Next week, I will be starting a new weekly column on the site featuring quality, well-built goods that will last a lifetime. Our disposable lifestyle is filling up our landfills faster than we can figure out where to build new ones and the only way out of that cycle is to stop buying junk that won’t last a while.
I too end am guilty of buying cheap goods from time to time but this article and an experience with a boot company in the last week has inspired me to try even harder to only buy products that:
A. I need
B. will last many years.
If I can also only purchase items made here in the U.S. that’s definitely an added bonus. But most importantly, I want to spend my hard-earned money on products designed and crafted to meet a higher standard, which in the long run saves money and resources over buying cheaply made disposable goods.
So starting now, I will be gathering up goods to feature on the site that meet all the criteria I mentioned above. We all need to shop, but that doesn’t mean we should look for the cheapest product available. I hope to be able to point you in the direction of, and provide information on, items that could last you a lifetime.
As for the boot story, well, 4 months ago I spent $100 on a pair of what I figured were decently made boots. After all, they weren’t $10 at Target. The company is Bed|Stü and after some very light use (for a boot, anyway) the heel on BOTH boots started coming apart. Mind you, I don’t mountain climb or kick puppies with my boots; I wear them to do exciting things like walk to the coffee shop and watch television. But I guess that lifestyle was too stressful for this pair of $100 boots made in Chinese factories and they started falling apart. I took to the internet to contact the company and let them know. What I was told surprised me, and the customer service that followed stunned me.
- First they apologized and asked if I wanted to buy a different pair. Yes, BUY a different pair – they didn’t offer any discount or anything. I told them no way.
- They replied with “We have had issues with that style. Can we turn you onto another style?”
- I sat there stunned for a minute before replying with “You know you have a problem with that style and yet you won’t replace the boot or refund my money?” That’s when things got ugly.
- The person I was chatting with then proceeded to try to blame me for the boot falling apart, saying I was a “hater” for wanting my money back on a problematic style they sold me for $100. This went back and forth, with me continuing to point out that they just admitted that the boot had issues – but it was all for nothing. They stopped responding and proceeded to block my chats. Amazing customer service Bed|Stü.
I am still trying to pursue this with every customer service-related website I can find and I will be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well. If nothing else, it will make me feel a little better about being ripped off by Bed|Stü which not only won’t stand behind its product but also blames a customer for its boot construction problems.
For now, those boots sit in the corner waiting for some kind of resolution. But I will never buy a product from the company again, especially because of the customer service but also because of the fact that the shoes were made in a factory in China. I recommend you avoid them at all costs.
Today I am wearing the replacement for my dead boots. They are made in America and have been for one hundred years, and they are backed by a real company which truly values its products and customers. Next week I will fill you in on what I bought and why, and we’ll be on the way to discovering more highly-crafted goods to replace the junk we’re all so used to buying. No more junk; that’s my new motto.
Oh, and don’t buy anything from Bed|Stü. Ever.