Reviews

The Emperor’s New Pants: Mott & Bow

I’m not what you’d call high fashion.

I wouldn’t mind being more fashionable; I have nothing against the concept. But, I lived in a beach town for many years, and wearing a blazer would get you questioned about whose funeral you attended. I knew one guy that bucked tradition and wore suits out, and he pulled it off, but he was definitely the odd man out. I’d rather blend in, just in case I need to make a quick exit. You never know when you need to not be noticed. So, jeans and t-shirts. It always works.

People dress a bit better here in Austin. Sure, it’s nowhere near New York or Western Europe, but there is some sense of hipness and style among the hipsters that does not go unnoticed among the aforementioned jeans and t-shirt guy. I sometimes yearn for that stylistic eye. I want to layer. Hats are a mystery that I’d like to solve.

Not so much that I would actually go to stores and buy clothes, however. There’s way too much that goes into that, and I’m a busy man. I’ve spent many hours walking through malls and finding small shops, just to find a pair of jeans that fit nicely and won’t fall apart. I can’t do it. How do they do it???

I found Mott and Bow (pronounced like the applesauce and the front of a boat, respectively) on one of my daily treks through posts about politics and Thanksgiving. I had been needing new jeans for a while; my fiancé has a simmering hatred for one of my three pairs of jeans that I currently wear, which she mentions every time she notices they’re on. I needed new pants, if only to replace these baggy old ones, and Mott and Bow looked ready to provide.

I felt like searching through their website was easy from a product standpoint. However, for a person that is maybe not as stylistically inclined, differentiating between the products was something of a catch. I can see that the things are slightly different colors, but I can’t really tell why those things have different names. The cuts, I get. I know what a skinny jean is, and I know that as a large man I’d better stay away. I went with the strait leg, which is a style I’ve worn before. I ordered the “Rivington”, because I liked the color. I paid 88 dollars after tax, which is a little expensive, but not the most I’ve ever paid for jeans. I feel like jeans are a thing you should spend more on, because they end up lasting a very long time.

Buying jeans online is a risky venture. You have no idea how the jeans will fit. Luckily enough, though, Mott and Bow offers a “try-on” option, where they will actually ship you 2 pairs of jeans, you try on both, and then return one for free with the sticker provided. That is a superbly cool idea. However, these pants had no sizes close to mine, so the try-on option was a no-go for me. I wanted “Rivington”! I wanted it now!

Shipping took forever. I chose the base shipping, which I found out afterwards is SurePost, meaning UPS ships to USPS and USPS delivers to your door. This ended up taking 16 days to get to me from Order to Received. That is an absurdly long time to wait to try on pants. If I would have known, I would have sprung for the 2 day shipping option, but even so…you’re sending 90-100 dollar products through the mail, Mott and/or Bow, how about we get traditional ground shipping, at least?

And then the worst news. They didn’t fit. They weren’t even close. They made me question my reality: I went and checked the sizes on other pairs of jeans I owned. Yes, I ordered the right size. For those who don’t know, men’s pant sizes are actually measurements, so I’d expect it to at least be close. It was not close. After 16 days of waiting, I had to return them.

The product seemed really solid. I would have liked those jeans. One more thing I noticed on the washing label is that these were something called “Raw Denim”. I had heard that term before, but to me it was shrouded in mystery. I read that I was supposed to hand wash these jeans. And that, my friends, is where I said “Nah”. I’m not hand washing anything, this is what machines are for.

The return process was seemingly easy. I went online, marked that I wanted to return them, and then put the sticker back on the box and dropped it off at UPS. Pretty straight forward. Mott and Bow then sent me an email a few days later, asking for a review, and I gave them the honest truth: They didn’t fit, and I wasn’t going to hand wash jeans, so I’d rather just return them. To my surprise, they replied. The nice people at Mott and Bow said they had another pair of jeans, something called a “Mosco”, that was similar to the “Rivington”, but stretchier so it should fit better, and didn’t need hand washing. I still needed jeans, and this customer service rep had just gone above and beyond. This all happened on December 13, 2016.

So I waited. And waited. Through Christmas, through New Years, I waited for these jeans to be delivered. I checked my account, still pending. I finally followed up with an email 3 weeks later. “We are very sorry, we had an issue with our processing. Your returned jeans have been received, and we should be sending out your new jeans shortly. Please take a 10 dollar credit for your next pair as our apology“. Awesome. I waited. And waited. I emailed again, a week later. No response. Wait a few more days. Today, January 16, 2017, I called. “We don’t see any problem with your account, I’m not sure why they haven’t been sent”. After threatening to do a charge back on my credit card, today they have set my jeans “Ready to ship”. If the timeline sticks, I’ll be trying on a new pair of jeans that I wanted in November sometime in February.

But hey, they gave me a 10 dollar credit on my next pair of jeans. If I order now I might have them in time for shorts weather. Maybe they sell cutoffs.

Mott and Bow has the illusion of great customer service in an online company. They have responsive CSR’s and a great save the sale technique, which should really be admired. But it seems like they have forgotten the biggest thing you can do in customer service is get your product in front of the customer in a timely manner. Without that, none of the other stuff matters. I won’t be ordering again. I wouldn’t suggest anyone else order either.

 

2 thoughts on “The Emperor’s New Pants: Mott & Bow

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