Worker honey bees go for about six weeks before they give up the ghost, working themselves to death as they do almost all of the labor needed in their beehive. The queen bee, eating royal jelly and having lots of sex while the worker bees exhaust themselves, can live as long as five years. Let that be a lesson to you.
My guy’s Darn Tough Vermont’s “Men’s Stride Over the Calf Ultra-Lightweight Running Sock” – the ones with an unconditional lifetime guarantee – had a lifespan of less than three months. This corresponds roughly with the life cycle of the Beaver Pond Clubtail Dragonfly. One striking difference between the socks and the dragonflies is that my partner didn’t spend $71.52 for two pairs of flying insects under the assumption that they’d be in his sock drawer for the next twenty or thirty years.
I tried to warn him. I told him that Darn Tough’s “lifetime guarantee” didn’t guarantee that their socks would last a lifetime. It sounds like that’s what they’re promising, I agree, but it isn’t quite, is it? There’s some wiggle room there.
Although, c’mon, less than three months?
As you can see from the photo, one of the two pairs he purchased already needs to be replaced. (Also, as you can see from the photo, someone I know is never going to be a foot model.) Since the other pair of socks has survived to date while being worn once a week, maybe he just got unlucky and received a bum pair.
I hope so, because replacing these socks is more of a challenge than it needs to be. Here’s how it works: The unfortunate customer has to go online to submit a warranty claim. He or she has to document what was bought, where it was bought, and when it was bought. Then the paperwork has to be printed out, the (freshly-cleaned: it’s a rule) socks have to be put in a padded envelope or sturdy box, and then taken to the post office. The customer pays to send the socks to the Warranties Department and then waits to be notified that the socks were received. If that happens – it hasn’t yet – the customer picks a new pair and DVT ships it to them. Weeks will have passed.
A couple of thoughts here. Why does it matter when the socks were bought if there’s a lifetime guarantee? “It was bought within my lifetime,” would seem to be good enough. Why do the ruined socks have to go a padded envelope or sturdy box when they’d easily fit inside a regular manilla envelope without padding? Also, since it’s DVT’s shoddy merchandise that needs replacing, why aren’t they paying for return shipping?
You know what I believe? I think DTV want to make the process as much of a pain in the ass as possible to keep people from requesting replacement socks. I’ll bet it works, too, for a large part of the time. Not with my man. He might be a little gullible, but he hates to be taken for a sucker. If his future pairs of Darn Tough socks survive for as little time as the last one, he’ll be in line at the post office again… and again… and again… until the Warranties Department knows him on a first-name basis.
One way or another, those socks are gonna last him a lifetime.
Darn Tough of Vermont, you disappointed my guy.