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View Full Version : what's a reasonable time to wait for antares rep to call back? ANOTHER UPDATE POst#82



myalter1
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:37 AM
I have a problem with my relatively new (less than a year old) Antares. Contacted rep through the Antares website contact form last week. No response. Sent her an email from my personal email early this AM. No response.

How long would you wait before trying to contact someone else at Antares?

Renn/aissance
Nov. 21, 2011, 10:44 AM
I would call your rep today.

pds
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:06 AM
I would be calling others if I didn't get a response within 48 hours. In this day and age of technology, there is really no reason for not getting back to a customer in a timely manner.

meupatdoes
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:21 AM
Agree with above.

It's 2011.

One business day.

KateKat
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:25 AM
My Antares rep always contacts me within 48 hours. I believe they all have iPhones so there is no reason why they can't be checking their emails on a regular basis.

myalter1
Nov. 21, 2011, 11:59 AM
That's how i felt too. And I am really unhappy that I am having a problem with this saddle, which I ride one horse in, 4 -5 times a week. It was custom to my horse and I can't afford to give it up to have it fixed. I have a Butet, but it doesn't fit him. Sorry for the vent.

Glad you all felt the same way I did (regarding prompt reply)

myalter1
Nov. 21, 2011, 12:39 PM
Emailed another person at Antares whose contact info I had from when i bought the saddle. He called me RIGHT back (within less than 5 minutes.) So now I have to take pictures of the affected area and send them to him. He was right on it and quite apologetic, saying he had never seen this happen before.

On the road to correcting the problem! Thanks, brad at antares!

Nuggets
Nov. 21, 2011, 02:48 PM
I had the worst time with Antares - I was ready to buy a saddle, and called again and again trying to get the rep to talk to me. Finally got a hold of him and picked up a saddle, put it on my horse, took photos, and emailed them to the rep - no response. Called 2 more times to get an opinion on fit - no response. Gave up, shipped the saddle to him, and bought a different brand instead.

Darden
Nov. 21, 2011, 03:19 PM
I couldn't get the rep to call me back to buy a saddle.

myalter1
Nov. 21, 2011, 03:52 PM
WOW Nuggets and Darden..where are you guys located? My rep called back about 20 minutes after I reached the other Antares guy and was really apologetic. Hopefully they can fix my issue quickly..they might have send my saddle to Illinois (yuk) or might have to repanel it.

Darden
Nov. 21, 2011, 04:54 PM
I bought something else that fits perfectly. I had a friend who also had a problem with fit and when she couldn't get the rep on the phone for weeks, I thought that this was a red flag and wouldn't want to deal with the lack of customer service.

forward ride
Nov. 21, 2011, 06:50 PM
stay on them. i have had issues with my CWD since I got it and they have gone through rep after rep in my area. i'm now dealing with the 3rd since buying my saddle and there's nothing in it for her (no commission). but finally she agrees that saddle does not fit horse, but, oh, now it's been so long I have to pay for it even though it was custom for this horse and I have documented evidence that I tried again and again to reach out to reps, actually had reps out who said saddle fit fine (who had no idea what they were talking about). be adamant. stay strong!

myalter1
Nov. 22, 2011, 07:53 AM
so far, they have been attentive (once I emailed the boss :) lol) let's see if it's a smooth and easily repaired issue (I hope!) I can't be without a saddle as my other saddle doesn't fit my horse..well, i should clarify that. My Butet did not fit him last year, when he was lacking muscle....

alto
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:23 PM
You can always request a demo etc to use while your saddle is being repaired, but if you have a difficult to fit horse, there may be no good options.

pds
Nov. 22, 2011, 01:39 PM
Finding good, honest, reps is diffucult for many saddle companies. It is the horse business after all.

Some of these saddle companies just burn through reps which make customer service very, very diffucult. I also think some of the reps leave once they realize how much work is involved and how little money they can actually make.

myalter1
Jan. 10, 2012, 12:26 PM
Ok so i STILL haven't been able to get the Antares rep out (car trouble, etc on her end..) and it's been almost 2 months!! Now, in addition to the defect, the saddle doesn't fit my horse, and the rep has.. GONE TO FLORIDA until mid-march! although, she said, 'maybe i can come back for a long weekend...'

REALLY? So i emailed the next higher up guy... who is trying to take care of the defect by having me ship the saddle to him in MD.. but he has asked me to wait until march to have it fit.. I emailed him Saturday that no, I didn't want to wait, can they send someone else.. No response yet. I emailed him again today. No response yet.

NOT HAPPY at this point with my Antares, the customer service, etc.

Just had to vent

NSRider
Jan. 10, 2012, 08:23 PM
Call them, go to the highest person you can get and explain the situation directly. Don't get super angry, but be firm in the fact that you are NOT impressed with how they have handled this and want a solution... NOW.

Good luck! From what I've read for several months, Antares seems like it has some severe issues with their customer service...

TrakHack
Jan. 10, 2012, 09:49 PM
Wow. I lead client service for the most profitable division of my company and your experience is so, so, so wrong.

If you haven't already, I would start a paper trail documenting the issue and dates and times of contacts. I would also express your disappointment with the situation and how you expected much more from Antares. Then I would offer them three options to resolve the situation: 1) correct the issue to your satisfaction within the next two weeks, 2) issue a full refund (and if they would like the saddle returned include a pre-paid shipping label with the refund), or 3) do nothing and expect you to generously share your negative experience with the relatively small community of high-end tack buyers. If there is still no response (or an unacceptable response), escalate to the highest person you can identify. We have had clients contact our CEO - that definitely gets attention.

