The Consumer Version of a “Dear John” Letter
I am an aggravated, young female consumer. Furthermore, I want all of my friends to know how annoyed I am with you. I’m like an ex-girlfriend gone rogue, but this is about so much more than being a scorned lover – it’s about shoes.
First, a little about us. Our relationship started back in high school, when I needed to buy shoes for the prom. My particular predicament was that my date and I were exactly the same height. Naturally, we did not want me to appear taller than him, because that would draw attention to the fact that he is short. I had no idea how I was going to solve this predicament, when somewhere between Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, I stumbled upon your store – a shoe oasis. Salvation from the possibility of having to wear flip-flops to the senior prom. Your store was stocked with beautiful shoes. And there they were. My perfect short date prom shoes.
Flat sole v-strap sandals. Silver, with a rhinestone embellishment. They were $50.00. I considered them well worth it. I wore those shoes until the rhinestone fell out. And that, dear Aldo, is how it began. Our romance. I stopped by every season, eagerly anticipating the new arrivals. I considered Aldo THE PLACE to buy my shoes, a one stop shop. For I had no need to go anywhere else. From you I have purchased numerous pairs of shoes. Black patent leather heels with a little strap across – reminiscent of Mary Janes, but the grown up version. Sexy and girly all at once. I wore those to New Years 2010. $50.00. The brown leather sandals I wore everyday during my semester abroad, summer 2010. $50.00
I have succumbed to your accessories, buying jewelry I don’t need, leg warmers, hats, and two purses. 2009 was the year of the mustard yellow bag. 2012, the striped bag with the front clasp, leather trim. Both cost $50.00.
I have gone into your store “just to look,” to see what I must save up for next. I dismissed the suggestion of a Macy’s line of credit from my mother, because quite frankly, I need nothing else from Macy’s, and your shoes are far superior to the brands they sell. My friends would remark that Aldo shoes are expensive, and I would retort, “They are worth it.” That was, until the incident of The Boot. I bought the boots in the fall of 2011. They are caramel with a side zipper. Leather. The perfect pair of boots. They could be dressed up, or worn for hanging out. Ideal for going apple picking, or to wear on a date. With jeans or a dress. I had to have these boots. $130.00. Perchinski. I even let the sales girl talk me into some leather protector, because these were an investment. I treated them well. I didn’t wear them in the snow. They were guaranteed to last.
Instead, after a few short months, on the tip of one boot, right at the toe, the leather split. Wide open. Where there should have been leather, there was a gaping black hole of fabric. Gaping black holes of fabric do not look good apple picking, nor on a date. Gaping black holes do not look good, period. At first, I did not fret. Instead, in the spring, I went back and bought another pair of shoes. Braided leather sandals with a wooden heel. $35.00 on sale. They too suffered a poor fate after minimal wear. Alas, this is mainly about the boots.
In September, I brought the boots back to my local Aldo store (2074). I explained that I LOVE Aldo shoes, and that I am a very loyal customer. I showed them the boot. I asked if anything could be done. I was assured that yes, it could, and that I would receive a call within one week. I was informed up front that because the boots were from last season, I would have to pay for the repair (a rather stingy policy for such expensive leather boots, I must say). I agreed to pay.
I left my boots and waited. One week passed, no phone call. I waited some more. I tried calling the store. I was put on hold indefinitely. I understand. The store is understaffed and very busy. I continued to wait. I was never called. After six weeks, I went in person to the store. I was told that my boots were not going to be fixed because the store had deemed it too expensive. Too expensive was explained to me as anything over $25.00. Aldo, I believe whether or not a repair was too expensive was my judgment call to make. I was told I could come back in a week to pick up my unrepaired boots. Not to mention it was now well into the fall, and the apples had all fallen to the ground already. I had missed some prime boot wearing opportunities. In case my point is not clear, I was willing to pay for the boot repair, but was told that was not possible, and left your store in mid-October, seriously ticked off. What kind of company does not stand behind their product like that? I have not been back since.
This saddens me. I was in a wedding in December, and the bride wanted us to wear silver shoes. I’m sure that somewhere in your store was the perfect pair. Instead, I had to resort to DSW, and ended up with a pair of heels from the Disney Princess Collection that I will never again wear.
As much as this saddens me, Aldo, it should sadden you even more. We are done. I have wanted to go into your store more than once, have stopped short at the entrance, have put one toe inside, drawn by the seduction of such perfect shoes, only to remember, “This company does not stand behind their product, and I don’t shop here anymore.”
I have recently graduated college. I am working. I now have money to spare, and I can’t buy your shoes. It’s a matter of principle. I opened a Macy’s credit card, and every time I look at their shoe selection, I want to weep.
Aldo, I am truly sorry, because I believe ours could have been a lifelong love affair.