Nike Faces Complaints after High-Tech Shoes’ Release

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. ton / tʌn / (n) – a great amount of something

    Because the product was marketed well, the company received tons of orders for it.

  2. get (one’s) hands on (something) / gɛt hændz ɑːn / (idiom) – to find or be able to own something

    The company’s supporters finally got their hands on the latest smartphone model after waiting for a year.

  3. plague / pleɪg / (v) – to trouble someone about something

    The shop was plagued by complaints because of its defective items.

  4. glitch / glɪtʃ / (n) – an unexpected problem that affects the function of something

    Many customers complained that their new smartphone had glitches.

  5. troubleshoot / ˈtrʌbəlˌʃuːt / (v) – to identify problems, usually with computers or machines, and fix them

    She tried to troubleshoot and fix her camera by herself using a manual.


Read the text below.

The much-awaited release of Nike’s newest self-lacing shoes was met with tons of complaints from some unhappy consumers.

Dubbed “the future of sneakers,” the $350 Adapt BB sneakers feature self-lacing technology that can be controlled through a smartphone app. The app, which is available in both Android and iOS versions, can be used to tighten or loosen the shoes to make them match the user’s activity perfectly.

Several customers were excited to get their hands on Adapt BB since the futuristic shoes were announced in late 2018. The model sold out just an hour after its launch. However, days after the release, Nike was plagued by complaints from Android users who experienced technical glitches with their shoes.

Numerous reviews on Google’s Play Store carried complaints that the Android app is not working correctly. Some mentioned that the app failed to connect to the left shoe, while others said that the shoes’ self-lacing feature stopped working after the app updated.

A software engineer who also bought the sneakers blamed the glitches on Nike’s alleged poor quality check efforts. In a tweet, he accused the company of not checking the Android app as meticulously as it did the iOS version, given that Apple users are not experiencing the glitches reported by Android users.

In response to the complaints, Nike assured customers that it is doing its best to resolve the issues. In its website, Nike posted tips to troubleshoot problems with the sneakers. The company also urged customers to contact Nike Consumer Services if issues with the products arise.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How would you react if you were one of the consumers who experienced glitches with Adapt BB? Discuss.
• Do you think Nike’s response to the complaints is good enough? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• How do you think a product malfunction can affect the reputation of a big company?
• In what ways can a company recover from a product malfunction issue? Explain.