I agree with the point about not getting super angry unless you are absolutely sure you don't want to deal with Antares at all ever again. It sounds like you have been very nice and reasonable to date - possibly too nice and reasonable.

It seems like there is a major disconnect in the service philosophy of Antares. A great product (or a product with a great reputation) can rarely overcome poor service.

Best of luck with this. Although I don't envy you, sometimes I would like to be on the "handing it" end instead of on the "getting it handed to you" end. Issues don't make their way to me unless someone is really unhappy!

Moesha
Jan. 10, 2012, 10:07 PM
I dropped my saddle off at Culpeper with the reps there and they were great they took it to the Silver Spring Maryland office to be fixed. It took sometime because the saddle had to go back to France to be repaired, I was working overeas for several months so it was not a problem, for me to wait that long, but it was shipped to me from France and the People at the Silver Spring office were fantastic. Good Luck. I love my Anatares and honestly after riding in them for 10 years cannot imagine riding in anything else.

1704 Ednor Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905
800.250.9284

bumknees
Jan. 11, 2012, 06:06 AM
Well having never delt with this company. I have no idea if this is their norm or not. But reading this and other threads on big $$ tack companies seem to treat their customers I doubt I will ever deal with them.

BUT if my ''rep'' first had car problems then suddenly could go south I would wonder if their auto was really the problem. I would be on hte phone with the local people( what ever office your rep workes out of) and state very plainly that 1) you've been trying for X time to contact rep. 2) she had excuses that seem to be ok on surface but could go south Ie auto problems. 3) no you will no longer do business with that particular rep but rather the person she reports to, if that person is not available then the next person up chain.
Oh yeah btw dont care if they are busy or not ( not necessarly that nice) you wish to speak to them now. if they are not available the next person up and soon so forth until that company ralizes I mean business. Oh yeah if ''everyone'' is suddenly busy say fine it appears you no longer want my business and I certinally do not wish to do business with a company who over charges, offers no customer support, and is unable unwilling to contact said customer when they havea problem with in a timely manner. Guess what normally happens suddenly all those people are out of their ''meetings''...

If they still by chance are in meetings I would send my purchase back and take my business elsewhere. And tell truth only when someone askes in person not on line. I have done this with a particular sat. tv company and when I had to contact the president of the company to get them to listen to the problem it is amazing what happened. Later the same company did something that to me was compleatly unacceptable. So I took my DVR and all the boxes I had set them on my sidewalk took hammer to each and everyone of them. Put them/the peices in box sent it off to the president of company with a note inside and COD... felt sooo good but I dont know if you want to dismantle your saddle...

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 08:37 AM
Oh guys, this isn't the HALF of it. And bumknees, no I don't think she had car trouble. I think she really didn't want to drive from Long Island to my part of NJ, but that is, of course my opinion.

I bought this saddle, custom for my horse, and received it in March 2011. Upon receipt, when I put it on him it did not fit. I called the rep, and the next person up, and complained. The rep came out. She said she measured/fit the saddle to the horse for when he muscled up, as he was lacking some muscle on his topline. She advised that it wasn't a perfect fit NOW, but given some time and muscling it would be a much better fit. Well, i muscled. I rode, i gave it time. Now, the saddle does not fit. Sure, it fits DIFFERENT than it did. But my custom saddle doesn't fit. I first noticed it a few weeks ago, when the saddle would slip back pretty far by the end of the ride. But horsies was going really well, so I didn't really think anything of it. Then came the tail swishing and indicators that he was unhappy (He was NOT a swishy tail kind of ride). So, i switched back to my old butet (whcih didn't really fit him well, but seemed OK) This all transpired over the course of the last couple of weeks. Now, he is swishy every ride and starting to want to go behind the vertical...YIKES!

I have been in contact with Antares in Silver Spring and yes, they said if I get the saddle to them, they can do the repair. Hey Antares? What am I supposed to ride in while you send the saddle back to France because of a latent defect? Hmmm? Remember, the saddle was custom for my horse. Should I give him a month off? So you see why I am a little..um..peeved.

I am going to call them today (and not be angry, just firm)..and yes to the poster that said maybe I have been a little too nice and accommodating? DH often says that about me.

Thanks again for the input. It's good to know that I'm not over reacting.

oh, and I STILL haven't gotten a response from Silver Spring to my email on Saturday and subsequent email on Tuesday. Go figure.

Moesha
Jan. 11, 2012, 10:36 AM
That's really a shame, I am sorry you have had such a hard time. They did offer me a saddle to ride in, but my trainer had one so I didnt bother. I hope everything works out and you get what you expected and paid for.

HollyJollyElf
Jan. 11, 2012, 11:48 AM
Call and speak with the owner. I can't remember her name, but she was the only sane and rational person I was ever able to deal with at Antares. I had a nightmare experience with them two years ago and will never deal with them again because of it, but bottom line it was the owner who finally made things as right as they were going to be.

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 01:55 PM
well, i got an email back...pretty much reiterating that my rep is the only one in the area and she's away. They are "trying" to see if they can get someone else to service the area while she is gone. Looks like I am in for a little fight. SIGH. Why can't customer service be just that...customer SERVICE?

Lucassb
Jan. 11, 2012, 01:59 PM
I had a very similar situation with my custom Antares not fitting my horse correctly. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for a while (oh, it just needs to be broken in a bit, oh, the horse just needs more topline, etc.) You know what? At the end of the day, the darn thing just didn't fit. I made them take it back and return my money.

I went back to a Butet and have had zero problems since then.

