...but it seems I was wrong - and I am happy to report it was the good folks at Merrell who proved me wrong. It is my "one-star" review above, to which Merrell promised to respond swiftly and to be in touch. They did, they were, and they were helpful, considerate and genuinely sympathetic. The matter has been discussed at length and resolved to this customer's utter satisfaction. In an ideal world all companies would behave like this towards their customers. From one star to five stars, and rather than refusing to buy again, I shall try again knowing that I am buying a product from a company that genuinely cares about its products, its brand, its image, but most of all, its customers. I can therefore report that customer service is alive and well in the corner of the world that Merrell work in.