Bag borrow or steal is more well-known in providing designer handbags for rental. YES! we all it in Sex and the City and it became an overnight sensation. This bag rental service allow you to rent one or more bags for a week, a month or a “season”. They also have designer sunglasses and jewelry.
However the extension of business of their business that provide refurbishment and repair for your designer handbags isn’t sing that much praises. There were many negative feedback from members of Purseblog and Yelp claiming long repair lead time, poor customer service and communications. Some of the job were also not executed to expectations.
Following is a review by one of their client in 2011
As anyone knows a woman and her handbag these days is a complicated relationship. In April of 2008 my then boyfriend purchased a Grey Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Terry Turnlock bag for me as a gift. The turnlock is one of the more standard of the MbMJ bags you see them a lot. The interior has the black and white logo text and this particular model had three interior pockets. It was my absolute pride and joy I carried it everywhere. I carried everything in it.
Living in NYC is not like living anywhere else you have to bring a lot of stuff with you sometimes and your bag can be subject to a lot of wear and tear. This wear of my bag was exacerbated by several water spills due to a kleen kanteen with a lid that wasn’t screwed tightly; and a leaky uni-ball pen-that went through to the bottom of the bag.
I was googling around and found that beg borrow or steal now called Avelle had a repair division. I followed the instructions on the site-printed out the repair request form and boxed up my bag sending it out to Avelle (this location is in Wisconsin I am not sure if that is just where the repairs are done or if this is where the whole operation is located)
The Avelle website states that repairs are done on average in 3-5 weeks.
I sent my bag out on around August 28th 2010. I wait patiently as I realize these things time but I am feeling some pretty significant separation anxiety. Finally 3 weeks goes by and I have not heard anything. I call in mid September and they tell me that they received the bag and sent an email stating the cost and estimated delivery time. (the original repair completion date was October 8th)
I NEVER received this email I checked my spam box. Anyhow because I didn’t call as the email I did not receive instructed the repair completion date was pushed back. That’s fine I can deal with that. The customer service rep on the phone told me that they were backlogged. The new repair date is late October.
They assure me that they will CALL as well as email this time when I can expect to hear about the bag repair and when I can expect to receive it.
I call them in late October and they tell me that there has been a delay but my bag will DEFINITELY be sent out by the following Friday. (it is now November) The Friday comes and goes and I expect a call from my mailbox receiving guy that the box with my bag arrives. By Tuesday I don’t hear anything and I call Avelle. The customer service rep who I am not getting to know really well sounds anxious and agitated. (I would be too if I was having to deal with a customer base that was rapidly losing trust and most likely starting to lose their cool.) She has to go check and see what is going on. She calls me back later in the day to inform me that the repair artist has to reapply a treatment to the interior of the bag. It is now November. I’m annoyed because this time-line was messed up to due an email I never received that I am not even certain was ever sent.
I become testy.
The Monday before Thanksgiving I call and speak to them and in my best Anna Wintour decisive don’t EFF with me voice I tell the phone rep that I need my bag by Friday that anything else is unacceptable. She originally tells me this is possible but later in the day tells me its not possible and tries to placate me by offering me a rental of any bag for free.
I tell the customer service rep that the next time she calls and emails me I want the tracking information for my bag. (Oh at some point they tell me they are going to send it expedited at no cost to me-how thoughtful)
After Thanksgiving the bag arrives. I was away on a trip I had hoped I would have the bag at but pick it up at the mailbox place on Thursday December 2nd.
So let’s get down to brass tacks what did my Grey Marc by Marc Jacobs turnlock bag look like after Avelle had it for 3+ months.
It looks pretty good the thing I am most impressed with is that the blue ink stain that went through the interior fabric and the leather at the bottom of the bag is gone-it shows no sign of ever having been there. The black and white fabric interior is also much brighter. That being said the interior smells like it has been run through a washing machine with industrial strength cleaner. The faded and cracked leather from regular wear is newer looking. This look has been achieved by what appears to be some sort of paint like substance (not wall paint but some sort of color) and some sort of sealant. The bag is in its repaired state has this sort of waxy sheen. I have now had the bag in my possession for a month and the exterior is more or less back to what it was before I sent the bag in. Avelle needs to be more honest about their time-line. I would have rather had my broke looking bag for the 3+ months and saved $100.
Maybe things have changed to the better with all the negative feedback but in my opinion, maybe they should just stick to what they do best and that is providing bag rental services rather than venture into something like bag refurbishment and repair.