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To feel that Clarks are taking the pssss?

67 replies

IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 11:17

I am inclined to lose perspective when I feel I am not getting good service so any input would be appreciated...

I bought DS (2) a new pair of clarks shoes six to eight weeks ago. He;s actually had very little wear of them as he wore cheap canvas shoes on holiday for two weeks.

On saturday I noticed that the stitching was coming away on the front of both shoes so took them back to the shop and complained.

The assistant's response was that his feet were too big and were causing the shoes to split and she said he needed to be remeasured and that to avoid that problem I should avoid shoes with seams in future

She duly measured him but before she told me what size he was she asked what size his shoes were - I told her 6G (I should of course have asked "what size is he now" but anyway) she said he was now 6 and a half G

She then went and got the only two pairs of shoe in 6 and a half G. DS tried them on and the pair we liked were too big - the assistant told me they were so big they would slip off!

At this point I felt like I was being done. I was certain that his shoes still fitted him (ok I am not a trained shoe fitter but his toes were no where near the top of the shoe) and that the shoes I had paid £26 for a few weeks ago were falling apart and yet clarks were trying to sell me a new pair that were too big as opposed to re-placing a faulty pair.

Surely shoes for toddlers should withstand general wear and tear? I would not expect a pair of shoes to fall apart after six weeks and I walk five miles a day.

Any one had a similar experience with Clarks?

OP posts:
sweetkitty · 01/10/2007 14:26

I boycott Clarks now as well, DD1 measured a 6 1/2 E they brought me a 61/2 F in the shoes I wanted and said oh yes it fits, DD2 measured a 5G brought me a 5F and said yes it fits so what was the point of the width measurements then? I also agree they never have the shoes you want in stock.

lucyellensmum · 01/10/2007 14:29

I find it sooo frustrating that there is usually only one shoe in the entire store that fits DD!!! At the moment she is wearing a hideous pink pair that really dont look nice and clash with all of her clothes. The shoes i wanted, yep, not in stock.

But this left me really we were in the mothercare concession and they had the most adorable pair of boots but they were £34 and i didnt want to pay that out as they may be too warm to wear for a bit longer (well one can hope) and my DD still has the hideous pink pair and lets face it, its alot of money. The assistant said to me, oh well you could always buy them in a size too big and then put them on her in a few months I was too gobsmacked to say, but how will i know they fit?? My DD has v narrow feet, they might be too narrow, too wide, i thought that was the whole POINT to getting their feet measured.

Personally, i blame our mothers, we are brainwashed, i cannot bring myself to buy a pair of non clarks non startrite shoes for dd even though its really beyond our budget. The start-rite shop near us had a brilliant fitter but i really dont like the shoes and they are mega money. I get the impression that to become a clarks fitter you have to feign interest for an afternoon and thats it, training over. Most of the "fitters" where i live are students making a bit of extra cash.

I have also had two sizes measured, same day, different shop

tizzwhizz · 01/10/2007 14:42

Its disgusting especially the advice to buy shoes bigger, you can do just as much damage buying shoes that are too big as buying shoes that are too small.

I always took the job seriously these are childrens feet they are dealing with. They should always tell you the truth even if that means you dont need shoes.Ah!!!!!!!!!!! it makes me really cross. They need to realsie that if they build up trust and give good service people will come back.

Hush Puppies do lovely shoes for Children about £10 cheaper than Startrite.

Also some of the continental makes eg Ricosta very reasonable.

IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 16:15

I am starting to feel that the whole clarks thing is a con having read other posts.

What is the point in the "trained fitters" if they can measure a child's feet as being different sizes on the same day? Then for measuring a child's feet as one size and bringing shoes in another?

I have always wondered about their sizes and width fittings as they often say one style fits and another doesn't - what is the point of the specific sizes then if the shoes aren't actually all exactly that size?

Perhaps we should start a mumsnet campaign for decent children's shoes at decent prices

OP posts:
grannyslippers · 01/10/2007 16:34

This morning I bought 2 pairs of start-rites (ouch) for the DS's from the local independent shoe shop. They had better last all winter! They had some nice Hush Puppies but they had interchangeable footbeds to alter the width fitting and it seemed a bit of a compromise, the shoe looked oversized.

