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Gear Review

3 5

Boot Pretty Good. Burton CS poor

This review is partially about the product and partially about the customer service center at Burton. Let me begin with the product. I like the boots: the fit is bulky, but that was the expectation, and as such I am pleased with the plump and perhaps menacing look my feet take on when I slip into these. The coloration (I ordered the black) is nicely handled with just enough white contrasts to give them character. I like, but do not love, the lacing system.  I bought theses boots from Backcountry on Feb. 3rd of 2012. I live in California and have a Monday through Friday job, so I do not get out as much as I should. I say that because while tightening the laces on Monday, March 12 of 2012 (I managed to call in sick), the lace on one of the boots snapped. Mind you, this was only the second or third time I had worn these boots. I searched online and discovered I was not the only one with the problem and did what the discussion forum suggested: I called Burton. Jackie was nice enough at first. She seemed, however, incredulous that the laces could have snapped so soon, claiming that she had “never” heard of that happening. She did offer to send replacements at no cost. She then went into a somewhat patronizing lesson on why I should never rest my board on my boot, as if she was looking to place the blame for the product issue almost squarely on my shoulders. I get that she was giving what I would consider sound advice; however, the part of the lace that snapped is the part just below where the laces connect in a Y shape to allow the user to pull the laces tight, and I had already explained as much; also, she had not even asked me whether I rested the board on the boot. The part of the lace that snapped is tucked into the inside of the boot after tightening and therefore would not have been exposed to the edge of the board if resting the board on it during a chair ride. I was not near the boots when on the phone and had forgotten which boot had the snapped lace, but it ended up being the right boot. Being that I am goofy-footed, I would not have been resting my board on the boot, which makes her lecture even less impressive. When I replied that I am not sure that this could be the case (namely, that my resting the board on my boots caused the issue) after my third use, I realized and relayed, perhaps stupidly, that it may in fact have only been my second use. She responded in a patronizing tone: “Oh, so now it’s only your second use, huh?” This is where I became a bit annoyed. Look, I get that the customer is not always right, but seriously, blaming the customer for a ripped boot lace by claiming that he or she took part in behavior that you have not even verified he or she has, and then implying that the customer is a liar and is therefore attempting to get over on you is pathetic. Whether it was the second or third time should not matter. On a pure logistical level the behavior she was attempting to tutor me away from (Spoiler alert: I did intermittently rest the board on my loose boot, but that boot’s laces are fine) could not have caused the product failure. And while I fully admit and understand that my not remembering exactly how many times I have worn the boots is suspect (I am in my thirties and had to cancel and re-plan a few trips, and have way too many gray hairs for my age) it still should be handled more appropriately. These boots are barely more than a month old, have scarcely been used, and I don’t deserve to be painted as a liar. She did relent a bit in her tone and Burton is sending me replacements and a replacement tool. She was still curt for the remainder of the call, and I am unsure as to whether I can soundly recommend Burton products to others. My girlfriend is in the market for boots, and I am questioning whether I can recommend her a Burton boot.