Tha Ridge
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:01 PM
well, i got an email back...pretty much reiterating that my rep is the only one in the area and she's away. They are "trying" to see if they can get someone else to service the area while she is gone. Looks like I am in for a little fight. SIGH. Why can't customer service be just that...customer SERVICE?

I have a hard time believing that there is one rep for the entire tri-state area. That just seems preposterous to me. Even if that were true, a good company would have already done everything in their power to have a fitter come out, even a trusted third-party fitter.

Guess I know what my next saddle *won't* be.

Tutt
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:07 PM
At least last April, there was a very good rep near Devon, Pa. She came to me in northern VA in snow and high winds (not the best for trying a saddle!). But it all worked out fine. Wonder why Antares can't ask her to come to you.

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:10 PM
I had a very similar situation with my custom Antares not fitting my horse correctly. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for a while (oh, it just needs to be broken in a bit, oh, the horse just needs more topline, etc.) You know what? At the end of the day, the darn thing just didn't fit. I made them take it back and return my money.

I went back to a Butet and have had zero problems since then.

LMAO that's exactly what I was told...oh your horse needs more muscle, we fit it for the horse that you WILL have, not this horse that you have today b/c if we fit the horse today, the saddle won't fit in 6 months...I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE my old butet (it's a 2000) - but it doesn't fit my horse. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt too...for now.

Tha Ridge..you got it. That's the way I feel. I mean, I'm in NJ for goodness sake. It's not like I am in Montana or something.

Tutt, I am less than 2 hours from Devon.

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:45 PM
I am beginning to HATE Antares.... GRRR... 'we're sorry for your inconvenience and will try to get a rep to you as soon as possible, but all of the reps are at the big shows in Fl or CA."

So what does that make me and my saddle who stay home...crap?

Lucassb
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:49 PM
I am beginning to HATE Antares.... GRRR... 'we're sorry for your inconvenience and will try to get a rep to you as soon as possible, but all of the reps are at the big shows in Fl or CA."

So what does that make me and my saddle who stay home...crap?

What it means is: "We are only interested in selling new saddles, not providing good service to the customers who have already paid us."

I once actually flew to WEF with the unacceptable saddle in my arms, and stood in the vendor's booth loudly insisting that "Someone needs to deal with this expensive saddle that doesn't even come close to fitting the horse you made it for." Made all those prospective new saddle customers standing there with their checkbooks in hand a little nervous!!!

I got very quick service after that.

comingback
Jan. 11, 2012, 02:50 PM
At least last April, there was a very good rep near Devon, Pa. She came to me in northern VA in snow and high winds (not the best for trying a saddle!). But it all worked out fine. Wonder why Antares can't ask her to come to you.

If this was the same person I had over the summer...her name is no longer listed on the Antares site as a representative. Not that I would have recommended her anyway....still waiting on that call back....

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 03:03 PM
LucassB.. LMAO. I wish I could do that. I agree, they are only in the business of selling saddles. I am boiling mad...

FineAlready
Jan. 11, 2012, 03:33 PM
Antares is, hands down, the worst company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. My saddle has had two, count them TWO broken trees for no reason at all. Dealing with Antares has taken years off of my life.

Put bluntly, they just plain s*ck.

Tha Ridge
Jan. 11, 2012, 03:56 PM
I am beginning to HATE Antares.... GRRR... 'we're sorry for your inconvenience and will try to get a rep to you as soon as possible, but all of the reps are at the big shows in Fl or CA."

So what does that make me and my saddle who stay home...crap?

Do you know a good fitter near you? (I'm in NY, but admittedly don't know any.) Anyway, if you do, I would call Antares and say "Since you can't help me, I'm going to call XYZ out and you're going to pay for it." Worth a shot.

myalter1
Jan. 11, 2012, 03:58 PM
Finealready, i think i am right there with you. Perhaps we should forward this thread to them.. wait, i don't think it will make a darn bit of difference. I probably should have spent my $4000+ somewhere else...

wanderlust
Jan. 11, 2012, 08:00 PM
Finealready, i think i am right there with you. Perhaps we should forward this thread to them.. wait, i don't think it will make a darn bit of difference. I probably should have spent my $4000+ somewhere else... From personal experience with the other two big french saddle brands, I don't think you'd have much more luck.

Never again will I pay for something I can't take it and try first, with a money back guarantee if it doesn't fit.

LovesHorses
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:06 AM
I had 3 Antares in 2002/2003 and they all slid forward. I finally got annoyed as they kept wanting hundreds of dollars to trade them in so I took mine to the local tack shop and sold it. We do have a few clients with Antares and they are very nice, although a lot of saddle underneath you. To each their own.

It is not like you are getting a truly custom saddle, just a combination of standard measurements. They should be able to send you one with a different tree to see if that fits.

Now I have a DelGrange USA (which I think is no more, but Delgrange Canada should still be around). Anyway, we have a barn of 27 horses and ponies. Fits every single one with just a single foam half pad underneath.

Maybe you could swap yours in for a different brand? They always have tons of used saddles at the shows that they get in on trade.

You should try getting ahold of Thierry. He is the owner and rocks. Also, the Southern CA rep, Paul, is great, too.

