An upmarket welly maker is in the mire with a hunter after he discovered his £195 gumboots weren’t made for walking.
Michael Wilson didn’t mind paying top dollar for the top-of-the-range footwear from Country Ways in Aberdeen.
He needs quality boots for the shooting season, when he and his wife Katrina tramp the glens with their three working gundogs.
However, less than 12 months after Michael bought the expensive Hunter boots they started cracking and holes began appearing in them.
“I contacted Hunter directly to ask if they could help,” said Katrina, a 34-year-old IT adviser from Huntly.
“I was asked for images of the problem areas along with the manufacturer’s stamp but I was then told that without proof of purchase, which I didn’t have, they were unable to determine the exact date on which we bought them, which was in May last year.
“I was also told that because the boots had been manufactured more than 24 months ago, the warranty had expired. The best they could do was to offer a 25% discount on a new pair of boots purchased from their website.
“We were furious because it was hardly my husband’s fault the boots were manufactured a year before he bought them. And, at nearly £200 a pair, you would expect them to last a lot longer than they did.”
Hunter describes itself as “a progressive British heritage brand” which holds Royal Warrants of Appointment to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.
Hunter boots are a favourite of A-listers such as Kate Moss and Emma Watson. Princess Diana wore Hunter Originals in her pre-makeover engagement photos and the Duchess of Sussex has also been seen in them.
But it was reported last year the Edinburgh-based firm had received a surge of complaints from irate customers, unhappy about the recent quality of their boots and poor level of customer service.
After Katrina contacted Raw Deal, Hunter quickly agreed to give Michael a new pair of wellies with a two-year guarantee.
Hunter said: “We are immensely proud of our brand reputation and it is incredibly important to us that we deliver the best possible customer experience.
“We recently extended our product warranty to two years for purchases made from a Hunter store, our website or authorised stockists.
“Our warranty policy dictates for any purchases from an authorised stockist that the stockist would need to be contacted directly.
“In this instance, we recognise we didn’t ask your reader to get in touch with the stockist directly and we take responsibility for that. With this in mind, we are keen to get these replaced for your reader as quickly as possible.”
Michael, 36, an HGV mechanic, is now looking forward to putting the new boots to the test when the five-month shooting season starts again in September.