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Read this before buying North Face boots - I won't be buying them again

7:32 p.m. on January 31, 2011 (EST)
9 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

Here is my experience with North Face Boots - CHILKATS. They fell apart just in storage. North Face calls that wear and tear. You decide if you want the same treatment.
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From: Saimoom Ameen [mailto:Saimoom.Ameen@truealliance.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:30 AM
To: Stephen OBrien
Subject: RE: North Face Boots

Dear Mr. O’Brien,
Thank you for your feedback.

Unfortunately as previously stated your product is out of warranty and a warranty claim cannot be raised.

Kind regards,
Saimoom Ameen
After Sales Administrator
True Alliance
19 O'Riordan St, Alexandria
NSW 2015 Australia
F 61 2 9319 2009
E saimoom.ameen@truealliance.com.au

From: Stephen OBrien
Sent: Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:46 AM
To: Saimoom Ameen
Subject: RE: North Face Boots

Saimoon,
Thank you for your prompt reply.
It seems from your reply that The North Face considers it acceptable that their products have a very short life in a ‘storage environment’. The boots certainly did not experience any ‘build up in moisture over time’ whilst stored in a cupboard at home. What info do you provide about storage when you sell the product? I certainly was not aware that boots needed to have ‘access to fresh air’. Does the North Face ‘air’ the product prior to sale or keep them in a cardboard box??

I do not agree that a product that fails like this in a dry storage environment is not ‘defective in materials or workmanship’.
I request that you consider replacing them. I am sure there are forums on the internet where will readers and potential buyers will be interested in my experience.

regards
Stephen O'Brien

From: Saimoom Ameen [mailto:Saimoom.Ameen@truealliance.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, 27 January 2011 9:34 AM
To: Stephen OBrien
Cc: After Sales
Subject: RE: North Face Boots

Good Morning Mr. O’Brien,

Thank you for your enquiry in regards to your The North Face product.

To answer your question regarding warranty, all The North Face footwear is provided with a one year warranty, as after a year it is difficult to ascertain whether damages to the product is associated with manufacturing defects or wear and tear. As your product is over 3 years old it is no longer covered under warranty.

In relation to the issues you are experiencing with the product, from the pictures and descriptions you have provided we can determine the damage has occurred due to the shoes being kept in a storage environment for a prolonged period of time. The deterioration of adhesives and the oxidisation of material is a common occurrence when products are kept in a storage environment, where the product do not have access to fresh air and it’s components begin to fail due to the build up of moisture overtime. From the pictures it is quite evident that the product is now beyond repair.

This damage is not due to any defects in material or workmanship, and is a product of wear and tear in relation to the how the product had been used. Wear and tear is also not covered under warranty.

I hope I have been able to attend to your enquiry sufficiently. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,
Saimoom Ameen
After Sales Administrator
True Alliance
19 O'Riordan St, Alexandria
NSW 2015 Australia
F 61 2 9319 2009
E saimoom.ameen@truealliance.com.au

From: Stephen OBrien
Sent: Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:04 AM
To: After Sales
Subject: North Face Boots

Hi

My wife bought these North Face boots in Niseko, Japan three years ago. They were worn only a few times on that trip, and have been stored in a cupboard at our house since then. In storage, they have only been subjected to a normal interior environment.
A few weeks ago we were packing in preparation for our next ski trip. We were extremely disappointed to find the boots had fallen apart and are completely unusable. The rubber lower section appears to have become brittle and has separated from the leather upper.

Attached are photos to show the deterioration. One photo shows the sole to confirm that they have had effectively no wear at all. Ironically these boots are labelled ‘outlast’.

What is the warranty on these boots? Can they be replaced, and hopefully with a product that will withstand more than three years in a benign environment?

Regards,
Stephen O'Brien

7:55 p.m. on January 31, 2011 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
1,669 reviewer rep
1,275 forum posts

I have a pair of TNF slip on boots that I use for snowshoeing that I love. basically the same as yours but without laces. they are 4 years old and going strong.

it does kind of look like the materials dry rotted and cracked based off your pics, which is typically from storage issues.

Did you try actually talking to TNF? Not the comany you were sending emails to which from the emails is called "True Alliance". I have always had great service from TNF.

9:23 p.m. on January 31, 2011 (EST)
195 reviewer rep
1,158 forum posts

The worst offenders are always the ones that stay in your long-term memory and stick in your craw.  I may be wrong but hasn't the name TNF been changed to The North Butt?  I've been out of the loop a while . . . . .  

