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[Fill in the Blank] Customer Service experience

Storytime!

2 years ago my horse came into my life. His previous mom had tragically died of COVID, and her friends were tasked with finding him a good home. He is an amazing boy, so one ride and my daughters and I were in love!

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When it came time to purchase a bridle for Carumba, there was only one brand I wanted. [Brand] is considered top notch and coveted by many. We have owned several horses and ponies over the years, so I am familiar with most of the brands out there. I took the plunge and purchased the $800 bridle. Once it arrived, I used all of the cleaning and conditioning products I already had for my Butet saddle. It looked great!

Twenty rides later…the stitching starts unravelling. I ride on the weekends, and my trainer uses her own tack. The flaws were mostly seen on the browband, but some other areas too. I removed the browband (and put on a sparkly fun browband) and inquired about sending the browband back. I was told that I needed to send the WHOLE bridle back.

Life happens and I’m very busy. I could never find the original browband, so the bridle languished in my garage, in an open box. Did it get dirty? Apparently so. Eventually I ordered another browband from [BRAND].

About three months ago the rep at [BRAND] called me to ask when I was sending back the bridle. OH! I thought! What great customer service - they followed up! They are going to fix it! What a relief! So, I send it back.

A week goes by. Nothing. Second week. I get a call from someone in Florida today. It is [BRAND]. I quickly find that rather than a nice conversation, we are slated for an unpleasant one. I am basically berated for filthy my bridle is and how it has been so long since I bought it. She specifically mentioned that my bridle had a ROUGH LIFE, etc. (after 20 rides and a year and a half stint sitting in a box?) Also, the Butet cleaner and conditioner I used have EATEN the leather. What? I mean, really? The leather is THAT fragile? So this tirade goes on for awhile, and i am just silent. Finally when she takes a breath I say “Noted.” That starts her up again and she says “WHAT DID YOU EXPECT WOULD HAPPEN?” and I replied, quite honestly, “I thought you would replace or fix the stitching on the bridle.” Nope, more ranting. She’s been in the business XXX years…blah blah blah.

So yeah…[FILL IN THE BLANK] because all signs seemed to indicate that I would receive GOOD customer service. But instead…I received TERRIBLE customer service.

Anyone know anything about the Voltaire bridles? I might have to give one a shot!

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Okay but now I am curious–what brand is this? Is it French? Or does it start with an H and end with an s? PM is fine too. There’s a couple brands I can think of where I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised by this, and one or two I would be super disappointed if they behaved this way.

I don’t have a Voltaire bridle but do have one of their 5 point breastplates. It’s okay. Leather is nice enough, but after 6 years of not heavy use the stitching to the strap that goes to the girth has totally failed. I much prefer English leather strap goods, personally. I won’t likely go French again.

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So, @Sunny_s_Mom are they going to at least send you your horribly filthy and roughly used bridle back?

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Trubandloki – Supposedly Yes! But maybe if they see my grumbly thread here they might just toss it in the trash!

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OR…
There may possibly be someone at [BRAND] with an iota of sense.
Who realizes 1 unhappy customer = 10 happy ones.
IIWM, I’d try contacting someone higher up the ladder at [BRAND] & state your case.
You might:
*get your bridle back, in the original “abused & filthy” state
*get your bridle back with stitching redone
*get back your bridle with stitching redone & a new browband
*get your bridle back with stitching redone, new browband & an apology

WTH, can’t get worse, might get better :woman_shrugging:

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I’m very happy for you with your nice new horse, even if the circumstances were sad in the manner you acquired him. And lucky pony to have landed w you.
If you would, could you share the brand? There are several bridle threads right now and I think we all would appreciate a heads up. Especially for that kind of money. Thank you!

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I believe that I spoke with Cindy Hadfield. Is there a higher up?

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If she’s The BRAND owner, then no.

I had a run-in with Valley Vet many (30+) years ago & ended up speaking with a guy who claimed to own the company :unamused:
He was less than accommodating, so though their error vastly benefitted me*, I let it go.:smirk:

*Ordered 2 gallons Red Cell.
Received 2 nylon halters, 2 tack hooks & 2 Weathabeeta turnouts, that coincidentally were the right size for my horses.
As Asshat’s solution was - without hearing what I’d received in error - was to ship back at my expense & they would then resend the Red Cell.
I sent back the halters & hooks.
Got 20 more years use from the blankets :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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@Sunny_s_Mom, I asked Hadfield’s to make a caveson years ago. It was an expensive, epic fail AND the leather looked like that painted stuff. Never again.
I ordered something from Valencia Saddlery today by phone. The person I spoke w was wonderful. They have a gorgeous bridle made by Horseman that I’d not seen before. I do not need a bridle but I might need that bridle😀.

Try the In Gate Bridle that Jimmy Sardelli is making. his customer service is top notch. he really cares if you are happy. Full disclosure he is my friend. but also, I have 2 of his bridles and they are lovely.

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I had another similar experience 10+ years ago with a brand owner that I won’t out here. My shipment was delayed due to a FedEx truck accident/fire. They shipped me a new one when they heard everything was destroyed (We’re now 25 days and multiple emails after my order was placed). Several days/weeks later I got an email that supposedly my original package was delivered and I’d need to send it back now or they’d be charging my credit card for the purchase. They’re a small business and they cannot afford to give me free product.

The problem? I only received the order the resent. I never got the original “damaged order that turns out wasn’t damaged and was actually delivered on some mystery date 2 weeks before.” I was told I needed to check with all neighbors and find it because the driver delivered it and I would be charged. I hadn’t used the new order and I offered to send that back if they refunded my money (supplement wasn’t workin for my horse), but they said I could send it back instead of the one “I claimed not to receive.”

In the end, they let it go. They had no proof of delivery photo and I might have suggested contesting credit card charges.

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Ooooo I love a good story time. Here is my currently ongoing saga.

Dec 2022, I purchase brand new tall boots from [BRAND]. They’re so beautiful, I decide they are going to be my next pair of show boots. I decide not to wear them until my next show. Not even break them in, just take them straight out of the box and into the show ring.

Life… happens. Turns out my next show is not until Sep 2023. The boots live in my climate controlled house, in the original packaging, until they are lovingly placed in my show boot bags and taken to the show. They have literally never been to a barn, or even touched the ground at this point.

Day 1, I show in them. Life is grand. Schooling round + 2 over fences and a flat class. I Immediately take them off, return them to boot bags for Day 2.

Day 2. Repeat of Day 1. Schooling round + 2 over fences and a flat class. EXCEPT - immediately following my flat class, the zipper on my Right boot breaks. Are you freaking kidding me? These boots are BRAND NEW.

Following the show, I reach out to [BRAND]. I send an email, with pictures. [BRAND] tells me they need to consult with the Manufacturer. They come back and offer me 2 options. 1) I can send the ONE boot back to Europe, and they will replace the zipper and return the boot to me. OR 2) They can send me a zipper, I can pay to have a local cobbler replace the zipper. When pressed, they say they will cover the fee for the cobbler.

I decide to go with Option 2. The boot is currently with the cobbler. The jury is out as to if or how I will recoup the expense.

Disappointed overall with the quality of the product AND the response. Not even a token store credit offered for my time or my troubles!

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OMG that is terrible!! I think you picked the correct choice. If you send back any product you run the risk of receiving a lecture on being a bad boot owner - and bad person even - for sending back such bad dirty no good day boots!

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