I haven't had any quality problems with clarks but it gets confusing when all the kids have the same shoes in playgroup, as we had with Doodles this summer. I've also had DS's feet measured as 8,7 and 7.5 all within a few weeks.

I agree with OP the shop should change the shoes though, they are not fit for purpose.

BTW I know what you mean lucyellensmum. Dsis and I had startrites only when we were kids, right up to teenage years (yuk!) even when our other clothes were from jumble sales. brainwashed

IdreamofClooney · 01/10/2007 16:45

sometimes I am glad I only have DS as buying new shoes for more than one child must be a nightmare.

My DS wears clothes from charity shops, handmedowns and end of Gap sale but I feel I have to buy proper shoes

Is indeed brain washing

OP posts:
Furball · 01/10/2007 16:57

I stopped buying from the clarks shop but still have choice of clarks shoes in Jones the Bootmakers.

Ds had some school clarks shoes last Easter and at the end of July he said they hurt his feet. When I checked inside there was a big lump like a pea under the material of the inside of the heel. I took them back to Clarks in a 4month old state (having never been polished) they refunded them there and then no questions.

So I would head back to Clarks and demand a refund on them - I'd ask to see the Manager and explain to them that the stitching is falling apart. It's not like a 2 year old gets alot of walking wear out of a shoe anyway.

purpleduck · 01/10/2007 17:14

I'm not from the UK, and i have indeed wondered if everyone here was indeed brainwashed into believing that Clarks are the best. the shoes re overpriced, and never mind if they fit - their shoes have no support and sooo many of their styles are UGLY!!!!

tizzwhizz · 01/10/2007 17:31


Here I go boring comment on its way, feel free to stop reading.

Hope this helps Idreamofclooney the reason you will often get a different size shoe to what your child measures is because the measure is supposed to be used solely as a guide for the fitter to start from. As all shoes are cut on different lasts, different styles will fit differently hence the reason your child may measure a G width but is fitted with an F or a H. Dependent on the style of shoe and also the width it is sometimes necessary to go up half a size to ensure the foot sits in the correct place in the shoe. For example a shoe with a continental sole plate or last may be smaller. Because I am a bit of a saddo I could go on and on about correct positioning and foot shape using % etc to show why you may get different size shoes to what they measure but that would get tedious. A good fitter should take the time to explain to you exactly what they are doing and why and ensure you are happy before you leave. This is something that is sadly lacking with Clarks I feel.

As for why you get a different measurement in two different shops, if it is the same brand ie two Clarks shops that shouldnt really be the case but sometimes if the foot moves or isnt quite at the right angle it that can happen. Again a good fitter will go purely on the fit of the shoe using measure as a start.

You will get different measurements with different brands because just like ladies clothes different manufacturers come up differently. For example Startrite will nine times out of ten measure half a size smaller than clarks. Again a fitter that has received a good standard of training should take the time to explain this. It should be all part of the service. Again something which is lacking in many shops now.

Yes - I think childrens shoe shop assistants do actually hate me.

Ok Everyone you can wake up now I have done. Although I could write pages more. But wont I promise.

IdreamofClooney · 02/10/2007 09:10

thanks tizzwizz

Shame you are working in a show shop in Edinburgh!

I am waiting to hear back from Clarks. I am going to keep on at them until I get £26 back!

OP posts:
tizzwhizz · 02/10/2007 09:29

Definately, keep trying. Cant remember if you have tried head office or not. They would be worth contacting and not sure if this is allowed because I am fairly new to posting but could you mention you are a emeber of mumsnet and have been posting on this. Its not great press for clarks. Dont want to get mumsnet in trouble though.

kslatts · 02/10/2007 09:33

I'd speak to the manager and if you still have no joy ask for contact details for their head office.

JustcallmeMAT · 02/10/2007 09:48

We took dd to get her first pair of proper shoes just before her 1st birthday. It was Xmas eve.

We got her a lovely pair of patent ankle boots with a small flower on them.

Between Xmas & NY we noticed she had a red mark on her foot from the boot rubbing.

We took her, ref mark on foot & boots back to the shop on the 1st day they opened after Xmas & we got a refund and a new pair of shoes!!! How's that for customer service!

