Monday, May 11, 2009

Tiptoe Away from Tip Top Shoes

Every once in a while, a shopping experience makes me so mad that I decide to take action.  

Over the weekend, I decided to order a pair of shoes online, after I'd seen them in a store but was unable to find my size.  My online search led me to Tip Top Shoes, an online site that had relatively positive reviews.  They had the exact shoes I wanted, in the exact color, in my size.  Perfect.

In a big statement at the top of its front page, Tip Top Shoes promises "FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100."  Go ahead, click on the link and go see.

Free shipping, that's what it says, right?  Do you see any qualifications?  Any statement that it applies only to certain things?  

I placed my order, for a pair of shoes over $100.  Dandy.  And when I got to the part of the order process where it totals your order, I found that it was charging me $7 for shipping.  I went back and tried to find where to activate the "FREE SHIPPING" promise.  Finally, when I couldn't find it, I put a note in the "comment" section of the order form saying that I couldn't find how to get the "FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100" promised by the web banner, so they should deduct the shipping charge when they processed my order.  

This morning, I received this in my email from Tip Top Shoes: 

In response to what you wrote below, Yes our banner does say free shipping over anything over $100, but please see our shipping policy

All website orders will be shipped FREE via UPS Ground within the continental United States on all non-sale orders over $100.00. Sale Merchandise is any item listed with a price ending in .99  Any other requested method of shipping, or any international purchase will be paid for at the customer's expense.

I emailed them back to point out that their "FREE SHIPPING" promise didn't exclude sale items and specifically applied to "all orders over $100," and that as a result it was deceptive, their response was that they no longer had my shoe available!  Hmmmm.  

This is just the sort of thing that makes me cranky.  If you say "free shipping," then give "free shipping."  What's so complicated about that?  

Well, beware Tip Top Shoes.... I'm heading straight to, myself.


  1. Bad!! I love Zappos. Free return shipping if you don't like them or they don't fit!!

  2. In this economic climate, these are the companies that need to die. Deceptive advertising, bad service, surly help, etc. etc.--nobody needs that. I just had such an extraordinarily GOOD customer service experience this morning, that I am really thinking about how the survival of the fittest theory should really apply to business.

  3. Anonymous7:53 PM

    Ouch! I won't be shopping on that site for shoes!

  4. Ooooooh that type of thing makes me so mad too. No shopping on their site for me either and I love shoes!

  5. Hi,

    I'm the webmaster and website designer at Tip Top Shoes and I am sorry that you had a bad experience.

    Do you think it would be helpful if we put"*limitations apply" underneath the graphic? The graphic links to the policies page that states the limitations

    Again, I’m really sorry that you had a bad experience; we really do work hard to try and make your shopping experience the best.

  6. The problem is with the word "ALL" when you promise to apply free shipping to "all orders over $100." If you don't mean "all orders," don't say "All." "Limitations apply" isn't enough to clarify that you do NOT provide free shipping on "all orders over $100."

    Just say what you mean. "Free shipping on all non-sale orders"? "Free shipping on most orders"?

    But don't try to make it look like it's "all orders" to hook shoppers and then don't deliver.

    I'd love to see you change what appears to be a sleazy and deceptive banner.