Thanks guys. I don't have another pair of Black dress shoes in my rotation (yet... haha) so I called the dept store to get a replacement. They are going to talk to the AE rep and have a craftsman do an add'l QC check on them before they ship to me. Fingers crossed!
My 12.5 Strand replacements are being made now since they aren't stocked in that size. Hopefully they do a better job this go round.
I just received a pair of merlot McAllisters from the Shoebank... if I have this issue on those I'm out of luck correct? OR I'd have to pay to recraft/fix?
I've had this happen to one pair of firsts and one pair of seconds on separate (ha) occasions and had them sent back for new heels (at the SA's request). The heels have held up well, including some dancing in the pair of seconds.
They'll take care of you.