Nike Customer Service review--FAIL!!!

Grade: Not Impressed. At all.

On the recommendation of many training websites I had read, I purchased a pair of Nike Free 7.0 shoes. The basic premise behind the Nike Free is a very flexible sole that is designed to allow your feet to move as if you were barefoot.

At first the shoes were very comfortable and because I work 6 days a week as a personal trainer, I decided to buy a second pair so I could alternate wearings.

Not long after obtaining my second pair, my original pair started to split at the seam between the forefoot strap and the leather upper. Then, not long after that, my second pair also started to split and started shedding sole pads. Keep in mind that I walk a carpeted gym floor in these shoes. I have never used them for trail running or court sports.

My first course of action was to go to my local Nike store and try to return the obviously defective shoes there. The store said that they don't handle warranty issues and forwarded me the phone number for Nike warranty service.

I then called Nike Warranty and this is where my true disappointment started. First off, Nike shoes are only warrantied for 2 years from date of manufacture. ????? So...we're to believe that from the time some sweaty child finishes gluing them together in Asia that the shoes begin to spontaneously self-destruct? I tried to explain to the phone representative that I didn't think it was appropriate for the warranty to run while the shoes were in transport to North America and then in some retail store's inventory. Presumably they sit in a box, I fail to see how they would deteriorate in any material way. If so, I can only assume that new, in-box Nike Shoes must turn to dust after sitting in a box for 4-5 years.

Turns out that my first pair of shoes was manufactured in 2006, despite my purchasing them brand new within the past 12 months. Unable to reason with the battle-tested phone rep who must've heard this all many times before, I then proceeded to file a warranty claim for my second pair, manufactured in 2008. At least this pair fell within the two year period for what I now understand to be perishable Nike Frees. This is where it goes from bad to worse. I had to ship the shoes back to Nike AT MY EXPENSE. No Return Merchandise Authorization. The phone rep then had the gall to say if Nike found the shoes were defective, they would ship a new pair (no guarantee on colour) back at their expense. Wow. They're really going out of their way here... And all this after waiting 4-6 weeks.

The pictures at the beginning of the post are of my shoes. It's clear that there is virtually no wear on the sole, save for the parts of it that fell off.

All in all, I'm pretty disappointed in Nike's commitment to product quality and to customer service. Not only is it absurd that they expect customers to be out of pocket for return costs when their shoes are defective, they expect customers to know that the shoes are only expected to last for 2 years from date of manufacture. Given that it would take at least 45 days from departure in China to receipt at a Nike warehouse in Ontario, any shoes purchased will likely already be 60-90 days into their warranty period before you even have a chance to wear them. And that's at their freshest!

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