Sean’s new shoes hurt his feet. When he realized that this wasn’t because he was out of shape or had bought the wrong size, he figured it had been too long since buying the shoes, and he wouldn’t be able to return them. Not so when the shoes were from New Balance, purveyors of sneaker awesomeness.
About five years ago I purchased a pair of New Balance athletic shoes. It was the first pair of what I considered to be expensive shoes I had purchased. I the coming years I considered them to be one of the best purchases I had ever made. Five years later, I finally decided I had to buy a new pair. Not because the old ones were worn out, but simply because they no longer looked good enough to wear to work.
I made a trip in early March of this year to a local New Balance store, and eventually purchased a pair of shoes I believed would feel as good and wear as well as my five year old pair. Within about 1 week, I traveled with them and did a lot of walking. My feet hurt, but I attributed that to being out of shape. But when about two months had passed and I realized that shoes which I had paid over $150 for were hurting my feet during my normal day, I knew something was wrong. While I believed I knew the cause, I also knew that I was wearing a pair of shoes I had been wearing for two months. It’s difficult to get anything replaced after two months, and I guessed that any chance I had of getting that pair of shoes replaced was long gone.
Still, I wanted New Balance to know my story, so I sent off an email to the customer support address on their web page.
Within a day not only did I get a response, but they were going to replace my shoes with a new pair. After a couple of emails and one phone conversation, I ended up back at my local store, where I was able to choose a new pair of shoes. They even refunded the difference, without a single hesitation or murmur on their part.
In an era where customer service seems to be going downhill, I thought it was worth pointing out a company that values it.
Frankly, we’re appalled. Making shoes that look nice for years on end, and replacing products without a second thought when customers complain? New Balance, that is not the way to business success, and you should know it.