ED Magedson – Founder
New Balance 990 USA Won't address noxious glue smell that develops when tread gets wet. Traverse City Nationwide
I purchased a pair of New Balance 990's a litle over a year ago. I've have had several New Balance shoes over the years with no issues. Generally I won't spend more than $100 on a pair so shoes, but I was attracted to the "made in the USA" marketing and the shoe is comfortable. I used this pair exclusively for indoor a activity, treadmill walking, and driving. This spring, after taking a spur of the moment walk with my wife on a damp day, a smell developed from he underside of one shoe. (Not a stinky feet issue). Over the next 48 hours, the smell worsened to the point of leaving the shoes in the garage, then the shed.
It is a strong urea smell, like found in epoxy resins. Believing the company would stand behind the product for which I splurged nearly $160, I called their posted customer service where I learned that the company only accepts returns within 30 days, even for a material defect. While talking to he customer service rep, I further learned that this is a known, even somewhat common, issue with the shoe. I explained that the shoes are in near perfect condition, but the csr was clear that even having he receipt, the company would not seek to remedy the issue. She offered o have a managecall when available.
Three weeks and two additional calls later, I have heard nothing from a "manager". While the shoe was comfortable, the smell is pungent and I am even concerned that it is dangerous ait when I wore them in the car once sine the issue arose, all five passengers in the vehicle became nausious and three developed immediate headaches, one specifically described it as a chemical headache. While my opinion is that one should use caution when buying this shoe, New Balances problem resolution is nearly as nausiating.
The customer service line could not tell me if the smell is a health concern nor provide any remedy to eliminate the smell....much less offer a refund or comparably priced she that doesn't suffer this known problem. Thought about venting on Facebook with over 1,000 running friends to influence, but don't want to turn my page into a product forum. Thank you Ripoff Report for providing this forum. I will certainlly let folks know if I hear anything.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/26/2014 06:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/New-Balance/nationwide/New-Balance-990-USA-Wont-address-noxious-glue-smell-that-develops-when-tread-gets-wet-T-1142020. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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