My American Tourister luggage is defective. How do I get it fixed?

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By Christopher Elliott

One of John Edmunds’ new American Tourister bags is defective. Does he have to ship it to Texas at his expense, or can he get an exchange?

Question

Last summer, I bought two pieces of American Tourister luggage: a 24-inch and a 28-inch Pirouette NXT. 

On the second trip with the luggage, the stitching that holds the zipper mechanism to the luggage frame started pulling loose on the 24-inch piece of luggage. Suspecting this was a manufacturing defect, I went to the American Tourister website for a resolution. 

Apparently, my only option is to ship the luggage to San Antonio, Texas, the nearest repair facility, at my cost. 

I’ve checked with UPS and FedEx and it will be over $50 to ship the luggage to San Antonio, mainly due to the size. I feel like I should not have to pay this exorbitant cost to have a manufacturing defect repaired.

I’ve tried to contact American Tourister via its website to pursue a solution, with no success. Can you help me get this luggage defect repaired? — John Edmunds, Oklahoma City

Answer

The Pirouette is a well-reviewed softside spinner that should have lasted more than two trips. I can’t find any reports of a similar problem on this model, but you may have received a defective bag.

The best way to avoid this problem is to carefully inspect the bag before you buy it (if you buy it in a store). Take a look at the stitches, the wheels, and the handle. Make sure everything looks normal. You might have spotted the problem before you left the store.

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But let’s say you ordered the luggage online and only discovered the problem after your second trip. Good thing American Tourister has a 10-year warranty that guarantees all its products against any manufacturing defects.

This issue with your American Tourister luggage is probably a one-off (then again, maybe not). I’ve covered the luggage industry for decades, and I can tell you that if any manufacturer made luggage that fell apart after two trips, they’d be out of business in no time. 

The question is, should you have to pay $50 to ship the luggage to Texas? Maybe. If you’d had your American Tourister luggage for a few years, then sending it over might be a reasonable request. But this luggage was brand new, and I think the company should have considered replacing it with a new bag. I publish a guide on how to resolve any consumer dispute on my advocacy site, Elliott.org.

I contacted American Tourister on your behalf. A representative reached out to you and offered to exchange your defective bag for a new one at no additional cost to you.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in São Paulo.

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