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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2004
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    917

    Default Beval Repair - Not a thumbs up, but not a thumbs down

    What is everyone’s experience with Beval repairing their tack?

    Within the last month, I bought a very nice Childeric for a super price, but that came with a small repair - the panel was coming untucked from the gullet. I figured this would be a minor cost, and bought it anyway.

    I took it to Equus Now in Columbus, where I got great service. The associate there said that for the quality of saddle, Beval’s is best for repairs. I said that's fine and asked for them to include, in the instructions, for them to look it over, decide an estimate for the repair, and then call EN with it, who would relay the amount to me. This was all typed up on a receipt and I have a copy of it, word for word, of what was sent with the saddle (I opted to pay the $35 for EN to ship the saddle for me). I was told it would probably be about 2 weeks to hear back with the estimate. This was on 9/28.

    Two weeks come and go, and no call. Let it go to three weeks, and I called last Monday to ask if anything had been heard. Associate said she would call and get back to me that day. I didn't receive a call, so I called that Wednesday; associate said she'd call the Beval office and get back to me within a half hour or so.

    I did receive a call back, and much to my surprise, I was told that the saddle repair had been completed, and they were shipping it back to EN that day. :0 I had to take a moment to process this, because on the receipt that went with the saddle, which also has all of shop's information, it clearly says to give an estimate on the price of the repair.

    What I also find interesting is that when I took the saddle in to EN, the associate helping me actually called Beval's office to see if we could get an approximate estimate on the cost of repairing or restitching the panel. Their response was that they had to see the saddle before giving an estimate on price. Again, I never got that estimate even though we did send the saddle in.

    The total came out to $200+ return shipping. I don't understand how they could have read the instructions of repair, and not see the very plain ESTIMATE that went along with it. The quality of the repair is not what I am upset about; it looks great and they took wonderful care of it.

    My issue is that I needed to have an estimate of how much it was going to cost, because what if I had another place in mind that could do it cheaper? Now, I didn't, and had they told me the estimate of $200 like they were supposed to, I probably would have gone ahead and said do the repairs. But then I also would have rearranged some essential purchases made in that 3 week time span to accomodate that amount.

    So, I won't give a thumbs down, but I won't give a thumbs up. My only thoughts are that Beval needs to remember to read all of the instructions carefully, and not pick and choose. If they do this for someone wanting an estimate for a seat repair, and make the repair costing $850 without giving an estimate to someone else, they might not dodge another bullet.

    But a thumbs up for Equus Now in Columbus, however. They were very helpful, knowledgable, and I’d use them again!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2001
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,283

    Default

    Sounds like you should have sent it direct to Beval yourself and eliminated the middle point of contact. If you had, when you called them to say you were sending the saddle in YOU could have made it clear that you needed an estimate first and said you do not authorize any repairs or charges without a written estimate. I'm not saying EN is at fault here, but the more direct your contact can be, the safer you are, IME.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,527

    Default

    I once tried to have the flocking adjusted on one of my saddles to suit my horse.

    I called Beval's to see if they could do it.

    Their first question was, "Is it a Beval saddle?" and upon finding out that it was not the fitter refused to come to out to our barn (we are half an hour away from the store) despite that I would have been perfectly happy and offered many times to pay a call fee.

    They suggested that I could "take a picture of the saddle on the horse and send it in and they would reflock it."

    Um, excuse me, but I think you actually have to see a saddle in person on the horse it is supposed to be going on before offering to charge money to flock it to a specific horse. I don't send a picture of myself wearing half chaps to get measured for Vogels.

    So, far more impressed by their willingness to take a check than their commitment to the quality of the fit for the horse, I opted NOT to spend a couple hundred dollars on somebody shoving the flocking around in my saddle at random, and instead started a fitting relationship with a saddle fitter from whom I have bought every saddle I have purchased since.

    Those $5k could just as easily go to someone willing to earn them, who charges less for much better service.
    Last edited by meupatdoes; Oct. 28, 2009 at 09:45 AM.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,146

    Default

    I don't, generally, like sending things off without any personal contact.