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 06:29 AM
Tha Ridge..that' s called mitigating your damages. Yes, i could do that and attempt to get Antares to pay for it. I rode in the saddle last night and it wasn't HORRIBLE. But what it did do was slip SO far back that the girth is 6 inches behind where it is SUPPOSED to me...putting the saddle really far back. Now my horse has a huge shoulder and every saddle tends to sit on the to of his shoulder blade, restricting his movement..hence why I bought the custom saddle. ANd, i realize that they are not true customs...but still. Will take the next step, since ANtares is insisting that I pay to ship the saddle to them in MD for the repair of the latent defect. NO way. with my luck, i wont pack it right and it will get damaged. In my normal course of business, i don't pack and ship saddles. I wouldn;t even know what the best way to ship it would be. Of course, when I asked antares, they didn't respond to that question.

showidaho
Jan. 12, 2012, 08:42 AM
Do you have a lawyer? If someone jerked me around like this company is doing to you, I would gladly pay up for some resolution. Also, contact the BBB. It can't hurt to lodge an official complaint.

I have to say though, I LOVE the idea of showing up with your saddle at the show. I know you don't want to spend the $, but a plane ticket and a night in FL might be fun - almost as much fun as making a horrific scene in front of all of their potential customers. I think flights to FL are quite affordable right now. Mini-vacay with a side of justice?;)

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 08:54 AM
Showidaho. Yeah, i do. thanks

vxf111
Jan. 12, 2012, 09:57 AM
Is Shannon Muldoon no longer an Antares rep? Isn't she in the area?

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 10:14 AM
Not for NJ

vxf111
Jan. 12, 2012, 11:26 AM
I realize she's not regularly the rep, but given that the regular rep is long-term unavailable, Antres hasn't come up with other brilliant suggestions, and Shannon is really not that far (Chester Co. PA)-- Why not ask if this time Antares won't send her out to resolve your issue, even though she's not usually an NJ rep? I'd call and ask!

Ethan & Ella's Mom
Jan. 12, 2012, 11:45 AM
Shannon is no longer a rep.

vxf111
Jan. 12, 2012, 11:54 AM
Boy, that was quick?! Okay, so that's not an option. There must be a new PA rep to replace her?!

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 11:58 AM
Literally, this was the last response I had from them, "The repair will be done here in MD - we have the tools and knowledge to repair what is wrong - we will only have a it a day or so - then we will get it sent right back to you.
As for the reps - they are all in Florida or California right now for the
big horse shows. But we will have someone back in this area soon for barn
appts, as soon as I can get the date for that - I will let you know.
Sorry for the inconvenience, I will be in touch soon - Please let me know
when you ship your saddle."

(as to the repair)
I was told by the rep they might have to send it to Illinois for repair b/c they had never heard of a saddle problem like mine and they might need to replace the padding under the seat. They haven't seen the saddle, only pictures that I emailed them in November.

I have been waiting since November 2011 for the rep to come out. When I responded to this email that his response was unacceptable (regarding all the reps being in Florida or CA) and I wanted to speak to his supervisor/boss, I got no response AT ALL.

way to go Antares.

ImJumpin
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:09 PM
Call Antares directly and ask to speak with the owner. It may take a few times of timing when she will be in the office, but be persistant. Tell her the dates you made contact, how long it took for someone to contact you back, who you contacted (and who didn't ever contact you back) and be prepared to offer her what you think would be the reasonable solution.

Stop messing around with the reps.

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:15 PM
I can't get a number off of Antares; site for the owner or a boss. It's ridiculous. I left a voice mail yesterday at the number I had for Silver Spring MD and no one returned the call. I will NEVER recommend Antares.

pds
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:22 PM
Have you tried calling the company in France. You might be able to get some help from them or at least better contact names and numbers. Most likely your are only dealing with reps and/or a distributor here in the US and it seems pretty clear that they don't give a crap.

Antarès Sellier France
PA de l'Ormeau de Pied
34, rue des Fougères
17100 Saintes

Tel: +33 (0)5 46 93 69 73 - Fax: +33 (0)5 46 93 78 09

pds
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:27 PM
I did a domain search to see who owns the Antares website and this information came up. If I were you, I would start calling numbers until I got a hold of someone that could offer help to put me in touch with the right person.

Domain name: antares-sellier.com

Registrant:
LX60-GANDI
34 rue des Foug????res
SAINTES, 17100
FR
+33.546936973
(fax: +33.546937809)
fa62475d1e1ef01e7c1cc2fdf0f9a6fe-lx60@contact.gandi.net

Administrative Contact:
Moustic
Ferdinandy Fabien
1 rue Fleming
La Rochelle, 17000
FR
+33.546414787
contactez@moustic-multimedia.fr

Technical Contact:
Moustic
Ferdinandy Fabien
1 rue Fleming
La Rochelle, 17000
FR
+33.546414787
contactez@moustic-multimedia.fr

Billing Contact:
Moustic
Ferdinandy Fabien
1 rue Fleming
La Rochelle, 17000
FR
+33.546414787
contactez@moustic-multimedia.fr

Lucassb
Jan. 12, 2012, 12:57 PM
I would try contacting Evelyne. She is the one who heads up the US operations, I believe. The info below is from the last email I had from her - I would try the cell phone first.

Good luck.

Evelyne Cummings
Antarès Custom Saddles
Off: (301) 421 0019
Mob. (301) 332 6104 *
Fax: (301) 421 1617

Tha Ridge
Jan. 12, 2012, 01:10 PM
I'm sure they're going to make you pay to ship it too, huh?

myalter1
Jan. 12, 2012, 01:58 PM
Thank you LucassB.. I will try that. Tha Ridge. You guessed it. They want me to pay to ship it to MD.

mvp
Jan. 12, 2012, 03:13 PM
I'm sorry this has happened to you.

Not sure, but I think that some of the problem may originate in the pay structure for reps. If they make money only on sales, perhaps they can't afford to do what they should-- be ready and able to service customers with past problems.

