How to Use a Warranty to Replace Your Boots
Those Old Boots May Still be Under Warranty
So the boots you bought a few months ago are leaking, the tread wore out, and the mid-sole flexes unnaturally; hopefully your boots have a replacement warranty. Unfortunately, defects arise even in good quality hiking, hunting, and work boots. Arm yourself with the manufacturer's warranty policy and a few tips, and maybe you can get a free pair of replacement boots.
This article provides important tips on making the most out of your manufacturer's warranty and provides you with contact information for most of the top brands in outdoor footwear.
Understanding Footwear Return Policy
- Start first by being realistic. If you beat the hell out of your boots for the last five years and never took care of them — don't bother.
- Clean your boots! If you bring in a pair of muddy boots to a store and throw them on the counter, what kind of service do you expect? The same goes for sending them back to the manufacturer.
- Most manufacturer warranties cover defects in materials and craftsmanship; know the difference between abuse and a defect.
- Research the manufacturer and retailer return policies before making contact.
What Voids a Warranty?
So what can you do to void a boot manufacturer's warranty?
- Failure to clean and maintain the boots according to instructions.
- Modifying or altering the boot.
- Using the boot for an activity other than it was intended.
- Improper fit.
What Does "Limited Warranty" Mean?
- Most, if not all, manufacturers describe their warranty as "limited," but what does this mean? By wading through the legal speak of many disclosures, it boils down to one concept: the warranty doesn't cover wear and tear. If you simply wear your boots out, they probably won't be covered, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to try.
- You'll find out that the term "under normal usage" is a fairly subjective concept and one that may work in your favor.
Take Them Back to Where You Purchased Them
Your best bet, when dealing with defective merchandise of any kind, is to return it to the retailer where you purchased it. Many stores take care of defective product issues in an effort to provide great customer service. In addition, most retailers have agreements with manufacturers to settle warranty issues at the store. Depending on the retailer and the brand in question, some may send your boots out for evaluation, others may simply swap out the boots on the spot.
Tips For a Successful Store Exchange:
- Be nice, and explain the situation to some sort of manager. Your attitude affects how much assistance you'll receive.
- Once more, MAKE SURE THE BOOTS ARE CLEAN!
- Know the manufacturer's warranty policy.
- Bring a receipt showing when you purchased your footwear.
- Bring the box too (if you have it)! Customers that have the shoe box, get a better reception at customer service.
Even if your boots are past the coverage period, In order to make the sale and keep a customer, a store may offer you a discount toward a new pair of boots.
Contact the Manufacturer
If the store doesn't pan out (and you feel you still have a claim), contact the manufacturer directly. When dealing with the manufacturer, explain your loyalty to the brand and how you feel the boot failed.
If they don't respond in one week, consider posting a non-nasty message to their FaceBook wall. Their social networking coordinator will contact you. Most boot makers want to work with you as the customer, just be polite. As with all customer service successes, make sure you thank them and provide positive feedback when it is due.
Major Boot Manufacturers Customer Service Contacts
The following list of major hiking, hunting, and work boot manufacturers provides contact information and how to use their warranty. As a reminder, boot makers may change the policies at any time.
Whenever sending boots back to the manufacturer, make sure they are clean, also include a copy of the receipt when you purchased them. Of course, make sure you provide complete contact information and include any return authorization numbers. Also, be safe and insure and track any packages you send out.
- Asolo: 1-year warranty. They recommend bringing a defective product to the dealer where you purchased them.
- Columbia:1-year limited warranty. Contact retailer or send back to Columbia with your contact information, description of the problem, and receipt.
Attn: Warranty Department
7000 North Leadbetter Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97203
- Danner: 1-year limited warranty. Contact Danner for a return authorization number before sending boots. Receive an RA through firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the customer service number at 1-877-432-6637.
- Hi-Tec: 90 Day limited warranty. Bring back boots to a dealer for service; if purchased directly from Hi-tech contact them at 1-800-521-169
- Irish Setter: 6-month limited warranty plus additional pro-rated warranty beyond six months. Return defective boots to your Irish Setter retailer.
- Keen: 1-year warranty plus a 2-year warranty on Keen. Dry waterproofing. Take them back to the retailer or submit a Keen warranty claim form here.
- LaCrosse: Warranty stretches between 90 days and 1 year depending on style. Send to:
LaCrosse Returns Department
17634 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230
- La Sportiva:1-year limited warranty. Return boots to their retailer if you have difficulties e-mail them at email@example.com.
- Lowa: 1-year limited warranty. Call Lowa at 1-888-335-5692 for a return authorization.
- Merrell / Wolverine: 1 year limited warranty. You must email for a return authorization number; send your information to Merrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Montrail: If you think you have a warranty issue, e-mail Montrail's warranty department at email@example.com
- Patagonia: Fill out the following form and send it and your footwear back to Patagonia.
- Red Wing: 30-day comfort guarantee, 1 year limited warranty. Return defective boots directly to a Red Wing store.
- Salomon: 2-year limited warranty on footwear. Return all footwear to an authorized Salomon retail outlet or retailer.
- Scarpa: 1-year limited warranty. Bring defective boots to a Scarpa dealer or contact through firstname.lastname@example.org
- Teva: 1-year limited warranty. Send your defective boots to:
Teva® Returns Department
3175 Mission Oaks Blvd.
Dock Door #1-6
Camarillo, CA 93012
- The North Face: 1-year limited warranty. Send boots back to The North Face:
The North Face® Warranty Department
14450 Doolittle Drive
San Leandro, CA 94577
- Timberland: Limited warranty. Contact your local retailer or email them at email@example.com
- Vasque: 1-year limited warranty. Contact Vasque at firstname.lastname@example.org
If Your Boots Are Gore-Tex, They Are Guaranteed to Keep You Dry
- If you have gore-tex boots, you have another option for warranty service and that is to go directly through W.L. Gore. All Gore-tex footwear is guaranteed waterproof for the life of the boot (this does not mean guaranteed for life). The Gore warranty doesn't cover damage to the tread or any other part of the boot-only the Gore-tex membrane.
- If you aren't satisfied with your Gore-tex product, contact W.L. Gore at 1-800-GORE TEX.
- Yes, the Gore "Guaranteed To Keep You Dry" promise is a great reason to choose Gore's waterproof breathable membrane in your boots.
How Does a Company Replace Your Boots?
So, you negotiated a successful warranty claim, how do you get your new boots? The manner in which you are compensated differs based on company, but there are a few options:
- Repair: The boots are repaired to correct the defect - pretty rare, but it does happen.
- Swap Out: The company grabs a pair of new boots off the shelf and does an even exchange.
- Coupon Code: The manufacturer or retailer provides you with a special promotional code to use on their e-commerce shopping site. Generally, the amount is for the retail on the defective boot. If you care to upgrade, just pay the difference.
© 2012 Dan Human