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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I purchased a pair of running shoes in June 2013 but did not

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I purchased a pair of running shoes in June 2013 but did not wear them until going on holiday at the end of November 2013. The shoe soles are fine but the upper material has developed holes and splits. Am I protected under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Thank you in anticipation.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How much did you pay for the shoes please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I paid 68 pounds and 40p for the New Balance running shoes from the Manufacturers Outlet Shop. I also showed them a pair of their running shoes I had purchased over 8 years ago from the same outlet shop which I have used for walking, jogging and cycling covering thousands of miles and these shoes are still good. Which is why I was so disappointed with their response.


If the date of purchase was June 2013 then you are unfortunately outside of the first six months of sale. All that means is that it is for you to prove to the satisfaction of the court that the fault existed at the time of sale. At least, of course the wearing did not or you would not have purchased but the propensity to wear must have done.

The truth is that for a sum of this kind, if you were to issue against them they would probably just settle as its not worth the manpower costs.

If they do contest it then its one of those case that could go either way. £68.40 is not the most expensive pair or trainers but its not the cheapest either. The problem with this though is this. From one runner to another, we both know that the life of a pair of trainers depends upon how far you run in them. Some trainers do stand up better than others but if you are training for a marathon, for instance, your trainers are going to run out faster than if you are just doing 3 miles of sprint drills a day.

Personally I would issue against them. They will probably just settle.

You need to send them a letter before action first warning of your intention to sue.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Jo for your speedy response and advice. I greatly appreciate the points you have made. At 67 years of age I do not run marathons or indeed run any distances - I bought the shoes to walk along roads and pavements because they seemed soft and comfortable. I will return to the outlet shop, collect the shoes and ask for the details of the manager and managing director and take things from there.


Many thanks.



No problem and all the best.

To be wholly honest, they probably will settle this.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Just to update you on the current position.

I wrote to the Manager of New Balance on March 18thbut after not even receiving the courtesy of a

reply I then wrote to the MD of the company sending that letter by recorded delivery.

During late afternoon of 7/5/14 I received a home phone call from the Sales Manager of New Balance Miss Debbie Harrison, effectively offering me a £35 voucher which I could use against a further purchase of shoes from their outlet shop as a gesture of good will. I explained that my legal advice and expenses incurred thus far were greater than the value of her offer.

Then Ms Harrison said that was the best they were prepared to offer as it was well over six months since the purchase date before I returned the shoes (I did stress that I returned the shoes at the earlist opportunity). She also asked me to return the shoes in order that the factory manager can inspect them.

As Ms Harrison was not at work yesterday I informed her that I would consult my legal adviser and get back to her either today or, on Saturday (she informed she would be working during Saturday).

I am not happy with the situation and I am puzzled as to why the manager wants to inspect the shoes when according to the staff in the Outlet Shop, Quality Control had seen the shoes and stated they were well worn. Unfortunately there was no comment from QC on New Balances copy of the customer complaint form they returned to me which had me thinking that the shoes had never even been to QC, bearing in mind they had them for less than a day before telephoning advising me there was nothing they were prepared to do about the shoes!

I am of the opinion now that because I took matters up with the Managing Director there is a degree of discomfort being felt by management at the Maryport Factory.

I feel like telling them that they have had the opportunity to inspect the shoes by their QC Department so maybe I would be better advised to have the shoes inspected independently before considering taking legal action against them.

Any further advice?

Best regards,


Ps Have a nice weekend and many thanks for your help thus far.


I thought they would make some form of offer. Its one of those situations where its just plain not worth their while fighting.

Probably if this is the offer they started with then its not likely to be their best. It depends whether you can be bothered with pursuing it.