My bad experience with Spier and Mackay

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by samps, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. samps

    samps Member

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    I wanted to share the ordeal that I’ve been going through so that others may be informed.

    I really wanted everything with Spier & Mackay to work out but I don’t believe I will purchase anything from them again. I would also not personally recommend them whatsoever. I believe they could provide good value if issues were corrected. However, my personal ordering experience has been less than satisfactory. Over 9 months later and I’m still not satisfied with 13 shirts received.

    I tried out some of their OTR shirts in October/November, 2014. They fit well in the torso, but the sleeves were too long and cuffs too wide. This was their Contemporary 17” fit. I thought I’d take the plunge and get MTM shirts. Note: Here is where I take some accountability – I should have actually measured the shirt and manually input all measurements I wanted. I did ask what I should do about this and mentioned the Contemporary 17” fit well except the sleeves and cuffs. I was advised if the Contemporary 17” fit well with a couple of adjustments needed, I could simply state this as they follow standard templates. Further, once my order was made, my unique customer template would exist.

    I placed an order for 9 MTM shirts and 2 dress trousers on November 29, 2014. I explicitly noted:

    All shirt measurements exactly the same as your contemporary 17 shirt with the following changes: sleeve length 2.5" shorter buttoned cuff circumference 8.5" - actual cuff could be a bit larger

    My credit card was billed on December 2, 2014. I ended up returning the 2 dress trousers due to non-ideal fit and received a full refund. They have a policy that for MTM orders, they make one shirt first to ensure a perfect fit and then fulfill the rest of the order – makes sense.

    I received my first shirt mid-February – 11 weeks after the order. They note that it typically takes 4-6 weeks. Some downtime with the holidays…I was ok with it. I was excited for the first shirt.

    The shirt fit wasn’t exactly as expected – seemed the neck was a bit tight and sleeves really short. Sleeves seemed to be 4” shorter not 2.5” shorter like I had asked. I wondered if somehow I had measured wrong. I asked for Spier and Mackay to provide my unique customer template measurements – maybe it would be best to tweak based on them?. Here is the response I received:

    Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with the finished measurements. The finished measurements are obtained by an algorithm that we have created and is proprietary, which helps differentiate us from other retailers. However we can apply any adjustments which are required, kindly confirm the amount needed to apply to the neck and sleeve measurements.

    Hmmm…ok, I thought each customer had their own template. Oh well, then I just want 0.25” larger in neck, 1.5” longer sleeves (to get back to that 2.5” difference from the very first OTR shirt I tried on). I also ask if my unique customer template will be updated. This is the response I received:

    Thank you for confirming Simpson, we have added 1/4" to the neck and 1 1/2" to the sleeves. Also we only use the most recent shirt order and when placing a new order simply let us know in the comments section to "follow recent shirt measurements".

    This was February 20, 2015. Over the next couple of weeks some of the originally chosen materials were no longer available so I selected different materials (no biggie) and also order 4 more shirts. Mid-April, about 8 weeks later I receive 8 of 12 shirts to come. I wash, iron and try them on. Weird…these all fit a bit different. On one of the shirts I can barely get my right arm in as the sleeve is really tight around the forearm. Some shirts are noticeably tighter around the torso. Also, some sleeves seem longer on some shirts.

    I take some measurements (of just the torso) and it’s clear there variation in all the shirts. I email Spier & Mackay and they provide a shipping label to send them back so they can inspect – May 4, 2015. I end up sending after I return from being out of town. Now I’m really hopeful…they have agreed to look at them. They respond pretty quickly after receiving the shirts stating that only two are out of tolerances based on their measurements so they will remake those. Hmm…ok. Not what I was thinking but they decide to send the shirts back to me. During this time I also receive the other 4 shirts I ordered.

    I am out of the country May 24 – July 3. I receive all shirts. Decide to wash, iron, measure them all again. I still feel variation…still. In particular some of the sleeves are way too long, up to 2.5” too long. Spier & Mackay send me this link so I measure exactly as the link specifies:

    http://bit.ly/1mzymb7

    Now I really take the time to measure, inspect. Here are my measurements, per their own website.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Little bit of variation here and there. Some measurements are half widths so when the shirt is on 0.75” in some areas can feel like a lot. Personally for MTM I’d like everything to be as similar as possible. I get these are made by people and there will be some variation. Now my measurements may not be 100% exact, but because I measured them all, relatively, the variations should be correct.

    The sleeve lengths on most of the shirts are too much. They vary from 34 to 36.375”. The 34 is correct for me. Because the shoulder measurements vary, this can contribute to the long sleeve problem.

    Upon further review of some of the checkered shirts, I realize some of the checks aren’t even horizontal across the torso. Like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I’m really upset. This is mid-July. I contact Spier & Mackay. None of the responses actually address the issues and my questions. It’s been over 8 months since my initial MTM order and I’m completely dissatisfied. Granted I was away out of the country for 6 weeks but nothing resolved so you could say it’s been 6.5 months.

    More emails exchanged and I call Visa. All ordered past their 120 day deadlines so I can’t file a claim. Still no real responses from Spier & Mackay. Half the shirts I ordered are checks that are lop-sided. They and the others have sleeves that aren’t the correct length and they all fit differently in the torso.

    Based on everything I’ve found on measurements and the time it’s taken, I ask for a full refund. After some time, I’m offered 10% on all shirts made. No – that’s not acceptable to me.

