Feeling very wary, I privately messaged a Micklem dealer through Facebook and she said based on the photos I sent her of the bridle and the lack of stamp on the crownpiece, that my bridle is in fact a copy and not an authentic Micklem. My bridle also came with web reins and she stated that Micklems ALWAYS come with rubber reins.
|"If this thing doesn't come with cookies, get it off me."|
|No Rambo Micklem stamp on the crownpiece|
I also contacted Horseware USA to see if they would be able to tell me anything about it. Their representative that I spoke to sent photos of my bridle to Ireland for confirmation. Ireland responded today that in addition to no stamp on the crown (I asked if it was possibly just a manufacturing defect and if it was possible that the bridle just missed getting a stamp), they also said there were "sharp edges" and the rings used were not consistent with the Micklem bridle.
|Y U no buy me real Micklem, Mom?|
I'd contacted the seller on Friday to let her know what was going on and that I would wait to file a PayPal dispute until we had heard back from Ireland on the authenticity. She said that she had ordered it from a fairly well known discount tack website (one that I've used several times with little issues) and that she had kept the rubber reins they came with and sent new web reins with the bridle. Now that I look at the reins, they have the same rollers on the buckles that every other buckle on the bridle has. When I spoke to her today, I let her know that Horsewear verified that the bridle was a copy. She then asked if the bridle had worked for me and if I just wanted to receive a partial discount. Now, I don't know about you, but if I found out a retailer had sold me a fraudulent bridle and I was about to lose almost half of what I'd paid for it, I'd be asking for it back so that I could get my own money back instead of losing the money.
So now I don't know what to do. The bridle seems to be of decent quality and make, and I have a pair of rubber reins on the way that someone didn't need and graciously gave to me for the cost of shipping. I paid $170 for the bridle shipped and she is offering me a $50 refund. I just don't know if that is enough of a break for me to justify keeping the bridle. Someone commented on my COTH post that sometimes the copies are of better quality and if I liked it it shouldn't matter and I should keep the bridle. I responded that had I only paid $100 or less, I probably wouldn't care one bit. But I did pay close to full retail and it bothers me that I didn't receive what I thought I was paying for.
What do you guys think I should do?