Poor quality Hunter wellies

by Mars
poor quality hunter wellies

Just over two years ago we invested in a pair of gardener Wellington boots, and we are extremely disappointed by these poor quality Hunter wellies.

When they first arrived, I was very pleased them. They felt rugged, and they were very comfortable. They had a reinforced sole that you could use to dig holes with because the spade wouldn’t damage them.

But sadly, they’ve lasted a little bit over two years. You can watch the video below where I talk about the boot, and the sustainability of purchasing so-called premium products.

As a customer that takes sustainability very seriously, I will no longer be buying any products from Hunter. They have a poor quality product and their customer support has been nothing short of appalling.

poor quality hunter wellies

Poor quality Hunter wellies: customer support transcript

As part of my complaint, I sent Hunter a long, courteous email saying that we were loyal customers. Between my wife and I, we have several expensive pairs of wellies. I received the following response – I’ve removed the Brand Ambassador’s name:

Thank you for contacting us.

We are sorry to hear about your issues experienced and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Our warranty period covers 24 month from date of purchase.
Unfortunately, as your boots are out of our warranty period, we are unable to offer a replacement.

For the inconvenience we would like to offer you a 25% discount for your next order of full price product of our website. This discount is applied to your email address and will be deducted automatically at checkout.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
(Name removed)
Brand Ambassador

That, to my mind, is not an apology. They’re sorry I paid them for a premium boot, that it’s now faulty and an inconvenience. As a follow up email, I asked Hunter why their product was poorly made, and that I had lost faith in their brand. The same Brand Ambassador replied:

We are sorry that you are feeling this way.

Unfortunately, if the boots are out of our warranty period we are unable to offer a replacement.

Our offer for the 25% discount still stands and can be used at any time.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Kind Regards,
(Name removed)
Brand Ambassador

I am perplexed by the lack of customer service from a brand that has worked so hard to create this image, and that they are so flippant and happy to lose a customer.

Consequently, they are dead to me as a brand and I will never support them by buying another one of their products. Spending hard-earned money on products that are produced by companies that don’t care about you as a customer is not something that sits well with me. And it’s not just me, they’ve alienated and lost as a customer.

Please leave a comment below if you’ve had a bad experience with Hunter (or a good one) and also feel free to recommend other brands that you’d recommend.

26 comments

Tilly G 4 August 2020 - 18:49

I also have totally lost faith in Hunter. My first pair for dog walking in the winter lasted 10 years. My new pair which I didn’t hesitate to buy lasted a very disappointing 6 months. These where then replaced by hunter. That pair lasted 3 months which yet again where replaced in February 2020.
Today I noticed this pair are also letting in water and have split at the seems again. I only wore them March and April and the last 3 or 4 days again just for dog walking. I won’t ask for another replacement as I know they won’t last as they are no longer well made. Compared to my first pair the product is very cheap and flimsy put together now.

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Mars 4 August 2020 - 19:04

Thanks Tilly. We’ve also sadly lost all faith in the brand. Some of my wife’s Hunter boots are also taking strain with minimal use. It’s a shame when good brands with quality products deteriorate like this.

It’s time to find a replacement brand.

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Jo Birch 1 September 2020 - 13:01

Hello Mars,
I have only just read your comments here.
I could not agree with you more.
I have just left a comment on Trustpilot regarding a long standing (unresolved) problem.
Their so called customer service leaves a lot to be desired and they don’t deserve to stay in business. Time will tell if they do.
Stay safe and well.
Jo Birch

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Jacci Alexander 16 September 2020 - 17:53

Just got my well stored Hunter wellies out to do some power washing.
Aghast they are all cracked on the ankles.
They are over 24 mo this old but havent have 24 hours wear.
Absolutely dismayed. Why are they so expensive if they behave like cheap run of the mill?

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Mars 17 September 2020 - 09:37

Sorry to hear about your wellies. It’s a shame to see a brand like Hunter sell out in a bid to make money over producing high quality products, and frankly there’s no excuse for the premium price tag given the poor quality boots they now produce.

I will never buy Hunter boots again.

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Maggie Baur 27 September 2020 - 13:42

I agree with the above customers. I lived on a farm for 35 years and bought 2 pairs of Hunter wellies in that time. Since then I have moved and have a very large garden and go for frequent walks. During the past 6 years I have had to buy 3 replacement Hunter wellies. Each pair has split down the leg and ankle part of the boot. So disappointing, because they cost a fortune , which is fine if they last, but now they are made in China or Asia and they are rubbish.

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Mars 28 September 2020 - 10:13

Thank you for your feedback and comment Maggie.

