Monday, March 3, 2014

Proudly USA Made

We are proud that all USA flags we have ever bought have been made in the USA.

That's why it was especially upsetting to learn that many American flags bought by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) could not make the same claim.

Until last month, when under new rules, all U.S. flags purchased by the DoD must be 100% sourced and produced in the U.S., which means entirely made in America. The ruling was part of the 2014 omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. 

We raved that is was About Time and wondered what took them so long?

It should be noted that this ruling only applies to military-purchased US flags. Private citizens are not bound by the regulation. And, it is increasingly difficult to find USA-made items, much less an American flag.

Luckily, Annin Flagmakers, calls itself "the oldest and largest flag manufacturer in the United States since 1847."  Its corporate headquarters are located in our native NJ.

We have proudly displayed Annin-made flags on our VA front porch for years. The most recent was purchased at a local Walmart.

So far, all is good.

Except that when we went to take the flag down last month, as we do in windy weather, we noticed that stitches were unraveling along the center pole. I emailed Annin's Customer Service and received a reply which stated in part:
There is no way to predict accurately the life of an outdoor flag, regardless of the fabric used in manufacture.  Our Nyl-Glo flags usually last longer than those of Bulldog (heavyweight cotton) bunting.  Tough-Tex (2-ply spun polyester) flags generally are the longest wearing.  Just how long, however, depends on many factors. 
The U.S. Government generally expects a cotton or nylon flag to last approximately 90 days based on daily usage from sunrise to sunset, but not during periods of inclement weather. Even if your flag was displayed sunrise to sunset you have close to 6 months of flag life.
While this was a reasonable response, this appeared to be a manufacturing vs. weather-related issue. Another email was sent to explain that the flag was never left out in inclement weather and, more importantly, was otherwise undamaged (no frays, rips or tears).

The Customer Service representative requested photos, which I provided via email:
Within a short time, a reply email was received:
I have shared your pictures with our Walmart rep and a replacement will be sent to you. Please reply with your mailing address for the shipment. Thank you for your patience concerning this issue.
It arrived via UPS priority mail recently. Note the message to check the sticking first.

It's now proudly displayed on the front porch except, of course, during windy or inclement weather. As for the damaged flag, while I'm no seamstress, I'll undertake repairs and it will fly again. 

Our thanks to Annin Flagmakers, a USA company that stands behind its product.
Has anyone else had a similar experience contacting a company's customer service?


Out on the prairie said...

nice to have repairs done so nicely

Sandra said...

good to hear they gave you good and quick customer service.

Anvilcloud said...

Good customer service. Sue just got a new pair of winter boots when Columbia replaced her very old ones.

Country Gal said...

Good to know there still are dependable people out there that take pride in their work and get the job done fast and properly ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

Charlotte Wilson said...

Now that is good customer service. I will remember that name when it is time to replace our flag.



Ludwig Keck said...

There are still great companies to do business with in this country that stand behind their products and provide outstanding customer service. Just a couple months ago I bought a lens adapter from Fotodiox in Waukegan, IL. It did not work as I expected from their catalog listing and when I inquired about it they promptly sent me a different (and more expensive) model that worked properly. This was at their expense and with no additional cost to me. I was surprised and pleased, so I can recommend that company as one to look to when you need photo accessories.

Montanagirl said...

At least they responded and took care of the issue. A lot of places do not.

diane b said...

Good for you for being persistent and winning out.

William Kendall said...

That is good customer service!

NCmountainwoman said...

Now, could you work on the people singing the National Anthem at sports events? Maybe tell them to sing it like it's all about America and not all about them?

Elaine said...

Customer service should be a priority for any company. I don't think too many of them subscribe to that old rule that the customer is always right, but it certainly builds loyalty.

Gill - That British Woman said...

it is getting more and more difficult to find products made in the country that you live in. I do try to support local companies also.

Good to see they stand by their product though.

Daisy said...

Glad to hear you had good customer service and was able to get this resolved. It seems good customer service is hard to find quite often.

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