All, an update:
To address what some have said I'll say this. If I had seen these specific shoes in person, I would have ran away. Upon investigating the second shoe, they were clearly the floor model as the department store sticker was still on the bottom of the shoe. $300 is a lot to drop on a shoe, I spent around that much on each continual pair of AE's I buy. My mistake was a list of assumptions, but my leverage for return boils down to the website not stating that I would be purchasing floor/display model shoes that were in used condition with less-than-satisfactory signs of wear. By doing some searching on their website I found their mission statement where it says they sell "last season's" merchandise for a steep discount. Recognizing they were final sale, I was okay with the idea of purchasing new shoes (they looked good on the site), I will never again make that mistake/assumption. In the future I will defer to my normal stockists and sources of supply and not final sales. If anyone is interested, below is the most recent correspondence. At this point, they are waiting for a 3rd level manager to review and issue a determination. If it's in my favor, no worries. If not, it's off to New York's Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection (with whom I've already made contact).
I would like to briefly summarize my position so that in the event you need to forward this issue along, you may do so by simply forwarding this e-mail.
I purchased the attached shoes (Ralph Lauren Denham) during a Final Sale earlier this week (Online Order No. XXXXX). I paid for expedited shipping and received them yesterday afternoon. Upon opening the box I immediately recognized that these shoes had been worn multiple times before and were not in new condition; and if i may, the leather had not been properly supported between wears as there is significant wrinkling in the shoe's surface. Without trying them on I immediately phoned Barney's Warehouse Customer Service (I spoke with a woman by the name Karen) and was told they wouldn't be accepted for return. After explaining that they were clearly used, she directed me to e-mail a picture of the damage to firstname.lastname@example.org
, and I did so.
This morning I received an e-mail advising that the shoes would not be accepted for a refund, citing "the merchandise in our warehouse sale is first quality however, the merchandise and packaging may not be in its original condition". I called the author of said e-mail, Ms. XXXX XXXX, and we had a polite conversation discussing the matter. She explained to me that it should be "understood that these would have been sent in from stores and may have been worn" (paraphrased). I asked if that was listed on the item's sale page, and she replied it was not. I went on to express that I felt defrauded as I had spent a considerable amount of money on clearly worn shoes. She agreed to allow me to send in more pictures of the shoes, which you will find attached below, in support of my request.
Just prior to snapping more pictures, I visited the Barney's Warehouse online "About" section and found the following description: "BarneysWarehouse.com is an ongoing off-price site offering legendary steals on past season sale products, including women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, plus gifts for the home from Chelsea Passage"
This text doesn't mention anything about the merchandise being previously owned, worn, used, or "not in its original condition".
Upon taking more pictures of the shoes, I examined the other shoe (up until this point, I had only examined one shoe from the box, and had not worn either shoe, and still have not) and noticed what looks like a department store's sales tag, indicating that these shoes were indeed likely the floor model at a department store. This can be seen in one of the attached photos. Again, that information had not been presented to me on the item's sales page.
I present below picture evidence to support that these shoes were sold in a different condition than in which they were received, and to support my request for a full refund of the purchase price of the shoes plus shipping charges.
I've contacted the New York Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection and spoke with them regarding the matter. They have advised that they would hope the matter can be resolved without needing their involvement, but should we not be able to resolve it, they have suggested filing a complaint as soon as I hear a final verdict from Barney's. I have not yet submitted a complaint to their department and will find no need to do so if this matter can be solved per my reasonable and ethical request.
The following can be seen in the images:
1. Factory sticker (left heel, gold type) in which the bottom portion of the sticker's type has been erased while the upper portion remains. This indicates extensive friction, likely on the carpet of a department store, in which the heel strike of a man's gate has erased the lower type while leaving the type further up intact. (I apologize how that sounds, I'm an Air Force engineer and I get giddy about details).
2. Excessive wrinkling on the top of the shoe, indicating that have seen extensive walking usage.
3. Slight outsole scuffing on the heel and forefoot of the left shoe.
Thank you for your time and understanding. Please see attached images.