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My Horrible CWD Experience: A Cautionary Tale

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    #41
    I’ve had nothing but terrible experience with CWD but fall on 10 months being a long time to expect complete culpability on the part of CWD.

    Comment


      #42
      Originally posted by beowulf View Post

      You most certainly could have taken it back if it was misrepresented.

      This isn't a $60 pair of jeans, and the buyer didn't make a mistake here. It's a $1900 used saddle that was inappropriately listed/sold.

      I must be the odd one out but it is not industry standard, to refuse to repair a mistake made on the vendor's side. That's purely crappy customer service. No matter what industry you're in.
      Um no. This is why we have concepts of delay, laches, acquiescence in the law. At some point it would be unreasonable to void the transaction especially for a mistake that was hardly fraudulent. Such as where a depreciating piece of equipment is used for 10 months....

      Comment


        #43
        Why didn't your trainer tell you the saddle didn't fit initially? Ten months is a LONG time for your trainer to completely ignore that your saddle doesn't work for you at all...

        I agree that OP isn't entitled to a refund. I am sorry that the saddle didn't work for you OP, but between your lack of experience and the ten month period, I think you might have to eat this one. At least CWD have a decent resale price!

        Comment


          #44
          Originally posted by IPEsq View Post

          Um no. This is why we have concepts of delay, laches, acquiescence in the law. At some point it would be unreasonable to void the transaction especially for a mistake that was hardly fraudulent. Such as where a depreciating piece of equipment is used for 10 months....
          I didn't mention anything about voiding a transaction. A very basic tenet of good customer service is working towards an amicable resolution, without voiding transactions or taking back the product at a loss. Dealers are especially good at this -- and they do take mistakes made by their salesmen seriously.
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

          Comment


            #45
            Originally posted by Madison View Post

            I second this. Anne is great, and I believe she is taking appointments again. She is very knowledgeable and particular about fit, so even though she is the Voltaire rep she's not afraid to say something doesn't fit. And yes, involve your trainer!
            Anne is absolutely fantastic. She even hunted down a demo saddle for me to buy used, but only after fitting me first! Voltaire as a company is phenomenal. I've had my saddle sent twice for new panels (horse changed and then I switched to pro panels the second time). They do a beautiful job making adjustments and the saddle always comes back looking so much better than when I sent it. I dropped it off at WEF back in February for the pro panel swap and it was delivered to me a week later. Love them!

            Comment


              #46
              Really surprised at all those saying CWD should be on the hook for this. If it was something that only a saddle fitter would know, I could kind of understand, but saddle size is easy to figure out by anyone. I ride in an 18". If I try a horse with a 17" saddle on, I immediately can feel the difference. If it felt small to me, I would get a tape measurer out during the trial period. I just can't comprehend riding in a too small saddle for 10 months and never measuring it.
              If the saddle is still in good condition, maybe work out a deal with them to trade it in.

              Comment


                #47
                Stories of poor service from CWD are legion. That being said, I think this situation sucks but I don't know that it's worth your time/money/psychic energy to try to go after CWD.

                You bought a used Amerigo from CWD. That's a saddle someone else traded in to buy a new CWD. It's not their brand and it's not new. They don't care as much about selling trade in saddles. They throw them up on the website with a few photos (which typically includes the flap/serial number) and some limited information. It's on you, as the buyer, to decide if you like it when you try it. They offer returns. A generous 30 days to return, penalty-free, for any reason. Even if you just change your mind. Whether they said it was an 18, a 17, or a flying unicorn-- when you got it, you tried it, and it was up to you to decide if it worked.

                Unfortunately neither you nor your trainer noticed for (10 months?!) that it was too small. That's kind of on you. These saddles don't come with long term trade in policies-- they come with a basic return policy. You order it, you try it, you can return it after a brief period if you don't want it. ANYTHING used works that way. And ANYTHING used could be erroneously described by the non-original owner selling it. They might call it "Havana" and Amerigo calls that color "nutbark." Someone might have a bad day and mis-measure. Someone might make a typo listing the saddle on the website. That's why you have to try it and decide if you like it. What if it had been a 17 but it fit you like a glove. Would you still be arguing that you get to return it 10 months later if you started leasing a new horse and wanted a new saddle or quit riding or some other reason unrelated to the saddle itself? Of course not.

                It sucks they they were unprofessional in dealing with you. That's on them. That's NOT a good way to handle these issues. I fully, 100% agree. They were rude about this. That shows how little they care about customers. But it doesn't make them wrong about whether they ought to take back this saddle.

