Basically, I am dissatisfied with a pair of Tatami (Birkenstock) sandals I purchased 10 months ago. All of the details are summarized in the letter below. Apparently all Birkenstock companies divided in January of 2006 (Birki, Footprints, Tatami, etc.), and no one wants to step up and help me with the problem I'm having. The letter below was emailed to both Birkenstock USA and Tatami last week, and both have replied that it is up to the store I purchased them at to deal with it. The store has told me they will not give me a credit for the shoes because they will lose money...guess they'll lose more money by not having me as a customer anymore (my family has spent more than $800 there in the last two years). I can't believe a $140 pair of shoes that have lasted less than a year, and really can't believe the customer service, or complete lack there of, at the store in Gainesville. I honestly think the pair I bought is defective, and don't think I'm asking for too much from the store, but whatever. So if you're going to buy some nice shoes, I suggest you go somewhere besides Classic Comfort Footwear by the mall!
To Whom It May Concern:
I ordered a pair of Stella sandals (Black, size 41) by Tatami at a Birkenstock retailer (Classic Comfort Footwear, 6767 Newberry Rd., Gainesville, FL 32605, 352-331-5008) on April 28, 2005 (received in May) for full retail value of $140. It is now approximately 10 months later and the footbed of these sandals have deteriorated in several spots, approximately 10-15% of the total area of the footbed. It has worn through to a mesh layer in the footbed causing great discomfort when worn; I can no longer wear them.
Considering the sandals are only a few months old, and that I have only worn them a portion of the time owned (not worn during winter), I contacted the retail store to find out of these sandals are defective and if they could help me resolve the situation. I was told that all Birkenstock companies have separated and that they could not help me because the shoes are Tatami brand. They referred me to Birkenstock USA (800-867-2475) customer support. Upon calling Birkenstock USA, they told me I had to resolve the issue with the retail store or Tatami. Upon calling Tatami (888-826-2641), they informed me that they could not help me because they did not issue the shoes to me direct, that they were distributed by Birkenstock USA.
I understand that my situation is in a somewhat gray area due to recent separations in the company; however, everyone telling me it is not their responsibility is not acceptable. The bottom line is the shoes are not quality, should have lasted longer, and should be replaced in some form, either replacement pair or credit to purchase replacement style.
My family has purchased at least eight pairs of some form of Birkenstock footwear at Classic Comfort Footwear in the past two years, and we have been completely satisfied with all products up to this point. I hope someone can step up and do the right thing to resolve this issue as soon as possible.