best price ugg slippers Clarks backs its socks until they die or you do
CLEVELAND, Ohio As a consumer columnist, I hear a lot about companies that fail to deliver on promises.
So when I bought boots at a Clarks shoe store a few years ago and the clerk urged me to pick up socks, too, because they were on sale and had a “lifetime guarantee,” I rolled my eyes and thought, Oh, there’s got to be a column in this.
It turns out there was, just not the one I expected.
I’m hard on socks. While I can be trusted to keep shoes on my feet in public or at the office, I rarely wear them inside my house. When it’s warm out, I’m barefoot. When it’s cold, I’m usually in stocking feet.
A lifetime guarantee? Maybe if you have the lifespan of a gerbil.
Cynical, I picked up a couple pairs and vowed to write about what happened to the guarantee when the socks died or I myself was on my deathbed.
Turns out, I liked the socks so much, I went back and bought more. They’re comfy. They’re lightweight enough you can wear them with dress pants, but substantial enough to wear with jeans.
It took several years for them to wear thin, but at last two socks from different pairs sprung holes. I tied the deceased socks together with their mates and started digging through my ancient receipts.
That’s when I discovered a hole in my plan.
I couldn’t be sure which receipts went with which socks. Clarks socks all kinda look like Clarks socks, but I feared my lack of a receipt might foil my experiment. Still, I bagged up my battered socks and headed to the Beachwood store, where I told the manager that my socks with a lifetime guarantee had sprouted holes.
She laughed. “Well, they’re not ‘super socks,'” she said. “They do eventually wear out.”
Here it comes, I thought, bracing for the exception.
She pointed to the sock display.
“You just go over and pick out new socks and I take your old ones,” she said.
“That’s it?” I said, stunned at how simple it was. I mumbled that I didn’t have the receipt.
So I left her with my old, ratty socks and walked out with two brand new pairs.
If every company stood behind its merchandise like this, I’d be out of a job.
Poking around online afterward, I saw that other Clarks customers also had successfully replaced worn socks.
One posted on Yelp: “The sales woman noticed that my socks had a hole in them when I was trying on shoes. She said they looked like Clark’s socks (they were), and told me they have a lifetime guarantee. Handed me a new pair, no questions.”
In fact, it was easier for me to use the guarantee than it was to get a hold of someone at Clarks’ corporate offices later to talk about it.
I understood the lifetime guarantee to be against holes, but Clarks spokesman Brandon Hart said it was broader: “If anything bags, if they get a hole, if they wear out, they’ll be replaced.” The guarantee has been around at least 10 years, Hart said.
It’s not exactly a secret, but Clarks doesn’t shout about it.
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The guarantee isn’t printed on sock labels. It’s not mentioned on Clarks’ website. And there are no signs about it in Clarks brick and mortar stores, which Hart says is the only place the socks are sold. Instead customers usually hear about it from the salesclerks.
“It’s part of their pitch . We don’t advertise it,” Hart said. “It’s not likely anyone’s coming to Clarks to buy socks.”
The day after I got my replacement socks, I went back to Clarks solely to buy more socks. I picked up two pair, which were on sale for $3.99 each, but when I got to the register, the clerk told me that the sale socks were buy three, get three free.