Report: #743340

Complaint Review: Head'n Home Hats - Watsonville California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Pinbalwyz — Shelton Washington USA
  • Head'n Home Hats
    772 Buena Vista Dr
    Watsonville, California
    United States of America

Head'n Home Hats uses deceptive business practice (bait & switch) Watsonville, California

*Author of original report: Accord & Satisfaction

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Glib and deceptive from start to finish, beginning with Ronia's misrepresentations at the 2011 Seattle NW Folklife Festival in their hat booth to Garth Watrous' (son of owners) indifferent, then impertinent response to my complaint about the "bait & switch" where the company sent the wrong size and substituted a cheaper unwanted material (suede) from what they presented in their booth (a much heavier weight, oiled, smooth leather. The hats are pretty but overpriced judging from competitor prices selling very similar/identical hats. Even at that, Trevor (the family office stooge--it's a family bizniz, hence their chutzpah) refused to let me speak with the production manager or any of the hatters after admitting he didn't know what weight leathers they had in stock that might satisfy the terms of my explicit invoice. He didn't seem nearly as interested to honoring those terms as putting a favorable spin on the deceit I'd experienced at this company's hands. Ronia (the booth sales lady) implied she would be making the hat herself, but others there said it had been quite a long time since she worked on the line. She attempted to discourage me from specifying the size hat I wore (in inches) on the invoice, but I included it anyway. Garth tried to argue the company had no way of knowing what size they were shipping other than S - XXXL, which varies drastically from one hat maker to the next and is about as imprecise as you can get. I will feel fortunate if I get my money back (almost $200 with shipping costs). If you like purchasing used cars from disreputable auto dealers, you'll LOVE this company! The insolence was palpable, and the deception was clumsy. The XXL hat they grabbed from whatever was on the shelf when I called a couple of weeks after paying for the hat to be *made* was shipped only when I called to ask what my order status was and if they'd even started on it yet. Someone there insultingly placed a glue-on sticker saying 'XL' over the XXL sewn in cloth tag so it would look like 'XXXL' despite the tag revealing the TRUE size in inches (7-5/8 to 7-3/4). The material was inferior (suede) from what had been bargained for, and the weight/heft was dramatically less to the point I noticed it before even opening the box the substitute arrived in. DO NOT trust this company to fill your order honestly or responsibly unless you have the hat you're purchasing in your tight little hand and it FITS! Otherwise they will screw you and act like you're a burden/bother if you complain or insist they honor the terms of the agreement/invoice. They WILL try to make the invoice ambiguous enough you'll have difficulty insisting on anything other than what THEY choose (when they get around to it) to give you. You won't enjoy the hat after all that even IF (unlikely) you get what you bargained for given all the hassle and inbred family insolence. Find a hat maker who respects their customers. This family run bizniz is spoiled rotten!--no joke.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/21/2011 06:32 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 Author of original report

Accord & Satisfaction

AUTHOR: Pinbalwyz - (USA)

At Gary's request (the owner), the following update is being posted:

Everything I complained of at Head 'n Home Hats remains true:

* Ronia (their saleslady at their booth at the 2011 Seattle NorthWest Folklife Festival) was indifferent (at best), tried to dissuade me from including the hat size I wore (in inches) on the invoice, and entered a name designation ('Dallas') completely foreign to me (as I'd never seen their website but based my purchase on what I saw and held at the booth) instead of a 'Hurricane' w/diamond snakeskin style leather hatband. She also inferred *SHE* would be making the hat which was so far from the truth as to be a misrepresentation.

* The invoice clearly stated 'XXXL' (which, as it happens, their website translates to 8" to 8 1/8" in their sizing chart) as well as clearly (my handwriting) written 8".  What arrived 2-3 weeks later (paid for in advance) was labeled and measured 'XXL'...7 5/8" - 7 3/4".  Although charged for 'custom' fitting, it became obvious this hat had been sitting on and hastily grabbed from their shelf...the XXL sewn tag was obscured by a misrepresenting 'XL' sticker obliterating the 'L' to make it unconvincingly read 'XXXL' despite the obvious disparity.

