Jaime liked New Balance shoes, and bought a pair to replace her beloved retired ones. When the new ones failed only after a few months, she was disappointed, but didn’t get around to contacting New Balance about it for months. When she finally did, she expected perhaps a coupon or another small discount for her trouble. Nope.
Here’s one for the days when the world gets you down with its hidden
fees, dropped calls, and heartless CEOs…
I love New Balance shoes. They are the only shoes that have been
consistently delightful to wear, from point of purchase to their
ultimate demise. Never a blister, no “breaking in” period, nothing. My
last pair took me through Italy, Canada, and grad school, only to fall
victim to a giant slorpy patch of mud on a trek through Pennsylvania
one spring. After trying to get by with other shoes for a little while
afterward, I determined I needed to go back to New Balance.
I couldn’t find the style I had purchased 4 years prior,
unfortunately, so I went with a style that was similar (“retro,”
purple). Received them, wore them, delighted in them. After maybe two
weeks of wear, however, one of the seams between the suede and the
nylon started to pop, way up on the toe box. This was March of 2010. I
set the shoes aside, intending to call up New Balance and work out an
exchange, as it was obviously a fault in the shoe.
Aaaand I promptly forgot about them, as it became spring and I started
working at a “you must wear heels” kind of establishment. November
2010 rolled around and job circumstances changed. I realized I wanted
my stand-by running around shoes back, so I finally shot off an email
to New Balance about the matter. Received a prompt response, in which
I was advised to call a customer service rep to talk about fit before
we could talk about a return or refund. I figured that was fair
enough, the man stood by the quality of New Balance and couldn’t
fathom a manufacturing defect. It had to be that I was trying to cram
too much foot in too little shoe.
Once again, I didn’t deal with the email immediately. I waited another
3 months. Just today, finally, almost a year later from the original
purchase date, I decided to see what could be done about the shoes.
Now, I wasn’t expecting a refund. I wanted to put in a note about the
style, so that if others had complaints, they’d realize the style
itself was faulty. I would have been pleased with a 10% off your next
purchase arrangement. Or free shipping. Some small token of “hey,
sorry about the hassle.” Hell, I waited a year to really deal with the
issue – it would have been fair of them to say sorry, too late!
Well, I called up the customer service number emailed to me back in
November and explained the issue. She immediately said it didn’t sound
like a fit problem, and that she’d be happy to process a return for
me. Within 10 minutes I had picked out a new shoe to exchange for the
old and was emailed a UPS shipping label to return the old faulty
shoes to NB. No money exchanged, no hassle, just very pleasant,
above-and-beyond customer service. I was (and am) very impressed by my
Needless to say, New Balance is keeping this customer.