Hi All! I wanted to reach out to the community for some advice regarding a somewhat uncomfortable situation. I don’t have any horsey contacts so I’m looking to you guys for some feedback. Some back story here, I have just begun riding casually again as an adult, I’m a 1x a week lesson-er. I began my search for a saddle within my barn, inquiring with a trainer if there was anything for sale. I was offered to look a Voltaire(our barn is sponsored by them) however the fit was a little large. After this ride I was informed that another client had set up an appointment with a representative for the following week, and I would be able to ask them my questions and be fitted then. There was never any mention of cost associated with this interaction.
The following week the representative is 3 &1/2 hours late to our appointment, fine I understand traveling on the road stuff happens. We try a few saddles and agree on measurements for a right fit. At the conclusion of the ride we sit down and draw up a quote for a new saddle with my preferences. During this time there is not mention of cost of consultation/time involved up to this point. Along with discussing cost of a new saddle I inquired about how to obtain a used saddle. They looked up their inventory and they told me there was 1 in another state however they were sure the representative there would not give it up. I followed up with the questions of how frequently do they come available, do you foresee any availability in the new future. The answer I received was “no, you size is very common, anything that becomes available will be sold before we even know about it”. Okay, so I asked what their opinion was on purchasing online as I have been looking on Facebook & tack sale websites. They tell me with anything used Voltaire cannot uphold their warranties etc… Again no mention of any cost for the fitting. We conclude our meet with a quote for a new saddle, and a short discussion about follow up. I let them know I will need a few weeks to decide what is right, and I want to explore my options. Now after multiple times relaying that this sale was not a guarantee, and multiple opportunities had on their part no mention of cost for their time had occurred.
Fast forward a few weeks I have been busy looking for a nice used saddle, posting in various groups etc…I have even had a few discussions with the trainer,any other saddles in house, about purchasing online, they recommend Equitack.com as a good place to look. I post an ISO ad on Facebook and get lots of responses. After weighing my options I decide to purchase a saddle from another company that happened to have a used one in stock. Said representative does their follow up, and I inform them of my decision to not purchase new, but I have found a saddle myself. There should be no surprise among any party that buying used independently was an option.
This is where it all goes downhill. Rep does not answer but instead reaches out to the trainer who set up the meet, saying that they feel used, and would like to be compensated. Trainer reaches out to me in defense of the representative saying that I should have used the representative to secure a saddle. I will reference to above where I inquired about used and the rep. made little to no effort to find one. In the weeks after our visit not once did they reach out with any viable options for a used saddle. Aside from the fitting, which they were there for another client to begin with there was no effort to find a saddle for me. Now I’m apologizing to my trainer because I had no idea that with a fitting was a commitment to one rep. In my time doing research I have read from multiple people to try lots of things before you buy. Meaning that inevitably someone would not be making a sale. Back to the rep, now that they have learned we will not be doing business they demand $450 for the rights to take my measurements elsewhere!
So herein lies my question, has anyone been charged for a saddle fitting thru Voltaire. The rep. tells me this is credited back to you upon purchase, has anyone seen this charge on their invoice? There has never been a figure discussed until I graciously let them know I will not being doing business with them. As a person in sales for many years a significant number such a this, I would think would be notified up front before any service rendered? I am feeling bullied by both this rep & the trainer involved. I truly feel that this is not a kosher transaction, and the rep. is being petty for missing out on a sale. Can anyone give advice on how to approach both the rep. and trainer?
Thank you for taking the time to read through!