If the boots are not up to wolverine standards, then they should not leave the wolverine factory with wolverine branding on them. CERTAINLY not with a written agreement that the reseller MUST market them as seconds or factory rejects.
I'll never buy from this retailer again, and certainly don't want store credit from them. They have a FAQ on their website that claims that they get such great prices because they have exclusive deals with the manufacturers to purchase specific items, and they don't place their order until the customer places their order with them. This, IMO, is a clear attempt to mislead away from the natural suspicion that the merchandise is defective.
I don't know what wolverine got paid for these boots from this retailer, and frankly, I don't care. That is not my concern. If wolverine is willing to sell what they know are crap quality boots to be resold to the public, then they STILL should stand behind them when they start falling apart, as mine are already. ESPECIALLY if they allow a retailer to sell them without advertising them as factory second quality. If they are unwilling to stand behind their work, then they should not let substandard work exit their factory.
I just received a warranty return form from Wolverine. I'll send them my boots, and if they replace them, that's great, and I'll likely buy another pair someday in another color or style. If they don't, I'm out 200 dollar,(1/2 price), plus the shipping cost, and I'll never buy another product by Wolverine or anyone associated with them, simple as that.
Even if, best case scenario for me, wolverine sends me a brand new pair of boots, it will cost them material and labor. I don't know how much that is, but I can reasonably assume it's significantly less than retail cost for the boots, and they will have gained a pretty loyal customer. I can think of worse ways to spend advertising dollars, as currently my impression of their merchandise is that it is garbage, based on the one pair that I own, regardless of cost or retailer.
Interesting update: I just got an RMA from the internet seller, with an agreement to not charge me shipping on the return, or a restocking fee, and to refund my credit card. So, I guess I'll be leaving Wolverine out of this after all. Though, If I was working at Wolverine, I would WANT the chance to show a disappointed customer that my company DOES make superior quality boots. As it is now, I'll just return them to the online shop and probably never buy another pair of Wolverines again.
Edited by Neognosis - 9/23/13 at 1:35pm