'These shoes have broken. The tops are fine, but they've all crumbled at the heel.'
'I see that madam, but I've worked here for nearly five years and I've never seen this brand.'
'Well, I don't think it's a very good advert for them to break! I buy [company] because of the quality!'
'I appreciate that, madam, but as I say, these shoes are quite old now. If they sit in a cupboard unworn for, possibly, upwards of five years, this does happen. [explains some of the science]'
'Well, I expect them to last! There's nothing you can do?'
'No, it's an old barcode even, the till won't recognise them.'
'I'll leave them with you then. Send them back to the warehouse with a complaint!'
[Later, the employee calls up his old boss who's been with the company much longer.]
'Do you remember a brand of shoes called [brand]?'
'Um, how do you know that word? They've not done them for eight or so years!'