Louis Vuitton – Quantity or Quality? The Answer is Low Quality and Very Bad Customer Service
by Daniel Haim
I will begin by telling you that what you are about to read is not your daily rant. It’s a collection of rants that cover a four year experience with what is known as one of the world’s most luxurious brands – Louis Vuitton. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to purchase a pair Louis Vuitton Jeans, but may have thought about it – you are not missing anything.
From a young age, I’ve always preached “Quality over Quantity.” It’s a well known saying. While some of you may agree or disagree, my take on it is, hey, at the end of the day, when I buy something and I believe it will serve me for the next 8 – 10 years, and I can “dress to impress” for the next 10 years with that same piece, why not spend the cash?
My rant takes me back to 2007. I was in San Francisco and I walked into the Louis Vuitton shop by Union Square to buy a pair of kicks that retail for around $600. I was so excited because they were so damn cool. I got back to Hotel Nikko, where I usually stay when I go to San Francisco, put on my brand new kicks, and as I lace the shoes – pop – the leather piece that crosses between the shoe laces literally popped off. I was so upset. Look, in reality – shit happens and I wasn’t going to blame it on the quality of the shoe. Plus, if I’m buying a product like this from a brand like LV, I figure they would treat me quite well if there were any problems with the shoe. Luckily it was mid-day on a Friday so I headed back to the Union Square store to speak with my sales associate there. I explained the situation to her and she tells me: “Mr. Haim, I’m so sorry but we do not have another pair of shoes your size in the store. Perhaps you would like to try another pair (another style)? I have this great pair that are off the runway, so they are very limited and perhaps exclusive.”
Did she say limited and exclusive in the same line? Sold. I’m buying them. They’re just about $100 more, but with all honesty I am such a shopaholic that, at this point, if I returned the shoes for money it would ruin my entire vacation. So whatever. I picked them up, I enjoyed them during my week stay in San Francisco and I headed back to my neighborhood here in New York City. About a month later my friend from Sweden swings by and I take him for a walk on 5th avenue where I spend most of my afternoons. As we walk on 51st and 5th, just talking, I felt something strange. I look down and I realize that the sole from the Louis Vuitton shoe – is gone. I look behind me at the crowded street and I see the sole, lying there. My friend looks at me and without thinking about it he literally did what we call a ‘facepalm’. I was so furious. I’ve got hot Israeli blood going through my veins and it’s starting to boil at this point: ”This cannot be real.” I explained to my friend that I have a few more pairs from Louis Vuitton and this never happened before. (I own the Monte Carlo in like 4 different colors). I somehow make it to the Louis Vuitton shop on 57th street with a sole in one hand and the shoe in the other. I am not wearing socks either and my feet are dirty. I look at the sales associate and she looks at me and I look at her in a way that flat out says: “What the hell man?”
It is so hot, my feet are disgusting from walking in the street and I’m not even offered a bottle of water and a napkin to wipe the sweat off my shiny forehead when the LV associate asks me, “Well, Mr. Haim how far did you walk with this shoe? Because it’s not the type of shoe you are supposed to walk in a lot.” I am shocked. This is a $700 shoe. And I’m not supposed to walk in it? What is this, some kind of sick joke? I shop at YSL, Burberry Prorsum, and Paciotti. This never ever happened for their shoes that are sometimes twice the price of what I got at Louis Vuitton. I’m not offered a refund, I’m not offered another shoe, and I’m not even offered a repair.
This was it for me. This was the end of the relationship between Daniel and LV. But of course, because of my strange disease I ended up going to the shop a year later and buying this pair of jeans, which is what made me write this article today.
This pair of jeans cost $460 + tax. They are dope. I bought them thinking they will last me for a long time as I have over 50 pairs of jeans in my closet and some of them have lasted me since my days in high school. Now a year and a half later I’m unable to wear this pair of jeans. They are completely ripped, the fabric is completely loose, and there are holes everywhere in the bottom of the back pocket from just carrying a wallet– they are unwearable. Not to mention that the color has completely faded and they don’t look anything like what they did when I first purchased them.
I’m headed off to the Louis Vuitton store once again and I pretty much explain the story above. I even tell them the story about the shoe and how I am so stunned by the lack of quality control. I cannot understand why I am buying jeans that say “MADE IN PARIS” when I cannot wear them for more than a year – can you perhaps explain that to me? Maria-Elena Iacoblev, a manager at the store who was extremely nasty, literally told me, “No, this pair of jeans was enjoyed and we do not offer any exchanges.” So what am I supposed to do? Take this $460 pair of jeans and just throw them in the garbage with homeless people outside of your store looking on? Are you serious? What kind of karma would that bring me? “You do it!”, I tell her. At that moment I realized Maria was not going to do anything to resolve the situation and I requested another manager. Someone who showed an LV customer a bit more respect came downstairs from the floor above. Amandine Chretien took a look at the jeans and explained that “there is nothing we can do”, and said that if I had come a few months earlier, perhaps they would have replaced them. But seriously, they were sitting in my closet for about 8 months in an unwearable condition, and I’d just now gotten the chance to bring them back to the store. Well, they both ask me to leave the store at this point.
I want to take this moment and tell you that I bought boots from Burberry Prorsum in 2009 for $890. A year later I walked into the shop to talk with my sales associate because the boots had some issues. The leather was ripping and I really wanted to get them fixed, as they were one of my favorite pairs of boots. They took the boots back and issued me a full refund, this after I’d owned and worn the shoes for a year. No questions asked. And LV – what do you do?
I called the number Amandine told me to call (Louis Vuitton Customer Service Number) 1-866 VUITTON and spoke with Myisha EXT 2524 who took 3 days to not-get-back-to-me. I called and inquired after the status of my complaint and, after apologizing for 10 minutes for the nasty behavior I received from Maria-Elena Iacoblev at the 57th store, she explained there is nothing they can offer to do.
Oh well, too bad. I never bought your leather goods. I only bought your sweaters, t-shirts, button shirts, shoes, you know, the real stuff. Now I know that you produce low quality products, have abhorable customer service, and I recommend anyone who reads this article to not waste their money at Louis Vuitton. If you are looking for a good pair of shoes, perhaps you should try going next door. If you’d like good apparel – know that what you’re spending your money on at Louis Vuitton will not last you for more than a year – and you’re completely throwing your money away.
One more thing.. “May the bridges I burn light my way.”