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A camping one -To be so angry with Charlies and Vango

(124 Posts)
MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:32:05

This post is a bit of a mixture.... Part rant, part warning (think twice before using these companies!) and part WWYD?

6 weeks ago DH and I purchased a brand new tent, a Vango Langley 600xl. We purchased it from the online camping store Charlies and it cost £350.

We went camping last week, and 4 days into the holiday there was some wind.

At wind speeds of 12mph both storm straps snapped from the ceiling.

Then that night stronger winds came about 30mph. Because we no longer had storm straps the tent was moving all over, despite my husband (who is a very experienced camper) adjusting gut ropes and trying to stabilise the tent.

3 guy ropes then snapped off and afterwards 3 tent poles split down the middle. The tent collapsed on top of us (including my 2 children) at 2am in the morning.

As soon as we could, we packed up the tent and came home early losing 2 days of our holiday.

I contacted Charlies when we returned and sent the pictures. They are saying we are not entitled to a refund or replacement as we purchased the tent more than 30 days ago. Also, they have told me that Vango's warranty doesn't include weather damage (despite this tent being described as 'durable and able to stand strong winds).

I am disgusted by both of them. We were sold an inferior product that was not fit for purpose) unless they expected us to camp indoors?!). It lasted 4 days!

So that's my rant.

My warning is to not purchase ANYTHING from as they will not help if anything goes wrong. Also think twice about purchasing a Vango tent, as the quality is bad and their warranty is dubious to say the least.

Finally WWYD in this situation? We are down £350 and neither company want to take responsibility for a tent purchased 60 days ago, lasted 4 days, and collapsed.

We have already put in a claim with our credit card, but I'm not sure if they will refund us.

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:34:29

Sorry that should have said it was purchased 45 days ago!

ScreamingValenta Sat 17-Aug-19 12:36:18

If you get nowhere with your credit card, you could try Trading Standards. Make sure you keep a copy of the advert saying the tent could withstand strong winds.

ShirleyPhallus Sat 17-Aug-19 12:36:59

That is shit.


Spudlet Sat 17-Aug-19 12:37:08

That’s awful. I can see why you’re angry.

Have you tried contacting Vango directly? It may or may not help, but I don’t think I’d take the shop’s word that they won’t help without at least trying.

Otherwise I don’t know - I don’t know if trading standards would be able to do anything as their policy may be fair (‘fair’ legally anyway - don’t jump on me anyone, I genuinely don’t know) but it can’t do any harm to ask.

Mabelface Sat 17-Aug-19 12:39:31

Well, as it's not for for purpose, the store you bought it from should refund you. Their 30 days for a refund is bollocks. Don't back down on this. Go higher in the company and speak to trading standards.

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:44:18

Thanks for your responses.

Trading standards is next on our list, and then we will file a small claims suit. At that point I will be asking for £1000, for the money spent, court costs, loss of holiday and my childrens distress at waking up with the roof of a tent on top of them (my daughter is only 3!).

I'm so angry at Charlies particularly as they are hiding behind the manufacturers warranty policy and saying they 'can't' do anything. They can, they just don't want to!

Thingsthatgo Sat 17-Aug-19 12:47:09

I agree that the 30 days is a total bs. Their 30 day policy has nothing whatsoever to do with your consumer rights.
What have Vango said?

Madfrogs Sat 17-Aug-19 12:48:35

That’s a shop issue. Vango are normally really good. Obviously the odd dodgy tent slips by unnoticed.

Contact vango they should put a rocket up their butts

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:48:48

Here is the screenshot of the description saying the tent will stand strong against winds.

How can they advertise this and then say wind damage is not covered by warranty?!

ilovewelshrarebit123 Sat 17-Aug-19 12:49:17

They are fobbing you off, 30 days is absolute BS and I'd take this further.

I'd google the CEO and email them directly with all pics etc.

Then I'd go to trading standards if that doesn't work.

Ylvamoon Sat 17-Aug-19 12:49:31

Just a word of caution, what type of tent was it? Was it advertised as withstanding high winds what rating has it? Most large family tents are for summer holidays and not built for circumstances you describe which was unusual.
As poster above suggested, go directly to Vango, you should have a 12 months guarantee on the tent.

Spudlet Sat 17-Aug-19 12:50:49

Have you seen the warranty though, or is this just what the shop has told you? Sorry to repeat myself, I’m just not 100% clear on this.

I would try Vango directly if you haven’t already - it may not help but it’s worth a try.

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:52:57

Vango have said they will inspect the tent and only refund if there is proof it was a manufacturing error. Of course, I'm concerned they will say the tent is fine and that the damage was caused by our pitching. (it wasn't, we pitched perfectly and followed all instructions). Both my husband and I have camped for over 20 years so we know how to pitch a tent!

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 12:54:21

Spudlet No I haven't seen the warranty, also all Charlies have liased with Vango, so will contact them myself.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 17-Aug-19 12:56:55

Presumably it's repairable and you can buy some more poles though, I mean you're not really down £350 are you?

HaileySherman Sat 17-Aug-19 12:57:29

That's awful. Good thing you purchased it with a credit card, they are usually good about things like this I've found. It is one of the benefits of buying things with a credit card. Good luck

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 17-Aug-19 12:58:53

I mean, your tent fell down, you are being a bit dramatic.

Spudlet Sat 17-Aug-19 12:59:11

I would if I were you op - I don’t think I’d trust the shop, tbh. At least then you’ll know.

I’d also look to collect proof of the conditions when you used it - so for instance the receipt from the campsite and look online for the weather conditions at that time and location. And if you do send the tent off, take lots of photos of it, all the damage etc.

I hope you get sorted out!

TheSerenDipitY Sat 17-Aug-19 13:00:25

twitter and face book if they have them, post the pictures and how a mild wind fucked it up

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 13:01:07


We are. The tent is wrecked. The storm straps and guy ropes tore off, leaving holes. It's unusable.

Madfrogs Sat 17-Aug-19 13:01:27

Also everything is fixable that you’ve mentioned. If you get on Facebook there are companies who will repair for you.

AwdBovril Sat 17-Aug-19 13:03:32

I've always thought Vango were a really good brand. DH & I are looking to buy a bigger tent in a year or so but if their supposedly wind resistant tents cannot actually withstand a moderate breeze we shan't bother! Or at least we'll go with a cheaper one.

MagicKingdomDizzy Sat 17-Aug-19 13:04:05


It collapsed at 2am whilst we were all asleep in the middle of a storm.

Would you be OK with that after buying something 45 days ago and using it once? Paying £350 for the privilege?

Needanewname2 Sat 17-Aug-19 13:04:23

We had this problem with a number of Vango Venture 500 tents about 10 years ago. Bought 8 for a club pitched them all and there was a small gust of wind, 4 of them the pole on the windy side snapped and they collapsed. All the leaders were stood open mouthed watching. Hey were very reluctant to do anything until we found out someone had it on video. It turned out the material in the poles was off spec and they were too brittle.

Got new poles for all 8 tents and I believe they were looking at recalling a batch of them.

Go straight to Vango and try and speak to someone.

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