                They can't control that you're a newbie and that between you and your trainer it took 10 months to decide you didn't like riding in this. It would have been better had they measured properly but they (presumably) posted the serial numbers. The information was there for you to research. And you could have measured the saddle when it came out of the box-- the same way you inspected it for wear/tear (which was also described in the ad and which was also subject to your decision upon receiving the saddle whether it worked for you or not). Or you could have test ridden in it and decided whether you liked the feel. And even if it had been an 18 as represented-- you STILL could have returned it within the return window if it wasn't what you wanted to buy.

                It doesn't sound like CWD had any control over the USPS decision to deliver the saddle without your signature (sounds like that's a USPS thing) and they similarly had no control over the fact that you thought you needed an 18.5 when you didn't. Different brands fit differently. FWIW a 18.5 Voltaire is like an 18 in a lot of other brands. So if you generally DO need a 18 that Voltaire might have actually been a good size for you to try (had you been ok with the condition).

                Chalk this up to a lesson learned. Making a big investment purchase on an item you don't know a lot about can be risky. It would be helpful in the future to involve a knowledgeable expert (saddle fitter) or else to educate yourself a bit more before making the purchase. Sell the 17' Amerigo and buy something you like instead.
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                Comment


                  #48
                  Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                  That they are!

                  Hmm, just realized the smiley emoji isn't working. Looks snarky without it. Anyway, yes, you're good and allowed to have your own opinion. It's one of the things I appreciate about this board.
                  I can't see it booo. But I didn't take it as snarky. I can see the OP's and your point. Disagreement without judgment (caveat- this does not extend to ahole posters )
                  Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                  Comment


                    #49
                    If you had noticed the issue during the trial period, I would have expected CWD to make it right by exchanging the saddle and refunding any shipping costs. But 10 months seems like an unreasonable time for you to use an item and then want a refund.

                    Comment


                      #50
                      You couldn't give me one.....have a friend that went through their "training" to be a rep. Whole company is exactly what I thought it was. They have great marketing
                      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                      carolprudm

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #51
                        Wow. I did not anticipate that this post would generate quite this amount of discussion. Many, many thanks to those who offered helpful saddle search suggestions. Going forward, I intend to find an independent saddle fitter to get expert guidance for my next purchase. Many of the experts (Anne and, especially, Susy) that posters named in this thread have come highly recommended from friends who heard this saga as it unfolded over the past 6 weeks. I especially appreciate the education many of you provided and reference resources you have shared. Further, thank you to those who shared their experiences of CWD's operations.

                        Regarding the saddle fitting the horse, prior to purchasing the Amerigo, I was using one of the barn’s 17” saddles for lessoning on various school horses. I was not knowledgeable about horse fitting in my first saddle purchase. Literally, days before I was going to start the lease for the horse, he developed a severe and rapidly worsening lameness issue and was abruptly shipped back to his owner out of state. I’d already purchased the saddle and just kept using it on lesson horses. By the way, I particularly liked the description of this process as buying a single swimsuit for 2 bodies. What I don’t know is how I could have fit many bodies with a single swimsuit.

                        Some responses questioned how I could not have noticed the saddle size/fit for 10 months. Understand that I had NO frame of reference for a properly fitting saddle, as I had never been in a right-sized seat. If your parents buy your shoes a half-size too small, you grow up thinking that’s how shoes should fit. And, as one gracious poster responded, I’m a bit fluffy. When I thought an 18” seat was snug, I assumed 18” is 18” irrespective of the brand. So, I did what I thought would fit me into an 18” seat. Recall that I also had to consider flap length. I’ve never seen a saddle larger than 19” and the 19” saddles are usually for very tall riders (with proportionally long flaps). I was unsure that I could ever find a 19” inch seat coupled with short flaps. So, I noticed that it wasn’t a perfect fit but I did not know that the saddle size was that far off.

                        Finally, some responses raised the issue/question about whether the length of time between the sale and the discovery should make CWD responsible for all, some or none of the problem. I didn’t go to Joe’s Bait, Tackle & Saddles. I went to CWD -- a saddle manufacturer – thinking that they would know what they are selling. Nothing would have suggested that a saddle manufacturer did not know how to measure or determine the size of a saddle seat. Nothing in the ad suggested that there was a difference in seat size or that I should go behind them to verify the details they listed to advertise the saddle. I expect to have to do that on Craigslist, Ebay or Facebook, and for that reason, I chose the "easier route" of purchasing from a well-known manufacturer: CWD. I did not get something more valuable (as in the example of the vehicle that turned out to be 2 years younger – and likely, higher in Blue Book value). I got something that was not as advertised with no notice that I could not rely on their representation. And, as I stated originally, I had not used the saddle much in those 10 months due to medical issues that kept me from riding. So, no, I do not concede that they have no responsibility for their action, given that I would not have been in the market for a larger saddle only 10 months later if they had only sold me what they advertised.

