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The Great Baron Hats Experiment

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,334
Location
Bremerton, Washington
BanjoMerlin said:
If it was me, I'd file a complaint with the BBB and my credit card company.

Just for curiosity's sake, I just looked up Baron's Hats on the Better Business Bureau online. They actually do currently have an A+ rating, The BBB stating "nothing in our files causes us to have any doubt about the company's reliability".

However, The BBB does show two complaints in the past 36 months, both met with a response from Baron's Hats in which they agreed to perform regarding to their contract...whatever that means...[huh]
 

Lando

Practically Family
Messages
587
Location
VT, USA
I saw that they had an A+ rating with the BBB, strange. But hey, if they meet the demands of their "contract", then they would get a good rating. Me, I just want to finish my business with them and not have to think about Baron Hats again.

I spoke to my lawyer and he says to just be calm and polite and to communicate only by email so that there is a written record of all communication. There is no reason that the matter cannot be solved easily. I like his attitude and the advice helps to temper my irritation some. But it's all time versus money at the end of the day. How much I pay against how long it takes you to make and deliver. And it really drives me crazy when people make promises and then just roll right over them. Be honest, say what you can actually do, and keep your promises: that seems to me the only real business model I can stand behind.

At the end of the day, I blame Russel Crowe's Hatband in 3:10 to Yuma for all this. Baron Hats had it, I should have done more research, and here we are. But it sure is a pretty hatband.
 
Messages
11,580
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
ScionPI2005 said:
The BBB does show two complaints in the past 36 months, both met with a response from Baron's Hats in which they agreed to perform regarding to their contract...whatever that means...[huh]

From the two it seems we could conclude 2 people were pissed off enough to make a complaint and the BH response might indicate that they weren't performing as to their contract.

Many contracts between buyer and producer stipulate penalties for the producer not providing the product on time. <There is insurance for the producer (contractor) that protects for liability if a supplier of his can't supply in time and creates the problem.>
 

Tango Yankee

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,433
Location
Lucasville, OH
John in Covina said:
From the two it seems we could conclude 2 people were pissed off enough to make a complaint

And knew that they could make a complaint. I'm not sure that all that many people know very much about the BBB and that they do accept and investigate complaints. In addition, it also means that they were the type of person to make such a complain. My experience has been that people may rant and rave, but rarely take the time to actually do something about it even if they mean to do so. Time marches on, they move on to other things, forget about making the complaint, then say the heck with it if they are reminded.

So to me, the fact that two people were pissed off enough to make a complaint and all that entails would be enough for me to stop and wonder just how many pissed off customers didn't make that effort? They are the tip of the iceberg in my book.

Of course, I'd say that it's probably rare for someone to look up a business in the BBB prior to making a purchase or hiring services--it generally seems to be an after-the-fact action.

Cheers,
Tom
 
Messages
10,056
Location
My mother's basement
Tango Yankee said:
...

Of course, I'd say that it's probably rare for someone to look up a business in the BBB prior to making a purchase or hiring services--it generally seems to be an after-the-fact action.

Cheers,
Tom

Probably so. But I wonder if things might be changing in this brave new digital world of ours. Perhaps people won't be turning to the BBB any more than they do now, but there are so many other places where a person can get a sense of who he or she is dealing with, ahead of handing over the dough. Me, I rarely buy anything that costs much at all without first finding out what others' experiences have been, especially when I'm in the market for something I've rarely if ever purchased before.
 
Messages
10,056
Location
My mother's basement
Then again ...

So I just did a quick Google search for "Baron Hats review." Nothing apparently critical on the first page. Not at first glance, anyway. No threads from this site appear until the second page.

It leads me to think that a quick online search might likely as not send a hat newb in the wrong direction.[huh]

Oh well.
 
