I had sent a pair of boots to Timberland for warranty repair service. They sent the boots back with a form letter that said the boots were over the one year warranty return period and therefor denied my warranty claim. This was a lie. I contacted the Better Business Bureau. Thanks to the BBB, I found out an unknown and un-publicized fact about how Timberland determines if a product is out of date for warranty service. A Timberland employee let it slip while replying to the Better Business Bureau's inquiry that:
" Receive Business Response Thank you for your interest in this matter as Timberland continually strives to maintain excellence in our customer service. We respond to the Complaint filed with your office as follows. When this consumer originally sent his boots to Timberland for inspection, the Amazon invoice was not included. Without proof of purchase, the only point of reference we had was the date code located inside the boot."
1. Timberland states that they had to go by a "date code" inside the pair of boots. This is not an acceptable policy or practice for any industry and therefore, this is not only a completely misleading warranty practice, but it is also an unfair business practice. Do automobile manufacturer's start their vehicle warranty clock ticking while a new vehicle is sitting on a dealership's parking lot while the vehicle is unsold? No, they do not and that is one of many such examples that anyone can think of. So Timberland's warranty policy of going by a manufactured date code is fraudulent as well as an unfair business practice. For all we know, the boots in question (made in Bangladesh, India) could have sat in a warehouse(s) for months, even over 1 year's time, before it was sold to me.
2. No where in Timberland's Warranty Return Form (which is located here): https://images.timberland.com/is/content/TimberlandBrand/customer%20service/downloads/TimberlandWarrantyReturnForm_1017.pdf does it say that it is required to submit proof of purchase.
This same Timberland Warranty Return Form has 3 boxes for customers to fill in their mailing address, email address and phone number. However, Timberland did not even attempt to contact me by any of those 3 methods to ask me to send them proof of purchase, before denying my warranty claim and returning the boots. Timberland also did not inform me that they would repair or replace the manufacturer's defective boots if I would send Timberland proof of purchase = fraudulent and misleading business practice.
3. The boots in question do not have 5 months worth of wear on them because I had still been wearing an older pair of the same exact boots that has been used full time for a full year and is still being held together properly because it does not have the manufacturing defect that my newer pair of exact same boots suffer from.
4. I upheld my end of Timberland's Warranty procedure. Timberland failed to live up to their obligation. The pair of boots in question show hardly any signs of wear. The problem with the boots is obviously and without any doubt, a Manufacturing Defect.
5. What happens when someone buys me, or anyone else for that matter, a Timberland product as a gift? Does Timberland expect the person to ask the gift giver for a copy of the receipt if they should need warranty service? Suppose the gift giver does not have a copy of the receipt..., is the person out of luck? Does Timberland deny all warranty claims if a receipt for a gift is not available?
6. The information posted on the Timberland website here: https://help.timberland.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004585328-Is-My-Item-Under-Warranty- again does not mention at all, a need to provide Proof Of Purchase. (I have taken screen shots of these web pages, so if Timberland suddenly changes them, I do still have proof of how they originally read).
I would like to know the following information from Timberland (as they refused to reply to me when I emailed them) and I am hoping that someone will make a formal request, if Timberland does not reply at this website:
1. How many products (not just my particular product but All Timberland products and all VF Outdoor, LLC products, if VF Outdoor, LLC uses this same date-code policy) since Timberland has been in business have been returned for Warranty Service.
2. How many of these returned products did Timberland refuse to honor their Timberland Product Warranty because the purchaser or gift recipient did not provide a proof of purchase? I believe the number may very well be in the thousands.
3. Were any of these same people, who received a Timberland Warranty Claim Rejection Form, told that their claim was denied because a proof of purchase was not received and if so, how many were told this and how many were not told this? I was one of the ones not told this.
4. Were any of these same people told that if they did provide a proof of purchase, Timberland would then honor their Product Warranty (again, I was not told this)? If so, when did Timberland inform each person of this? Was it before Timberland rejected their Warranty Claim and sent the product back, or was it only afterwards when a product owner followed up after receiving a Timberland Warranty Claim rejection notice (like I have done)?
5. Were any of these same people also told that Timberland used a "date code" to deny their claim and was it fully explained to each of them exactly what the "date code" is (the manufacturing date the product was made on)? If so, how many were told this and how many were not told this?
6. Has Timberland ever stated publicly in any way, that they use a "date code" practice to deny Warranty Claims? If so, please provide us with details Timberland.
7. For every single product that Timberland has denied a customer or gift recipient warranty service, how old was each of these products according to Timberland's date-code policy?
8. How old in reality (reality meaning the actual time between when the customer or gift recipient actually received the product and then returned it to Timberland for warranty service) was every single Timberland product that Timberland denied warranty service? Thank you.
Product or Service Mentioned: Timberland Boots.
Reason of review: Warranty issue.
Monetary Loss: $403.
Preferred solution: I want answers to the questions I have asked in my post..
I didn't like: Misleading and fraudulent warranty policy.