What started out as a rumor, has turned out to be true: Chanel has changed its repair policy. We regret to inform all vintage-lovers that Chanel will no longer refinish or refurbish bags that are over 5 years old. And what makes this situation even more tragic, is that the French fashion house will not refurbish or refenish any bag without a proof of purchase.
The two services
The policy changes only affect the refurbishment and refinishing services. The refurbishing service is a complete overhaul service including refinishing, hardware changes, stitching and/or piping servicing. The refinishing service entails the process of re-applying pigment to the exterior of a handbag or small leather good.
What will happen to the vintage Chanel bags?
The decision by Chanel seems to go against everything the fashion house stands for: quality, heritage and service. After all, bags that are younger than 5 years typically don't need a refurbishing or refinishing service. A lot of Chanel fans are keen on collecting vintage treasures and it is precisely these type of bags that are usually in need of some extensive TLC.
Proof of purchase
Another concerning element of the new policy is that Chanel will not refurbish or refinish bags without a proof or purchase from a Chanel boutique or authorized Chanel Multi-Brand Retailer. The majority of vintage Chanel bags are bought on resale platforms like Designer-Vintage and don't always come with the original receipt. For lovers of these pre-owned-with-love beauties, this part of the policy is especially regretful. But is not all bad news: the proof of purchase-condition only applies to the above services. Normal repair services are still available to all authentic Chanel pieces.
Criticism by Chanel lovers
Rumors concerning this new policy have already been widely discussed on the PurseBlog forum, where Chanel lovers around the world have shared their discontent with the change in policy. As Chanel continues to raise the prices of their bags, customers wil expect more value when it comes to quality and service. A Chanel bag is a timeless piece, which can be passed onto generation after generation. Both the refurbishing and refinishing services make it possible to cherish a bag for decades.
Official statement by Chanel
In the official statement by Chanel, the spokesperson clarifies the new policy and emphasises that it will absolutely still repair bags over 5 years old. The change to their policy will be on the two paid services only: refurbishing and refinishing. Normal repairs will still be done by the After Sales department.