I bought a new pair of of Church's shoes in Milan from their store in February (having bought a pair of Church's Burwoods last year). I paid 500 Euros for a pair of black calf Granbys.
They fitted like a glove and were very comfortable. However, after two months' wear and cosseting, I noticed a problem on both shoes with the welt coming away (see image)
So, I wrote to Church Client Services on May 30th 2013. Now, you will notice they do not call themselves "Customer Services" because that would be a contradiction in terms. Church's, let there be no doubt on this matter, have no customer service!
My email with photo attached received the following reply from Church Client Services:
"...it's quite hard to see" (realy?!!) "but it looks like it is just the end of the welt, so in theory it will not cause a problem to the constructions (sic) of the shoes. I will ask our Italian store to contact you."
I will not detail subsequent emails from me or Church's (UK), suffice to say I was shocked with the very cavalier response to an (obviously) faulty pair of shoes bought from one of their flagship stores.
Eventually Church's Milan contacted me and after several further emails back and forth, they asked me to courier the shoes to Milan. This I did on June 5th and it cost me 53 Euros for the privilege.
Six days went by with no response from Church's Milan.
After another email from me, Milan responded that they were sending the shoes to Northampton!
Apparently Church's Northampton agreed the shoes were indeed faulty and Milan eventually contacted me to ask for my bank account details for a refund.
I duly send these details and asked that given I had already paid 53 Euros for courier services, could they ensure that I received the full amount in refund, and I not have to bear bank transfer fees.
Yesterday (July 16th) 461 Euros was deposited into my account.
So, I am out of pocket almost 100 Euros because Church's would not reimburse me for the courier service and then deducted transfer fees from my refund.
Church Shoes hang your collective heads in shame!
This has been a shock to me. I fully expected a world-renowned company to act with due diligence and to treat a loyal customer with respect.
Church's Client Services Northampton was cavalier and their attitude was tantamount to them saying "we don't care terribly thank you"!
Will I buy from a Church's store anywhere again? No.
I have just bought a pair of shoes online from Herrings, was able to speak to a customer service rep' online, gain a discount and track my shoes within hours.
For me, it's a no-brainer. I'll be buying from Herrings from now on.
Call me naive, but paying 500 Euros for a pair of Church's should guarantee me some confidence that the said shoes passed checks at the factory and were sold free of defects. Failing that, I would have assumed I would receive good and prompt customer service. Also, I would have assumed I would not be out-of-pocket returning the shoes and receiving a refund.
None of these assumptions was correct. Church's failed in every respect.
I'd be interested to hear your experiences with Church's and whether my treatment is an isolated case or if standards have fallen across the board at Church's Shoes.