                        I appreciate that many of you have understood that this was just very poor customer service from CWD. A business that sells used merchandise, as well as their own brand of new merchandise, has made the business decision to use the first transaction as a chance to establish a relationship for the next transaction. Whether the misrepresented Amerigo was the product of mistake or nefarious intent, when discovered, CWD’s had every opportunity to choose a response that could have preserved that future transaction. They could have offered to exchange the 17” Amerigo and apply a percentage of the cost against another used saddle. They would have gotten the Amerigo back (and earned another commission for reselling it) and I would have gotten a properly sized saddle (for which there would be a third commission). They could have offered to take it back (with an appropriate decreased value for the 10 months) for a store credit against a new saddle. There are so many ways a creative and customer-service oriented business can respond to this type of error. And, if they had chosen to even try to make it right (which can mean a lot of things other than a full refund), I would have been singing their praises. Unfortunately (for them), their chosen response was the equivalent of offering me the back seam of their breeches to kiss.

                        Comment


                          #52
                          Originally posted by Juliette's Mom View Post
                          Wow. I did not anticipate that this post would generate quite this amount of discussion. Many, many thanks to those who offered helpful saddle search suggestions. Going forward, I intend to find an independent saddle fitter to get expert guidance for my next purchase. Many of the experts (Anne and, especially, Susy) that posters named in this thread have come highly recommended from friends who heard this saga as it unfolded over the past 6 weeks. I especially appreciate the education many of you provided and reference resources you have shared. Further, thank you to those who shared their experiences of CWD's operations.

                          Regarding the saddle fitting the horse, prior to purchasing the Amerigo, I was using one of the barn’s 17” saddles for lessoning on various school horses. I was not knowledgeable about horse fitting in my first saddle purchase. Literally, days before I was going to start the lease for the horse, he developed a severe and rapidly worsening lameness issue and was abruptly shipped back to his owner out of state. I’d already purchased the saddle and just kept using it on lesson horses. By the way, I particularly liked the description of this process as buying a single swimsuit for 2 bodies. What I don’t know is how I could have fit many bodies with a single swimsuit.

                          Some responses questioned how I could not have noticed the saddle size/fit for 10 months. Understand that I had NO frame of reference for a properly fitting saddle, as I had never been in a right-sized seat. If your parents buy your shoes a half-size too small, you grow up thinking that’s how shoes should fit. And, as one gracious poster responded, I’m a bit fluffy. When I thought an 18” seat was snug, I assumed 18” is 18” irrespective of the brand. So, I did what I thought would fit me into an 18” seat. Recall that I also had to consider flap length. I’ve never seen a saddle larger than 19” and the 19” saddles are usually for very tall riders (with proportionally long flaps). I was unsure that I could ever find a 19” inch seat coupled with short flaps. So, I noticed that it wasn’t a perfect fit but I did not know that the saddle size was that far off.

                          Finally, some responses raised the issue/question about whether the length of time between the sale and the discovery should make CWD responsible for all, some or none of the problem. I didn’t go to Joe’s Bait, Tackle & Saddles. I went to CWD -- a saddle manufacturer – thinking that they would know what they are selling. Nothing would have suggested that a saddle manufacturer did not know how to measure or determine the size of a saddle seat. Nothing in the ad suggested that there was a difference in seat size or that I should go behind them to verify the details they listed to advertise the saddle. I expect to have to do that on Craigslist, Ebay or Facebook, and for that reason, I chose the "easier route" of purchasing from a well-known manufacturer: CWD. I did not get something more valuable (as in the example of the vehicle that turned out to be 2 years younger – and likely, higher in Blue Book value). I got something that was not as advertised with no notice that I could not rely on their representation. And, as I stated originally, I had not used the saddle much in those 10 months due to medical issues that kept me from riding. So, no, I do not concede that they have no responsibility for their action, given that I would not have been in the market for a larger saddle only 10 months later if they had only sold me what they advertised.

