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Custom EBY horse trailer gone wrong...and (hopefully) corrected

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  • Custom EBY horse trailer gone wrong...and (hopefully) corrected

    After shopping for over three months, we finally decided on an Eby stock combo. As you know, Eby trailers are not cheap but we went through the whole Sundowner debacle with the frame and wanted to avoid any other such issue. We signed off on a blueprint and everything, put down our deposit and the trailer was made.

    My husband took the day off on Wednesday to go pick it up at the dealer (almost 3 hours away) and the inside of the trailer is not lined as agreed in writing and on the blueprints. Additionally, the stall dividers are in the wrong places; one stall is only 36" wide and the others are oversized. Again, not as agreed upon in writing and on blueprints. And, one of the pieces of plexi is damaged. Long story short, the dealer is not being cooperative about the screw up.

    Soooo....I just got off the phone with Eby's VP. He wants to modify the trailer stalls to fit the original blueprint by cutting into the side of it and installing a larger escape door and more uprights. And sell it to me for the original price. And wait...this is the best part...they can't start work on it right away because THEY TOOK IT TO AN EXPO instead of shipping it back to the factory; it won't be back to the factory until late next week at the earliest, meaning they won't begin to work on it until the middle of this month. I said no, I want them to build me the trailer they agreed to build 3 months ago because I don't want a modified trailer...that is why I spent all the time going over blueprints and waited months for it to be built. The VP said he's not sure he can do that; he has to contact Mr. Eby and get back to me....Really? This is your idea of customer service? You agreed to custom build me a trailer three months ago, you custom built the wrong trailer and I'm being unreasonable not to want a trailer that has to be carved up and rebuilt in order to match the blueprints that YOU DIDN'T FOLLOW TO BEGIN WITH????

    So, if anyone is going to Empire Farm Days this weekend, check out the trailer that is now for sale as far as I'm concerned. Disgusted.

    Ironic thing is, we are trading up from a Sundowner, who replaced our frame under warranty with less hassle than I've gone through so far with Eby.
    Last edited by spotmenow; Aug. 9, 2011, 05:19 PM.
    JB-Infinity Farm
    www.infinitehorses.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
    After shopping for over three months, we finally decided on an Eby stock combo. As you know, Eby trailers are not cheap but we went through the whole Sundowner debacle with the frame and wanted to avoid any other such issue. We signed off on a blueprint and everything, put down our deposit and the trailer was made.

    My husband took the day off on Wednesday to go pick it up at the dealer (almost 3 hours away) and the inside of the trailer is not lined as agreed in writing and on the blueprints. Additionally, the stall dividers are in the wrong places; one stall is only 36" wide and the others are oversized. Again, not as agreed upon in writing and on blueprints. And, one of the pieces of plexi is damaged. Long story short, the dealer is not being cooperative about the screw up.

    Soooo....I just got off the phone with Eby's VP. He wants to modify the trailer stalls to fit the original blueprint by cutting into the side of it and installing a larger escape door and more uprights. And sell it to me for the original price. And wait...this is the best part...they can't start work on it right away because THEY TOOK IT TO AN EXPO instead of shipping it back to the factory; it won't be back to the factory until late next week at the earliest, meaning they won't begin to work on it until the middle of this month. I said no, I want them to build me the trailer they agreed to build 3 months ago because I don't want a modified trailer...that is why I spent all the time going over blueprints and waited months for it to be built. The VP said he's not sure he can do that; he has to contact Mr. Eby and get back to me....Really? This is your idea of customer service? You agreed to custom build me a trailer three months ago, you custom built the wrong trailer and I'm being unreasonable not to want a trailer that has to be carved up and rebuilt in order to match the blueprints that YOU DIDN'T FOLLOW TO BEGIN WITH????

    So, if anyone is going to Empire Farm Days this weekend, check out the trailer that is now for sale as far as I'm concerned. Disgusted.

    Ironic thing is, we are trading up from a Sundowner, who replaced our frame under warranty with less hassle than I've gone through so far with Eby.
    Why did they take a sold trailer to an Expo? Was it theirs to take? It would seem that EBY thinks so.

    And the VP who says "I'd love to help but I'm constrained." That would frustrate me. Be a buck-stopper or put Mr. Eby on the phone. I'd like to think that since there is a Mr. Eby and this trailer company has a good reputation, and you are telling this story on the internet..... that a resolution will be quick and fair.

    As the owner of the company, I think I'd be a little unhappy to hear that first my builders screwed it up and then my VP made someone angry enough that she made her complaint public. From what you say, I think the VP could have been a little smarter in his "damage control" effort.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by mvp View Post
      Why did they take a sold trailer to an Expo? Was it theirs to take? It would seem that EBY thinks so.