I'll also assume that your fitter ordered a saddle for "how the horse will be in work" in good faith. If she missed, she does need to help you make it right. But it sounds expensive for all-- Antares (were they to do the shipping and repairs gratis) and for her-- coming back out for free.

Also, I think reps may get caught in the problem of barn fees and time it takes to really make a "good" sale. That's time, money and effort before and after that one day when measurements are taken and an order placed. You and I don't want to pay a lot for those visit. But rep has costs-- to get out to a barn, spend the time, and own the demos you'd like to try and even borrow-- those are part of her overhead.

None of this is to condone a company that advertises better-than-you-could-get-by-yourself fit for their saddles and doesn't deliver. It is to say that we should value something other than a pretty, purportedly custom or even trendy saddle. You want a company and people that are there for the long haul. They should have the integrity (or plain old common sense) to know that the sale of an important, expensive piece of equipment isn't a one-off thing.

Please look for signs of those good people! I think it's great that H/Jers are getting such well-designed saddles and the high standards for fit that the dressagers and endurance people demanded much earlier. I read here about unhappy customers and worry that saddle reps will get the same reputation as the proverbial "horse trader."

FineAlready
Jan. 13, 2012, 10:41 AM
Finealready, i think i am right there with you. Perhaps we should forward this thread to them.. wait, i don't think it will make a darn bit of difference. I probably should have spent my $4000+ somewhere else...

Oh, they know about this thread and others like it, I am sure. I have been considering legal action against them, and told Evelyne so. Frankly, I've done some looking into whether or not there are enough people to certify a class action lawsuit against them.

myalter1
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:26 AM
Oh, they know about this thread and others like it, I am sure. I have been considering legal action against them, and told Evelyne so. Frankly, I've done some looking into whether or not there are enough people to certify a class action lawsuit against them.

do we have a class action suit? ;)

vxf111
Jan. 13, 2012, 11:54 AM
Oh, they know about this thread and others like it, I am sure. I have been considering legal action against them, and told Evelyne so. Frankly, I've done some looking into whether or not there are enough people to certify a class action lawsuit against them.


do we have a class action suit? ;)

I'll tell you what, I sure have heard more and more stories about defective Antares saddles and even MORE defective Antares customer services lately. They just went onto what I fondly term the "Devocoux List." Otherwise known as the "Do Not Buy, EVER List."

myalter1
Jan. 13, 2012, 12:13 PM
I wish I had heard of all this bad press before I got one.. I really regret it.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 07:55 AM
OH DEAR LORD.
So, finally, in January, demanded my money back. No no, we are going to fly the rep to you in February (REALLY? I called in NOVEMBER) to have her come out. Rep comes out February 14th. 'Oh boy your horse really got big. No that saddle doesn't fit.' She didn't bring any loaner to fit my horse (which I was PROMISED she would.) She took my defective saddle (needed new padding under the seat and a new seat) and I was told i was going to get a loaner in the mail. (shortened version.) I told them, look just refund my money. No, we are going to make you a completely new custom saddle. We are confident we can fix this. Loaner came that had the same panels that they were going to put on the new custom. THOSE panels didn't fit. I immediately called Antares and told them do not make me a saddle with those panels. Shipped the loaner saddle back. Then they ask me if i can wait until March 20th or so, because they want to fly a DIFFERENT rep/fitter to me. DH (my attorney) spoke with them and tried to talk settlement (not a REFUND, a settlement for a lesser amount.) No go. Today, i get an email saying that they stand by their policy, will make me a new saddle. But now, the new rep/fitter won't be coming out until March OR April (end of the winter circuit). Which means, that IF this is my only recourse, i wouldn't be actually GETTING the saddle until July or August (nearly 1 year since i first CALLED about the ill fit.)

THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

But if i sue, i know they have a defense.. that i actually rode in the saddle from March 2011 (when i got it) until November 2011 (when i called). AND they say that their policy is that you have to reject the brand new saddle within 7 days of receipt. I did this in March 2011, although, their records of course reflect differently

BUYER beware. I hope someone else reads this thread and seriously considers NOT buying an antares. It's been the worst saddle buying experience of my LIFE.

bizbachfan
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:15 AM
Wow! I can't believe when you spend $4000 on a saddle this is what happens. Just crazy! So sorry you are going through this!

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:21 AM
Oh it's such a nightmare. Really. I wonder if I was someone important if I would be getting treated this way.

morganpony86
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:23 AM
Sigh. I am unfortunately in the OP's exact same position, yet I haven't gone as far as to demand a refund yet. I, too, have tried to give the saddle a fair chance and am past the "reject" phase, so I doubt I could get my money back either.
I'm also still hoping the saddle can be modified to fit my horse. I've been giving Antares the benefit of the doubt for several months now, but it's to the point where I'm tempted to just give up and start from scratch. Which would really suck because I really like the saddle, but my fat-Morgan-Bates fits my young TB far better than the $4K Anatares.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:28 AM
HA I have a TB too. With HUGE shoulders (the whole reason i went custom). Here's the kicker. I did technically reject the saddle within 7 days. When I got it, it clearly did not fit. I called the rep. She came out and told me, 'i fit the saddle so that it fits your horse when he muscles up and fills out. Ride in it and as he matures/fills out it will fit him better.' He never really muscled over the summer (long story re: training and grain issues) I moved him to a new barn at the middle of October, changed his grain, he got rideable, muscled up, and in November I called Antares regarding saddle fit. It is their position that I did not reject the saddle within the first 7 days. I did, but their rep told me to keep riding in it. That's NOT their recollection, of course. Even people from my old barn remember that conversation. They were standing right there.

