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Clarks shoes fell apart, what happened to quality?

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I have always bought Clarks shoes and 58 years after national service, I still stick to the "wear them - polish them" philosophy. I have quite a few pairs and wear them infrequently.  Recently however, the sole and heel has started coming away from a virtually unworn pair and the welt just peeled away altogether.

They offered me £10 which I refused...

The manager of a Clarks shoe shop told me that they had had problems with some of the materials on that type of shoe and after speaking to Customer services, they offered me £10 which I refused.

I returned the shoes to the Clarks shoe shop as requested and following complaints to the Chief Executive, they reluctantly increased the offer to £30.

A pair of shoes I am disinclined to accept this latest offer either as it would cost me at least £60 to get a new pair and that is virtually what they were.

They did initially have a moan about the age of the shoes, but they are only a few years old and as it happens totally unworn.  I have much older, cheaper, leather shoes which are still perfect condition. After all this fiasco I doubt seriously if I will ever wear Clarks shoes again.

I have since asked them to keep the shoes so that they can be returned to me, but I doubt if they will, in which case I will take this to Trading Standards or the small claims court.  I am as impressed with Clarks customer service as I am with the shoes.

Has anyone else had a similar experience Clarks shoes?

By: Bouncer


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Spike

Spike

Many if not all Clarks shoes are made in Viet Nam they pay maybe 5-10usd per pair so quality is going to be poor. Clarks are trading on past reputation and are in financial difficulties
21/06 Spike
1
Soleless

Soleless

The soles on my Clarks shoes literally disintegrated. Their customer service told me their shoes were only expected to last 3-5 years and because mine were older, I was out of luck. Terrible product, terrible company.
08/02 Soleless
4
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

I always buy Fly of London boots now, they do shoes as well; expensive but very good. I have a couple of pairs of shoes by Red or Dead which have lasted for ages and Hotter seem quite good too.
04/03/20 grumpyoldwoman
2
Cinderella1111

Cinderella1111

Yes. I've always worn Clarks and only had my latest pair of shoes for only a year and they are peeling at the toe and look like I've had them for 10 years. So disappointed. Won't be buying this brand anymore. So what is a good quality shoe name? Anyone know?
03/03/20 Cinderella1111
3
Bc1369

Bc1369

It’s not just Clark’s. In the last 6 months I’ve had this happen with a pair of Thorogood duty boots, which are designed for motorcycle cops... imagine the soles of your boots disintegrating while riding!! As well as a pair of MiuMiu boots that cost close to $1000. Neither company was willing to take any responsibility for this. As an adult, when I buy shoes I certainly do expect them to last the rest of my life. With the exception of work boots and running shoes. Footwear I wear casually and infrequently should easily last for decades. I have Dr Martens from the early 80s that are fine, I have John Fluevogs easily over 20 years that are fine. Both have rubber soles, and both are rarely worn. If a shoe is going to disintegrate in its box, then they should all be required to come with an expiration date. When a person lays down a substantial amount of money for a pair of shoes they should not have to worry about the soles crumbling to dust without warning. If the company uses a product that is known to deteriorate spontaneously and does not warn the consumer or issue an expiration date it is the responsibility of the shoe manufacturer to replace the shoe regardless of age, because quite simply, the smoke crumbling beneath your foot is a DEFECT.
06/02/20 Bc1369
0
Peter Lee

Peter Lee

For those of you who have similar problems to those that I experienced, Not Complete Satisfaction, but a more reasonable effort to address my complaint.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email correspondence and for confirming when and where your shoes were purchased.

I would also like to thank you for sending the Watchdog statement, which I am familiar with. The voucher amount for hydrolysis is £10.00, but this is for shoes with this condition and are over 6 years old. However, as you are claiming that your shoes are only a year old, this condition should not occur in shoes of this age, as we no longer use these materials.

As you can appreciate it is really difficult to comment on your shoes, without having the opportunity to examine them. Due to the age of your shoes, I do believe that the store has misinformed you, for which I do sincerely apologise.

Without having any proof of purchase or images of your shoes, I am unable to assess the quality of your shoes and see how much you have paid. With this in mind, and also recognising your loyalty to Clarks, I am offering you a £50.00 e-gift as full an final settlement to your complaint. Alternatively, if you prefer, I can send a gift card, please respond with your preference.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us and for your patience in this matter. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards
Debbie Pierce
Customer Care Manager
20/01/20 Peter Lee
0
Peter Lee

Peter Lee

mailto:Giorgio.PrescaCEO@clarks.com
Had two pairs of Clark’s shoes disintegrate, offered a £10 refund for a pair of shoes that cost £82. Having failed to have my complaint addressed by the shop that sold the shoes or their customer service department I submitted my complaint to their new CEO to response from his office I sent the following: The shoes were purchased from your Plymouth Store, I paid cash for the shoes, I did not keep the receipt, I therefore did not expect a cash refund, however as the shoes were unworn I did expect an exchange or offer to repair. They were stored in a dry cupboard in my bedroom. An older, worn pair also disintegrated but as they were approximately 4 years old and had been worn I was prepared to accept that I had had a reasonable amount of use from them. This was not the case with the second pair which were unworn and purchased in 2018.

