Converse, Twitter Customer Non-Service, And The Amazing Self-Destructing Sneakers

Maybe Tim is being irrational, but he was under the impression that if he spent $100 on a pair of shoes, he could depend on the soles to not fall apart inside of a year. Sure, he lives in New York City and puts a lot of miles on his shoes, but isn’t that the point of shoes? When his first pair of Converse by John Varvatos wore out, he bought another. He really liked the shoes, except for the pesky hole in the heel. When the second pair fell apart within six months too, he sought help from Converse. Apparently, Converse has never helped a customer with a complaint about the longevity of their shoes before, because they don’t seem to know how to deal with an unhappy customer. Or maybe their passing Tim around to different places and departments and ignoring his messages is their policy.

They’re great-looking shoes. I’d buy a pair if I knew that they would hold up to my walking around a little. Tim posted about the saga on his Tumblr:

It begins with me visiting the Converse store in SoHo, where I splurged on a pair of Converse by John Varvatos. While $100+ is a lot for a pair of shoes (especially converse), please keep in mind that these were not just canvas and rubber cheapies. They were leather, more solid, and looked much nicer.

However, in less than 6 months a hole had worn completely through the heel. Meaning that I could poke my finger from one side of the shoe through the other. As you can imagine, this made these impossible to wear in the rain.

Despite living in New York City, I had never experienced shoe disintegration like this before. I was soon looking for a new pair of shoes, and ended up back in the Converse store. I gravitated back to the table of Converse by John Varvatos. I know, right? I couldn’t help it. They looked so damn cool. Still just as expensive, but this time it seemed as though they had maybe caught on, as these new ones had a thick clear rubber sole, seemingly more capable of handling someone walking in them. You see where this is going, right?

In less than six months time, I had a new problem. Not the heel wearing through, but the opposite. The sole of the shoe at the toe had become completely unglued and separated from the rest of the shoe. Now my right shoe flaps when I walk. This is especially efficient for getting any water at all straight to my feet.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… uhh… WE WON’T GET FOOLED AG’IN!

So here’s where it gets good. I wasn’t looking for anything specific. It usually comes down to the principle of the matter. I wanted to let them know what happened. Express my disappointment, and hopefully someone who is in charge of something will take notice and rectify the situation of a very unhappy customer who spent over $200 on two pairs of shoes that combined didn’t last a single year. I dug around on fruitlessly looking for a customer service email or phone number. No dice.

1. I settle for emailing their estore. ( I tell my story, and send the pictures.
2. I get a response a day later telling me to contact their consumer group (
3. I email the consumer group on two separate occasions. No response or even an electronic acknowledgment.
4. I begin to tweet about Converse’s crappy support. They respond, and tell me to DM them so they can help. I do just that. (@Converse) [ps- twitter is a great tool for customer service, but if it’s your ONLY tool, there’s a real problem]
5. They respond to my DM with this:

Hi Tim. We want to help you resolve this. Please email Thanks!

6. I email No response. I DM @Converse:

Why did you have me send an email if you aren’t going to acknowledge it?

7. They respond:

Hi Tim, Sorry about that. Please email me directly at

8. I email and receive this response:
Hi Tim,

I’m not sure who you’ve spoken with in the past, but I am one of the people that manage Converse’s Twitter account, and directed you to email, and Apologies for the multiple emails you have sent with no response as of now. I would love to resolve this issue as soon as possible; can you let me know where you purchased the shoes from? Thanks!

9. I respond, letting them know I bought both pairs of shoes from the SoHo store, they quickly respond with:

Thanks for the info. I will look into it and get back to you with a resolution as soon as possible. In the meantime, have a good night.

10. A week passes. I email back:

Hi [redacted],
Was there any follow up to this?

11. No response. It’s now been 40 days, 4 different email addresses, and a few twitter replies and DM’s since I sent my first email to the estore. I’m yet to get any meaningful dialogue from anyone at Converse.

12. Shock. Within minutes of posting this blog and tweeting some more, I get this response:

Hi Tim,
Apologies, Converse has been experiencing difficulty with their email system over the past week, but I have forwarded your request and will follow up again shortly.

While I want to believe something might eventually happen, I’m kind of pissed that they think so little of ANYONE as to try and pretend that A) any email system for a major company would have issues for an entire week, and B) that week just fell perfectly in line between their last email and my angry tweets.

How about a little honesty and a “Holy shit I’m so sorry I forgot about this, but I promise I’m working on it now!”

I really despise having to fire off dickish tweets and blog posts about this. At this point, I’m really just curious to see how far this will go before anyone does anything. Like, is this the first time in the history of Converse that someone has complained about their shoes falling apart? Is there no contingency plan in this case? More updates to follow. (maybe)

Meanwhile, time to buy some black leather sneakers that hold up a little better. Or at least can be re-soled.

Adventures in Crappy Customer Service, feat. Converse! [timisthedevil]

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