Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mah beef with Stride Rite? Squashed!

If you have been following me on Twitter there is no doubt you have seen my recent rants against Stride Rite - ala previous beefs with Target and Jo-Ann Fabrics.  While Jo-Ann's made the banned list, I will full on admit I am still an avid Target shopper - even though I never got a resolution.  Shame on me, but .... it's Target people. 

Don't judge.

This isn't a post about how much I dislike Stride Rite,  it's about how they eventually made good on the problems I had - and in a way I did not expect.  So hang in here with me while I give you the back story first.  I have been hugely loyal to Stride Rite.  As a child I remember my parents always buying us their shoes and as I had my own children I always felt like they were the best for little feet.  It is the only place I have purchased every.single.pair of the boys sneakers that they have EVER worn (minus the converse last summer that ended up at the boys extra pair).

Especially with the Big Guy's AFO.  I want to know that he's in the best shoes and I like how they used to sell me 2 different sized shoes back when he needed that.  There came a point when it became more affordable to make the drive to the Wrentham Village Outlets each time the boys all needed new sneakers, instead of going to the mall which was just minutes away.  We've been lucky for the most part because the boys all seem to outgrow their shoes at the same time so it's one trip for all.

My husband and I took the boys to Wrentham for new sneakers at the end of March.  For the 1st time ever, we were having a problem finding a sneaker to accommodate the Big Guy's current AFO.  After consulting with a salesperson, we were advised the Rio sneaker was 'great with AFO's' and we purchased that one after trying it out and liking it. 

Within about 3 weeks there was a hole in the side of the sneaker where his AFO was.  Never happened before.  Not after months and months with the same shoe, and definitely not after a few weeks.  We made the trip back and got the shoes exchanged for a new pair - of the same sneaker (which is part of their return policy).  That was April.  Can you guess what happened next?  

About 3 weeks later, there is another freaking hole in the same freaking spot on his new shoes.  So now it's May and I am livid.  I really do not want to have to pile the boys into the car - again - and make another trip back to Wrentham... for the 3rd time in less than 3 months.  I take a look at the company's website and decide to send a nice, well thought out e-mail about how much I love their products, have been a loyal customer and is there anything we can do about what's going on.

What I got back was a form letter type e-mail with the store's return policy attached, advising me I could mail them into the company but it would be easier to go back to where I bought them for another exchange.  No idea what I was expecting, but that?  Was NOT it. 

Beyond livid.  At a loss for what else to do, I lashed out on twitter including Stride Rite's handle hoping they would contact me.  Nothing.  That afternoon we took the boys back to Stride Rite, where they not only remembered us but switched out the shoe for a new one of our choice - and we just paid the extra difference in money.  Very happy it got resolved.  Not happy what we went though.

It took nearly 2 weeks but Stride Rite finally contacted me through Twitter and asked that I call a particular service person about the situation.  The woman I spoke with was really very nice.  She listened to my story and apologized.  She had me forward her the e-mail exchange I had with the company and advised that should not have happened, that it was not procedure and there was another way to handle it.  She then floored me by telling me they are sending me a $50 Stride Rite gift card. 


They outdid themselves... compared to say, Target who did Nothing for me - not an apology - not even a coupon (after they cancelled an order I placed online for the boys and waited over 6 months for as they repeatedly rescheduled the arrival date only to cancel my order and deem it all mysteriously 'out of stock').

Note to big companies and customer services.  Sometimes all people want is an apology and a way to fix something.  Before they have to jump through hoops.  I have to say I really hated sinking to the level of complaining about the company on Twitter after trying to resolve it another way first.  In the end I will continue shopping at Stride Rite for the boys because I really do love their shoes.  Not because of the gift card (as handy as that will come in).  Thrilled to have a resolution and feel like Stride Rite really does care. 

Yaay shoes!


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