NEWS- Article's tough <i>on</i> the customer

I am writing in response to Alan Zimmerman's report on my disagreement with Eljo's ["What a drag: Charles Marsh and the case of the shoes," May 29].

This is the case regarding an expensive pair of Aldens whose heels broke down after only two wears. I was referred to the Hook's "Tough Customer" as a local consumer advocate, but the column, at least in this case, should be called "Tough on the Customer."

Trent Thurston, the co-owner of Eljo's, speculates that most of the other shoes in my closet would show the same wear; but that speculation could have easily been dismissed had Eljo's or Mr. Zimmerman taken a look at my other shoes.

The article doesn't mention my request for a refund, though it does allow Mr. Thurston to claim that I acted unreasonably and would not be satisfied by any action by the store. I was never offered a refund.

The article gives Mr. Thurston space to hold forth on his "firing the customer," that is, his firing of me as a customer. It is of course completely disingenuous to fire a customer who has been sold a pair of defective shoes. What a preposterous notion, firing the customer, that remarkably goes unchallenged by the "Tough Customer."

In the end, the Hook got an interesting article, Eljos keeps my $270, and I'm stuck with a bum pair of shoes.

Charles Marsh