My complaint with the store is on numerous levels. I am very
unhappy with the misleading claims regarding the product and particularly the
service I received. I was experiencing
excessive metatarsal foot pain at the top of the foot and the arch of my left
foot was flat.
When I entered the
Brookline store on January 13, 2011, Jennifer assisted me with a personal
"fitting," which consisted of asking me my shoe sizing and bringing
out various pre-fabricated insoles to match against my feet. She kept touting how she is certain from personal experience
and from all the customers that the product works for everyone and all foot
pain conditions and will fix the alignment of my feet. She declared how doctors, chiropractors, and
podiatrists all highly recommend the product line and refer their patients to the
store and that the product is especially reliable because it was designed by a
She really made the product, simply a pre-fabricated, hard, and
cheap mold of plastic, sound like a cure-all for foot pain, promising that the
3-step system will work and fix my pain guaranteed. She explained how all the
arch supports have a life-long guarantee and can be refitted and exchanged
within 30 days.
When asked about my lifestyle needs for shoes, I clearly
made her aware that I have very flat feet with fallen arches and that I lead an
active lifestyle, running outdoors in particular.
I was told that the most appropriate arch support
for my arch fitting, condition and perfect for placing into my athletic running
shoes was the Classic Alzner, which became part of my purchase. I was also
fitted for a Flex 3 Arch support, which was part of my purchase as well.
I was told that the
system only works if purchased as part of the 3-step system/3 insoles
(Exerciser, Maintainer, Relaxer). I
explained that I was a student on an Americorps living stipend and could not
afford much to which Jennifer stated that from her experience, most insurance
companies do cover the costs of the orthotics but possibly not all. When I
asked if I could place my personalized fitted insoles on hold so I can think
about my purchase, Jennifer told me it was store policy that items could not be
placed on hold.
Then, I was told that it is possible to work out a payment
plan for me and that the system could in fact work with just the 2 most
recommended arch supports of the 3. Jennifer added that the Exerciser insole,
or the Alzner in my case, required a soft cushion insole to be placed on top
when inserted in the shoes. She placed a
bag of the cushioned insoles in a bag along with the 2 other insoles. I was
told I needed to pay $131.71 up front as a deposit and first payment and that
the rest of the total of $658.59 would be charged on my debit card in 4 monthly
installments. I did not realize until I
went home and opened the bag that I was being charged an extra $29.95 for a
cheap cushion I could have purchased for $5 at the local pharmacy.
After my purchase, I felt rather doubtful but hopeful about
whether the product will work as promised because I was so pressured into
making the purchase since it would “guarantee fix my problem and remove the
pain” and Jennifer’s explanations came across as overly practiced, robotic
hard-sell pitches intent on making a sale rather than taking into deep
consideration the unique needs of various foot conditions and pain.
I conducted some
further research on the store and found an overwhelming amount of horrible
reviews and testimonies regarding the scam and unethical antics of the company
and how most people experienced more pain, deformities, and injuries as a
result of prolonged use of Good Feet arch supports. I also found that the
states that the store will provide "Free Foot Print & Arch
Support Fitting." During my visit,
there were no accurate measurements or foot print completed as advertised
Still, I decided to give the system a try and Jennifer the
benefit of the doubt. I also found out
that my health insurance company would not cover Good Feet insoles, but I
figured that health was a worthwhile investment especially if my foot pain can
really go away. I abided by the break-in schedule enclosed in my package for
about 3 weeks. The uncomfortable “golf ball” feel of the Exerciser insole was
supposed to subside as my feet became “properly aligned” after breaking them
in, but I was experiencing more pain than ever. The top of my left foot by the metatarsals
was looking quite swollen, and I was experiencing pain in my left ankle.
At this point, I tried to conduct more research into the
products and found item descriptions and uses of the particular insoles I
purchased. I found that the Alzer is most appropriate for “arches of average
height and flexibility” and are for “non-running” shoes. However, I had been walking and running with
the Alzner’s for weeks. At this point, I realized that Jennifer really had no
idea what she was talking about and inaccurately “fitted” me with the Alzner
when I clearly reminded her several times that I had flat feet and fallen
arches and that I needed something for my running sneakers.
Of course, I was frustrated at this point and really felt
shammed and deceived like those hundreds of unhappy customers I read
about. My foot pain had not gone away
but in fact became worse, and I had been fitted for insoles that were
completely inappropriate for my needs. Most of all, I was upset at the fact
that I spent an obscene amount of money on a product that could not be returned
for a refund.
I tried calling the Goodfeet store and was told my Jennifer
that she could not authorize any returns or refunds. When I asked if there was
a store manager or owner I could speak to, she said the store did not have a
manager and that I couldn’t be provided with any contact information of the
owner. She did promise that she would
leave a message for the owner and that he would call me back soon. After a
week, without a response, I called the store several times, only to receive
busy signals or answering machines.
I then looked up and
called the Good Feet Corporate Customer Service line and spoke with Sandy, who
explained that customer satisfaction is very important to the company but
because the stores are franchises owned by unique business owners, the matter
could only be resolved with the individual store owner of the store I purchased
from. She said all she could do was call the store to leave a message for the
owner to contact me.
I was in desperate foot
pain and felt victimized by the hard-sell, aggressive and even unethical
pressure I was placed under by the sales representative. I found it frustrating that there was no operating manager for the store and that the seemingly non-existent owner who does not respond to customer service issues could be the only decision-maker.