/ Brilliant service from 4 companies.... and one very bad apple!

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Caralynh - on 25 Apr 2013
I really wanted to send a big thank you to a few shops/suppliers, but first the bad apple, to set the scene and put things into context...

In January, I went into a shop, let's call it Shop A, in the Lakes, to look at their range of winter/high-ish altitude boots. I'm off to Peru in June and my winter boots are very battered, not very insulating anymore, and nearly 10 yrs old, so the trip is a good excuse to treat myself to some new boots. Shop A had a fairly good selection, and I liked the look of Boreal's Super Latok boots. However, they had none in my size to try on, and no women's fit. While there I tried the Scarpa Mont Blanc which did fit, but didn't seem as warm. Shop A lady said that they would have more of the Boreals in in a few weeks, and they'd give me a ring when they were in, so I could try them and compare with the Scarpas.

Fast forward to late March, early April. Just over 2 months until we leave, and no contact from Shop A. I drop them an email asking what's happening, and I get a reply saying they don't have the boots in my size, I can try a size 5.5 if I want (they knew I'd need a 6.5 or 7 and wouldn't get my socked foot into a 5.5!) but if I want to try a larger size, I have to order and pay for it in full in advance. I replied questioning this, and stating it was hardly reasonable to pay upfront for boots that may not even fit. I received no further reply from Shop A, not even a confirmation that they wanted my money upfront. Awful service and, once I'd left the shop after my initial visit, no interest at all shown by them.

OK, now for the good part. 4 companies pulling together to help me...
I was in Snowdonia two and a half weeks ago. Popped into Joe Browns and asked if they did Boreal boots. They said no, but advised me to pop down to V12 since they are a registered stockist. No problems, no attempts to get me to buy my boots there instead, just pleasant helpfulness. Similarly in V12, they explained that they only stocked Boreal rock and approach shoes so couldn't help, but gave me the contact details for Boreal's UK rep and advised I get in touch. I emailed the rep, and asked if they had any stockists in Wales or the Peak, and explained the problem with Shop A. Within the hour, I had a reply from the rep saying to contact Outside in Hathersage, and that they would order a selection of sizes for me on a sale or return basis, and any problems, to tell Outside I'd cleared it with him first. Later that afternoon, the boots were ordered in both a 6.5 and a 7 and this morning I've just been up to the Peak to try them and buy a pair.

I'm very impressed with the help and efficiency from Joe Browns, V12 and Outside, and from Boreal for pulling the strings. I'm even more annoyed with Shop A now for simply saying they couldn't help without even speaking to the distributor who would have helped, and for advertising these boots on their website for "our price 299.95" when the RRP is only five pence more than that! Let's just say we know who will and won't be getting my business in future!

nniff - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Caralynh:

I think I know who you mean - they wanted me to buy a pair before they'd order them in. Rather defeats the object, I thought. They said they'd give me a discount on a different pair if they didn't fit but I'd still be the proud owner of a pair that didn't fit. I can't imagine why I didn't stay in the shop longer.

Still I suppose that the difference between the smaller indpendents like the ones that you and I bought from and the ones that aren't so small or independent.
Caralynh - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to nniff:

Hmm Shop A is independent, as far as I know. A quick Google for the boots brings them up as the only obvious UK supplier, but I don't want to name on here.
Exile - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Caralynh:

Just googled - no suprise there then!
ads.ukclimbing.com
bluebealach - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Caralynh: Have bought gear there in the past but NOT my shop of choice in that part of the Lakes!!

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