I outright told them, before demanding my money back, that if they make me a new saddle, I will be certain to reject it within the seven days. You cannot POSSIBLY determine correct fit on a brand new saddle when it's not even broken in yet. Such a scam.

Morganpony86. glad we can commiserate together.

bizbachfan
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:31 AM
From all you have posted sounds like the reps are basically instructed to reject anyone's decision to send saddle back within the first 7 days by telling you "it will fit eventually." I would think that if this is their standard practice you could have some kind of lawsuit against them. Are any of the high end saddles really a good deal with decent customer service?

Renn/aissance
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:32 AM
I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I thought perhaps that when it happened with me in 2009 or 2010, it may have been an issue with one rep who no longer works for this company. However, when I first read your post, I was not exactly surprised.

Great saddles. Lousy customer service. Incidentally, I have nothing bad to say about Devoucoux (Lucassb, I know our mileage varies ;) ) and thought CWD is outstanding.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:32 AM
Bizbach.. i didn't even THINK of it that way. You are right, b/c didn't Lucassb say they told her that too?

So this has happened across the board... it only makes me think now that I really will have to go to Court to get my money back. SIGH. Well, knowing the Court system here, i most likely could have a resolution in less time than waiting for them to send a rep in April, then make me a new saddle, which would come by the end of the Summer.

OH and they keep insisting that it's their policy never to return money.. but LucassB said they gave her money back...

morganpony86
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:46 AM
I will say that I went into my situation knowing they had a bad rep for service. But I thoroughly enjoyed their saddles far more than any other.

My situation is similar to myalter's. Young horse, "he'll grow into it as he fills out, let's stuff with pads until then". Several months later, it fits even worse.

I have worked with County before and they have FANTASTIC service. But I hate their saddles.

Renn/aissance
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:06 AM
Bizbach.. i didn't even THINK of it that way. You are right, b/c didn't Lucassb say they told her that too?

So this has happened across the board... it only makes me think now that I really will have to go to Court to get my money back. SIGH. Well, knowing the Court system here, i most likely could have a resolution in less time than waiting for them to send a rep in April, then make me a new saddle, which would come by the end of the Summer.

OH and they keep insisting that it's their policy never to return money.. but LucassB said they gave her money back...

I pitched seven kinds of fits and got mine back. I may or may not have gone on a tear about how unprofessional it was to have one rep serving the entire East Coast who was not capable of basic geometry, let alone saddle fitting, and who would rather be selling saddles at WEF than fixing the ill-fitting saddle he gave me that did not fit because it was built to fit a Clydesdale, not a big-shouldered 15.2 ISH; and that offering me a lot of other Antares merchandise was not going to be adequate compensation for failing to deliver on a custom made product that they screwed up.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:46 AM
I pitched seven kinds of fits and got mine back. I may or may not have gone on a tear about how unprofessional it was to have one rep serving the entire East Coast who was not capable of basic geometry, let alone saddle fitting, and who would rather be selling saddles at WEF than fixing the ill-fitting saddle he gave me that did not fit because it was built to fit a Clydesdale, not a big-shouldered 15.2 ISH; and that offering me a lot of other Antares merchandise was not going to be adequate compensation for failing to deliver on a custom made product that they screwed up.

I already pitched these same fits.. RE: they'd rather be selling saddles in WEF, they don't care about the customers at home, how is it that they only have one rep on the East Coast, it's not my problem that they THOUGHT he wouldn't get this big, etc. etc. etc.

Furthermore, the saddle made ME crippled. I thought I was just getting old (I'm 36.) I would ride in that saddle and EVERY morning for last parts of 2011 /early 2012 i would wake up and my back would be KILLING me. Stopped riding in the antares.. no back pain now.

rothmpp
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:42 AM
This is why I shudder at the thought of a custom saddle. Particularly when I bought my saddle last year, the rep measured my horse, pulled out the demo that was the closest fit (and by the tracing should have been a really good fit) and put it on my horse. Rode it for a awhile and then she left it for me to try for a couple days. He was unhappy in it - it was just too tight a fit for what this horse tells me he likes. Ended up going up a tree size from where he measures and he's happy as a clam. I call him my flip flops and boxers kind of guy, he likes his stuff loose.

I hestitate to think about the nightmare if I'd just let her measure and order a custom saddle for me. It never would've fit this horse and kept him happy through the back.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:44 AM
yeah, let's see if i ever do THIS again. I'd rather take a hundred saddles on consignment than go through this again.

FineAlready
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:10 PM
I already pitched these same fits.. RE: they'd rather be selling saddles in WEF, they don't care about the customers at home, how is it that they only have one rep on the East Coast, it's not my problem that they THOUGHT he wouldn't get this big, etc. etc. etc.

Furthermore, the saddle made ME crippled. I thought I was just getting old (I'm 36.) I would ride in that saddle and EVERY morning for last parts of 2011 /early 2012 i would wake up and my back would be KILLING me. Stopped riding in the antares.. no back pain now.

OP - I had a serious problem with Antares as well, and dealt directly with Evelyne. My problem was not a fit issue, but the fact that the tree on my saddle broke TWICE despite no trauma at all and meticulous care. The entire company (especially Evelyne) was a NIGHTMARE to deal with, and, no, I did not get my money back.

