When people think about a shoe that lasts and is worth every penny you spend on them, the first thing they think of is Dr. Martens shoes. They’re tough and durable, and unlike many shoes, offer a guarantee that they are built to last. Some of their products are part of the “For Life” club, meaning that they are guaranteed “For Life.” While this sounds great, it brings up many questions, such as: Do they mean the shoes are made to last your whole life, or the shoes natural life? And if it’s the shoes natural life, then how long is that?
Upon further examination of the “For Life” promise, it appears that the terms in which shoes are subject to this guarantee are very vague. For starters, only shoes that are previously deemed part of this promotion are eligible to be considered. Unfortunately, it takes more than just purchasing the shoe for it to be part of the promotion—you as the owner of the shoe have to activate the promotion within two months of purchasing the shoe. If your shoe is in fact part of this promotion, and you have activated the guarantee, then you are able to ask them to replace your shoe.
However, there are several terms and conditions that apply to this guarantee. For example, the only condition that they would replace your shoe would be if the shoe began coming apart or shows signs of damage after what they deem is “normal use.” This means that if they suspect that you’ve been using the shoes while doing construction work or for any hard labor, then they have the right to deny you a replacement.
Furthermore, in order for them to verify that your shoes were damaged under normal wear, you have to send them in to be inspected. This process costs money and is non-refundable. This means that there is the potential for them to reject your claim, say that you were using it for activities beyond what constitutes normal wear, and you will not be refunded the money.
While it is tempting to be drawn in with the promise of what appears to be a lifetime guarantee, when purchasing Dr. Martens, be aware of the potential risks. If you do anything for work that might count as more than “normal wear” then you will be negating the promise of future fixes. Also be aware of the time limit of when you can apply to be eligible for this promotion, as well as the risk that even after all this, the company may still reject your claim due to something they find during the inspection.
When it comes to terms like this, it’s important for consumers to recognize that the inspection is completely subjective and could result in a rejected claim for many reasons. When purchasing this shoe, it might be for the best to make sure that this clause is not the primary reason for paying a certain amount of money and that you are aware of the potential risks.