You can buy Tods loafers at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for around $400.
I had bought a pair a while back and thought they would last me a long time. Imagine my dismay when I went to put them on this fall and they felt mushy inside. I looked closer, they seemed to have some sort of deterioration in the sole.
I took them to the shoe repairman – they are high-end loafers, after all and worth the cost of repair. But he examined them and then showed me by peeling back the rubber sole, the inside of the shoe support was disintegrating into sand.
“They can’t be repaired,” he said. “Deficient materials.”
Apparently my $400 shoes had suffered irrepreable trauma from resting in my closet (which is a typical closet). The materials used to manufacture the sole of the shoe were simply falling apart. It was not due to overuse or anything else I had done to the shoe. It was faulty manufacturing.
After spending so much on a pair of shoes, I expected the company to rectify the situation. (A pair similar to mine is on the Neiman Marcus Web site for $425.) I found a Contact Us email address on the Tods official Web site and emailed them about my problem.
A customer service specialist emailed me back asking me for the product number and other obscure information and demanding a receipt from a Tods store and digital photos of the shoes.
I emailed several photos of the shoes. I explained that they weren’t new, and that I didn’t have a receipt, but that I had paid full retail and expected that a premium product like my Tods loafers would be repaired or replaced if they inexplicably fell apart.
The Tods person responded that unless the shoes were bought at a Tods store, they would not be replaced or repaired.
I emailed back offering to send them the shoes if they had any doubt about their authenticity, and she emailed back saying that they had no doubt, they recognized the shoes in the photo, but Too Bad, since I didn’t have a receipt and hadn’t bought them at a Tods store but at a distributor (like Neiman Marcus), I was out of luck.
I wrote saying this was a very bad policy and saying I had spent a Lot Of Money on the shoes, and the customer service person responded that lots of companies had that policy.
I said that just because other companies had the policy didn’t mean it didn’t suck. I was pissed!
Meanwhile, one wet and rainy day while in New York City, a friend of mine rhapsodized about her (then soggy) Born shoes, which retail around $100 or less. She said that she had had a problem where the sole of a shoe split down the middle. She sent it to Born and they replaced it immediately. They didn’t ask her for obscure product numbers and digital photos and receipts from a Born store.
In this economy, when you’re charging premium prices, does it make sense to treat your customers badly? I don’t think so.
No more Tods shoes for me.