Messages
11,580
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
Tango Yankee said:
And knew that they could make a complaint. I'm not sure that all that many people know very much about the BBB and that they do accept and investigate complaints. In addition, it also means that they were the type of person to make such a complain. My experience has been that people may rant and rave, but rarely take the time to actually do something about it even if they mean to do so. Time marches on, they move on to other things, forget about making the complaint, then say the heck with it if they are reminded. So to me, the fact that two people were pissed off enough to make a complaint and all that entails would be enough for me to stop and wonder just how many pissed off customers didn't make that effort? They are the tip of the iceberg in my book. Of course, I'd say that it's probably rare for someone to look up a business in the BBB prior to making a purchase or hiring services--it generally seems to be an after-the-fact action. Cheers, Tom
**********
That's why I used the termed pissed off enough to make a complaint. When it comes to problems the percentage of people that complain to the business is fairly low to begin with it may only be 10% maybe 20% of people that have problems in most instances. Then to take that next step to go to the BBB means they were truly irate, righteously pissed off, where they felt the need to take action perhaps 1-3% of all agravated customers maybe less are going to go to the BBB? So for each complaint maybe 33-100 people were dissatisfied? with 2 complaints 66-200 unhappy people? OR the other scenario is BH's customer service is so bad a higher percentage are driven to report them?

I gave them 2 attempts and while the work was good the experience sucked royally.
 

Burton

One of the Regulars
Messages
144
Location
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Well Lando I hope this situation ends as well as it can. My only interaction with Baron and Mark was quite different. I bought one of his Hunter models in beaver and paid a grand for it. I gave them special shipping instructions and a very specific arrival time and it arrived perfectly. I really like the hat and am taking it hunting in Africa in a few weeks. I'll take photos then.

Your post made me think of an experience I am having with an old Webley revolver I am having reconditioned from a gunsmith that specializes in them. He has been late in everything he has promised so far but I DO NOT want to hurry him as the quality may suffer. Hopefully that will end well.

I dont have the experience that some of the other posters have with the other premium hatters mentioned but Baron delivered to me a pretty damned good product and on time. Looking forward to hearing how it works out for you and what you think of the hat once it arrives. Best of luck!
 

animator

One of the Regulars
Messages
231
Location
Seattle
Lando, I just hope you get a great hat that you can enjoy in the end. With luck the frustration will fade but the hat will last.

Finding the lounge before I ordered my first custom hat definitely saved me from making a costly mistake. This is a great source of information and I'm glad you are adding your experience.

Thanks to everyone here! :eusa_clap
 

Dewhurst

Practically Family
Messages
653
Location
USA
I wait with bated breath. This thread has been like an epic saga waiting for a conclusion.
 

Lando

Practically Family
Messages
587
Location
VT, USA
On August 8, 2010, I recieved a Yuma Band All Beaver Brown Cliffhanger and a furfelt Brown "Dillinger" from Baron Hats. Before these hats arrived, I was contacted by Mr. Mejia who offered his apologies for the situation and provided me with a full refund of a third hat I had ordered, a Silverbelly all Beaver Cliffhanger. He fedexed me a refund check for the complete amount of the hat paid and stated that he would still be making the Silverbelly hat free of charge. The entire exchange was by email and Mr. Mejia was very polite and apologetic through out about the situation. I would be lying if I did not say that I was quite astounded by the gesture. I would also be lying if did not say I will be more astounded when a Silverbelly all beaver Cliffhanger arrives at my doorstep. I can't help being cautious with my excitement in this day and age.

Fair play to Baron Hats. An apology was provided and restitution was made. I have the hats, and possibly a third at no charge. I am happy with the result as of yet. All of this could have been avoided though. I know what you're thinking though, what about the hats? I have, as promised, provided a slew of photos for your observation. Some of you have a far better eye for this than I do so I welcome your input. Otherwise, I shall post a review of the hats and some other comments at a later time when I have had more of a chance to wear them. Till then, thanks for all the support guys.
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Messages
11,580
Location
Covina, Califonia 91722
It's good to see that Mark at BH has taken steps to help offset a problem. That does go a long way to rectify such shortcomings.

As I said before they really do need a business manager to go thru all of the procedures from start to finish and see how to keep things on track. Sometimes you can get good advice from your bank on who to go to for such business advice. This is where many small businesses fail, they may be great at certain segments of business but fall short in others, without competance at all phases the business sufferes and the customers do too. Here in order to make up for problems they, BH, had to lose at lot of money and that is unsustainable for any length of time.