    Just too many potential failure points and hard to follow up without going thru that middleman step and too many places don't like to talk to anybody but the middleman. I trust no one as well.

    I had a bad time getting a seat recovered on a Butet from a different repair place-cost 150 more then the estimate and took 6 weeks longer then it should have...guy was an independent because he was totally irresponsibe. Probably why he had worked in so many big name saddlerys.

    I will only deal locally (as in a 2 hour drive) now and only personally drop off and pick up.

    Have to say I received absolutely delightful long distance service from a tack shop in or near Toronto when I bought my Childeric-Running Fox. I had tried somebody else's and found it exactly what I needed right down to the seat size, flap and horse fit.

    Since I hate the long distance/mail order routine-especially on something as personal as a 3400 saddle, I tried the local dealer for the brand and they did not have the flap or seat size I needed in stock-quoted me 3 to 6 weeks on a special order and I had to pay the shipping. Got a little attitude too when I was not interested in any of their in stock saddles-basically a "why do you want that? Do this instead".

    So I call Running Fox (think it was Debbie) as they are, IIRC, the N.A distributor for LC. In THREE DAYS I had that saddle-she even offered to send me 2 saddles with different configurations to be sure of fit. TEN days later they called to see if I was satisfied with the fit and quality and only THEN did they run my credit card. They paid the shipping too. I was so delighted I orderd a pair of leathers from them-I specified prefer half hole and a shorter length (I'm 5'4ish). Got exactly that 3 days later with a lovely thank you note. Needless to say my local shops did not have that type and size in stock as I was repeatedly looking for that when I visted.

    So, it's possible to get better service and I cannot for the life of me figure whay, when you are spending that kind of money, they can't do better like this shop up north did for me.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2004
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    917

    Default

    The people at EN actually did tell me that another option I had was to send it up to a specific Childeric shop in Canada, but I opted against that, mostly because I bought my Childeric from a private seller, not the company, and I also hate shipping absolutely anything out of the country - to me, that seemed like an even higher risk.

    I also felt like it was a wise choice to have the tack shop send it in because they've done a lot of business with Beval in the past. They have a local saddle repairer that they use for the lower end saddles, but anything on the higher-end they send to Beval simply because the work done is more similar to the quality of the saddle. I also had them ship the saddle simply because it probably would have taken me longer to get a box, get the shipping supplies, and actually package the saddle myself. The shop ships saddles in and out all the time, and I went with their expertise to save myself a headache.

    I'm debating whether or not I want to give a call to Beval myself. Yes, I didn't personally send the saddle in, but I had an experienced, reliable tack shop acting as my representative, so I was never out of the loop on this.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2001
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,283

    Default

    You were a little out of the loop. You said you didn't hear from EN on the appointed day. You called them and they didn't call you back for two days, and even then they didn't call you, you had to call THEM back. If I hadn't heard from them right away, I would have called Beval directly.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
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    31,146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schune View Post
    The people at EN actually did tell me that another option I had was to send it up to a specific Childeric shop in Canada, but I opted against that, mostly because I bought my Childeric from a private seller, not the company, and I also hate shipping absolutely anything out of the country - to me, that seemed like an even higher risk.
    I understand that, next time ship it up there to the distributor and Running Fox- so far they have stood behind their product and don't care where you got it.
    Anyone contemplating doing this- Get a phone number first and call them and ask them what they prefer shipping wise and let them know to expect it. They will walk you through it. NO need to go thru a tack store and create another possible point of failure.

    Now, not going to guarantee anything but, so far, their service is selling these good saddles as much as the fact it's a nice saddle because the word of mouth is so positive-even when they need repair.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,041

    Default I would give them a thumbs up...

    I would only trust Beval or one of their saddlers.