I would have taken then shoes in & said "Excuse me, these shoes are falling apart, I would like them replaced"

That is what I said about dd's boots! "These boots aren't fit for the purpose for which they were sold, I want a refund"

Also dd had a pair of trainers, you know the typw.. waved a magic wand over them & they played music. Well, one day at playgroup the music came on without the magic wand & nobody could turn it off again! We took the music playing trainers back to the shop & we were out within 15 minutes with a brand new pair (of different!) trainers.

You shouldn't have to go to head office, or write letters etc... their customer service contract should cover all this! I would also go back again... ask for the manager & quote the sales of goods act. "Item must be fit for the purpose for which it was sold" (or something like that)

Skyler · 02/10/2007 09:51

Def get your money back. Even if his feet had grown there should be growing room and the shoes should not be able to SPLIT open how ridiculous.
I love my Clarks shop in Telford. The staff are excellent and I have been all over with the dd's funny feet. They will always check the shoes they are wearing and tell me they are fine (or not) even if they are measuring a half size bigger. However they have no say over the stock and very little choice half the time which is such a shame. I also hate those shoes with toys in and so I am going to Jones in Shrewsbury to get Start-rite next time. It is a shame as the staff in Telford are excellent, above and beyond the call of duty for me.

bookwormtailmum · 02/10/2007 09:55

Tizzwhizz - that was fabby. The shop I buy my dd's shoes from has explained all that to me more or less over the years and they'll happily check the fit of shoes and often we've been sent away empty-handed as her shoes were fine. That's real service -not just trying to notch up another £40 or so in the till.

fishie · 02/10/2007 10:01

clarks is a terrible racket. idreamofclooney i hope you have complained about the shop assistant as well as the shoes.

independent shoe shops are fab and i really like the continental makes, ds had some lovely geox wide fitting shoes last year.

christywhisty · 02/10/2007 11:34

Clarks used to have a policy if they had grown out of a pair of shoes in 6 weeks they would exchange them

UnquietDad · 02/10/2007 11:44

Children's shoes, like everything, are made to wear out. It's how a business gets its money.

When we last got DD measured for shoes, he assistant breezily informed us that the pair we had chosen had a "good 6 months' growth room." I just gawped at her. Given the shocking price of the shoes I had been expecting them to last a couple of years at least.

VeronicaMars · 02/10/2007 11:53

Not a big fan of Clarks at all. Went with Start Rite the last time and I was much happier with the fit and the range.

diplodocus · 02/10/2007 11:59

The other annoying thing about clarks is the majority of toddler shoes in my daughters size have velcro fastening. Which child-free person thought that was a good idea for a two year old? They usually stay on about 2 mins, and are then thrown around the car / out of the pushchair into the road or at the head of some passing innocent pedestrian. I'd be surprised if we could keep a pair long enough for them to fall apart / be grown out of (or is it just my DD????). Agree startrite are good quality, but cost really is excessive.

mummytojess · 02/10/2007 12:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnquietDad · 02/10/2007 12:45

And what's with the bloody stupid fiddly toys they are putting inside them now??
Our school has had to ban those.

iloveknitting · 02/10/2007 13:25

i am going to go out of my way to make sure my dc has proper fitting shoes, cost will not be an issue.

my dh has the most disgusting twisted, mangled looking toes because his mum never bothered checking to see if his shoes fitted properly, its so embarrassing when he insists on wearing flip-flops in the summer.

so glad i found this thread as i will be giving clarks a huge body swerve.

Pixel · 02/10/2007 13:30

We've more or less given up on Clarks too as dd has been fitted wrongly on the last two occasions. The first pair were so bad that she still has a tender spot on her foot 6 months later. I took them back to be changed and the assistant tried to replace them with a too-small pair. He insisted several times that they were ok although I was pointing out how tight they were across her foot and dd was saying they hurt. Then he realised he'd brought the wrong size out of the stock-room but was still saying they fitted .
We did go in there the other week but only to buy ds an emergency pair of cheap doodles to go away for the weekend as we'd suddenly realised he only had his school shoes or wellies. It was like a stealth operation avoiding the assistants. We grabbed the first likely shoe, shoved it on ds's foot, declared it 'fine' and were back in the street 5 mins later!
We go to Brantano now. Have had no problems there so far.

InMyHumbleOpinion · 02/10/2007 13:36

I fell out with Clarks when they tried to fob me off with a 10G because they didn't have a 9.5 H. I told them if I wanted shoes that didn't fit properly, I would go to Stead and Simpson and pay £10 for them!

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