add to my blacklist. And it’s pretty long.

  • joycexyz

    Chimp-proof is one thing…baggage handlers are another.

  • joycexyz

    Bankruptcy–the refuge of the scoundrel.

  • The Original Joe S

    The implication in the commercial seemed to be that they were one and the same.
    Commercial didn’t last long. It was Hilarious.

    Found the videos:

  • Noah Kimmel

    Only one luggage brand for me (100,000+ miles per year for 5 years) – Briggs and Riley. While pricey, their bags have lifetime warranties including wear and tear and accidental damage. The bags are made with quality, the team is awesome to work with, and the warranty is second to none.

    I’ll never understand why people buy Tumi now…

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