Completely agree, Monkeyface; in three different towns/cities, I have found one reliable tailor and one reliable cobbler (out of perhaps seven in the former category and three in the latter) who has not yet done any of the following: misheard/ignored basic, specific instructions (cuff/no cuff; full break/whispering break/no break), sewn flimsy, unreliable, ugly stitches into areas of alteration (pant cuffs/jacket sleeves/jacket lining/shoe soles) that ruin the overall standard of the garment, or been completely off on the date when work was promised to be completed.
Ironically, the only exception lives here in Minnesota, which in every other industry seems to live by the motto "We're incompetent, but you probably won't care."
Sorry that's a bit ranty, but man, I'm with you on this one.
Yikes. Sorry to hear about your misadventures in tailor land. I'm lucky that there are two full bespoke tailors relatively nearby that I utilize. Even given their qualifications, I began with less precious items that I wouldn't mind dumping if it turned out unsatisfactory. Tailoring seems to be a dying art these days.
(I live in a major metropolitan area and travel 40-60 min to have alterations done. And $75 is pretty ridiculous for slimming a trouser leg)
Thanks for the replies guys. Again, apologies for the rant, but alterations have got to be the must frustrating process of menswear. I've been thinking about doing basic alterations myself for a while now, and I might just start doing it. It won't be cost effective, but I enjoy sewing as a way of clearing the mind, and it'll save me from getting angry at tailors. Let's hope this one will be reasonable enough to fix the issue.