Written on: 23/11/2011
I have purchased 2 suits from King and Allen, and my experience with both of them has been unsatisfactory.
On the first suit, the bottom of the jacket fell down within 8 weeks as it had not been tacked properly. There were suggestions that this was in some way my fault for placing heavy objects in the pockets (which was not the case and certainly not my wallet having handed over the best part of £2,000 for both suits to the manufacturer). King and Allen did subsequently fix it.
Notwithstanding the unsatisfactory first performance, it was an A star performance when compared with the second suit. Some of the highlights:
- Beginning to end took 7 months.
- The first effort at the second suit was so bad I could only just get the jacket on and was unable to raise my arms. At the third fitting some 3 months in it was agreed to start the process again. For the avoidance of doubt, I had not put on any weight during this time!
- There was no continuity of service in terms of tailors. 3 different tailors were involved in the process.
- Attended a fitting to be advised the head tailor who was now assigned to me was not there (I accept it was unavoidable but a phone call or text to advise me of this would have helpful).
- When they realised the error and that the head tailor was not available, another tailor volunteered his services suggesting that any delay would be down to me if I did not use him (this being the same tailor that the head tailor had advised had got the original baste fitting wrong which had necessitated having to start the entire process of making the suit again).
- When delays first became apparent on the first effort, it was suggested that King and Allen would make a goodwil gesture when the process was complete, but did not want to finalise it until it was clear how much I had been inconvenienced. This offer was then frequently repeated (uninvited) during the process. As noted in the highlights above, things proceeded to get worse before they got better. On conclusion of the process, no offer was forthcoming.
- On chasing King and Allen up on their promised gesture, they reverted with an as a valued customer refund offer of 10% (noting my patience throughout the process and how a double breasted suit is more difficult than a single breasted). I passed them up on the offer, not wanting to get exercised as to how the 10% divided up between my time, outlay of money up front, and compensation for the various elements of the process that fell over. An alternative off 20% of my next purchase was also suggested.
Whilst I acknowledge that bespoke tailoring is to some extent an art and not a science, I've never suffered the same issues when having suits made in the past. Furthermore, it could well be mine was an isolated and rare occurence - however, I did suffer issues (all be it of differing degrees) on both the suits I commissioned.
I don't wish this to be an unbalanced review, and would note that King and Allen acknowledged the issues throughout the process and did eventually produce a well fitted suit. However, any chance of King and Allen achieving their goal of building an ongoing relationship with me most likely ended when they did not come up with the promised gesture until invited to do so, and which then came in at such a modest quantum.
Whilst I have published this review anonmously, there is I am sure enough detail for King and Allen to be in no doubt as to who posted it (assuming of course my experience is not typical).
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