                          I appreciate that many of you have understood that this was just very poor customer service from CWD. A business that sells used merchandise, as well as their own brand of new merchandise, has made the business decision to use the first transaction as a chance to establish a relationship for the next transaction. Whether the misrepresented Amerigo was the product of mistake or nefarious intent, when discovered, CWD’s had every opportunity to choose a response that could have preserved that future transaction. They could have offered to exchange the 17” Amerigo and apply a percentage of the cost against another used saddle. They would have gotten the Amerigo back (and earned another commission for reselling it) and I would have gotten a properly sized saddle (for which there would be a third commission). They could have offered to take it back (with an appropriate decreased value for the 10 months) for a store credit against a new saddle. There are so many ways a creative and customer-service oriented business can respond to this type of error. And, if they had chosen to even try to make it right (which can mean a lot of things other than a full refund), I would have been singing their praises. Unfortunately (for them), their chosen response was the equivalent of offering me the back seam of their breeches to kiss.
                          Live and learn Used saddle shopping is very difficult and a saddle fitter will help you immensely. Don't get caught in the idea that everyone who needs a 19" saddle is tall so you'll have to squeeze into a smaller seat size. The seat size is about your butt and where you naturally balance in the tack and the flap is about how long your leg is and where your knee hits the flap. They are independent of each other. You will be able to find the right combination, you just have to have someone to help you do it!

                          Comment


                            #53
                            Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                            Do people really think CWD is off the hook for providing OP with the exact saddle that they claimed they sold her, just because time has passed?

                            I can't think of that flying in any other line of work. It certainly would not fly in my profession.

                            It doesn't matter if the saddle fits, or doesn't fit the OP. If the OP purchased specific metrics, and the product delivered does not match those metrics, that's on CWD. That isn't on the customer. That's like blaming a homeowner for a contractor dropping off the wrong aggregate!

                            I'm also one of those people who worked in (horse) retail for years -- I know the customer isn't always right... But in this case, I believe OP is owed the saddle they purchased. CWD should make that right... and if they can't, they should refund.
                            This is a bit ridiculous. Yes, CWD was wrong on measurements. The Op had 30-60 days to figure this out. Not 1 day or even 1 week, 30 days.
                            the error is on the buyer not CWD. I don’t know one saddle maker who would take a saddle back at full price 10 months later.

                            Comment


                              #54
                              Yeah, it’s annoying that the saddle wasn’t properly represented, but I’m not sure how it’s the company’s fault that you don’t know how a saddle should fit and your trainer didn’t help you. It took you 10 MONTHS to figure out that this saddle didn’t fit. That’s 100% the customer is wrong here. You had a generous return window and you still didn’t get professional help with the fitting, so, sorry, sucks to be you at this point.

                              Sell the saddle and seek knowledgeable help next time.

                              Comment


                                #55
                                The 17 inch is for you, the rider, not the horse. Saddles come in different widths for the horse.

                                You said the saddle was used on school horses so it did not just sit in a room and not be used for 10 months.

                                All horses should have their owm saddles fitted to them, ESPECIALLY school horses that usually do a lot more work than owners horses.

                                Just using any saddle on a horse, so different ones each time it is ridden will end up with a horse with a sore back.
                                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                                Comment


                                  #56
                                  This thread unfairly maligns CWD. You made an expensive mistake, fairly common in the horse world. Lesson learned.
                                  BLACK LIVES MATTER

                                  Comment


                                    #57
                                    Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post
                                    The 17 inch is for you, the rider, not the horse. Saddles come in different widths for the horse.

                                    You said the saddle was used on school horses so it did not just sit in a room and not be used for 10 months.

                                    All horses should have their owm saddles fitted to them, ESPECIALLY school horses that usually do a lot more work than owners horses.

                                    Just using any saddle on a horse, so different ones each time it is ridden will end up with a horse with a sore back.
                                    So I recently rode a 16.3 h horse at my trainers. The owner is a 6' tall man. Horse is also ridden by 8 year old 60 pound children. I am 5'3 and 170 pounds. How do you have a single saddle fitted to a lesson horse that is ridden by such a large variety of riders. The owner rides in an 18 in saddle. Do you think an 8 year old is going to do well jumping 2'6" in an 18 inch saddle? I can get away with anything in a 17-18 in range. But that 8 year old needs more like a 16 or 16.5 inch. Does every lesson horse have multiple saddles fitted to them? That is cost prohibitive.

                                    Each lesson horse should have a few saddles that are a decent fit. There should be pads/half pads that can make up the difference. I don't think that each lesson horse needs a perfectly fitted saddle.

                                    Why should her personal saddle be used on lesson horses when she isn't using it? It is her saddle not the trainers saddle. If you get injured do you just loan your saddle out to your trainer to be used by lesson students and get additional wear and tear?

