Sunday, December 04, 2005

Small prints and large shoes

I am on my way to exchange a pair of boots that I bought on Sunday. I put them on Monday and the right boot bothered me all day. It is too big.
The shoe store is a large store on Connecticut Ave, right before Dupont Circle. There are four almost identical stores in a 20 meter radius. All under the same management. My encounter with the clerk does not go as smoothly as I had anticipated. (After all, this is America as I was explaining my mother, just the day before) "You've worn them" she said. "We don't replace worn shoes". I assure her that the sale person I talked to on Sunday told me that I could bring them back. I had asked him about the waterproof quality of the boots. He had assured me that these were the best on the market. "So if I find myself with wet feet, I can come back?" I had asked. "Sure, no problem. Bring the shoes back and we'll change them"
The problem is: the company policy forbids all exchange on shoes that have been worn. "How am I supposed to test the shoes to see if they are waterproof without wearing them?" I ask the clerk. "Just walk around in your house" is the answer I get. There is no telling if she is serious or not. On the contrary, the fact that it hardly rains inside my house seems to be a perfect reason to test the waterproof quality of the shoes there only.
After half an hour arguing without any result I decide to come back when the manager is on duty. From her description, it seems that the manager is the guy who promised that the shoes could be returned. I don't want to return them, I want to exchange them for a smaller size.

The next day I am there after work. The discussion with the manager starts right away and as I ask him to confirm his promise, he said that yes, I could return the boots if there was a defect with them (like a problem with their waterproof quality) but not if this is just a matter of size.
We argue for 5 minutes until he recognizes that he should have been clearer, that his promise lead to ambiguity. I am happy now. I won the argument with another promise that I can change the shoes. Happily, I ask him to bring me the smaller size to try on before I take them home.
They don't fit. I need the size I have already.


Blogger Solomon2 said...

I have lived in the D.C. area most of my life, and I'm sorry to conclude that it is almost impossible to buy really good boots retail in this area. I order mine from The Sportsman's Guide or Cabelas catalogs. Product descriptions in these catalogs are usually far superior to those offerred by shoe salespeople.

However, my wife had great success yesterday when she went to the shoe stores at Arundel Mills: she bought herself two pairs of Ryka sneakers and a fairly good pair of snow boots, all at good prices.

As for the waterproofing issue, I would have asked the salesperson if I could test the boots by running water over them in the store's bathroom sink -- no need to wear them at all.

(I looked for the Q Street store you mentioned last week but could find neither the store nor any nearby parking.)

10:58 AM  
Blogger Just said...

Sorry -- Which Q street store from last week?

12:06 PM  
Blogger Just said...

If you mean the story from Oct about the sport shop.
The store is on Wisconsin Ave. I'm not sure what the exact address but I think it is in front of the "Five guys" restaurant.
It's a small store squeezed between 2 others. It's called GTR players. Next time I'm in Georgetown I'll get the exact address.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Just said...

The store is at the intersection between Dumberton Street and Wisconsin ave. 1329 Wisconsin Ave if I remember correctly.

12:14 AM  

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