A number of H&H readers say they have complained to Trading Standards about a company featured in the magazine earlier this year.
Shwmae Products’ horse onesies appeared in the “And Finally” spot in 13 June issue.
The two showing riders behind the online company, which is based in Carmarthen, South Wales, said they were experiencing huge interest in their equine onesies, which start at £150.
But dozens of people have since contacted H&H — or vented their frustration on social media — complaining of poor service. Some say they have been waiting for their goods for several months. Others claim that items sent back for alterations have not been returned, and they have been left out of pocket.
Many readers have said that their attempts to contact the company have been fruitless. Some customers who did receive a response have complained of rudeness.
Nerida Winters emailed H&H from Australia on 14 November, after ordering from Shwmae in May.
“I am hundreds of dollars out of pocket as they will no longer respond to my emails and Facebook messages, nor will they return my money,” she said.
After H&H began making enquiries, the money appeared in her Paypal account “out of the blue”, she added.
H&H contacted Jessica Clarke, 21, one of Shwmae’s two directors. We asked her if the company was experiencing problems and whether customer service would be improved.
Ms Clarke said Shwmae was “trading as normal” and claimed that the people who had contacted H&H had since been refunded or had their items returned.
People who had complained about the company online were “internet trolls”, she added.
Claire Williams of the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) stressed that Shwmae was not a BETA member.
She advised: “Your credit card company must take responsibility if things go wrong with a purchase.
“Under the distance selling regulations, a company has 30 days to complete the order. If the goods don’t arrive in time you are entitled to a full refund, including postage and packing, unless you agree to a new deadline.”