The point here, is that my consumer rights were ignored both in store and when I spoke to your Customer Services Department. The shoes supplied were not fit for purpose the soles of shoes should nor degrade in storage in less than two years. I bring to your attention the statement your company made to the Watchdog BBC tv Program.

“As both a manufacturer and a retailer, we carefully follow the guide lines set down by Trading Standards. As such, we give consideration to complaints on adult’s footwear up to six years after purchase, the period that Trading Standards deems reasonable for manufacturers to be held responsible for the breakdown or deterioration of products materials. However in this case, to ensure that we treat all of our customers fairly, we took the decision to offer a courtesy voucher to any customer who returns a product experiencing this issue regardless of the time that has passed since purchase and the absence of proof of purchase.”

My experience is that you have lied to me and the the public through the BBC. and failed to meet your obligation to provide a product that is fit for purpose relying on the cost in time and expense in it would take your customers to address the issue, to avoid your obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in addition to expectation of replacement or an offer to repair, this allows up to six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England.

I know what the rules are, honest clear reviews on social media about poor customer service and defective products is far more damaging to a Company’s reputation and requires a lot less effort than pursuing matters through the small claims court, however to be effective the review must be accurate and supported by evidence. This one is and you know it, as a company you should address the problem you have with your product and the attitude your customer service department is taking towards all your customers about this matter.
It disgraceful and really quite unacceptable that a customer who has been wearing Clark’s Shoes for over 60 years should have to resort to this to have a legitimate complaint addressed.
13/01/20 Peter Lee
0
Peter

Peter

Yes, they all it hydrolysis, the shoes fall apart and Clark’s refuse to accept responsibility, no refund or exchange they are well aware of the problem but only offer a £10 voucher for shoes that are not fit for purpose,
28/12/19 Peter
1
Aint no sole left in these new shoes

Aint no sole left in these new shoes

I bought a pair of so called ECO shoes and put them in the wardrobe. 4 years later I put the shoes on for the first time. The soles crumbled after 15 minutes walking and was unable to continue at had to call for a taxi. Very embarrassing. When I contacted Clarks they were not interested other than give me £10 good will payment. They said that after 4 years they could not do anything even though I never wore them. I told them to shove it, and I have never bought any Clarks shoes again.
20/08/19 Aint no sole left in these new shoes
-1
Married to a flapper

Married to a flapper

My father in law was the male equivalent of "Almeda Marcos" and had a wardrobe full of Clarke shoes, some of which he had worn only once or twice. When he died, my husband 'inherited' about 15 pairs and his brother in law a few less. Little did they know that these shoes, still with unsoiled soles would drop to bits at the most inconvenient moments. My husband has thrown away about 6 pairs already and has checked the other pairs and discovered that there are more "on their way out". He has now lost all confidence with wearing them out and about as he doesn't want to "flap down the street" as has happened on more than one occasion. He was delighted therefore to see the section on BBC's Watchdog about being offered vouchers, however, to date he has been unable to find out how to send off the shoes to get the voucher. I guess this is just another empty promise, however, his experience has made him absolutely determined NEVER to set foot in a pair of Clarks shoes ever again.
06/12/18 Married to a flapper
-4
hutch

hutch

Took my shoes out of the wardrobe where they had been all the summer as I wear sandals during the rest of year, as I was removing the laces to clean the shoes for the coming winter I was amazed that the uppers came completely away from the soles. Will be returning the shoes to Clarks shoes in Street on Friday for their comments. Will keep you posted.
28/11/18 hutch
-4
Stillgame

Stillgame

My experiece mirrors yours exactly - well not quite - I have now thrown out about 6 pairs of Clarks shoes that have just fallen apart.

I used to work for TNT who deliver shoes to Clarks Stores. One of their assistants told me that there had been a major problem with many of the shoes made by one of their manufactureres as the "wrong" glue had been used. She told me that staff had been told not to offer refunds and that if I complained I would not get one.

Fortunately, the last pair of virtually unworn Clarks shoes that literally fell into two pieces I did not throw out and I will be posting them off to Watchdog. A perfect example.

Clarks need to be exposed for what they are - a retailer that sells shoes not fit for puposes and then tries to cover up the disgrace. Nothing short of a major retail scandal.

T
24/11/18 Stillgame
-2
Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

...and still no mention on Watchdog website 3 days after the programme - bbc.co.uk/watchdog
23/11/18 Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.
-2
Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

This finally featured on Watchdog this week - after 6+ years of countless thousands of internet - blogs - and SUCCESS! - the reporter said that Clarks have agreed a "voucher" with no proof of purchase required no matter when the shoes were purchased. Great - OR IS IT? No details were given on how to claim this voucher, what it consisted of, how long it would be valid etc etc etc. There are still no details online, Clarks do not respond to emails, NOR DOES WATCHDOG !!! An empty gesture methinks, just to make Clarks appear to be taking notice at last. They are not.
23/11/18 Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.
-2
grumpyoldwoman

grumpyoldwoman

I can't believe this is still going on. I don't really buy Clark's shoes now because I had a pair that fell apart years ago. They were obviously summer shoes, but I was told I should have been wearing them all year!

I would have thought they had either sorted the problem out or gone bankrupt by now.
23/11/18 grumpyoldwoman
-2

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