Monday, January 03, 2011

Equipment Room v3.0 ... vintage SF Giants New Era cap & customer service

Third installment of this series ...

A baseball cap and me go hand-in-hand, I'm always wearing one, even my baby pictures have me in a cap too. No joke, wish it was. Anyways, by now, I must have over 100 caps from a fitted ballcap to an adjustable golf cap/visor - I have boxes of them in my closet. The vast majority caps, as you can imagine, are Giants caps - probably 45 plus.

Back in 2009, I purchased a vintage SF Giants cap (late 70s, early 80s) made by New Era from a seller on eBay. The cap was brand new, and featured the old-style leather sweatband, nowadays they use a cotton blend sweatband. The cap was great lookin', the classic interlocking "SF" and orange bill. However, there was one problem. The bill of the cap was cracked, whatever material they used in the bill of the cap had dried out and was literally cracking and breaking apart whenever you tried to shape it. Basically, the hat was unwearable because of the bill.

I spent months going to shoe repair shops, alteration shops and the like to see if they could fix it. All of them said no. So, the cap ended up sitting in my closet for almost a year before I had an epiphany. Why not call New Era directly to see if they can fix it. After searching for their number, I finally reached someone in customer service and explained my dilemma, the lady at New Era said to ship the cap to her and they would inspect the cap and see what they could do - if anything. During our conversation, I repeatedly noted that I would pay for all labor/parts/shipping costs associated with the cap. At that point, I just wanted to wear this great looking cap.

The very next day I shipped the cap to New Era Cap Co., in Buffalo, New York, and included a letter explaining the condition of the cap. I also reiterated that I would pay for any costs associated in repairing it too. About two weeks later, I received a US Postal package from New Era ... I immediately thought the worst, they couldn't fix and just shipped the cap to me. When I opened the box, I was totally shocked, the cap was repaired and New Era didn't charge me a penny for the repair. The cap that was once battered and bruised was now a total gem.

I ended up wearing the cap for most of the 2010 season when I attended games at AT&T Park, and the comments I've received about the cap have been endless. I can't say enough great things about New Era ... they took care of me when they didn't have to, and didn't charge me anything for their trouble. That folks is customer service! I always adored New Era products in the past, but I'm an uber-fan now.

Who says the U.S. can't produce quality products? Just take a look at New Era Cap Co.!

Giants cap with new bill insert

Workmanship from New Era was excellent, could never tell it was repaired

Vintage New Era cap tag on leather sweatband

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