It is very disappointing to see a brand such as Hunter “sell out” and to no longer provide a high-quality, long-lasting product. As you’ve correctly pointed out, spending a lot of money on a product is fine, provided that it lasts a long time which is in line with our “buy well, buy once” ethos. This is sadly no longer the case with Hunter.

Out of curiosity, have you found a replacement brand?

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Michelle 7 October 2020 - 18:32

Hi. I have just sent Hunter an email as my boots that I’ve also have for just over 2 years are falling apart. I don’t have confidence they will give me a replacement from your experience. Let’s wait and see. Thank you for writing this blog.

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Mars 8 October 2020 - 15:13

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Michelle. Our boots were also a tad over the 2-year warranty period and they refused to budge. I have seen so many comments on other websites and social media, and it’s surprising that Hunter have not tried to address the issue of quality and longevity of their products.

Please let us know what Hunter get back to you with. It’ll be very interesting to see.

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John Bowen 31 October 2020 - 15:59

Hunter have totally lost the plot on rubber technology – to talk a little technically, their products now have zero ozone resistance [ozone is present in the atmosphere in minute [parts pe billion, ppb] quantities, bur enough to attack natural rubber unless additives called ‘antiozonants’ are included in the mixture. Since relocating their production eastwards to China or other Asian sites, their products have been characterised as of non-existant ozone resistance – a nonsense for products aimed at outdoor activities!! As a rubber industry professional of 40 plus years standing, , I would recommend Le Chameau or Aigle as competent high-end manufacturers who know what they are doing in Natural Rubber, or alternatively use Dunlop PVC wellies as a perfectly good ‘cheap and cheerful’ alternative.

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Mars 31 October 2020 - 17:37

Thank you for the detailed insights John. Very interesting. I’ve just ordered a pair of Dunlop wellies as replacements. The price tag on Le Chameau and Aigle is currently more than we can spend on wellies.

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Kate 12 November 2020 - 14:28

Hi there.. I spent 8 years contacting hunter and emailing back and forth about 3 pairs.. yes THREE pairs of Hunter wellies that did not last two years between them! I sent photos.. resent photos… offered to walk into their Edinburgh offices with them personally…. but they stalled and stalled… they ‘lost’ my photos… the emails… there was a new company changeover (apparently about 5 times!) so I’d have to start all over again with my boot details…. then they said as I was by then 3 years over warranty.. i was too late. So 8 bombarded their fb page.. Instagram page… linked in ceo page…. and repeated same letter of complaint about my crappy boots… now I have 7 pairs of hunters dating back from the 80S.. I have bought at least 5 pairs as gifts for friends … so I’d say I’m a loyal customer… but the6 didn5 give a damn till I covered their PR. Pages with accusations. Then some one eventually called me And as a ‘ curtesy’ agreed to s3nd me ONE new pair. I was so exhausted ( dealing with Lyme and co infection and all the nasties they bring! ) I just accepted the one pair… at least I had a non leaking pair to wear when walking through fields and streams…. and was glad I was done with dealing with HUNTER. BUT WOULD YOU Adam and Eve it?! Barely six months later… both boots began to deteriorate in the same places around the ankle again.. and then the holes appeared and I’m back to bloody leak8ng boots just as winter 🥶 Heads this way. I’ve not warn them much in the summer either… Bloody disgraceful. I’ve been in contact with them again… after three emails with photos and details and a copy of the last email from the previous hunter minion who sent me the last pair… they’ve just told me I will be getting a new pair… but they may not be the same style (?! As far as i can tell women’s balmoral neoprene only come in one style, two colours!) I’ve asked them to call me to explain… but I won’t hold my breath! 🤪. I have my pair from the 80s… they have lasted all this time… sadly too small fir me… but why change manufacturers if it’s making them with substandard rubber. It’ll cost them more in the end!

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Mars 13 November 2020 - 21:30

Wow. That is shocking. I do, however, admire your perseverance, and it’s disgraceful that the new pair lasted six months. Ridiculous. I don’t understand how companies can continue functioning this way.

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Kate Petrie 12 November 2020 - 14:30

Ps.. le chameau definitely the way to go…. according to my friends… they last forever… and apparently customer care brilliant!

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Mars 13 November 2020 - 21:32

The issue with Le Chameau is the price tag. My new pair of heavy duty Dunlop’s arrived today. I’ll unbox tomorrow and we’ll put together a review. At first glance, they look incredibly robust and durable.

