A not to be repeated experience

Coppergate Mews, 103-107 Brighton Road, Surbiton, KT6 5NE
★★★★☆
3.8 / 5
71% of users recommend this
  • Value For Money

Guest's review of King and Allen Suits - www.kingandallen.co.uk.

★☆☆☆☆
King and Allen Suits - www.kingandallen.co.uk.

“A not to be repeated experience”

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).

  • Value For Money

Adam King Of King And Allen's Comment

Written on: 14/12/2011

Dear Sir. Usually I would respond to this myself, but this review has been taken quite personally by my colleague Charlotte who has requested that she write a few words. For my own part I would like to apologise that you did not enjoy your experience, and I hope we can straighten things out. I am at least heartened that you now have two suits that you are happy with. I'm sure we can prove to you that your service was not typical if given the opportunity. I will arrange the discount myself. You should find me vary generous! Anyway, over to Charlotte: "I wanted to once again apologise for the length of time your fitting process has taken with your last suit and thank you for your ongoing patience. We do, very occasionally, have a fitting process that takes longer than the 2-3 fittings we ask you to plan for, however, I do assure you that your suit, in this instance, has taken an unprecedented amount of time. We offer a fit guarantee, which means that we will not finish the process until your suit meets tailoring standards or how you have requested from the outset. We have looked back at your history and it would appear that the length of time needed for this suit was mainly due to the balance of your suit not being fully resolved at your baste fitting. As you have mentioned, tailoring in not an exact science and resolving an issue such as the balance, especially on a double breasted suit, uses a great amount of experience and skill and occasionally our tailors get it wrong. Unfortunately, all tailoring is subject to human error and we hope we are clear enough from the outset that this is part of the process.
Your suit was tailored in full and from your first fitting it was clear that the balance needed to be rectified. Instead of retailoring your suit, as we are aware of the delay which impacts our clients, our tailors have attempted to rectify the balance through adjustment. This was unfortunately unsuccessful and the only option to ensure a perfect suit was to retailor your suit from scratch. At this stage, we can attempt to cut corners to get your suit to you as quickly as possible but this is not the best course of action. We have retailored your suit and offered another baste fitting. This suit proved very successful and after minor tweaks I am glad to hear that you are happy with your suit. In hinds sight, it is clear that retailoring from your first fitting would have been the most efficient option but there is no way of predicting whether adjustments will be successful or not.
Over the past year we have made every effort to ensure that our clients do see the same tailor from initial consultation to taking your suit away with you. As soon as the issues with your suit were flagged up, we did guarantee that you would see the same tailor for each fitting and even ensured that our most experienced tailor was assigned to you until you were happy. In 2012 all of our customers will have a tailor assigned to them from start to finish. I must once again apologise for not contacting you when our Head tailor was unavailable at Bank for personal reasons, I simply did not put two and two together to make sure that you were contacted. A tailor was arranged to cover our head tailors absence but I agree I should have taken a better look at who he was scheduled to see you on that day.
Our fitting day manager had asked to see you himself on this day. I do apologise if you left the conversation feeling uncomfortable in any way. I have spoken to the tailor you are discussing and he was more worried that you would have made a wasted trip than trying to assert blame anyway. He was trying to build your confidence in his abilities and persuade you to be seen, as he felt he was available and able at that time. He was aware of your situation but not of every detail of the lengthy conversations we have had and was therefore unaware of how strongly we had discussed you see our head tailor for each subsequent fitting appointment. He was trying to be helpful and I once again apologise if this was misconstrued.
I am sorry that I did not contact you to discuss your compensation. You must admit that my response, even though not to your satisfaction, was immediate once prompted. We have put a lot of time and effort to ensure you have a perfectly fitting suit and therefore suffered a great financial loss. You are a valued customer and we would like to keep you as such. I must admit that I was expecting you to negotiate, and I am disappointed that you did not allow me the chance to discuss a gesture of good will with you before proceeding with a review.
If you would like to discuss compensation further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0208 390 6134 or via email at charlotte.clarkson@kingandallen.co.uk.
I look forward to hearing from you."

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