I can certainly say that when I was in school - I never EVER got that good of service anywhere. I know where you're coming from. I would give AE a chance though. I'm sure they did in fact cut 'n paste their reply. I'll admit that it's not good, but a call to them will probably get you better service. I'd guess that people write them the craziest and dumbest things ever as complaints, i.e:
"My shoes got wet in the rain"
"My shoe laces broke and I've only had these shoes 5 yrs"
"Is the Shoe Bank FDIC insured?"
Just call them and they'll take care of you. The snootiness factor at some AE stores I've felt too. The SF AE store was a bit that way. I was dressed as a tourist in the Financial District, so I expected that to happen.
Glad to know I'm not crazy or something, haha. I should have gone in wearing my Vibergs or Aldens instead.
I actually called up the Outlet store that I bought the shoes from in the first place and the associate on the line, while really busy, helped me tremendously. She explained things about sizing that I NEVER got from the retail stores--all within a few minute phone call! All I had to do was tell her my size on the brannock device and she was quick to offer advice about different sizes, and even told me about some odd-sizes they make limited shoes in, like 2E's.
No one ever told me this in my retail experiences. Instead, they gave me that "What are you doing here?" vibe.
The exchange was incredibly smooth. I told her I had never worn them outside and wanted an even exchange, and now she is processing it for me, UPS label included.
A single Outlet store associate was more helpful than the several retail employees and the main customer service email of Allen Edmonds!