I have purchased several items from Stanley of London over the years, and have been happy with them. Then a year ago, I bought a replica of a type of sextant called an octant. It was nicely made, all brass parts were polished and finished beautifully, but one curved piece of metal at the end of the octant had jagged edges. I lived with it.
I recently wanted to get another octant to give as a gift. I contacted Stanley of London to ask if they might have one without the jagged edges, part of which can even be seen in their online photo of the piece. A person in Customer Service (Stephanie) told me that they would send me the best one they had, and we placed the order. The cost was $275.00 I later received an email telling me that it would take a few days for shipment to happen, and was fine with that.
The octant arrived. Instead of sending me the best one they had, Stanley of London attempted to make the octant better, hence the delay in shipping. The curved metal piece with jagged edges was originally set into wood. Someone pried this metal piece out, and tried to grind down the jagged edges. The result? One spot is ground inwards, the end that was pried up is now bent and wavy, and calibration marks are worn away. There's also a scratch or gouge in the wood that was touched up with a marking pen. I appreciate that they tried to give me what I wanted, but:
1. The "improvement" looks worse than the original problem!
2. I wasn't informed of the damage resulting from the "fix". No photo or email was sent, no discount was offered. The item was simply shipped.
3. I didn't even ask Stanley of London to MAKE this "improvement", just to send me the best of what they had. Apparently, ALL of their octants have this jagged edge issue on the same part.
I called Stanley of London to express appreciation for their attempt to make the octant better, but also dissatisfaction, and spoke with Stephanie again. She told me repeatedly, cutting me off, that it was the best they could do. She told me that imperfections should be expected in a reproduction of an antique, which is fine, except that all other metal parts on the octant LOOK NEW, nicely finished and polished. They attempted a "fix" with the best of intents no doubt, but it was botched, and the "fix" looks bad. It can't be excused away as being "historically authentic". Look at Stanley of London products online. They are all made in an antique STYLE, but they are not reproductions that include replication of damage found on original antiques. They are shiny, polished, and NEW looking replicas.
I asked Stephanie if I could speak with a supervisor, and was told that she WAS the supervisor, that there was no one else that I could speak to, and that she had the final say. A corporation of "one"? I asked about the possibility of a small discount for the damage that THEY did, and was told, "No."
I'm sorry to say that I will not buy from Stanley of London again. I paid $275 for an item that now has a bent and wavy metal piece on it (among other issues) because of a botched fix-it job, and was basically told that I'd have to live with it, end of story. This isn't good customer service, it's "profit is the bottom line".