It seems to me an appropriate response would have been an offer to remake the shoes as soon as practicable with a refunding of any MTO fees. Maybe throw in a coupon for a future purchase ($100 off or something) due to all the problems that ensued.
I had a similar issue with a pair of Aldens that I special ordered through Tom at Leather Soul last year. The shoes were defective, Alden admitted they were. However, as I require a narrow size none of Tom's stock sized shoes from that order would have worked for me as a replacement. I'm sure it's a shoe Tom would never order again. I accepted the fact that I just wasn't going to get those shoes, and ended up getting a pair of snuff suede flex-welt chukkas as replacements. I wear the chukkas far more than I would have worn the ordered shoes. I was disappointed initially, but felt getting another pair settled the issue.
Alden didn't do a stellar job handling the issue with YoungClay, but it was really a Catch-22 due to his unusual size and the use of one of the rare shell colors on his shoe.
Those interested in reading the saga can do so here
Unrelated to that, Horween/shell cordovan fans will be interested in this 1934 letter from Horween explaining shell cordovan
(also originally linked from AAAC
Originally Posted by TheWGP
Not real sure Alden directly would care, as they aren't involved daily with the goings-on at that particular store? I'm also disheartened by a, well, not POOR exactly but "less than stellar" customer service experience reported on the other forum, not sure if it's been mentioned here. That experience also involved Alden NYC IIRC.
The guy got a reply from Tarlow (or, more likely, his "office") expressing a sentiment kind of akin to "so what do you want me to do?" when the guy initially thought his MTO fee wouldn't be refunded after shoes were returned due to manufacturing defect. That situation worked out okay - the guy ended up losing about 25 bucks on the deal, but he wore the shoes for a little while before the defect became apparent, so call it a wash. Even so, the response left a slightly... off... taste in my mouth - maybe just in comparison to what AE or EG or other companies' stellar service reports, but still.