      And the VP who says "I'd love to help but I'm constrained." That would frustrate me. Be a buck-stopper or put Mr. Eby on the phone. I'd like to think that since there is a Mr. Eby and this trailer company has a good reputation, and you are telling this story on the internet..... that a resolution will be quick and fair.
      They build a good trailer, but apparently customization is not their strong point. So, don't agree to do it then. We worked with their engineer on the plans and then the blueprint wasn't followed. So, start over.

      I think they took the trailer to the Expo to see if they can sell it and if so, they will agree to build me a new one; I think telling me he has to talk to Mr. Eby is a way to buy some time while they try to sell the existing one. Regardless of WHY that trailer is at the Expo, telling me that just sent me over the edge.
      JB-Infinity Farm
      www.infinitehorses.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
        They build a good trailer, but apparently customization is not their strong point. So, don't agree to do it then. We worked with their engineer on the plans and then the blueprint wasn't followed. So, start over.

        I think they took the trailer to the Expo to see if they can sell it and if so, they will agree to build me a new one; I think telling me he has to talk to Mr. Eby is a way to buy some time while they try to sell the existing one. Regardless of WHY that trailer is at the Expo, telling me that just sent me over the edge.
        I have looked at Ebys and they build a great trailer.

        Mr. Eby has to be all about quality.

        So my guess is that he probably is a pretty tough bird that wants things to be right and the guy you talked to is trying to cover his own butt for making a mistake.

        In other words, if he can sell that trailer and take that money and build another for you, he can keep it a secret from Mr. Eby and will not have to suffer an ass chewing from the boss.

        Just my guess.

        CSSJR

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, I'd like to continue to think of EBY as a great company. There aren't many out there who build such a nice trailer. And they wouldn't be the first company (of any kind) to do what they do well but have a hard time with customization... despite appearances and intention.

          I like your second analysis: They wanted time to sell it and cover their loss before they start over on yours. I could see why they'd want to do that and hope you'd be able to wait. Maybe they aren't selling as many trailers as they used to. You put it as "IF they sell it, they'll rebuild." I'd guess that they *knew* they had to rebuild by the time you got from dealer to VP. That would explain why the "sell it" move happened so fast. It may be a good thing that Empire Farm Days was in the near future.

          And, yup, I would have rather heard something different from the company than "maybe we can rebuild, maybe we can't." But I'd understand, too, if waiting while they started over was a bit frustrating to you after 3 months' wait and your "hand holding" through the blue-print details. It was wise of DH to look it over and refuse it when he went to pick it up.

          Here's to hoping you get this sorted out and a very nice execution of your design in the end!
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cssutton View Post

            In other words, if he can sell that trailer and take that money and build another for you, he can keep it a secret from Mr. Eby and will not have to suffer an ass chewing from the boss.
            Looks like it may be a bit late for that
            Nevertheless, she persisted.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Since this whole debacle began I've had two people tell me that Eby does not have a good reputation as far as customization goes (one is a friend who therefore bought a 4-Star and the other is a dealer who decided not to carry them as a result of horse people being so detail-oriented). No one is disputing that they build a good trailer, I am complaining about the customer service. If they don't want to customize, they shouldn't agree to do so. Period.

              BTW, the VP told me that the escape door in the front is SUPPOSED to be big enough to get a horse out? I told him I've never heard of such a thing and his response was that some states are now enacting laws to that effect? I scoured the internet and have found no such evidence. Once more, since enlarging that door is the easiest way to fix the stall sizes, he was trying to get me to agree.

              I would love to talk to Mr. Eby and quite frankly apparently that is what to needs to happen at this point. This is not a cheap trailer; I expected better from this company and was willing to pay for it.
              JB-Infinity Farm
              www.infinitehorses.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I understand your frustrations and that it was not built to your specs. I am confused though. Why don't you want a horse to be able to fit thru the escape hatch? That is what I hate about my 2 horse bp.
                http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

                She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by spotmenow View Post

                  BTW, the VP told me that the escape door in the front is SUPPOSED to be big enough to get a horse out? I told him I've never heard of such a thing and his response was that some states are now enacting laws to that effect? I scoured the internet and have found no such evidence.
                  Actually, in the last week to 10 days, someone on your very own COTH had a direct link to trailer requirements. i believe it might have been from FMCA site. Anyhow, he is technically correct.

                  From memory of the above link, livestock trailers were suppose to have 2 doors on different sides of the trailer for use. I imagine that it would be helpful in a roll-over situation, when one door might be blocked.

                  Is he suggesting doing something like this? Personally, it could be a huge benefit to be able to load the front horse easily.
                  http://www.mheby.com/horse/victory_horse_trailers.php.
                  Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Quick timeline question: Did your husband refuse to take it on the Wednesday he went to get it, and it then went to the Expo? Or did you return it and say you were dissatisfied, and then it went? I'm trying to figure when something that belonged to you left your possession, and yeah, I'd be pissed!!

