Bad customer service from online tack shop -- which ones have good service?
Rant for starters: I ordered some things I needed from Equestrian Collections over Labor Day weekend, and added a dressage coat to my order because it was on an unbelievable sale and the size chart indicated it should fit me perfectly. It arrives and turns out to be a plus-size jacket with a gargantuan waist -- I'm not exactly small but you could fit me and my sister both in it and still button it up. The waist measurement is ten whole inches larger than the size chart for this coat indicates it should be.
So I called the store to figure out an exchange (I DO need a coat, even if not on sale). The service representative said that the coat should fit me based on the chart, that I can't do an exchange -- I have to return the item, wait for store credit to be issued, then buy something else -- and that she couldn't help me select the correct size in this brand or really any other coat. She wasn't rude, but she denied that the listing was misleading w.r.t. size or that EC bore any responsibility for the mistake, and insinuated that I must have measured myself wrong (in spite of the 10" mismatch between the size chart she read me and the actual coat). Because the item is not eligible for a flat-out return, I'm going to end up paying shipping 3x by the time I purchase something with my store credit, even though the error was on the seller's end.
SO I still need a dressage coat. I'm 2.5 hours drive from the nearest tack store that would carry such a thing and too busy to fit in the trek to Dover. And I've crossed Equestrian Collections permanently off my list of places to order from.
My question to the COTH community is, which online tack stores have good information online (accurate size charts for the brands they carry) and good customer service for returns/exchanges/etc? I'm sure there are a lot of us who are at the mercy of online retailers for ordering fit-sensitive equestrian gear, so which online stores have made it easy or pleasant for you to do so?
I know that right now COTHers tend to be split 50/50 on SmartPak, but I can't say anything bad about their customer service. Clothing that I've ordered from them has been fairly true to size and if not, been exchanged, replaced, or refunded in short order.
I've also had very, VERY good luck ordering from Horze as well as Spooks USA.
Smartpak may be a little pricey on some things, but I have had nothing but great customer service from them. The size charts for the items that I've ordered have been fairly accurate too.
Stateline Tack, while not carrying the higher end brands, has also impressed me with customer service. I ordered several items over the summer (all in one order) and the order didn't go out right. The packing slip had the items on it that I had ordered and paid for, but whoever packed the box put in the wrong bridle bag (large 3 halter/bridle bag instead of small single) and left out the flysheet that I had ordered. When I called them they said they would get the flysheet out right away (they did!) and when I offered to send back the much more expensive (and nicer) than I paid for bridle bag the customer service rep told me that it would cost more in shipping than the price difference on the bridle bags and to keep it because it was their fault the order was messed up.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
For that level of customer service, like "Person on the phone will walk over to the item and measure stuff for me" kind of service, I call equusnow.com or vtosaddlery.com. They're both large brick-and-mortar tack stores, they both do brisk Internet sales, and they're both renowned for their customer service. I've called them with some WEIRD questions and they're always super helpful. Both stores have awesome sales and closeout deals.
I've also had good service from Smartpak. They've always gone the extra mile for me on the phone; on one occasion, the customer service rep ran all over her office to locate a fellow employee who owned the item I had questions about. (The question was about how the item wore/laundered over time.) They have a 100% Happiness Guarantee that includes free return shipping on all sized items. http://www.smartpakequine.com/happiness.aspx
I love Dover and have never had a problem exchanging anything there. Ever. My clothing and my tack and my horses' clothing has always been perfect.
As for smartpak, while I did have to give up Cloudy's smartpak when I got Hattie and assumed her boarding fees, I have never had a problem with Smartpak either.
In fact, I once called smartpak and asked the customer service person if the new version of a fly mask was really less opaque as it appeared in my new catalogue. The person went "downstairs" while I waited on my cell, and she looked through a fly mask for me. Now that's good customer service!
I can't say enough good things about The Tack Room in Camden, SC. If I order before 1:00, I get it the next day without any sort of express shipping (and I think they offer free shipping above a certain price anyway). They have always been tremendously helpful and great to deal with!
"Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH
I am also going to recommend The Tack Room in Camden. I usually get my order the next day (standard shipping price) and they go above and beyond for the customer. Their customer service beats any, and I mean any, store (online or otherwise!), hands down. I cannot recommend them enough.
I noticed my Rambo wug (which I had purchased from The Tack Room) started leaking. However, it was 1 month past the 3 year warranty. I called Rambo who told me it was too late. I called The Tack Room and they said "no problem". My new Rambo wug was deliver (free!) the next day, before I had out my original in the mail.
I had very good customer service with Dressage Extensions -- pricey, yes, but one time I ordered a video and they called me to say that it was only available on VHS, not DVD, did I still want it? I said yes, and she said it showed out of stock, but she would personally check because she thought one had just been returned. Not twenty minutes later she called back and said they had one video left, and it was on its way. They've never messed up any of my orders, and are always good about answering questions.
I also had good service with Dover Saddlery -- I ordered a sheet and it was several months before I needed it, at which time I discovered the wrong size had been sent. I called and they exchanged right over the phone, no problem, not even when I said "But it's been at least six months!"
And I'll third or fourth SmartPak. Excellent customer service.
Equestrian Collections is one of the few I've had no luck at all with! I don't know how they stay in business. Bit of Britain and VTO are both pretty good. I'm driving distance to BoB though so I only order online if they're offering free shipping
Im with the posters that say Smartpak or The Tack Room Camden. I love Smartpak and they have always had great CS (worth the higher prices in my mind) and I have had awesome experiences with TTR. TTR was so good about helping me with replacing my helmet when I crashed last fall and are always pleasant when you call to order.
"I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"
I would sell the dressage coat on eBay. Seriously, plus sizes are in demand and if you got a great sales price on it, I bet you'll more than get your money back. Equestrian Collections has a pretty bad reputation locally and on COTH. As a PP said, how they stay in business is a wonder.
I've usually had good luck with Schneiders & SmartPak (can't say the same with UPS who SmartPak use to ship, though - that's ALWAYS where my order from SmartPak gets screwed up!)
Riding Warehouse is also great - I stumbled onto them, and they have great, quick customer service. Respond to e-mails really fast, and keep you in the loop. They are located in California, but I ordered online and they shipped to Canada for me.
For that level of customer service, like "Person on the phone will walk over to the item and measure stuff for me" kind of service, I call equusnow.com or vtosaddlery.com. They're both large brick-and-mortar tack stores, they both do brisk Internet sales, and they're both renowned for their customer service. I've called them with some WEIRD questions and they're always super helpful. Both stores have awesome sales and closeout deals.[/url]