I had a pair of new Limmer boots, pride of the overland pack, full leather and malamute-fresh, but in 8 months the soles ripped half-off and the welt-thread broke.  Called the Boot Masters and they said they "might've" used unwaxed white welt thread instead of their usual waxed . . . . . .  My field repair of squirting in too much glue between the boot and the flapping sole may have "voided" the warranty. 

Now, what's my overall impression of Limmer boots?  Not good.  So, I have an attitude verging on crappy.  So with the North Face boots?  Probably.  Turn away and find something better, and share your experience with anyone worth the need to hear your story.

11:18 a.m. on February 1, 2011 (EST)
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts

Actually the "Outlast"  in your boot is a fiber that serves to wick moiture away. The same one used in astronaut's spacsuit so I'm told. Granted your boots are still finished. Then again that is not only TNF problem. Most company that make that kind of boot (Plastic bottoms and leather upper) have that problem. (Think Columbia bugabootress) Remember you get what you pay for, and buying expensive is not always a sure sign.

6:08 p.m. on February 1, 2011 (EST)
9 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

TrueAliance IS TNF in Australia.  THe TNF website led me to this contact

1:43 a.m. on February 2, 2011 (EST)
33 reviewer rep
201 forum posts

TIPI, The South Butt... and the kid who was selling the T-Shirts got sued by TNF which in turn backfired on TNF making the stuff the kid was selling super popular and the kid himself, most likely a millionaire by now.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/12/15/north-face-follows-through-south-butt-lawsuit/

 

TNF no longer exists... they are now a trendy clothing manufacturer that sells gear on the side.

9:25 a.m. on February 3, 2011 (EST)
195 reviewer rep
1,158 forum posts

I imagine TNF still makes some worthy tents like the Mountain 25 and 35 and the VE25, and I'd like to give each of them a thorough 3 or 4 year test, but who has the time(or the money)?  My first two tents were North Face(1978 to 2001)and they were beauties, and my first "real" sleeping bags were early North Face models, the Bigfoot synthetic and the goose down Ibex. 

At the time(late 1970's), North Face products were about the best you could get from on-site outfitting stores, and they lived up to their name.  I'd like someone to start a thread on The Demise Of The North Face, and see why so many people seem to feel the company has "sold out" and now produces questionable gear.

I agree but then again I haven't tried their expedition tents, as noted above.  I've been so spoiled with Hilleberg tents that I can't seem to find the motivation to go elsewhere.  My bad recent experience with TNF includes sour results with a Blue Igloo down bag, underfilled, and the ubiquitous Nupste jacket---totally underfilled.

With this, I would not get their boots or even their rain gear, which at one time were the best set of goretex shells you could get.  Now we have companies that specialize in raingear(Arcteryx), boots(Asolo, etc etc), bags(Feathered Friends, WM), tents(Hillie, Integral Designs) ETC, so we don't have to rely like we used to on one or two main gear companies.

 

Finally, in the old days(and this may still be true), companies like TNF and Thermarest(Cascade Designs)really STOOD BEHIND their products.  I sent an old NF tent back in the mail once(1982)and they sent me a brand new one---even though it took them 10 weeks.  And several times in the dark distant past I would go to a backpacking store with a leaking or defective Thermarest and the store manager would hand me a brand new replacement---no questions asked. 

About 10 years ago I did the same thing with a Camp Rest pad that delaminated with an air bladder and the clerk turned ugly and would not replace it.  I badgered him and he finally called Cascade and he sheepishly hung up and handed me a brand new Base Camp in dark blue.  Victory!!

3:20 p.m. on February 6, 2011 (EST)
36 reviewer rep
74 forum posts

I have a pair of TNF Back-To-Berekely boots that I love! I was a little hesitant to buy them because I was not familiar with their boot line. But they were on sale for $62.00 and decide to go for it. I haven't used them for any hiking yet but they were put to the test here in Chicago after the Blizzard we just had and I was outside for 4 hours shoveling snow and they came through like a champ.

They kept me dry and were very lite, so maybe you just got a bad apple. It happens but TNF just screwed you over. Especially with shoes/boots I always buy from a brick and mortar store in case there are any issues, that way you can bring them back.

 

April 19, 2014
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