                                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                    Comment


                                      #58
                                      I am an experienced saddle buyer but earlier this year, I bought a saddle that felt too snug. It was a brand that I hadn't tried before and I assumed that was how it fit. I ride in a number of saddles that are between 17"-18" depending on the style of the seat and the position of the flaps. Because of Covid-19 and not riding much for about a month, I didn't get around to putting a tape measure on it for about 30 days. That revealed the mystery. The saddle was misrepresented by the seller. Since I bought the saddle on eBay, I went to return it and hit the wrong reason -- "too small" -- rather than "not as described". "Too small" is considered to be buyer's remorse, so the buyer was not forced to take the saddle back and she refused the return. Ultimately, Paypal sided with me and I returned the saddle for a full refund. My credit card company would also have made it right.

                                      My experience made me understand the OP's experience -- You sometimes don't get around to doing all the things you should do with a used saddle purchase in a timely fashion.

                                      This experience also made me realize that I will never buy a saddle again without having someone put a tape measure on the saddle before it's shipped to me. Of course, there are things you can't see with a used saddle, too. I bought a County jump saddle that was marked as a Medium tree and sold that way. The saddle fit as a wide (I now Counties run Wide but this was quite wide) and my fitter determined it had been professionally widened by a previous owner. In that case, the saddle worked for my horse, but it drove home the point that you need to have any new saddle examined by an independent fitter ASAP.

                                      OP, you have two choices with the saddle -- either try to sell it yourself (Amerigo is a popular, well-known brand) or go to your credit card company to see if they will put pressure on CWD to take it as a trade in or refund.

                                      Don't discount the 18.5" saddle until you've tried it. There's so much variation on how a saddle fits, that as a new buyer you don't know yet what configuration will best fit you. My advice is to ride in as many saddles as you can to start to recognize the type of seat (flat, deep) and the position of the flaps and stirrup bars, which best suits you.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                      Comment


                                        #59
                                        If this story was being told just outside the 30 day return window, or 2 months after purchase... maybe I'd feel differently. But at 10 months? At some point CWD is entitled to think a deal is done and final when ALMOST A YEAR PASSES and they hear nothing from the buyer. A lot of what the buyer would like CWD to do is contrary to their policies (they don't allow anyone to trade in used saddles for used saddles-- they only take trade in saddles for sales of new saddles, etc.) and I think she's just being UNREALISTIC and refusing to acknowledge the parts of this situation that were caused/exacerbated by her. YES, CWD made a mistake. But so did she. But she's only focused on CWD's actions here, not her own.

                                        From CWD's POV the saddle has been used for 10 months more, so it's got more wear and tear, and it's older. It's not worth what it was when the OP bought it. And after 10 months, they have long ago kissed the saddle goodbye and moved on with business. All this on a USED AMERIGO that wasn't even a big profit margin for them in the first place. They'd probably already lost what little profit they had spending time dealing with the OP. This wasn't a new saddle with a big commission built in and a fitting mistake by their own expert. This was a used "as is where is" saddle from another brand that they took on trade in and just wanted to move.

                                        They were rude. Blowing off a customer is never ok. But I don't think they were WRONG on the substance.

                                        I also think this thread is a bit unfair to CWD and I am certainly NO FAN of their customer service/business practices having seen friends/barnmates go through the process of dealing with them and having talked a bit with one of their former fitters. Had OP discovered the saddle was too small on day 31 and CWD was telling her to go pound sand, I'd feel totally differently. But after 10 months, no one is taking back a used item. That's just not how it works. This is not "lifetime returns" like LLBean used to offer. Even they stopped doing that!
                                        ~Veronica
                                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                                          #60
                                          Originally posted by Juliette's Mom View Post
                                          tl:dr summary (full details in the thread below):
                                          • I was looking for an 18” saddle and bought a saddle that CWD advertised as an 18” saddle. The saddle seat is actually 17”.
                                          • CWD’s misrepresentation of the saddle size wasn’t discovered until 10 months later when I ordered an 18.5 used saddle from CWD.
                                          • When confronted with this, CWD claimed the 18” seat description was based on a hand measurement. I did a hand measurement and verified that the saddle is 17”.
                                          • CWD refused to make any recompense – return/refund or exchange – for the misrepresented saddle.
                                          • I have a good faith basis to believe that CWD is misrepresenting the seat size of another used saddle currently on its website.
                                          Since I teach writing I couldn't resist pointing out that only ONE sentence here has a clause phrased in passive voice

                                          Passive voice being a way to "hide the actor" (and here, take the focus from the actor's responsibility).
                                          ~Veronica
                                          "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                          http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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