Fair Go: Marching team's South Island championship hopes take a tumble after Korkers fails to deliver on order

It was the day before the South Island Championships. A big deal on any marching band's calendar.

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It took getting Fair Go on the case for the Christchurch marching group to have the matter sorted. Source: Fair Go

The All Stars Marching Band from Christchurch had plenty of talent, and a smart, well-tailored uniform but between the two teams, only a couple of pairs of shiny new boots.

So what to do?

Julia Allen, who runs the team said: "We scrounged around other clubs to get old second-hand boots".

One pair was 15-years-old, another one had good old superglue holding the heel in place. Not ideal, and a far cry from the 12 pairs of brand-spanking new boots they'd ordered three months before.

Last August, they'd finally raised enough money to put in an order. Peter Marr, a trusted supplier based near Timaru was inundated with work, so the team decided to try their luck with a new kid on the block, Korkers in Hamilton.

Ms Allen explained: "We thought it's a new business let's give them a go, their template at the nationals last year was really good, their leather was lovely."

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, only three pairs of boots were delivered on time, and they were far from perfect. Ms Allen recalls her dismay when she unwrapped them.

"Some were not even leather across the toe, one badly shaped so you could fit two legs into one, it was bizarre, they were so bad".

She sent them back, figuring they'd be easy to fix. But they weren't and when the next few pairs came, they had problems too.

Ms Allen had, had enough, and wanted to give Korkers their marching orders. She sent the boots back, and asked for a refund.

Back came a letter from the solicitors saying they'd be in touch, but as the girls all got ready for their last practice before the South Island Championships in December, they had no new boots, and no refund.

What's more, all communication had stopped despite repeated calls and messages.

"The fact that they won't talk to us, that they can't pick up the phone and call you, where's the professionalism? And it really frustrates us, it's frustrated all of us and don't know where to go from here," Ms Allen complains.

It turns out, a call from Fair Go was all it took. Through their solicitors, Korkers promptly paid the refund into their account, and gave us their reasoning for the problems.

The company said the delay was due to their supplier's entire stock of white leather being unexpectedly purchased by another business, and that the defects were minor and could have been rectified if they'd been given the chance.

But the only thing the All Stars team wanted to hear was that a refund had been paid, which meant new boots would be on the way.

Those boots were a rush job for Peter Marr and his tried and tested business, but he got them finished in time for the girls to practice for the National Championships last weekend.

And it seems they provided a much-needed boost, with the girls under-16 girls winning first place for their technical and display performances, and the under-12s getting second place for technical, and third place for display.