I also tried to "settle" as you have tried to do (like your husband, I am also an attorney) to no avail. Evelyne at one point told me: "I'm in the business of selling saddles, not buying them back." Great business model there. She did offer to take the saddle back from me (after it had its tree replaced for the second time) and have ME pay HER $1,000 for a brand new saddle for my horse. No thank you. I can't run far enough or fast enough from Antares at this point!

In any event, my understanding from Evelyne is that they basically stopped doing refunds of the kind that Lucassb received. She basically said they changed their policy and no longer give people their money back. I'm sure they changed the policy because the requested refunds were becoming too frequent.

The only good news for you in all of this is that, despite the freakin' HORRIBLE customer service and subpar product, a lot of people still covet Antares saddles. My advice to you is to take whatever saddle you end up with (either your original one or a new one they make for you) and sell it. Then never buy an Antares product ever again.

I'd suggest dealing with Beval next time. I bought a Beval LTD2 to replace my defective Antares, and I have been happy with the saddle and especially with the customer service and test ride policies.

I'm so sorry this happened to you, OP. It's just not right. If it is any consolation to you, I can't imagine that Antares will stay in business much longer if they don't start getting a whole lot of things right in a hurry!

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
FineAlready, I was just telling LucassB that I needed to reach out to you on this point.. LOL you beat me to it.

I just spoke with Evelyne, who had my file in her hand and knew it, page by page. She was nice to me on the phone (so far) and is supposed to be calling me back today.

showidaho
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:17 PM
I would copy and paste this thread into an email to the company. Also, if you can post feedback on their website - I'd again reference this thread. You should also consider creating a Facebook/Twitter account. Enough bad publicity should, theoretically, help your cause. ;)

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:19 PM
Showidaho, I did tell Evelyne how i had a bunch of people who had the same exact experiences and word for word repeated the same things that were said to me! LOL
you are the second person today who told me to start a FB page! Look, I'm not out to destroy their company. I just want my money back.

FineAlready
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:20 PM
FineAlready, I was just telling LucassB that I needed to reach out to you on this point.. LOL you beat me to it.

I just spoke with Evelyne, who had my file in her hand and knew it, page by page. She was nice to me on the phone (so far) and is supposed to be calling me back today.

Yes, definitely. Contact me. I'll send you my e-mail address in a PM. And, sure, Evelyne is "nice" but still completely unhelpful and unreasonable at the end of the day. I'll send you our e-mail exchanges.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:26 PM
FineAlready... sent you an email :)

KateKat
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:26 PM
oh man...is Antares turning into Devoucoux? I've never had anything but positive experiences with Antares BUT my rep is readily available and I see her often at local shows (so it would be easy to hound her if I needed to)

I hope that you do get this resolved OP. Although I love my saddle and it works great, this does not reflect well on them in terms of long term business plans!

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:32 PM
Thanks KateKat.. hoping to have some resolution today.

onelanerode
Feb. 28, 2012, 12:44 PM
It rather sounds as though Antares is operating under the assumption that any publicity is good publicity. :eek:

After reading this thread, and I think another one similar to it a year or two ago, it is time to add Antares to my list of companies I'll never do business with.

No saddle is worth this sort of drama and hassle. :no:

showidaho
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:05 PM
Showidaho, I did tell Evelyne how i had a bunch of people who had the same exact experiences and word for word repeated the same things that were said to me! LOL
you are the second person today who told me to start a FB page! Look, I'm not out to destroy their company. I just want my money back.

You aren't ruining their company...they are! I encourage you to take your fight to Facebook and Twitter! If they care about their reputation, they will deal with it. If not, well, it's not your company, it's theirs!

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:23 PM
HOLD the presses!

All is good. They made good on it and we reached an amicable resolution.

:)

2ndyrgal
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:28 PM
Their customer service stinks. And truthfully, for that amount, there are other saddle makers with much better product and service. And for you A-circuit princesses that just have to have one?? Trust me when I tell you that once you put your butt in the saddle, no judge will ever know who made it.

As many threads on this BB over the last 5 or 6 years, you'd think no one would ever even think about buying one.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:33 PM
Like I said, they made good on it for me. So, I can no longer complain.

alto
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:53 PM
I'm glad that you finally have resolution :yes:

I must admit that I've been waiting to hear how things went with your saddle situation - FP needs custom saddles & he's sadly up for both a jump & dressage this spring (last years too wide County Innovation is now officially too small in the tree :cry: I was hoping he would get through the summer with it ...)

Kid has alway loved the feel of Antares jump saddle so I was just (yesterday :eek: ) discussing calling up the local rep - but sadly think I will now pass: it seems that if your horse is an off the rack fit, Antares does OK, but any true custom & I am doomed to disaapointment with the fit & then a nightmare getting any resolution ...

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 02:57 PM
yeah. I will say, when I finally spoke to Eveyne, she was helpful, very apologetic and knew my "file" well.

My horse is NOT off the rack at all, and therein was the problem...

FineAlready
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:14 PM
I would submit that Antares is not even good for "off the rack" horses, which mine definitely IS. I mean, the fit was fine, but two broken trees in less than three years for no reason at all is ABSURD.

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:24 PM
Two broken trees. That's just amazing.

alto
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:38 PM
I would submit that Antares is not even good for "off the rack" horses, which mine definitely IS. I mean, the fit was fine, but two broken trees in less than three years for no reason at all is ABSURD.

The explanation is obvious:
your horse has been sneaking out of his stall at night, subverting the lock on the tack room door, bribing the local rats to saddle him up - no bridle, thanks guys - so he could go out & moonlight jump & have a good roll after ...

(truly amazing dedication from those rats that you haven't suspected as much :yes:)

(course, your horse, not really so smart - he does not need that saddle for moonlight jumping :p )

mvp
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:00 PM
Great to hear, OP.

