**update: I tweeted this to Finishline and got no response. Furthermore I requested an RMA last Saturday and never got an email as of today 10/2/2015*

Back in the 2000’s I avoided Finishline on Jordan release days because their inventory wasn’t updated in real time. If I added a pair to the cart, I could check out and think “Sweet, I got my pair and can go to back to sleep  !” Too bad I’d get a message from customer service two days later saying they were sorry we ran out of stock. My Jordan collecting days ended around 2006 as JB starting coming out with their garbage so I didn’t have to deal with Finishline anymore.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more sensitive to how a customer should be treated and I can tell you right now Finishline is terrible and here’s why.


I buy 99% of my stuff online so it’s great when I can buy a pair or two or three try them on and return them for free. I paid the $40 to join Eastbay Platinum Club for the expedited shipping and free returns and it’s been fantastic because I can just ship stuff back if they don’t fit, no questions asked. We can all thank Mister Tony Hsieh for creating the best in the business customer service with Zappos.  No questions asked, free shipping and returns, friendly reps. Just perfect . There are no free returns with Finishline unless you return it at a store and that’s where the fun begins.

Finishline has its priorities confused. It’s online sales pit itself against its instore sales. If you buy a pair of shoes off their website and return it to the store, the store gets dinged for the return. However, if a store ships a pair of shoes placed via Finishline.com they don’t get credit for the sale. How do I know that?


Dear Finishline store 12334,  I do not care if your store sales are hurting for the day. Just let me return my stuff without hassle or trying to give me a guilt trip

I’ve done sales before and I know returns hurt margins but geez cool it with the guilt trip. There are better ways to retain sales than putting a guilt trip on a customer. Finishline is my last resort because of their focus on the bottom line versus the customer experience. Instead of the guilt trip, have the employees drill down to find out why they are returning the shoes. 

  • Are they too big or small
  • Uncomfortable
  • Pricing vs another competitor
  • Not the color they wanted
  • Looking for a different shoe? 

Then employees can offer a solution. You’ll get no thank you a lot of the time but that extra minute can help save the sale. Educate the employees about the product and you get fewer returns, better employees and happier customers. 

Also Finishline should not count online returns against the store or let the shoes the store ship count as the stores sales.  Doing so would eliminate the competition between online and in store sales.  Finishline is all one company so they should act like it. I get that Spiffs and contests are great for competition but not when it hurts the customer experience.

 By the way , you can’t return online purchases at the Finishlines at Macy’s. 

Don’t get my wrong, not every Finishline does this, just the ones that have been trained and told to do so. The lazier the employee, the easier it is to return and not here are this garbage #corporatepolicyhypocrasy

Also worth noting is the return policy is within 45 days. Eastbay/Footlocker/Champs and Dick’s is 90 days. 

Untrained Customer Service Reps

After the guilt trips I decided that next time I’ll return via mail


First off there isn’t a label included for returns. There is a label that you need to attach to the box that says the order number but you need to ship back at your own cost. 

Secondly, shouldn’t customer service  know the cost if there was a label ? And shouldn’t they know there isn’t a label ? 

I was asked if I was returning in store or mail. If I’m asking for an RMA that means I’m returning via mail Mr. customer service rep.

The total time for me to start my chat and get my RMAs took twenty minutes not including wait time! This process should take 5 minutes max. I finished a chat with Eastbay to get a shipping label in three minutes. 

Speaking of chat, I get this more often than not. This was taken on a Sunday at 4pm.. and Wednesday .. And Saturday . 

Flagged Accounts

I bought multiplr of Curry One Lows at another Finishline and was told to sign my receipt stating that I was not allowed to return the shoes at any store because they were flagging me as a reseller. If I were a reseller I would have been there at 6am not 2pm. Anyways, they were too small  after all so I put them up on eBay even though I made no money on them after fees. Wish I could have returned them :/ 

A few weeks ago I returned two pair of shoes and the manager asked me if I had been in there before and I said yes all the time. She questioned if I returned something before and I said yes? Probably? And she said yea it was you you returned three pair (I don’t remember that honestly and if the manager knew, why ask me? Don’t need the accusatory attitude). She then stated that I needed to watch my returns because they will flag me for too many returns and not allow me to return anything. What ?!

I spent xxx dollars in 12 months and you want to flag my account for returns ? Sneakerheads are a big reason stores make any money at all because to the common consumer, KD’s, Lebron’s and Jordans are too outlandish and crazy so be glad I took that inventory off your hand. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, I’m positive I spend the same amount in a week as a normal consumer spends in two or three years.


At least they put it in a box ?  Thanks Finishline. Luckily it was a pair of Run the Ones that I didn’t like so I just returned them… To the store where I was asked “is this an exchange or return?” and given a sob story. To Finishline’s credit, they will uses boxes for single pairs more often than baggies. 

Of course Finishline isn’t the only one who doesn’t box well. 
Always order two pair off Eastbay to avoid this. Do not order two off Finishline because you’ll get a sob story about your online return.

Can’t combine Winner’s Circle Rewards with Coupon Codes

So a Winner’s Circle Rewards is really just a coupon code since you can’t combine them with an actual coupon code. I mean you can’t combine them, why bother having two line items during check out? There is almost always a $10 off $60 or $100 so effectively you’re only saving $10 with a WC Reward unless of course you’re spending less than the coupon code.  At least there arr no minimums or restrictions. 

Last but not least 

Where did the free shipping go ? Every other pair of full retail price shoes gets free shipping including Curry Ones but not today on release day ? Really needed to eek out that extra $6.99? How’d that work out since there is still a full size run everywhere.  I can go to Eastbay or UA and get free shipping. Also worth noting is that when Finishline marks down a pair of shoes, free shipping goes away so that $20 discount is really $13. 



Ok I lied this is last but not least

 I got a VERY USED PAIR a few weeks ago from Finishline. I mean, I can understand how a slightly used pair can slip through the cracks but these are dirty, the insole logos are worn down and there is dirt on the soles.  

I tweeted Finishline with pics immediately but never received a response.  I emailed them and actually got a response that I could return them and that they’d send me a shipping label. I had to follow up three times to get a shipping label although they claimed it went to my spam ( I checked spam and it wasn’t in there). 

Furthermore, I have asked at least four times over the past week to to make sure I am not responsible for return shipping since it is their fault and never received an answer.  I have to go to the store for their mistake in which I need to listen to the sob story again and probably be told I can’t return anymore.  

**I never received an email from Finishline regarding shipping cost responsibility so I ended up taking to the store. I got a nice manager who agreed that the original store shouldn’t have taken the shoes back in the first place and definitely shouldn’t have shipped them out. He said he another customer received a worn pair the day before so it wasn’t a surprise. 

**I have not received a replacement Winner’s Circle Reward either even though I was told I would be getting another within 5-10 days . 

Ok thanks for reading my rant, I’ll be giving my money directly to the manufacturers or Eastbay from now on. Feel free to share your experience in the comments section 

9 Comment on “Finishline, Where the Customer Experience Comes Last

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