What Hell Must You Go Through To Return A Defective Running Shoe?

Neal Templin at the Wall Street Journal had a defective running shoe. Within 4 months of buying the shoes, an eyelet failed, so he took the defective shoes back to the store. This is where his tragic tale of rejection begins.

From the WSJ:

At the store, they told me they exchanged shoes only for the first month or so. Four months for a running shoe was ancient, they said. Some customers bought shoes every month.

That was news to me. I typically keep running shoes — which I use for a regimen of walking and sprinting — for a year or two. And I had never, ever had an eyelet fail in any shoe, even ones that were completely worn out.

He was instructed to contact Nike. So he did. They asked him to mail the shoes to them. So he did (for $7.) Nike “determined there was no manufacturing flaw” and mailed them back to him.

When he called for comment on his story, Nike changed their tune.

I was seeing red. Here, I had dropped $85 on shoes that were poorly made. Then I had been forced to spend another $7 only to be told, effectively, tough luck.

I spent nearly half an hour on the phone pretty much yelling at the Nike customer representative. I talked to her boss. That didn’t work either.

When I asked Nike to comment for this column, a spokesman replied that the company had in fact been honoring return requests for the same model of shoe I had bought. “It appears that your recent claim should have also been honored,” he wrote.

So we suppose the answer is — it’s almost impossible to return a defective running shoe — but it helps if you write for the Wall Street Journal. Or actually, maybe it doesn’t. According to Neal, he gave up and found a way to lace his shoes without using that eyelet.

How It Felt to Be Kicked by a Running Shoe [WSJ] (Thanks, Mike!)
(Photo: smcgee )