Approx two years ago I bought myself a pair of walking boots for Flickr group walks and other expedition. Despite intended light use, I still avoided the cheapest stuff, and went for some Merrells which were a pricely £85 after discount at Go-Outdoors, seemed to come well liked and well recommended by people.
Most of the time though I live in my trainers, so the boots only come out for the occasional hike, or when the weather is bad enough to mean I’m walking to work rather than taking the car (which isn’t that often). I’d noticed for a short while though that my feet were getting wet in these ‘waterproof’ boots, and finally noticed after the last walk that they’d actually split along the join between the upper & sole. As I get a good 12-18 months out of a typically £50 pair of trainers I wear all day every day, I wasn’t feeling too impressed with the quality of the Merrell. OK not quite as catastrophic failure as the Karrimor boots I know publicenergy bought & fell apart completely mid way through his second walk with them, but still, I did feel I should get a lot more wear out of them than I had.
So I stuck a tweet out there “My @merrelloutside boots have started coming apart/leaking. Can’t say I’m impressed for the amount cost vs how often actually worn them“. Used to bitching about @o2 and @bt_care and getting bugger all response, I thought that was the end of that, it’s off my chest, and time to hunt out some new boots, and make sure I don’t get any of those Karrimors…
Only it wasn’t, 10 minutes later I get a response “Hi @jonbradbury – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get to the bottom of the issues with your boots!” …. well here goes nothing, fired off a short email, heard nothing, oh well, then a few days later one of the UK team were in touch, put them in a box, attach this prepaid label, fill in this form, blah etc, and we’ll take a look at them…
Heard nothing for a few weeks so thought I’d send them a chaser email…and then got this
“Thank you for the return of your Merrell shoes to us.
As a gesture of goodwill, we have sent you a free of charge one off replacement which will arrive with you within the next 10 days
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and do hope that this will not deter you from purchasing our products in the future.
Lynsey Rickard – Consumer and Internet Team Leader”
What?? So I’ve gone from being a bit disappointed, to might frigging impressed, here I am a month later with a brand new boxed pair of Merrell replacement boots. Happy customer, top marks to Merrell customer services. Thank you.