Our response to our first negative review on Facebook

Thank you for your recent purchase, and for taking the time to leave such detailed feedback about your experience. I’m sorry it has taken me a few days to respond but I read it late Thursday night, and I wanted to take the weekend to give your comments some thought, and to address each of the different aspects of your visit that you were unhappy about. I wanted to make sure I figured out what we could learn and if we could make any changes to our policies that would ensure a better outcome in the future. Therefore I am writing you a longer more detailed letter to fully address all the things you wrote about. It was too long for Facebook so an abbreviated version of my comments here appears next to your review.

We want you to know, that it truly concerns us that you felt unappreciated and your loyalty disregarded – as nothing could be further from the truth, and a miscommunication may have occurred.

Some years ago Barbara incurred damage to her hearing when a speaker malfunctioned at a dance competition and recently we noticed she wasn’t always hearing the customers if she was across the room so she just recently started wearing hearing aids and shortly before you arrived, her new hearing aid stopped working and she wasn’t aware of how loud she was speaking. When you told her not to get upset, she told you that she wasn’t upset and at the time, didn’t really understand why you had that impression.

She recognized you when you came in and remembered your last visit. Barbara was trying to let you to know that despite ordering another new pair in for you to try, you were under no obligation to take them, and to leave you under the false assumption that the previous week’s purchase could be returned, would not have been respectful of your time.

For 35 years, our customers’ satisfaction has been our number one priority. In fact that is why we keep notes on fittings. Keeping track of our customers’ preferences and the changes to their foot health is how we serve our customers better. In your case though Barbara didn’t need her notes, because she remembered your previous visit and the strap alterations requested. It stood out in her mind because she remembered that she advised against cutting the straps as short as you wanted. The reasons were…

  • your foot can swell and change over time
  • the ends can fray and you may want to trim them later,
  • they tend to stick out if too short, and lie flatter against the heel cup when cut at the right length.

Additionally, I’m sorry that you weren’t aware that once you customize or alter a pair of shoes they are not returnable. We think we have one of the most liberal return policies in this business, and make exceptions to our policy to benefit the customer IF we can reasonably expect to sell the shoes to another dancer. We try to make every customer aware of our return policy, but we may have erroneously assumed that customers would understand that similar to many other fashion products, once you customize or alter a pair of shoes, it can not be resold, and therefore can not be returned.

Our customers are located all over Canada and many can’t visit our store. However, once they find that perfect style for their foot, they want to order additional pairs in that style but in different materials and colours. We need our customers to feel confident that when they re-order their favorite style in a new colour or material the straps will be the same length as the last pair they bought and exactly how the manufacturer intended. Even in the store, it would be nearly impossible for us to find another dancer with a narrow enough ankle who would want straps that short.

Additionally when the shoes arrive from the factory they are sewn. As a free service for our customers, if asked, we will cut the straps to your preference (as we did in your case) and then we glue the ends to prevent fraying. If a customer wants their cut straps to be sewn then we recommend a shoemaker. This is a choice each customer gets to make for themselves. Some of our customers also need extra-long straps on their shoes which we offer as a custom option on special orders.

So why does it matter if we can resell those shoes? If we can’t resell returned shoes then we would have to raise our prices to cover those losses and then everyone would have to pay more. We feel we have an ethical responsibility to keep our prices as low as possible and that’s why when currencies fluctuate we look to cut costs as opposed to raising our prices.

Olivia, it’s tough getting our first negative review but we appreciate all feedback – good or bad, because ultimately it will help us serve the dance community even better. As a result of your review we will be exploring ways to make our return policy even clearer to everyone and the reasoning behind it. We’ve already written new blog posts – one about shoe straps, and the other a more detailed explanation of our return policy philosophy.

Thanks again for taking the time to give us your feedback.


Linda Wilson Wall
Dance Plus Inc.
Partner responsible for
Marketing, Communications, and Technology