* When called to correct the matter, all persons contacted (except PERHAPS 'Gary', the owner who returned later from an out of town trip) were incompetent, arrogant, or both in handling this company error which began with Ronia's indifference and ineptitude, but continued when staff were asked to remedy the problem the company and Ronia created. TO THE COMPANY'S CREDIT, IT PROMPTLY SENT A REFUND CHECK FOR THE ENTIRE AMOUNT OF PURCHASE *including* THE SHIPPING COSTS OF RETURNING THE MIS-SIZED AND WRONGLY STYLED HAT.  As it turns out, the arrogance in incompetence can likely be traced to the fact this is a family run operation who employs family members and friends for managers and sales despite their incompetence. e.g. All (except Gary) proved unequal to recognizing the hat and repeatedly described seeing/holding was not a 'Dallas' (suede) but a 'Hurrican' (smooth leather and heavier) hat!  When the original terms of the order were insisted on, one son accused the purchaser of attempting to 'cherry pick' the material/leather rather than simply demanding what had been purchased/paid for. 

HOWEVER, when a follow-up call was placed to the company the next week, Gary had returned, and though nearly equal to the impertinence already encountered, did agree to an 'accord & satisfaction' which he fulfilled and consisted of the following:

* Gary sent a check for the cost of the original purchase and return shipping cost promptly upon receiving the errant hat.

* Gary recognized the hat described by the purchaser rather than being confused by Ronia's mishandling of the invoice description of the item.

* Gary, as the owner, was easily more competent than his family employees/friends.

* Gary agreed (for $4 more than the originally agreed sum at the time of the initial purchase) to provide the hat ('Hurrican') w/appropriate (originally chosen) hat band which he would PERSONALLY inspect for true sizing (XXXL, i.e. 8" - 8 1/8") before it shipped. A note w/his signature stating he'd inspected it was affixed inside the 2nd hat when it arrived.

* Although Gary wanted 3 weeks leeway (he took the new order paid for by credit card over the phone) to complete the hat, his company did so faster than that and it arrived as promised a little more than a week or so later. That hat was, indeed the same as what had been seen at the Festival company booth except that the leather had not been treated as the one on hand in the booth had been and despite Ronia's assurances it would be treated prior to shipping.

* Despite Gary's feigned initial indifference to promises of this report (said the company had the best reputation), he did ask for this update after reading it once he'd called and determined I was satisfied with the 2nd hat. It fit, it was a 'Hurricane' (same leather material & construction & style) I'd purchased. But I purchased mink oil and bees wax to treat the hat leather even though this deficiency was contrary to the initial bargain as I had not taken the time to discuss it in the subsequent 'accord & satisfaction' bargaining.

Gary kept his word, and by posting this update, I'm keeping mine. So the owner (if not all his employees) is an honest business man. Still, they are a company whose hats are not all that have 'attitude'!  It would appear that they (or at least Gary) can be trusted for business IF YOU KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON THEM and document all aspects closely. I can't say the same for Ronia. You've been forewarned if you meet her and hand over payment based on taking her at her word.  BTW, one of his employees had the chutzpah to ask me if I could state how much the hat I had purchased WEIGHED?  And anticipating my negative reply, challenged my position as untenable because insufficient details like this were not included in the invoice. Don't make the same mistake and do not be dissuaded by Ronia attempting to avoid specific hat sizing instructions. Take a PICTURE of the hat you see/want, keep a copy of the invoice, and do not leave out any might even want to bring a scale to record the weight given the nerve of the one employee who sneered at my insistence the original terms of the contract/invoice be honored.  

Conclusion: Head 'n Hats still makes the BEST leather hats in America if not the best of customer relations and management competence. With sufficient forethought, care, and oversight, you may end up enjoying that excellence.

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