Friday, January 19, 2007


I have a pair of Columbia Boots that I love. Well, they ripped for virtually no reason. I got online, and tried to email the website but it only had a form to fill out and you never get to REALLY email anyone. When I clicked on the form, I felt like I put my conundrum out there floating somewhere in internet space.
I set up an email message including the photos I took of my boots and sent it to an address I thought would get some action- I tried to make it a little campy to get noticed. Straight to the Chairman of the Board Gert Boyle. In computer geek, which I am pretty fluent in, the company's emails HAVE to be "at Columbia dot com", right? and as a consumer of fine, fine Columbia Sportswear THAT'S the face I see. Gert Boyle is the marketing icon used to gain consumer trust. So its kind of like seeing their marketing campaign WORK- right?
here's my first email:
"Dear Ms. Boyle,
First, please let me tell you that I am a huge fan of the Columbia brand and I have never been disappointed by anything I've ever purchased with your name on it.

I have a pair of boots that I love very much, they are Columbia boots. I bought them about two years ago and they have only been out in the weather a few times. I've only worn them to romp around in the snow and they kept me feet warm and dry in the Northeast Ohio winter.

I work with horses now and the weather being as muddy and sloppy as it is I was almost glad because that meant that I would be able to wear my great boots. I took them out of the closet the other day to find them looking less than wearable. The stitching that holds the upper onto the sole has deteriorated and now there's a big gap to the inners of the boot. They weren't like that the last time I wore them and I have no idea why they look like this, no one else could have worn them. If you look at the photos, the soles aren't even worn.

Please advise. I really would love to give these boots the life they were made to live and wear them into the manure pile (haha). I just know that they will hold up.
Thank you,
Christine Ravenwood"

and I sent these photos:
what a great company!
Columbia Sportswear NO.1!

Two days later I got this reply:
"Ms. Ravenwood,
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the Columbia boots. At Columbia we do everything possible to ensure our products hold up and last as long as possible under normal wear; however it appears your boots may have had some production quality issues. In the spirit of standing by our product quality please forward us your name, address and boot size as we’d be happy to replace your boots. Please keep in mind this exact same boot and color may not be in our inventory; however we’ll do our best to supply you with something you’ll be proud to wear. Thank you for your e-mail and being a loyal Columbia customer.

Joel Enderle

Senior Director Footwear Manufacturing"

YESss! My email actualy went somewhere!

Then, in another exchange that I thanked him and asked him if I needed to send the old ones back, he replied:

"Thank you Ms. Ravenwood – we’ve ordered your replacement boots and they’ll be on their way to you in the next 5-10 days.
No need to send back your old boots thanks.
Have a great day,

*The part where I REALLY STRESS how good Columbia boots really are is here. Listen to this. Even though they were ripped all across the side I wore them to the barn anyway. I was stepping in mud puddles a foot deep and my foot NEVER got wet. OR COLD. I'm a scorpio, I'll call bullshit on some bullshit. These boots are no bullshit. I'm totally impressed.


  1. Do you have your new boots yet? I can't wait to see what they send you!-sum

  2. wow, i designed those boots back in 1995...

    i was just curious when the link on google said
    "i have a pair of columbia boots that i love"...



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