Not trying to be an Alden apologist and not saying it's right, but I'm wondering if the new restoration policy is due to the increased popularity of their products. Since they seem to be having a hard time meeting demand, are the profit margins so much higher for a pair of new shoes/boots that it's not worthwhile for Alden to divert resources to do special restoration jobs?
As imatlas points out, after factoring in all the costs for restoring (trees, shipping, materials, wages, etc), how much do they actually make on it? I have no clue about shoe manufacturing and I'm not saying it's the right business decision regarding customer loyalty, satisfaction, etc but just wanted to throw it out there.
FWIW, I hope their policy changes when I need my shoes/boots restored