    I quote this from their website to them:

    http://www.spierandmackay.com/terms_condition.php
    If it is found that the finished garment was made in error by SPIER & MACKAY, SPIER & MACKAY will accept responsibility and alter the garment or replace if necessary at no cost to the purchaser.

    I’m out $947.63 in total. Some may have had good experiences at Spier & Mackay. I have not.
     


  2. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I find it hard to believe that this is genuine: You join a web board and the first thing you do is write a lengthy and quite detailed piece condemning a supplier? Which competitor do you actually represent?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015


  3. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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    You have unrealistic expectations, next time go to Charvet or Finollo.
     


  4. Johnsson

    Johnsson Senior member

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    Maybe @spiermackay can chime in here? I think most would agree that +2" sleeve measurements are well outside of an acceptable tolerance, but the rest of the dimensions seem negligible (yet still a bit disappointing, unless they are cut by hand).

    FWIW, I was measured in person for my first shirt and was generally pleased with the result. I talked them into a larger armhole than recommended due to a bad experience with a competitor, but should have gone with their advice. The shirt fit quite well apart from that. On the negative side, they fused the placket despite that (I could swear) I requested them not to. In the end this didn't bother me because I had ordered the cheapest sale fabric for the express purpose of dialling in the fit. We've now exchanged a few emails on improvements and I'll try another single shirt order once more Fall fabrics are available.
     


  5. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Why would you order so many shirts at one time?
    Next time, order 1, make sure it fits well and go from there.

    Stuff like just is just plain stupid to me.
     


  6. samps

    samps Member

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    I appreciate this post may look suspect as it's my first one. I've been a read on styleforum for a while, just never needed to post. This experience prompted me to sign up and post it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I have a huge email string that supports my post. I will gladly forward to one of the senior members here to read through it there is any doubt in how genuine this is.

    In regards to ordering one shirt, I read on their website about their policy to make one shirt first, then making the remainder of the order. Based on the first shirt, I asked for 0.25" larger in neck and 1.5" longer in sleeves. This was after asking for 2.5" shorter from their standard OTR Contemporary 17 fit. Maybe I'm in the wrong here, but I'm basing things on what they send to me and adjust moving forward. First shirt fit fine except for the two adjustments requested. I also took advantage of a Christmas promotion, knowing that they make a test shirt first.

    All subsequent shirts provided after the first shirt with minor mods requested still had variation. I can live with the general variations in the torso, but all of the sleeves are long.

    Also, the lop-sided checker shirts just plain bother me. I would expect that the lines follow across properly.
     


  7. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    It does - very suspicious. As TER1413 rightly questions, why on earth have so many made by a supplier you do not know. Given you claim to have "I've been a read on styleforum for a while, just never needed to post. " then you would have of course seen many posts warn9ing about the perils of the internet for the unknowing.

    I rest my case.
     


  8. samps

    samps Member

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    Again, I trusted the first test shirt approach. Seemed safe enough.

    If you're only interested in attacking me as opposed to commenting on or providing input on what I feel is wrong doing by Spier & Mackay, ie. the variation in measurements or the lop-sided check shirts, why bother posting at all in this thread?

    Yes, I've read posts on styleforum for a while but never needed to post so only recently signed up.

    I did see warnings about this sort of thing, but have also read positive things. I relied on the first test shirt approach. I won't do this again, but despite what anyone thinks with respect to whether or not I 'should have known better', it does not negate the fact that there is variation in the sleeve lengths or the fact that the check shirts are lop-sided.

    Now I will rest my case on it. I don't know what 'case' you were trying to make.[​IMG]
     


  9. Sudonihm

    Sudonihm Senior member

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    Welcome to Commercial Forum. Most here don't care about bad experiences. I also had a bad experience with SM and won't order with them again. Nice folks, mean well. But took too long, way outside acceptable bounds for the measurements, quality was so-so, requested details were screwed up. So they sent me a free shirt. That was nice. The free shirt's measurements were so off I ended up throwing the shirt out. But SF members don't seem to accept that paying manufacturers can screw up. Many have had good experiences with SM, some haven't.

    No idea if the post is true or not, but the world's not all popcsicles and lollypops.

    Oh, and ordering 13 shirts was stupid and you deserve to be blasted for doing it.
     


  10. samps

    samps Member

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    Yeah, if ordering that many shirts and relying on the first test shirt approach is stupid, I'll wear it (no pun intended) - I won't do it again. I've done a lot of stupid things in my life already...the point is not to make the same mistakes twice.
     


  11. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Just curious...what does 1 shirt cost?
     


  12. samps

    samps Member

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    Costs range from $79 to $119 CAD (I think that's the range) or so for each depending on material. I'm in ~ $950 for 13 shirts so on average $73 each. I did order many to take advantage of a promo they had. Buy 3 or more and get $20 off each plus 20% off.
     


  13. SirReveller

    SirReveller Senior member

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    Samps- stick to Rosen sales on ETON and Canali or w/e fits you best. BB is good too w those endless 3/$229 deals, tho some hate the non-iron and this is most all their stuff. Just know your size and get'em (the ONE you bought) darted if it still fits loose.

    13 MTM/custo shirts is for when you're 50+ yrs old and you do it on Savile Row or w/e lol.
     


  14. samps

    samps Member

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    After over two weeks without a response, I just found out that the person I was dealing with is no longer with the company and someone else is now reviewing the entire email string. Hopefully something is worked out.
     


  15. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Thanks for the update.
     


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