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Beverly Feldman / Disappointing workmanship & bad customer service

1 United States

I got a pair of Beverly Feldman shoes from their licensed store in St. Barth's, Laurent Effel, in early June 2008 (all Laurent Effel sells are Beverly Feldman shoes). The shoes were on sale but were brand new.

Upon returning to New York City (where I live), I wore the shoes to and from my office job ONE DAY, and the sole on one of the shoes came completely off on my way home from work. I didn't snag it on anything; it just started coming apart on the subway and had completely separated from the rest of the shoe by the time I reached my apartment. Granted, it was a hot day and I'm sure the temperature was partly to blame, but I was still disappointed in the quality of a shoe that came apart after one wearing.

When I contacted Beverly Feldman customer service in the US about getting the shoes repaired or replaced, their customer service rep told me they could not replace the shoes because they are several seasons old and they none in stock. They suggested I contact the Beverly Feldman store in New York to get them repaired.

I brought the shoes in to the New York store, in their original box, wrapping, and the bag from St. Barth's (I didn't have the receipt). The store manager told me that I would have to pay to get them repaired through Beverly Feldman, even after I explained that they were brand new and I had worn them only one time. He told me that if they were from the current season, it would be a different matter, but because they were several seasons old they wouldn't repair them for free. He did not even bother to try to verify with the store in St. Barth's whether I had indeed purchased them only one month ago--even though the door of the New York store specifically mentions St. Barth's as one of their retail locations, so they clearly are a licensed Beverly Feldman retail store!

What made me so upset about both exchanges--with the customer service rep and the store manager in New York--was the overall feeling that because I had bought a pair of their shoes that were several seasons old, and on sale, they did not consider me as valued a customer as someone who had bought a pair of full-price current season shoes. If the latter had brought in a pair of shoes that she said she wore one time, they would have repaired them for free, but because I spent less to begin with, they didn't care as much about standing by their product. Not the best attitude, I have to say, in the current economic climate when pretty much everything is going on sale and people are also waiting longer to buy new apparel. And isn't good customer service really all about making every customer feel like their business is valued?

Also, the New York store manager implied (by saying he "didn't want to get into it") that he didn't believe I was telling the truth about when I bought the shoes and how many times I had worn them, even though with just a few moments on the phone to his counterpart in St. Barth's, he could have verified what I was telling him, since I didn't have the receipt to prove it up front. I don't know if it was pure laziness, but he didn't take the trouble to give me any other explanation, other than the non sequitur that, "If you brought shoes back to Gucci or Prada that had been defective, they would make you pay for the repair too." I felt like saying, "I'm not at Gucci or Prada, I'm at Beverly Feldman, so what is YOUR policy?" I don't think they even have a blanket policy, they just decide on the spot when a customer walks in, and because I was a young, working girl with some shoes I bought on sale, they decided I was an expendable customer.

Beverly Feldman's motto is "Too much is not enough"; well, this was my second purchase of her shoes, but this awful experience was indeed too much for me to take. Stay away from Beverly Feldman unless you plan to pay full price on new shoes; apparently, any customer who buys on sale doesn't count nearly as much.

Ed

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