                    PS: if you want to switch to another brand of good trailer, SO and I just got a nice Logan and they are SOOOOOO nice to deal with, the dealer and the company. There was a broken door in the LQ when we bought it, not sure how, and they are making us a new one. Any other little problem and they fix it right away. Awesome service .
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gnalli View Post
                      I understand your frustrations and that it was not built to your specs. I am confused though. Why don't you want a horse to be able to fit thru the escape hatch?
                      I second that, why wouldn't you won't the front door as an escape route. A poster on another board I follow had a bad trailering accident where she was rearended. She somehow managed to squeeze her oversized horse through the normal person size escape door. Personally I like the idea of being to get my horses out the front if need be.

                      Good luck though.
                      Last edited by Logical; Aug. 6, 2011, 12:41 PM. Reason: left a key word out!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have nothing to add except that I'm jealous that you're getting an Eby. I think they are the best, hands down. Sorry you've had a problem with them. Hope it all gets fixed.
                        Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                        www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bought my Eby trailer from the dealer in Blue Ball, PA in December and was very happy with their service. If this situation had happened to me, I guarantee my husband would have been on the phone with Mr. Eby by now, or even better, sitting outside his office waiting to talk to him in person! Good luck.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                            Quick timeline question: Did your husband refuse to take it on the Wednesday he went to get it, and it then went to the Expo? Or did you return it and say you were dissatisfied, and then it went? I'm trying to figure when something that belonged to you left your possession, and yeah, I'd be pissed!!
                            My husband refused to take it, but the VP told me on Friday that he considers it the only trailer they are willing to sell us to fulfill the contract they made with us 3 months ago, which was to be a custom-built trailer, not a carved up and rebuilt trailer. When they get around to fixing it. After they've hauled it all over NYS and used it as a demo model for a week.

                            It doesn't look like I'm getting an Eby trailer because I'm not paying good money for such poor customer service. I'm certainly not taking that trailer. Unfortunately we are in upstate NY or I would be at Mr. Eby's door on Monday morning. Honestly, if I weren't so busy running my farm, I'd go to the Expo and stand next to that trailer and tell everyone this story....
                            JB-Infinity Farm
                            www.infinitehorses.com

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Gnalli View Post
                              I understand your frustrations and that it was not built to your specs. I am confused though. Why don't you want a horse to be able to fit thru the escape hatch? That is what I hate about my 2 horse bp.
                              This is a gooseneck 3 horse stock combo. The escape door is at the first stall (right behind the tack) on the left. Nothing on the right side. However, I wouldn't want a horse to be visually tempted to go out that door, step first onto the running board and then have to step quite a bit farther down to get to the ground. Obviously in an accident if that is the only option...but I've read quite a few accounts of horses getting hurt trying to go out escape doors and met one years ago who cut open his head and front legs pretty good. I always thought they were for people trying to get out of the trailer after they tie their horse in the first stall. I don't even have one in my current trailer and have to say, I've never even desired one...
                              JB-Infinity Farm
                              www.infinitehorses.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                EquiSpirit. Great trailers.
                                Fresh, Frozen & ISO Warmblood Breedings FB Group

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You've got multiple options, but one is to say, "You breached the contract in a material way; you keep the trailer and return the deposit."

                                  Then go find somebody who'll do the job right.

                                  Or you can "negotiate" and reach a "compromise." The "c" word is not always a "dirty word," but does require that each party give up something valuable.

                                  On a custom built trailer that does not meet the contract specification I'd likely go for Door # 1.

                                  Or, put another way:

                                  Take this trailer and shove it!
                                  I ain't gonna take it home.

                                  G.
                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Agree, check out www.Equispirit.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am not a lawyer, but I was in a business for many years that required contracts because almost all equipment was built to special order.

                                      Most states I am familiar with take contracts very seriously.

                                      You will have no problem getting your deposit back.

                                      So you have two choices, really.

                                      Apply the down to a standard trailer.

                                      Insist on the down being returned and go elsewhere.

                                      You have already made the decision not to accept a trailer that has been butchered.

                                      A letter from your attorney asking for the return of the down and a reminder from him as to the serious consideration courts give to contracts should suffice.

                                      I suspect there is a clause in the contract that states that refusal to accept results in a forfeiture of the down but since this trailer is not the trailer you ordered, that would not fly.

                                      CSSJR

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would also add that you probably purchased from the wrong dealer.

                                        The reason I say this is simply that you as an individual represent only one possible sale.

                                        A really strong dealer represents hundreds of sales. Therefore, a manufacturer will pay a lot more attention to an angry dealer than to an angry customer.

                                        In fact, I question why you are even required to deal with Eby directly. If you purchased through a dealer, the dealer should be resolving the problem to your satisfaction.

                                        Regardless of how the sales contract was written.

                                        CSSJR

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