As you probably know over here already, we at the MidRange/Tedium complex love weird lawsuit stories, whether the suit involves Kraft getting sued for a direct knockoff of the Klondike Bar or the time that Mars, Inc. purchased a candy brand called Fun so it would have standing in a lawsuit over the nomenclature of fun-size candy.
But I have to admit even I was thrown for a loop when I read about the lawsuit over Bass Pro’s apparent failure to follow through on the promise of a product that literally brands itself as having a lifetime guarantee in its name.
Now, I’ve never written about this before, but I actually am a bit of a fan of socks, and I know that having a good pair that holds up after a decent amount of time is really important to some people After all, if the sock dies out after a couple of years, is it really worth its weight in wool?
The problem is, Bass Pro seems to have not considered the fact that people might actually follow through on the warranty requests, and more than once at that. Starting in 2014, an Illinois man named Kent Slaughter bought a ton of pairs of the company’s Redhead Lifetime Guarantee All- Purpose Wool Socks, then started returning them as they faded. At first, the company followed the lifetime guarantee to a T. But over time, he noticed the company’s practices had changed.
Per the class-action lawsuit filed on his behalf:
According to Defendant’s current practices, when a purchaser returns the Socks pursuant to the purported Lifetime Warranty, Defendant merely replaces the Socks with a new, different pair of socks that only comes with a limited 60-day warranty (the “60-Day Socks”). Defendant has changed the design of the 60-Day Socks in order to differentiate them from the Socks—by adding a distinctive stripe pattern to them—presumably so that its store employees know that no warranty will be honored for those 60-Day Socks beyond the limited warranty period.
So yes, Bass Pro was replacing the lifetime-guarantee socks with pairs that were intentionally not as good as the socks that the person purchased. Worse, the guarantee was essentially invalidated on secondary pairs because the new pairs had worse warranties.
Slaughter apparently saw a distinct decline in the quality of the customer service as he continued to return his socks:
Customer service ultimately told Plaintiff—over his objections and demands that Defendant continue to honor the Lifetime Warranty—that he could no longer return the Socks pursuant to the Lifetime Warranty. Instead of honoring the Lifetime Warranty, Defendant would only provide Plaintiff with a different product: the distinctively-marked 60-Day Socks.
So the result is, Bass Pro now finds itself the target of a hilarious class-action lawsuit. Perhaps the most hilarious class action lawsuit in recent times. Because it’s about a company who made deceptive promises about socks.
Is Slaughter the only person out there who bought these socks, saw the name, and actually took it seriously? It’s a good question, but even if nobody else joins the class-action status, Bass Pro should do itself a favor and ditch the 60-Day Socks, because for one thing, they sound a hell of a lot lamer than Lifetime Guarantee Socks.
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