    I had them replace the billets on my old Butet. I dropped it off at the North Salem, NY location, and requested that it be shipped back to me. I had the saddle back within a week. I have always been happy with them whether for new purchases or repairs...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,389

    Default

    i live about 10 mins away from the beval gladstone, so it's convenient for me. i had my tall boots repaired there (i broke the zipper once--my fault not the boots ) and they did a good job of getting everything nice and my zipper has never come close to breaking again (and the zipper track doesnt get messed up either which it used to)

    i would absolutely send any tack there if any of my tack needed repairing (knock on wood)
    its probably the only place i can think of that i trust for that.
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Posts
    3,300

    Default

    F8: That's great about Running Fox! It would be a nice kudos to share on the emg board (www.equiman.com). I would be happy to do a cut-and-paste of "I saw this wonderful review on COTH", if you like.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,146

    Default

    Sure, I don't care. That was 3 years ago and they are still doing exactly the same thing for their customers. Oh, and you bet they had my cc# before they shipped anything...I don't see why others can't be more like them. Instead of treating you like a nuisance.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2003
    Location
    Mudville, GA ;-)
    Posts
    9,178

    Default

    I had fabulous repair service from Beval a couple years ago. This year I got so-so service for the exact same issue on a different item. I'm careful to not send my credit card information with the item and it doesn't matter if the local tack store sends it or I send it to Beval. I just include my contact information. That way, I'm sure they'll call me when it gets there and everyone is on the same page about what's going to be done and how much it's going to cost.
    Y'all ain't right!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2008
    Posts
    879

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieSlave View Post
    I had fabulous repair service from Beval a couple years ago. This year I got so-so service for the exact same issue on a different item. I'm careful to not send my credit card information with the item and it doesn't matter if the local tack store sends it or I send it to Beval. I just include my contact information. That way, I'm sure they'll call me when it gets there and everyone is on the same page about what's going to be done and how much it's going to cost.
    That is a smart move, but I could still see the issue arising if they still did the repairs and then called to let you know how much you owed them and you CC #. Of course they have your saddle, so if you don't pay, I'd assume they wouldn't ship the saddle back.

    I haven't sent anything to Bevel, but I did recently send a saddle to Equestrian Imports in FL and they were nothing but wonderful. They called to give me a quote when my saddle arrived, then did the repairs and called again when finished for my payment.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
    Posts
    11,438

    Default

    In my experience, Beval is generally WONDERFUL about making good on any mistakes or miscommunications. I bet if you call them directly and state that you were disappointed to find they had not provided an estimate as requested, they will respond appropriately. You never know, when dealing with a middleman (even a good one like EquusNow) how things can get lost in translation.

    I have had a couple of minor oopsies, not on repairs, but on other items purchased from Beval. Both were related to a middleman (one a trainer, another a friend who works there) taking an order and conveying it in a fashion that was misunderstood. The first case was a custom irish knit that was embroidered with my initials instead of my last name (in which case they not only made me a new one, but gave me the one that was "wrong" as a gift!) and the other was a more minor mishap when a bunch of us ordered jumper pads in barn colors with our initials, and the person writing down the order didn't have great handwriting... resulting in the wrong middle initial on my pad (which they re-did gratis, again giving me the "wrong" one to use in addition.)

    I have been dealing with Beval for many years, including more than a decade of time in long distance mode, when I lived more than 1000 miles away from their nearest retail location. I've never been less than satisfied with their customer service, and always very pleased by their responsiveness in the event of a problem of any kind.

    I do think you should make them aware of your concern, but the bottom line is you got the repair you wanted done at a price you find satisfactory... so I wouldn't be overly upset.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,923

    Default Pointing thumbs

    Actually, I think it was at least partially EN's fault. They took your order, knew that you wanted an estimate and didn't deal with their recommended supplier well enough.

    I had the same experience with Bevals though I dealt directly. Lovely work, great guys whom I don't begrudge a living.... and way too much money. $15 for a keeper on a noseband? $76 to repair a couple of buckles on a pair of leather open fronts? Honey, that is (or was at the time) half way to a new pair... even a high-end Bevals pair! If that's what it costs, then at least tell me first. Who knows? You might get $150 instead of $76 from me!

