dkzach - Call 206.632.1601 and ask for Ron. He will get you taken care of.
We had a small issue with last year's Nano Heelcups. Looks like you got one of the bad pair.
In regards to the Aluminum hardware - Don't over tighten these. If you are worried about over tightening or the high maintenance nature of aluminum hardware, just use the steel hardware that came in your box.
Give Ron a call and ask him to cover shipping too.
Sorry for the inconvenience!!!
Now that is what I call Customer Service!