It was just like any other big release for Matthew Prang. He set off to his local mall at 4:00 AM and waited till Champ Sports opened it’s doors, purchased a pair of Air Jordan 4 Cavs to soon find out his pair contained mold!
Yes, you read that right. Champ Sports had sold Matthew a pair of moldy Air Jordan 4 Cavs aka “The Shot”. Here is the story told through the eyes of unfortunate sneakerhead Matthew:
“Anticipating a new colorway of one of my more favorite Jordans, the Air Jordan IV, I was geared up and ready to get my camp on at about 4 am. I ventured out to Christiana Mall of New Castle, DE to get in line and patiently wait for a new crispy pair Michael’s. Being an OG sneakerhead, a hardworking adult and homeowner, and buying my own Jordans since 1997, I feel like I have been in the game long enough that I no longer call them Jordans, I call them Michael’s. Yup. Me and the best to ever do it are on first name basis as we have been together so long.
I was taught growing up about spending (money) to not buy things you want but rather buy things you need, thus resulting in my motto that I use when it comes to buying new Michaels, and that’s “I don’t even want them, but I need them.” I knew I needed these shoes, so I was going to have them.
Camped outside for a couple of hours, listening to classic sneakerhead talk, OG this, retro that, icey here, heat there, new releases, the whole 9. Finally, the manager of Champs sports, Jason, greets us at the door to the mall with a hand full of index cards. I received my preferred size of 10.5, so no double sock or those little thin baby socks were needed. Glorious. I gave the cashier my index card, paid for my kicks, and kept it moving.
It’s out of sheer habit and comfort, that with being in the game for well over a decade, especially in my adult years, I don’t look at the shoes and inspect them before I leave the store. I have owned at least one of each Jordan produced that I will wear, (Side-note, if MJ didn’t wear it on the court, neither will I) so I don’t need to try them on, I know how they fit and know what sizes I prefer. I grabbed my kicks and upon exit of Champs sports, I kicked it with a few of the local sneakerheads before I was on my way home.
During the drive home, I hit a long red light and decided to check these Cav IV’s out in person. Open the bag, open the box, and BOOM! What the hell is on my shoe. I removed the black paper wrap in its entirety, and find mold covering my entire shoe. Both sides. Both Shoes. Unexplainable. The box is in great condition, no signs of water damage or tampering of any sort. I quickly ask my personal assistant Siri to find the number to champs and I get the manager on the horn. He asks me to turn around and bring them back so he can inspect them.
When I get back to the store, each employee is in disbelief. They handled it about as well as one could have expected. He offered a refund, obviously, as a replacement was unavailable, because the release sold out in minutes. He then offered to try and clean up the shoes, which I appreciated, but declined. As my motto says, I don’t even want these, I need these, so I figured Nike would have to step up and resolve this issue. I did not want a refund, I wanted a crispy size 10.5 Jordan IV in the new Cavs colorway. Done. Everyone knows that the JB market is booming, and re sellers are making a solid living, so for me to replace these on my own it would certainly cost me another Hundy on top of retail, which I just am not in position to do.
I called nike customer support, they gave me a phone number and said I would have to call back Monday and submit a claim. I decided to take advantage of social networking and I sent a few tweets to Nikestore and a few other places. Nikestore responds almost immediately with “Feel free to return them to the store for a full refund“. This is where I’m not even going to repeat my motto, you already know. I told them this wouldn’t work for me, I need a replacement. Nike replies and tells me they do not have any replacement to offer, as these are all sold out. After a few RT’s and word got around, Nikestore sends me a direct message and tells me they will look into a resolution for me, be patient. I guess they are not aware that sneakerheads generally are not patient when it comes to their kicks. I have messaged them a few times asking if there has been any movement on a resolution and they simply respond with something along the lines of they are still looking into it, be patient.
I decided to tweet a photo of my one of a kind moldy colorway to a few of my favorite online sneaker spots. Sneakerfiles, who has been my sneaker news spot of choice for some time now, has responded and has shown interest in my story. Nike and JB, you have dropped the ball on this one, once again, the ball is in your court. Make a struggling Nike and JB fanatic happy again. Thank you.”
We know what most of you will say, “He should of inspected them before leaving the store”. But the real problem here is, why did Champ Sports sell these shoes? From personal experience, I know stores inspect the shoes before selling them to customers. How does this pair get passed the employees?
Retailers around the states sold out of the Air Jordan 4 Cavs on Saturday, almost instantly, so getting a replacement pair seems a bit difficult. With reseller prices, Matthew will have to shell out a lot more money in order to get this pair.
We hope Nike keeps up the correspondence, and digs deep in the creates to get Matthew a pair of Jordan Cav 4. What is your take on the story? Has a similar situation happened to you?
Follow Matthew on Twitter @MatthewMcGnarly