Online retailer asked me to cut up shoes in order to get a store credit

I purchased some Doc Martens form online shoe store last November. The sole split after 4 months and I have been trying to get a refund/replacement.
The store was slow to respond (I included 3 clear photos to show the damage). They have replied to me saying that they will issue a store credit if I send a photos of the boots cut up. I questioned why I should do this and how, and the reply was just to cut out the tongue and send a photo and then they would issue a store credit.
It’s not siting well with me, I don’t know why I have to wreck the boots further, but also I don’t want to further damage them in case I don’t get the credit from the store.
What thoughts do people have about this ?


Hi @Eleanor, welcome to the community.

While you seem sincere and honest, there are many out there which are very different. The store possibly wants to guarantee the shoes are destroyed to a point where it is cost ineffective to have them repaired. Putting a new sole on the shoe(s) is very easy and relatively cheap.

What they don’t want is giving store credit/refund so the consumer can buy another pair of shoes and cheaply repair the faulty ones. This would give a consumer 2 pairs for not much more cost than one pair.

If you feel uncomfortable in cutting them up, see if they will paid for them to be returned to them. Hopefully they put a new sole on them and sell them as used to recoup their costs. It does seem a waste to destroy shoes which could be easily repaired so that they can’t be repaired and used.

Evidence of destroying a product before a resolution under the ACL occurs is becoming more common with online trading, as sellers/retailers want to reduce their losses by not having to pay additional freight for items to be returned. While the practice is becoming more common, it creates unnecessary waste especially for products bought in good faith and one expects shouldn’t be faulty.

Also if they have asked you to do it (make sure it is in writing) and you follow their direction, it won’t impact on your ACL rights.


I find this reasonable. I have posted about Tilley that has a lifetime guarantee on their hats. At roughly 30 years on they honoured it and provided a free replacement hat on receipt of photo evidence of fraying fabric - only the reasonable cost of postage.

The process could have required sending the hat back to Canada at some cost. Instead they accept photo evidence and once approved require another photo of the brim cut off the hat with the date written on the crown. A simple method to assure a fair dinkum claim.

Sometimes one needs to trust the business. If one has written confirmation on a refund and faulty shoes which is the better bet?