I envision one guy, let's call him Kevin, being at the heart of the issue. Kevin is in charge of all of the small batch Indy orders. Anyway, Kevin has been going through a rough patch, and his attention to detail has been going to the wayside due to some family stuff. He is still a good guy though, so Alden keeps him around.
I will say that there was a string of complaints on this forum regarding defects in multiple sizes for the UnionMade x Stevenson Indy Natural boot. I don't know how many were in that order, but at least six separate people posted pictures and complaints on this thread. The first pair that I got had a big bulge on the side of one of the boots. This was the most common complaint.
The replacement pair that they sent, which the shop supposedly QCed before sending out, had a gap at one of the toe boxes and the leather was slightly asymmetric on the boots. Perhaps I should have returned those too, but as correcting the issue had already taken more than a month and a half from my original order, I compromised my standards, and kept them (thus perpetuating the Alden QC issue vicious cycle).
Oh that Kevin...