Sunday, May 24, 2015

Retail Therapy

So I just spent more money at SmartPak, because SmartPak. 

But first let me tell you the story of my cheapo Ariat zip ups that I bought in Middleburg last summer.  You know those ones I got for like $190, so I picked them up as schooling boots.  Yeah, the zipper on the left boot began to fail above the ankle in February.  Not at the calf where the boot is widest (and presumably under the most stress from the zipper's standpoint, I don't know), but just above the ankle.  I cleaned the zipper best I could, which helped, but it kept splitting.  So I took it to the local cobbler to have him install new zippers.  Never again.

I walked in and requested a full-length elastic to be installed with the zipper.  But this guy refused, and assured me that his zippers are heavy duty and don't need that elastic crap.  They wouldn't split.  Elastic would make the boots look bad.  He guaranteed his work.  Okay.  So instead of turning around and walking out because the guy adamantly refused to do what I asked, I (like an idiot) agreed and handed over the boots to have him install new zippers with no elastic.  Two weeks later I came back when I was told, and the boots weren't done.  Zippers hadn't arrived.  I came back a week later as agreed upon, and zippers were not installed, we checked the fit and he told me one more week.  I was annoyed, but I preferred double checking the fit (I requested an additional 1/4" in the calf). 

I came back a week later and it took exactly 30 seconds for BOTH zippers to fail in the calf and split.  I went from having one boot with an issue at the ankle, to two boots that failed at the calf.  To add insult to injury, we couldn't get the right zipper back down, so he had to cut that one off.  I tried to explain that the boots didn't feel any tighter or different in the calf from before, but now they were splitting where that wasn't the problem before, that the zippers aren't solid, but he insisted that my leg got fat.  He stood there and in the company of other customers insisted to me that the only explanation was that my legs were fatter than I originally thought.

I gave up.  Told him to replace the zipper on the right boot again, and gave them to a barn friend seeing that the work was already paid for.  The guy refused to do what I originally asked, insisted on another course of action that failed miserably, and I wasn't going to sink any more money into some not-great-quality boots.  I was pissed and just left without really letting on how upset I was.  The boots didn't feel any tighter.  And I suppose if the fit in my OTHER TWO PAIRS OF TALL BOOTS had changed, then I would agree with the guy.  But they haven't.  So I'm not sure what happened, but those zip-up Ariats are gone, and I'm sitting here soaking my Dehners again so I can take them to the barn this afternoon and ride in them for the first time. 

So where does retail therapy come in?  I just bought a pair of brown Ariats that I've been lusting over for awhile.  They will be my new schoolers while I save the black Dehners for more formal things like clinics and shows.  My ancient Frankenstein Ariats will finally retire for good (I may have to throw them away to prevent myself from digging them up again), and I'll have two pairs of boots to rotate through.  I also picked up brown spur straps, a new brown and navy blue halter for Soonie, some boot covers, and gel bands.  And another pair of breeches because I love blue Tailoreds. 

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Wow. I would be so mad at that cobbler if I were you! Not only did he not do what was promised, but then he called you fat?? Oh man.... I would of had some choice words.

    But it's not all bad because you got those gorgeous brown boots! I am absolutely 100% in LOVE with those and have wanted a pair for as long as they've been around. I am so jealous!

  2. Yeah, he basically told me in an extremely polite manner that my legs were fatter than I thought or I had put on weight in the MONTH that he had the boots. I tried to explain that the fault might lie in the fact that there was a lot of subtraction and addition of new materials and perhaps he got it wrong, or perhaps the zippers were pure trash, but he insisted his work wasn't at fault and that the zippers were fine....I think you know where that's going.

    I was PISSED. But there were two other customers in the shop, I wasn't about to let the guy have it verbally in front of them, and I waited for them to leave before I simply told him to replace the cut off zipper and that I was done. He was apologetic, but if only there was a way to allow more give for the zipper (COUGH ELASTIC)....lesson learned: be more demanding. Got it. On the first day I had said I was more concerned about getting functional boots than pretty ones - if the zippers were huge and gross looking that's fine, so long as they don't split. Instead, I ended up with beautifully altered, useless boots. So, I won't be recommending that guy to any of my horse friends, ever. Can't put more energy into that debacle, a friend is getting some boots out of the deal so I guess that ends well enough.

    And yes...yay brown boots! Hopefully these hold up better than the other zippered Ariats. If not I will light them on fire.

    1. Yeah.... I used to work in sales so at this point in my life, I will flat out refuse to do business with someone if they aren't nice human beings. I get that everyone has bad days because I've worked in sales for several years. But stuff like what you just said? Inexcusable. That's not a bad day, that's someone who doesn't deserve business.

      I once went to get a new cell phone and I knew exactly what I wanted because my requirements only left 1, maybe 2, phones. The sales lady at the cell phone store proceeded to not listen to ANYTHING I had to say and argue with me, saying I wanted this phone instead of this one, so much that she even sat me down with two phones that I specifically said were probably going to be too big to fit into my back pockets so useless when working at a barn... I thanked her for her time and walked out. While I then had to wait a few more days to be in the area of a different store, I never regretted that decision. You wanna earn your commission or business? Learn to listen and do what the customer wants. Although I didn't think it needed to be added but I suspect not insulting your customers would be an important note too.... Goodness. I hope these boots work out better for you!! I will live vicariously through you and enjoy them!