From a business view I'd suggest that for orders they might indicate a completion date that is double the time it takes. Say, right now they may say 4 weeks, say 8 weeks, then you have a cushion of time and if you ship early who's going to complain. Most people have patience but get antsy after a deadline has come and gone. Communication is also a key, when people don't know what's going on it's uncomfortable, if there are delays by letting people know ASAP they tend to be easier going.

A better tracking systems for each order that sets out what is being done and the number of specific steps to make up an order is listed out. Then track the progress and time of completion of each step for a number of hats over a period of time might show where the bottle necks are and give a better understanding of how to guestimate a finish date. If tracked well, a cstomer calling in could be told where the job stands and a new ETA.

None of this is new and there are computer programs that handle this or ways to do in on paper. Many a business in production of goods does this to see what their efficiency level is at, and where things need improvement when slipping.

A preprinted order form for rennovations so they can just check off and enter notations might be worth while.

Anyway I am glad they did so much to make it up to you.
 

DanielJones

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,042
Location
On the move again...
Well, at least they've rectified one situation. Now to see if they come through with the silverbelly.
I'd say they hats look nice. I like the shape of the first one, is sort of reminds me of the second hat in Hidalgo near the end of the film. Shape wise anyway.

Now, I'm not sure if it is just the image or an optical illusion in the photo, but the sweatband appears to not be belled out. There is usually a curvature caused by the reeding & the insertion of the sweatband that causes it to bell out, thus keeping the reed & threads off of your forehead making it more comfortable to wear & preventing sweat from leaching through the threads to the surface. I could be wrong on what I see there, so maybe a couple of photos of the sweatbands from another angle & some thoughts on you observations from you could help clarify what is seen there.

From what I see there, they are nice looking lids, no doubt. I presume that they feel good to the touch & you'll most likely get great compliments from folks as you wear them. On that note we'd like to see what the experiments look like on your noggin. I'll concede that they make a decent looking product & their craftsmanship is up there. Would I ever buy from them? No. For me customer service is number one. I've heard way too many bummers instead of atta' boys about them to ever let me shop with them. And the complaints are mostly about customer service & a few about product. With me, you can have a so-so product, but if your customer service is A-1 you'll get repeat business. We have a lot of hat makers here now that offer a top shelf product at half the cost of Barons, and their customer service is A-1. For what you pay at Barons you should expect the red carpet treatment.

Anyway, I'm glad that that situation worked out for you & you received your hats. Hope the third hat comes out well & that they take the care in it that should be accorded a fine felt hat instead of trying to bang it out to get it to you fast. Enjoy them and let us know what you think over time as you wear them, we are interested.

Cheers!

Dan
 

ScionPI2005

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,334
Location
Bremerton, Washington
DanielJones said:
Now, I'm not sure if it is just the image or an optical illusion in the photo, but the sweatband appears to not be belled out. There is usually a curvature caused by the reeding & the insertion of the sweatband that causes it to bell out, thus keeping the reed & threads off of your forehead making it more comfortable to wear & preventing sweat from leaching through the threads to the surface. I could be wrong on what I see there, so maybe a couple of photos of the sweatbands from another angle & some thoughts on you observations from you could help clarify what is seen there.

Interesting! You learn something new everyday. After reading this, I looked at a few of my hats (an Akubra, VS custom, a vintage Resistol, and a vintage Stetson) and noticed the curvature you're referring to. I looked back at the photos here, and cannot see any curvature in these Baron's hats. I hadn't paid attention to this before, although I see how this curve usually forms.

Otherwise, they look like nice hats. Please let us know how your continued experience progresses.
 

Lando

Practically Family
Messages
587
Location
VT, USA
So I was informed today by Mr Mejia that the Silverbelly Cliffhanger would be shipping out next week. So they say, they even put on the pleated hat band like their Rover model on it, which I asked for if it wasn't trouble. Pretty cool.
rover.jpg

Then Mr. Mejia asked if I had any suggestion for a name for this style of hat, since he felt it was rather neat looking. I thought I might throw it to the forum and see what people think. So, Cliffhanger model in silverbelly with a hat band like on the Rover model pictured. What would you call it? The Rambler? It's hard without seeing it in front of me, but we've all got some imagination.
 

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