ES Robbins Chair Mats – Lifetime Warranty?

ES Robins Chair Mat - Cracked and Patched with Packaging Tape So about 2 years ago, I purchased a chair mat (one of those plastic guys with tons of poking thingies). After I started using it for awhile, I noticed that my wheels were starting to dig into the chair mat and soon after that it began to crack. I’ve patched it with packaging tape, hoping to stop the crack from spreading, but new cracks formed. I thought, oh well, that’s part of its life.

However, when I was at Costco this past weekend, since I had an hour and 40 minutes to spare (my tires were being rotated and rebalanced), I walked every aisle and saw my chair mat. Apparently, these chair mats have a lifetime warranty and they’re NOT suppose to crack under normal usage on top of low/medium carpet. I’m pretty sure my carpet is medium, though I could be wrong. I guess you can consider sitting on a chair for long durations of time to be abuse and outside “normal usage”. So I jot down their website in my head (www.esrchairmats.com) and decided to check them out when I got home.

Like most things I jot down in my head, I tend to forget. It was only after typing up the previous CFL blog entry and talking about Costco which jolted my memory. I visited their homepage which states:

E S Robbins chair mats feature many patented innovations that make our floor chair mat products a world leader in quality standards. Our chairmats are protected by our No Crack guarantee and are designed for both hardwood and carpet applications. We are the industry leader in custom chairmat manufacturing.

Their Warranty Statement states:

E S Robbins Corporation Office Products provides a lifetime warranty on all the company’s chairmat products.* E S Robbins Corporation guarantees its AnchorBar®, Anchormat®, Crystal Edge®, Trans-Stat®, and No Crack® chairmats to be free from any defects in material and workmanship at the time of sale to original purchaser, and will not crack, chip, break or shatter under normal usage. The warranty only applies to the original purchaser. Should any product during the warranty period, in E. S. Robbins Corporation’s sole opinion, prove to be defective in material and/or workmanship under normal usage, E. S. Robbins Corporation will, at its option, replace the product at no charge (except as otherwise stated herein) provided that the product has not been subjected to abuse, misuse, misapplication, neglect, accident, disaster, alteration or modification.

So far so good…

I go to their Warranty Claim Form and notice 2 ridiculous things.

First, they’re asking for the UPC code, which is located on the sticker stuck to the chair mat when you first purchased it. Like most people, I discard that sticker probably the day I purchased it, which means I no longer have the UPC code. I guess I could jot down the numbers the next time I go back to Costco.

Second, A shipping and handling fee of $20.00 will be charged for all warranty replacements. What the !@#*? The chair mat only costs $18.xx at Costco. Why would I pay you $20 to mail it to me? I guess one smart way to offer lifetime warranty is by charging a ridiculous shipping/handling fee so that the warranty claim would never be exercised.

I could probably return this to Costco with no questions asked and get a full refund. I’m still contemplating on doing that. Next to these plastic chair mats, they had these nice wooden ones for $90, which look a lot more sturdier than this plastic chair mat. However $90 vs $20 is quite a big jump, though these stupid pot holes the chair has been digging into the plastic chair mats are starting to annoy me. Once the wheels go into a pot hole, it takes significant effort to push them back out.

14 thoughts on “ES Robbins Chair Mats – Lifetime Warranty?

  1. My chairmat was purchased 17 months ago and is suffering the same fate of cracks and pieces falling out. All is now held together with packing tape also. The $20 fee is terrible !! Did you take yours back to COSTCO? I will attempt to do so and will alert COSTCO corporate offices of this deception by E.R. Robbins.

  2. :-)) Kronk

    Similar problem. My “lifetime warranty” Rubbermaid mat from Staples started cracking after two years so I took it over to Staples.

    “Oooo! We don’t sell Rubbermaid anymore. Too bad for you.”, was [essentially] the response!

    Being in the “sticks” there isn’t much choice. I had to have a mat so I bought what Staples was selling that day: E S Robbins.

    A month later, the E S Robbins has already suffered lots of cracks and soon, chunks, it appears.

    Today, whilst filing some other office papers, found the original Rubbermaid receipt with UPC code (I file them together stuck to one sheet of paper). I’ve contacted Rubbermaid to see if they will honor the original warranty. Would be nice if they did since their product seems to last about 20X longer than E S Robbins!

    The carpet? Standard low-pile residential carpet with 1/2 pad. The chair? Standard 5-legged office chair. Me? Standard 200 lb web geek working and surfing 10-12 hours per day. My 65 lb Grandson likes to surf the Cars and Thomas the Train sites when he can pry me away from the keyboard. 🙂

  3. My receipt from Costco says I purchased the E.S. Robbins “Crystal Edge Chairmat” from them on March 28, 2006. They have a lifetime guarantee that says “Will not crack under normal use”, but the only way to make good on the “guarantee” is to pay Robbins $20 to receive a new chairmat that I can buy cheaper today at Costco. Thanks, E.S. Robbins. You’re a great company. And, no, I won’t return it to Costco because they don’t owe me anything. E.S. Robbins does, but they won’t pay. As you go through life you find out who to believe and trust and who not to. I won’t be buying from Robbins again.

  4. Wayne,

    I would suggest you send a letter or email to Costco telling them about your dissatisfaction. Since Costco prides itself in the quality of the products they offer (by allowing you to return most items any time as long as you’re not satisfied), more people letting them know that E.S. Robbins chair mat is of low quality would hopefully prompt them to stop selling it, preventing future bad customer experiences like ours.

    Last time I was there, the E.S. Robbins chair mats were still being sold.

  5. Same thing has happen a number of time to the two floor mats I purchased from Costco. I have returned them three time so far every time they crack and they replace them with no questions asked. No receipt and no sticker. They look up the purchase price when I bought them on their computer and hand me a store credit. I pick out two new ones and use them until they crack. The only hard thing about this is stuffing them into the car and taking them back to Costco.

  6. I have exactly the same situation. These mats last about 6 years, and I’ve just bought my fourth one from Costco. It cost $21.47 (plus tax), and E.S. Robbins’ shipping charge right now is $20 (probably no tax).

    “Normal use”: the office chair on the mat has five wheels, I weigh 170 pounds, and am in that chair about 4 hours a day.

    Aha! The fine print: “for carpets up to 3/4″ thick (including padding)”. Together, they’re probably over 3/4″ thick. Guess I’ll just have to buy cheaper carpeting.

  7. @Charlie Given that you’ve purchased 4 already from Costco, have you considered the sturdier chair mats Costco carries (called Snapmat): http://www.krunk4ever.com/blog/2008/07/21/snapmat/

    They’re a bit expensive (~$70), but I’ve had it for over 2 years and no dents and what not. Still very smooth and flat, easy to clean. Only gripe I have against it is that there’s no teeth underneath so it slowly slides on the carpet.

  8. I left a comment on this site in February, 2009 after being notified that E.S. Robbins would replace my chairmat with a $20 fee. Since that time they replaced the chairmat with no fee. I should have sent this correction long before this.

  9. I purchased a lifetime warranted floor mat made by E.S. Robbins. I purchased it at Office Max on 1-2-09 for $59.99 and tax added of 6.75 with a total of $64.04. The mat is cracking badly and I need to have it replaced. I called the Office Max store (614-866-3305) and the associate at the store stated to me today 4-18-12 that I would have to contact the manufacturer. The following is information regarding item: Iterm #120354 bar code shown as 0 02544 20354 P/N 1051270309. I have the orginal sales receipt and the label I pulled off of the mat.

    Please contact me via email on how to replace the mat. Also, please provide me a phone number to speak to someone too.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    David C. Edmondson 614-863-4248

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