So
1) What did Antares do to make it right?

2) Was part of your deal a non-disclosure thing or can you tell us about it?

3) What do you think was the cause of their change of heart?

I think many readers would want to know how best to deal with a saddle company when they find they have a problem. Thanks for letting us learn from your experience.

FineAlready
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:26 PM
Two broken trees. That's just amazing.

Yup, I thought so too. The first time, it broke at the pommel. The second time, it broke at the "waist" of the saddle...basically right where the rider sits. I felt the second break happen, while I was on my horse WALKING. Felt it pop under me, and then, sure enough, heard that telltale squeaking when I picked up a posting trot.

I weigh between 125-130 pounds, depending on the day. I'm not snapping these things with my bulk.

FineAlready
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:27 PM
The explanation is obvious:
your horse has been sneaking out of his stall at night, subverting the lock on the tack room door, bribing the local rats to saddle him up - no bridle, thanks guys - so he could go out & moonlight jump & have a good roll after ...

(truly amazing dedication from those rats that you haven't suspected as much :yes:)

(course, your horse, not really so smart - he does not need that saddle for moonlight jumping :p )

You know, I would not put this kind of thing past him. He's a smart cookie. Sometimes too smart for his own good!

myalter1
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:31 PM
we reached a monetary settlement (refund - NOT the full amount). An amount that both parties were agreeable to.

I documented everything. It came down to a he said/she said about the rep's recollection and my own. Evelyne had read all of my emails (I am diligent about putting everything in writing) and I acted immediately when I first got the saddle and it didn't fit. Each of the reps claimed that i didnt take action within the first 7 days (per the Antares warranty) - this was not true and Evelyne confirmed that she had my email from when I first received the saddle and the fit was not right.

She was very apologetic, professional and courteous. I think perhaps we reached the agreement because her reps were negligent in not getting to me in a timely manner (Called in November - finally came in February).

In any event, I am glad that it has resolved. I appreciate Evelyne's manner of resolution, and while I was not happy with the company, I am VERY happy that they decided to do the right thing.

Lysara
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:32 PM
Glad you came to a resolution that you are happy with and I am sorry to hear that it took so long to get to it.

I have an Antares saddle that I am very happy with, but apparently my guy was super easy to fit. The rep was in Florida when I finally decided I wanted to try mine, but he arranged to ship me a saddle to try that worked the first time out. (I knew what size I needed for me based on trying a couple a few months earlier at a show) He did come out to do a custom for another rider at the barn later in the spring and even though I wasn't able to be there, he double checked to make sure everything was still fitting ok.

cloudyandcallie
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:37 PM
I'm glad that OP finally got resolution of her problem. It's unfortunate that some companies don't understand the purpose of "good will" and only respond when people go public with their complaints.

One good thing about the internet is that when you find a product that has issues, you can go online and see if others have had the same or similar problems. Without this board, OP might never have had resolution.

Renn/aissance
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:45 PM
I'm glad that you were able to get some resolution.

alto
Feb. 28, 2012, 05:18 PM
I called in NOVEMBER
Rep comes out February 14th.

She didn't bring any loaner to fit my horse (which I was PROMISED she would.)

She took my defective saddle (needed new padding under the seat and a new seat) and I was told i was going to get a loaner in the mail.

Loaner came that had the same panels that they were going to put on the new custom. THOSE panels didn't fit.

Shipped the loaner saddle back.

if i can wait until March 20th or so, because they want to fly a DIFFERENT rep/fitter to me.

i get an email saying that they stand by their policy, will make me a new saddle.
But now, the new rep/fitter won't be coming out until March OR April (end of the winter circuit). Which means, that IF this is my only recourse, i wouldn't be actually GETTING the saddle until July or August




The absolute deal killer for me is the timeline: UNacceptable.

Anyone can makes mistakes whether it's the rep that somehow confuses measurements or the manufacture shop or even just shipping out an incorrect saddle ...
but resolution should be offered in as timely a fashion as possible.

Creola
Dec. 7, 2012, 08:27 PM
I am just starting to amplify my "issue" with Thierry, if I could actually get through to him. I have a XC monoflap that never fit my horse, either, and the USA office has known this for a long time. In my case the saddle is a 2011 and I stopped riding in it as soon as I figured out how badly it was screwing up my horses back and the domino effect of everything else. The saddle is basically in demo condition.

I'm not sure who the woman was that I recently talked to, but she gave me the same line of BS about not taking the saddle back. I have already threatened to sue if they don't take the saddle back for a full (or very close to full) refund. I wonder how many people are out there that are really pissed off at Antares. I would go for a class action suit. :D

jlphilli
Dec. 7, 2012, 08:53 PM
I almost bought an Antares. The deal killer for me was when the shoulder area was way too tight on all of the saddles they brought, the rep just brushed it off like "oh it's fine, they will just take a little bit of paneling off here and it will be fine..." I asked how long it would take to have one made and they told me 3-4 months!? I was like...yeah, no. After reading this I'm kinda glad I ended up getting the Devoucoux since it fit so well from the start (I did like riding in the Antares slightly better), but I've been happy with it thus far.

Glad you were able to reach an agreement! That does sound like a nightmare though!

LTLFLDF
Dec. 13, 2012, 07:00 AM
Just chiming in to clarify Bruno Delgrange "USA" is actually Bruno Delgrange North America. Jacques Ferland who as always handled Canada now does all of North America (since WEF 2011). We are no longer associated with Paul in CA. Let me know if you have any questions.