A Missouri man claims Bass Pro Shops owes him substantial damages, disputing a lifetime warranty the retailer offered on socks.
Selling socks to one man could cost Bass Pro Shops a lot more than the company spreadsheets likely forecasted. Kent Slaughter, a Bass Pro customer from Missouri, claims the outdoor outlet failed to honor a lifetime warranty it offered on its RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Wool Socks.
As a result, Slaughter and his legal team are claiming $5 million in damages.
Sacramento, California’s Singleton Schneider LLP represents Slaughter in the suit, filed July 8. Several other customers have joined Slaughter in the suit, which is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Bass Pro Sock Lawsuit: Lifetime or Limited?
According to court documents, Slaughter bought 12 pairs of the socks in question between 2014 and 2021. Packaging on the socks, the documents say, included the phrase “the last sock you’ll ever need to buy,” with a stated lifetime guarantee.
Elsewhere, the suit says, Bass Pro issues advertising statements like “[t]hese socks are backed by our Lifetime Guarantee” and “[i]f ever they wear out, just return them for a FREE replacement!”
Slaughter said the guarantees played a major role in his repeated decisions to buy the socks.
But according to the suit, Bass Pro Shops changed the product customers received as a warranty replacement in 2021. Since then, it alleges, the retailer replaces returned “lifetime warranty” socks with different pairs that come with a 60-day warranty.
As soon as the 60-day period ends, the customer can no longer return the socks for a warranty replacement.
The suit argues that discrepancy renders Bass Pro’s original lifetime guarantee “unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent.” It points out that Slaughter himself successfully returned and received lifetime warrantied socks several times leading up to 2020, but then began receiving the 60-day warrantied socks in return.
The result, it argues, is that the socks feature a limited warranty — not a lifetime guarantee.
It goes on to speculate that a visible pattern added to the new 60-day warrantied socks serves the purpose of alerting store staff to the difference between them and the previous, lifetime-warrantied versions.
In all, the class-action suit levels five charges against Bass Pro Shops, including one count each of Breach of Warranty and Fraud. It says the brand “continues to sell thousands” of the socks to consumers based on the lifetime warranty, which it calls a “hollow promise.”
RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Wool Socks retail for $12 MSRP. As of this writing, Bass Pro had pulled the socks from its website and Cabela’s, which it also owns.