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Diane Evans 21 November 2020 - 14:29

Bought my first pair of Hunters just over two years ago – A very expensive purchase I thought. They have only had light wear dog walking but I have just noticed they have started to crack across the top and on the ankle. I was going to complain as they are not value for money and cheaper ones have lasted longer. It is a shame because the brand is high profile and will continue to attract customers unaware that the are not paying for a quality product. Thank you for the suggestions of alternatives – it is not worth buying another pair.

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Mars 22 November 2020 - 08:55

Thanks for the comment Diane. I have seen endless comments on our site and on social media about the poor quality of Hunter boots. Honestly, I’m surprised that they’re not losing market share and that they’re not suffering as a business. For brands like Hunter, repeat customers must be essential to their survival. A real shame.

My new pair of Dunlop boots arrived last week. I’ll be reviewing those in the coming weeks. As a first impression, they look really well made.

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B.longman 26 November 2020 - 11:36

My last pair hunters lasted 10yrs unfortanly the heels worn down.so decided to buy another pair had them 2yrs the sole hardly worn yet cracked around ankle area so dissapointeted the rubber is poor quality for such expensive wellies

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James Alcock 7 December 2020 - 01:32

I own a new company which makes a top quality wellington boot which is designed in Canada and hand-made in India using only pure natural rubber. I have worn them through the harsh Canadian winter and they are now on their second Canadian winter and are still in perfect shape. I am planning to market these boots in the UK and I would be most happy to send you a pair to try out.

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Mars 7 December 2020 - 11:34

Thank you for contacting us James. We would be interested to review your boots. Please contact us by sending an email to contactus@myhomefarm.co.uk

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Deborah Beauclerk 8 December 2020 - 16:34

I had same problem my Hunter Boots. I purchased a year and half ago but only started wearing a month ago when got a dog. They started pealing and splits started appearing I was so shocked. I have emailed Hunter and sent pictures you can see there is no wear in the tread so they can see they have hardly been worn. I have not got my receipt as my daughter paid for birthday present. Hunter have washed there hands off any responsibility I’m so shocked. Never again purchase Hunter they are a disgrace.

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Mars 8 December 2020 - 21:48

So sorry to hear this Deborah. You, like scores of people we’ve heard from, have wiped their hands off Hunter. It’s really disappointing to see the brand crash and burn as a result of cheap manufacturing and non-existent customer service. There is absolutely no reason to continue supporting them.

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Sandy Carrick-Buchanan 12 January 2021 - 17:30

Do what I did…threaten to fire out social media comments, write to The Field, Shooting Times, Country Life etc and they relented.

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Deborah Pollock 14 December 2020 - 22:06

Similar experience for me .
I was gifted a pair and unfortunately mislaid receipt as I moved house .
I did find it although 3 years after purchase date .
The boots started to get white patches very soon after I received them .As a result they were not worn much .
They were stored and cleaned as recommended but the condition of the boots worsened, the top layer peeled off !
My experience with customer service was also appalling.
Nobody ever gave me a proper explanation as to why this happened.
As a previous person has stated their response was a standard apology .
I asked for a manager to review the case . I was assured I’d hear within 72 hours. That didn’t happen so I had to contact them again.
The manager didn’t even read my emails as my problem was still not addressed.
I asked again for a reason and was given the recommendation for storing the boots . I explained that I had cared for the boots as recommended. I was once again given the standard apology and told to contact customer service with any further comments. In other words two emails to a manager,no questions answered, nobody accountable and no resolution or follow up care given .
I stated I’d join the long list of complaints but they didn’t care .
Extremely poor product and service!

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Mars 14 December 2020 - 22:11

Thank you for your comment Deborah and for sharing your poor experience with Hunter.

I completely agree; their customer service is appalling and they simply don’t care. After multiple complaints, they offered us a 20% discount on our next purchase. Absolutely laughable.

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Sandy Carrick-Buchanan 12 January 2021 - 17:27

Was a pair of full length zip balmorals (neoprene). £195…lasted six months before cracking around the toe bend. Complained and was given some guff around not being able to claim on warranty for GDPR reasons as I was not the account holder (the person who gave me them had had the temerity to die, which I had explained, so was unable to exume their grave and ask them in person). Kept stalling and stalling until I threated to splatter them over every social media site and country publication, and they relented and said they’d honour the warranty…BUT now they only have one pair of boots in stock (leather version at £350). Not a single pair of tall wellies on the Hunter website apart from them. They keep putting some on for a couple of days (with zero stock levels) then taking them down again. So I can’t exercise the warranty, which they say I need to do by the end of next month. Customer services worse than useless and clearly based in China as they only send emails in the middle of our night. Never, ever again. Le Chameau (although they seem to have offshored to Morocco) or Aigle from now on. A proud British brand wrecked. Nice on, Mr Private Equity.

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