Eleven weeks ago, I declared my saddle hunt officially over when I finalized a $4,000 order for a custom Prestige Passion K. Black leather, pink trim, 17″ seat, super short flap, measured to fit Raglan… #hellyeah!
Typical delivery time for a custom Prestige saddle is eight to ten weeks. When the ten week mark passed, I started to get nervous. I sent an email out to my sales rep, only to find out that my saddle was going to take another five weeks to get to me. Needless to say, I was not happy.
That’s where things get crazy. I asked the sales rep for a demo saddle to use while I waited. She didn’t have anything available, but she was sorry for the “couple week delay”. The way her email was phrased sparked my temper, so I shot the Prestige USA an email on the sly and made a discovery: apparently every year Prestige shuts down their factory for the entire month of August and then has to catch back up afterwards, which can cause delays that my rep had completely failed to warn me about.
I was FURIOUS. I replied back to my rep’s email, telling her off for “an extreme lack of transparency and accountability”. And, because I’ve got 0 patience when it comes to being jerked around over a $4,000 purchase, I forwarded my complaints to the owner of the local tack shop she works for, too.
The shop owner tried to smooth things over with a pair of ultra fancy stirrup leathers. It would have worked… but then the sales rep replied back promising to deliver a “matching” set of BROWN 57″ leathers with my saddle. Not only is my saddle BLACK, but I also need stirrup leathers that are 48″ max (child size LOL). Suddenly I was questioning whether she’d even submitted the correct order.
Not going to lie, I spent the day stewing and then I FLIPPED THE HELL OUT.
“The lack of communication and the staggering amount of ineptitude happening in this order is ludicrous.” – what angry writers type in angry emails
I looped Prestige USA’s warehouse manager into the email. I demanded a copy of my order that the sales rep had submitted to Prestige and a list of other reps in the area so that I could “pursue other options for the delivery and fitting of my saddle”. Then I hit send and went to bed.
I can only assume that everyone read my email the next morning and lost their minds. By the time I was starting my day I already had a missed call, a voicemail, and a text from the tack store owner. I finished running a couple of errands, got a pep talk from TrainerK (I’m terrible at phone calls and if I get too angry I burst into tears HA HA HA), and then sat down to call him back.
The store that I ordered my saddle through carries high quality products and has a reputation for being a bit overpriced—maybe even a little snooty. The owner, though, is generally considered to be a kind, upstanding guy. He listened to my complaints, then gave me the full story: it wasn’t the annual shut down that delayed my order, but instead the retirement of one of the factory’s most prominent customization experts. My custom flap/color trim combo had landed my saddle in Prestige’s most swamped department.
But despite the fact that the delay is a Prestige problem, he understood that the lack of communication was something his shop needed to take responsibility for—and he was determined to make it right.
My order originally totaled out to a whopping $4,130.50 (#GOODBYEMONEY). But after the nightmare that the last few days has become, the shop owner and Prestige have come together to waive all of my fitting, customization, and overseas delivery fees. The only thing I’ll be paying is the base price of the saddle ($2950) and the taxes (~$250). Add that all together and it’s a savings of ~$925! And on top of that the shop owner is also throwing in the Prestige stirrup leathers he promised me (~$145 value) and a padded saddle case (~$70 value). That’s $1,140 worth of compensation.
So not only am I relieved that this whole mess has been sorted out, but I’m also significantly less broke than I thought I was. Of course, there’s still the fact that my saddle won’t be delivered until November 15th…
But in the mean time, the tack shop did track down a Prestige I can borrow for the next month 😎