    I called the New Canaan Mother Ship and told them my tail of woe: I had taken my stuff to their North Salem store, and asked them to call me with an estimate. Work was done with no communication. I got mad and asked for a break on the price (and got a small one) partly because employees within the organization dropped the ball, and partly because it took several phone calls to get a straight answer about what happened. Then, weeks after the tack had been shipped back, I got more phone calls telling me my stuff was ready for pick up!

    I was surprised. Bevals usually isn't this incompetent. But I relate this story just to let everyone (and EquusNow who should have known their supplier) what can happen.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,438

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Actually, I think it was at least partially EN's fault. They took your order, knew that you wanted an estimate and didn't deal with their recommended supplier well enough.

    I had the same experience with Bevals though I dealt directly. Lovely work, great guys whom I don't begrudge a living.... and way too much money. $15 for a keeper on a noseband? $76 to repair a couple of buckles on a pair of leather open fronts? Honey, that is (or was at the time) half way to a new pair... even a high-end Bevals pair! If that's what it costs, then at least tell me first. Who knows? You might get $150 instead of $76 from me!

    I called the New Canaan Mother Ship and told them my tail of woe: I had taken my stuff to their North Salem store, and asked them to call me with an estimate. Work was done with no communication. I got mad and asked for a break on the price (and got a small one) partly because employees within the organization dropped the ball, and partly because it took several phone calls to get a straight answer about what happened. Then, weeks after the tack had been shipped back, I got more phone calls telling me my stuff was ready for pick up!

    I was surprised. Bevals usually isn't this incompetent. But I relate this story just to let everyone (and EquusNow who should have known their supplier) what can happen.
    IMO, the North Salem store is Beval in name only... they don't seem to have done any training nor much in the way of product upgrades from the Salem Saddlery days and I haven't been overly impressed. I have dealt with the staff in New Canaan for years and find them both more knowledgeable *and* more customer service oriented... it's a bit farther to drive but I usually make the effort unless I need something really straightforward, despite the fact that I drive more or less right past the NS store on the way to the barn 6 days a week. *sigh*
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2003
    Location
    Mudville, GA ;-)
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    Default

    I sent boots to Beval to have the stretch panels replaced. Like I said, we spoke on the phone about the cost and I thought I knew what to expect. When I got the boots back they had tacked on a cleaning/shine for $27 (I think). I was surprised because the boots were clean and polished, though perhaps not 'show ready', when I sent them. Beval hadn't done that before. I can't complain too loudly because I didn't take the matter up with Beval, but I can say we didn't discuss it on the phone!
    Y'all ain't right!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    8,527

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    IMO, the North Salem store is Beval in name only... they don't seem to have done any training nor much in the way of product upgrades from the Salem Saddlery days and I haven't been overly impressed. I have dealt with the staff in New Canaan for years and find them both more knowledgeable *and* more customer service oriented... it's a bit farther to drive but I usually make the effort unless I need something really straightforward, despite the fact that I drive more or less right past the NS store on the way to the barn 6 days a week. *sigh*
    The trick to the North Salem location is to deal only with Jodi.
    She's great.

    If anyone else picks up the phone I'm just like, "Thanks! I'll call back!"



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2009
    Location
    Ocala
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    28

    Default

    Like many businesses, Beval cannot posssibly be what it once was. A quality, customer service oriented business. They have lost track of that somewhere along the way....



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,438

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buddys girl View Post
    Like many businesses, Beval cannot posssibly be what it once was. A quality, customer service oriented business. They have lost track of that somewhere along the way....
    Why not? There are plenty of companies that offer quality service, IMO. Smartpak is frequently cited on this board for great customer service, for example.

    I personally have had excellent service from the Beval New Canaan location; can't say the same about North Salem, but I don't frequent that shop anymore (for that reason) and perhaps they have improved.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



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