We hope that it will rarely be necessary for you to make a complaint against a member of the Society but, if you feel obliged to do so, then this page explains the process to be followed.
Any complaint made to the Society should include the following:
- Name of the member in question
(we are unable to give any advice relating to anonymous complaints)
- If it is in regard to a saddle fitting, when the saddle was fitted
- If it is in regard to a manufactured item, when this was supplied
- Brief details of the problem
- Details of any second opinion which has been given (see below)
It should be noted that, in the case of a saddle fitting dispute, a complaint can only be investigated if the saddle has been fitted in the past 6 months.
Dissatisfaction between client and saddler / saddle fitter can arise because of misunderstandings or a breakdown in communication and can often be resolved by direct discussion with the saddler / saddle fitter concerned.
If you have not already done so please write to your saddler / saddle fitter setting out the problem. You may also wish to ask for an appointment or talk to him/her at a mutually convenient time.
If the saddler / saddle fitter concerned is an employee you should approach the proprietor.STEP 2 - A FORMAL COMPLAINT
If your own efforts to resolve a grievance directly with your saddler / saddle fitter have failed then the Society of Master Saddlers' may be able to investigate the matter on your behalf.
1. Put your grievance in writing to the member concerned, allowing a reasonable time for them to respond.
2. If this is not successful you will need to put your complaint in writing to the Society setting out the details of your complaint.
3. If a second opinion has been given it must be ensured that this has been carried out under the guidelines of the Society's Code of Practice. The person giving the second opinion must have contacted the original supplier and have access to the original fitting records. (It should be noted that 'hearsay' is not acceptable evidence and will not be taken into consideration.)
4. A second opinion will not be accepted from a third party who has subsequently sold a saddle or services to the complainant as this would not be considered to be an independent and unbiased opinion.
5. A second opinion on workmanship or saddle fitting will only be accepted from a fully qualified saddler / Master Saddler / SMS-Registered Qualified or Master Saddle Fitter.
6. When forwarding the letter please include copies of all correspondence which has passed between yourself and the saddler / saddle fitter.
7. The Society is unable to assist or continue to assist in a complaint where the complainant has posted comments or videos relating to the matter on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Society of Master Saddlers will take the next step but it is important that you recognise that its powers are limited.LIMITATIONS OF THE SOCIETY'S AUTHORITY
The Society acts as a trade association of manufacturers and retailers of saddlery to promote, watch over, and advance the interest of such manufacturers and retailers and encourage efficient service by them to the public. In pursuance of this the Society will look at any complaint in conjunction with the Code of Conduct and will try to mediate in any dispute with the aim of achieving a satisfactory outcome. Failing this, the matter may be brought before the Executive Committee of the Society which will decide on appropriate action regarding the member concerned.
The Society cannot prohibit free speech and it should be recognised that members are entitled to express their own honestly held opinions.Important Note:
Trading Standards / Citizens Advice will advise you as to your consumer rights with regard to any refund. Only a court of law has the authority to order any action or payment in connection with a complaint. The Society of Master Saddlers does not have the authority to order a refund or part refund by the original supplier, irrespective of the outcome of the complaint, particularly if a replacement saddle has subsequently been purchased from another company. Nevertheless, genuine effort will be made to deal with the problem and achieve a satisfactory solution.
Most complaints can be resolved by good communication between the client and saddler / saddle fitter.
1. Communicate with the saddler / saddle fitter. If this does not resolve the complaint then
2. Put your grievance in writing to the business in question,
3. If this does not resolve the issue, put your grievance in writing to the Society.
4. Write a letter or complete the form below and send it to the Society of Master Saddlers (UK) Ltd, together with copies of all correspondence.
5. Contact will be made with the member concerned and a copy of the letter will be sent to them asking for their comment.
6. All correspondence will then be considered by the Liaison Officer and Chief Executive and appropriate action taken / recommendations made.