A resolution to my Nike warranty complaint

After getting nowhere with Nike directly, I forwarded my issue to Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star. Thanks to her help, my complaint was escalated at Nike and I eventually received a satisfactory resolution. I still have issues with a process that only attends to a very squeaky wheel but my hope is that Ms. Roseman's column in today's Toronto Star will cause Nike to think about how they might better administrate their warranty program.

TheStar.com
Business

Nike shoe warranty runs back to plant floor
March 28, 2009
Ellen Roseman

Craig Hirota, a personal trainer, owns two pairs of Nike Free 7.0 running shoes. One was purchased a year ago and the other three months ago.

Both started tearing at a crucial seam and one pair started shedding parts of its sole.

"Keep in mind that I walk a carpeted gym floor in these shoes. I have never used them for trail running or court sports," he says.

He went back to the store, which said he had to call Nike Canada.

That's when he found out that Nike has a two-year warranty going back to the manufacturing date – not the purchase date.

Since his first pair of shoes was manufactured in 2006 – though he bought them brand-new – they didn't qualify for warranty coverage.

Luckily, his second pair of shoes, manufactured in 2008, were covered. But he had to ship them back to Nike at his own expense.

I often hear complaints about warranties running out just ahead of a major repair.

But this is the first time I heard about a warranty clock that starts ticking before you buy the product.

Hirota figured it would take at least 45 days from departure in China until receipt at a Nike warehouse in Ontario.

"Any shoes purchased will likely already be 60 to 90 days into their warranty period before you even have a chance to wear them – and that's at their freshest," he told me.

Jane Shaw, a spokesperson for Nike Canada Corp., said it's always recommended that consumers return their products to the original place of purchase.

"Our return program is set as a backup to our retail partners' return policies," she added.

Nike's customer affairs team contacted Hirota and recommended a different training shoe that would work better than what he bought.

Obviously a good negotiator, he worked out a deal to get 125 per cent of the value of the one pair of shoes still under warranty.

"My reasoning was that the original pair was still useful to walk in," he says.

"Nike was saving me shipping and loss of use by letting me exchange the newer pair at their flagship store in Toronto.

"So rather than a refund for both shoes (200 per cent), I felt a reasonable compromise was 125 per cent."

Nike Canada says on its website that customers with concerns about a recent purchase should go back to the authorized retailer. Most have a guarantee of two to three months and can provide immediate replacement.

Hirota has a couple of suggestions for Nike on its warranty policy.

Customers who have the original receipt – as he did – should be covered for two years from the time of purchase (not manufacturing date).

And if the defect is related to Nike's design or materials, a three-year warranty is more appropriate.

"When paying $120-plus for a pair of shoes, I think it's reasonable to expect them not to fail before they're worn out."

Comments

  1. Nike refused to honor warranty on Air Max even though outsole wore out and air chamber deflated after just weeks of wear. This is a real disappointment since I have bought dozens of Nike shoes and never submitted a claim.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. I sent in a pair of 2011 air maxx shoes that had loss of pressure only to have my claim denied because of excessive wear... I would expect a $160 dollar pair of shoes to last longer.

    ReplyDelete

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