The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind and if you follow me on Facebook you may have seen that I was less than happy on Tuesday evening. It was almost two weeks ago that I ran the Boston 13.1 and days before that I switched to a new pair of Asics. I made the upgrade from the GT-2000’s to the Gel-Kayano 20. I was worried I might start consistently shelling out the extra $40 for these bad boys because let me tell you, they felt great.
Nothing feels better to a runner than new shoe day. After logging 300 miles on my GT-2000’s in just about six weeks, those new shoes made me feel like I had an extra bounce to my step. My achy Achilles immediately felt a bit better and I credit the new shoes for my feet feeling great during my half marathon P.R.
Then Tuesday night I was out for a walk and kept feeling like something was stuck to the bottom of my shoe. When I looked down I was shocked. The sole was pulling away from shoe and dragging. These guys weren’t even two weeks old! I’ve been running in Asics for years and this has never happened to me.
So I called up Asics and got a service representative on the phone. To his credit we had a really bad, crackly connection. It was frustrating to talk to him because every time he talked the phone cracked on his end. Things weren’t great from the start. However, I was relieved to reach a representative almost immediately and he seemed really nice.
I told him that I had been using Asics for years and this never happened to me but that these shoes were less than two weeks old and I needed to run the Chicago Marathon in two and a half weeks.
He then explained to me that they have a process of dealing with these situations and I would need to send the shoes in to be evaluated and determine if the shoe was defective or if it was something that I did on my end. If it was determined that the shoes were defective they would send me a new pair in 2-3 weeks. I of course panicked. I needed those shoes for the marathon. If the race wasn’t so close it wouldn’t have been an issue. If I wasn’t still dealing with my Achilles pains I would have been less concerned and just thrown on one of my retired pairs to get me through.
I told him that this option wouldn’t work because of the marathon and asked if there was anything else that he could do. He apologized and said there was not. Out of frustration I mentioned to him that I have several friends who had similar experiences with Brooks and their situations were taken care of immediately and without question. He apologized and said my best bet at this point was to buy another pair. Sure, no problem. Spending $320 a month on shoes is no biggie, right?!
So I hung up, took a picture of my shoe and e-mailed it to Asics with a very unhappy note about the shoe and the customer service. I was disappointed that a running company would not be more understanding especially with the marathon so quickly approaching. I then of course took to Facebook and vented my frustration. Later that night I also Tweeted about this, fueled by the stories my friends began sharing of great customer service with other similar companies.
On Wednesday afternoon Asics reached out to me. A different representative contacted me and mentioned that although this is their general policy he did take a look at my shoes in the e-mail I sent and it was evident that they had barely been used and the shoe was clearly defective. He also shared that he was a runner and understood my concern with the marathon looming in the horizon.
He patiently helped me navigate through the Asics website and offered to replace my shoes or give me the upgrade to the newer model. I chose the newer model and he helped me with color options and answered my other questions. As we wrapped up the order he asked me to take a look on their site and pick out a shirt that might help me with my marathon as an added bonus.
While I was initially disappointed with the service I received and wish that I hadn’t had to go to the extreme that I did with social media, I have to send out a huge thanks to Asics. Joe was super kind, diligent with his response to my e-mails and made sure that I left a happy customer. He is a runner himself. Remember that post I did about us being good people? He really supported my theory.
I also have to send out a huge thanks to Fleet Feet Sports here in Chicago. As soon as I had my terrible phone call with customer service I marched to my closest store and spoke with a sales person about their various shoes. As soon as he heard that I was a coach he went out of his way to show me more than just the shoes I was looking at for myself and brought out all sorts of new shoes and models to share with me. Even better, someone from Fleet Feet saw my Facebook rant and offered to help me sort out my situation. They reconfirmed what a top notch store they are and rest assured I am a customer for life!
Thanks to Asics and Fleet Feet for keeping me a happy runner.
A special shout out goes to Megan. She was recently injured while running and could use some prayers and kind thoughts. Get well Megan. I can’t wait to run with you again soon!