Duo Boots – Dealing with an Exchange, Return, or Repair

I have a bit of a love affair with DUO, a boot company located in the UK. It started several years ago with my first pair of boots from them – the “Bern”, a pair of classic boots that are similar to the famous Frye “Harness” boot. I had always wanted a pair of Fryes, but my wide calves (and wide shins) made it impossible. With a bit of Internet searching, I came across DUO and took a chance (you can read about my first experience with them here). So glad I did!

Wearing my DUO “Bern” boots earlier this year

A couple years later I decided to use an annual bonus to buy another pair of DUO boots. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit properly due to improper measurement on my part and my mistake of not utilizing their fabulous customer service for advice. I went to exchange the boots and it ended up costing me $40 in shipping. The replacement boots came to my office while I was on maternity leave; by time I was able to try on the boots my body had changed drastically and the boots didn’t fit. I chose to sell the boots on eBay rather than deal with another costly return across the pond.

I must admit that experience in 2008/2009 left a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the fault of DUO, but it just seemed too expensive to purchase boots from an overseas company. However this past winter I desperately wanted a pair of black riding boots. Learning from my last DUO order, I decided to email them and ask their opinion. I not only measured my calf, but also my shin and my ankle and even took pictures of my legs. I informed DUO of what I desired, how the “Bern” boots fit, and the issues I had with other boots. They suggested the Catalonia (read about my experience here and here).

Wearing my DUO Catalonia boots

Since then, I have been a happy camper with my DUO “Catalonia” boots. Quality leather, classic style, great fit. I did get them altered at my cobbler to taper at the top, but that was due to my leg height, not the boot itself. However after a month or so of wear the left zipper broke. I was devastated – I just dropped a couple hundred on these boots and then additional fees for alterations. Would they repair the boots since I had them altered? I emailed DUO and they asked me to mail the boots to assess the situation.

I no longer had the boot box, so I just stuck them in a square box. I was going to send Priority Mail, but the woman at the post office said it would be cheaper if I used a regular box (I just covered the box with craft paper). The cost was a bit over $25, the weight low enough that I only needed to fill out the short customs form.

DUO contacted me once they received the boots. They apologized for the zipper breaking and asked that since I had them altered, did I want a new pair or have the current pair fixed? They had already sent the boots to their repair person, but were waiting for my reply. Oh, and they asked how much I had to pay for shipping. I told them the exact amount, didn’t have to show a receipt or do anything and in a couple of days that amount was back on my credit card. Less than two weeks later, my boots arrived looking like new, in a brand new boot box.

So for those who are hesitating on buying from DUO because they are in the UK or you fear the shipping fees for repairs or exchanges, not to worry. If the exchange or return is due to DUO, they will cover the cost. As always, DUO is quick with the emails and will work with you to find the best boot for your wide calves (or narrow calves!). If you take advantage of their customer service you will be less likely to need a return or exchange. And if by chance there is an issue… I can attest to the fact that DUO will do everything they can to remedy the situation!

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7 Comments

  1. May 23, 2012 / 6:59 pm

    Awesome! Customer service is make or break for most companies today so I’m surprised more don’t put more effort into it. I’ve tried Ros Hermmon boots for plus-sized but they didn’t fit. Will look into DUO 🙂

  2. May 22, 2012 / 10:32 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your boot experience. The black riding boot is pretty hot.  FYI, Stuart Weitzman makes a boot called 50/50 which has elastic in the back. My calf is wide so I do have challenges with boots.  Steve Madden also makes a similar boot. See the attachment 

  3. Grace Mitchell
    May 21, 2012 / 6:41 pm

    Ooh, that’s good to hear! More and more lately I’m noticing customer service, and how rarely it’s as good as I think it should be. Duo sounds like an exception.

  4. May 21, 2012 / 4:33 pm

    i received a pair of DUO boots for my birthday (after begging for them after having read your reviews of the boots). well, as it turns out, the size i requested was huge both on the foot and the calf. i DID have to pay for return shipping (since the size issue was my own doing) but i dealt with their customer service quite a bit, as i was in the middle of a move at the time. i cant say enough about how quickly they respond and how attentive they were.  yes, the boots are pricey, but they are good quality — and an amazing find for those of us with super-extra-wide calves! i also received the catalonia (in the tan color, for myself) and thankfully i havent had any zipper issues — knock on wood!

  5. ashemischief
    May 19, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    I’m glad you had such a good experience with them! Several years ago, before I started blogging, I had a similarly bad experience, where I measured my calf, ordered two pairs of boots and both fit dramatically bad. One was an inch too small and one was about 3 inches too big. Pretty dramatic, given that they had a 2 cm difference when I ordered them!  Duo made me pay the return shipping to the tune of $100+ saying it was my fault and I’ve never looked back.  I’m glad that their customer service seems eager to help, but… yeah, I still can’t shake that expensive shipping and try again.

  6. Patti_NotDeadYetStyle
    May 19, 2012 / 4:21 pm

    Ah, now that is great customer service, wonderful to hear about it! Pay attention, other retailers: we’ll pay a bit more upfront to get good care like this.

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