If a person is in the game long enough, QC issues can come from just about anywhere - and I have had my share with AE. As of late I experienced it with C&J burgundy shell cordovan captoe boots from BB (Peal & Co.) - retail $998. They arrived at my door with numerous nicks, scratches, etc. And worse yet was that the finish on the upper near the top of the boots was literally rubbing off. Yes - they were promptly returned. That was my first bad experience with a C&J product.