Good old-fashioned service. Good advice and will punch extra holes in your belt for free! On the down side I have sometimes found the rates for shoe repairs to be high - but that is what you pay for the convenience of this place.
I needed my boots repaired urgently and rang several businesses. One Step Ahead were pleasant on the phone and said they could do it by the next day, where as two others were a weeks wait. I dropped my boots off at 3.00pm and collected them at 2.00pm the next day. Good repair and was $26.50. The guy in the shop was friendly on drop off and pick up. He was the same guy from the 'tips' review because we discussed it when I collected my boots. I would definitely recommend One Step Ahead for friendly, fast and inexpensive service.
An absurd failure destined to join dodos, dinosaurs and video stores.
I have a vast collection of heels and am a big fan of investing in nicer shoes and replacing the heel tips when they wear through. Likewise for my boots although I get those re-soled. Replacing heel tips is super-easy; you order new tips online (around $6), pull the worn tips out with pliers and gently hammer in the new ones. However, once in a while I've worn the tips down to far and to get them out requires a proper tool which is what bought me to One Step Ahead in Ponsonby recently. I walked in and asked how much it would be to remove the worn down heel tips.
Before I'd finished speaking the man barked "$21" which is the price for the full replacement. I assumed he'd misheard due to not listening to what I was asking so, slightly taken aback by his hostility, I tried again. "Could I please just have the heel tips pulled out?" I asked. This was seemed to irritate the man and he snapped angrily "No, no, we don't do that. If you want to replace the heel tips it's $21" I was baffled by his aggression and for some reason felt I needed to fix things. "No, I don't need the heel tips replaced" I continued, "just pulled out. I have heel tips already but I've worn through them by walking in these shoes for too long. How much is it to pull the tips out please?"
This enraged the man as well as en-reddened him in the face. He got very angry and the angrier he got, the more puzzled and bemused I was. Our exchange continued like this:
One Step Ahead: We don't do that. You're taking business away from us. If you want the shoes fixed, it's $21 for the whole job.
Me: But I don't want to take business away. Look! I have shoes, I have NZ currency, I want to pay you for a service. I want to give you business.
One Step Ahead: That's taking business away from us.
At this point I realised that this was obviously not the first time a customer had requested this service, possibly due to prevalence of this thing called 'Google' which gives anyone searching for 'high heel repair' pages of advice and sites to buy heel tips. And that One Step Ahead, like many bricks and mortar stores in NZ, would rather rage against the internet than adapt and make money. So I took my shoes to a Mr Minit in a mall where they pulled the heel tips out for free. And then, as I was there, I had two pairs of boots resoled for good measure.
I'm not an accountant but I figure that if ten people go to One Step Ahead requesting that their heel tips be removed and are told that they have to pay $21 for the full replacement, maybe 3 of them will leave and 7 will get the full service. So that's 7x$21 which = $147. Given that I can usually pull the heel tips out at home in 2-3 minutes with the cheapest pliers I could find at the hardware store, I had in mind a figure of around $10 to have this done to by a professional. But I would have paid $15. And if 10 customers paid $15 each, One Step Ahead would have made an extra $3 and not had bad reviews and customers who will never ever return to have their boots re-soled.
Its really hard to feel any sympathy for shop owners who refuse to move with society and who feel entitled to be red-faced and shouty with frustration when you try to give them business. Avoid at all costs.