Saddle fitting - am I being taken for a ride??? (scuse the pun!)

SueAllen

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14 July 2005
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253
Sorry to post this here - I know it would be more at home in the Stable section but I know I'll get a better response here.

Brief history as I have posted about this before. Bought brand new Albion saddle, professionally fiited. Very pleased with it. After 6 weeks use it caused my horse some back pain. Physio said she was 'horrified' at the level of asymmetry of the flocking and it certainly looked very lumpy and uneven. Also had a problem with extreme scuffing on flaps. Saddler came out. Assured me that asyemmtry could be easily sorted by reflocking. Albion took saddle back to look at scuffing and agreed to replace saddle flaps. However, they also want to make adjustments to tree and points to accommodate horse's dippy back shape at a cost to me of £150! I have spent £995 on the saddle, £45 on the physio, £26.50 on saddler visit (and school hire for same) and now £150 to tweak the tree. I make that £1216.50.....!!!
Anyone got any thoughts on what I can do or is it 'just one of those things'? At the moment I don't feel I have any choice but the go ahead as I could end up with a saddle that doesn't fit my horse.
 

_daisy_

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17 March 2005
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Personally I would be looking at getting the saddle fitter to cough up for these extra costs. After all they were the ones who said fitted the saddle, and said the saddle fitted.
Have you spoken to the professional saddle fitter to see what they have to say?
 

Tierra

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27 September 2006
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You have my sympathies.... I think buying saddles is an absolute nightmare. We have an albion gold approved retailer to fit the horses on our yard (the ones with albions anyway) and have nothing but problems over and over again with them.

Now, did the saddle go back to albion directly or to the saddler who messed up in the first place? Also was the saddle brand new?

I must admit id be furious with the situation but im not entirely sure what you can do aside from kicking up a huge fuss.

Have you considered contacting albion directly if you havent already? And perhaps telling them how disappointed you are with the whole mess? Sometimes this can be enough to trigger some reaction from them.
 

ss1

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26 May 2006
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Kent
Oh dear.

If they are having to make these adjustments then did the saddle actually fit in the first place? Question them on this because if not then you could argue negligence on the part of the fitter. Get it set in your mind what you want from this and don't accept anything else. I would argue for a full refund and not let Albion touch the saddle as once you have let them it is as though you have accepted this as a means of rectifying the problem. I definitely wouldn't pay for the changes!
 

Cullohill

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12 September 2005
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OMG this is not good - and feel very sorry for you. I don't want to go into too much detail publicly so i will PM you - but rip off springs to mind (which often does with Albion)
 

SueAllen

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14 July 2005
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253
Thank you I'd appreciate any help I can get with with this - so will wait for your PM. I just feel something is not right but not exactly sure where I stand. Such a shame, it is a lovely saddle but the amount of money and hassle is not worth it.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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8 August 2005
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I would contact Citizen's Advice Bureau regarding your rights in this case.

From what you are saying you have already paid for the saddle & to have it fitted. There is no way you should be paying for all the other work that now has to be done. It appears clear that it wasn;'t fittex correctly to start with. I would listen to the advice from CAB & then take action.

Someone here hasn't dome their job & are expecting you to pick up the bill.
 

SueAllen

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14 July 2005
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253
I think I will have to hold that one up my sleeve and see what the outcome with Albion is. Trouble is, atm, I have no saddle and they have all my money!!!!!
 

Cullohill

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If the professional fitter is a member of SMS/qualified SMS fitter then you would be beter contacting them - as they have a good complaints procedure..... thats if Albion don't help you out a bit more!!!
 

ss1

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26 May 2006
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Kent
The 'legal' problem of you doing it through Albion is that you don't actually have a contract with them as such, just the saddle fitter. I think your best bet is to go through the fitter and get them to put the situation right. I would refuse the reflocking etc by Albion and get a refund from the saddle fitter and put it down to negligence. If the fitter is registered and part of a large firm then the more you kick up a fuss, the more you are likely to succeed. At the end of the day, if Albion do the corrections who will be fitting it back to your horse? You shouldn't have to fork out the cash to make it fit as it is not reasonably expected that it would become so badly fitting in 6 weeks, you have back-up from the person who looked at your horses' back for that.

If I were you I would push for a full refund and go elsewhere for your saddle.
 

SueAllen

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14 July 2005
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253
Thankfully the 'someone' who hasn't done the job properly has agreed to pay for the work on the saddle...... And has pretty much admitted that the saddle wasn't the right type of fit - eg GPs generally have straight trees and my horse has a 'dippy' back. Also that Albion would have recommended a made to measure saddle if they had seen the horse's back. At which point I would have said thanks but no thanks. Show me another. Had to stick to my guns fairly firmly and I don't think this is the end of the saga yet. I've still got an email into Trading Standards and will speak to the CAB too. Thanks for everyone's input.
 
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