There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
The Tour Edge 48-Hour Guarantee
On paper, Tour Edge’s guarantee is about as straightforward as it gets. The company says it “offers an unprecedented 48-hour nationwide delivery guarantee on custom fit orders.”
Seems easy enough, right? Get fitted online or in-person and bang, boom, presto, two days later your clubs arrive at the doorstep.
We live in an increasingly connected world where consumers expect (at least) the option of instant gratification. Because whatever we want, we want now. If not sooner.
However, what Tour Edge promises is a bit different. I wanted to see for myself what this was all about.
Hi, I’m Chris and I’m a golf-obsessed member of the MyGolfSpy team. As the Director of Business Development, I generally work as a conduit between our staff and other golf companies. I also get to opine on our fabulous weekly podcast, NoPuttsGiven (shameless plug) and, as time allows, collect my thoughts into ramblings on equipment or other golf topics.
With that said, golf companies make a lot of promises. So, I wanted to see if Tour Edge could really do what its 48-hour guarantee suggests.
So I enlisted the help of three MyGolfSpy forum moderators. Each went through the fitting and buying process with their true identities hidden from anyone at Tour Edge.
TEST SUBJECT No. 1
Let’s call him Bruno because … why the hell not? Bruno called the toll-free customer service line at 3:15 p.m. on a Friday to inquire about a new Tour Edge EXS 220 driver. The customer service agent/fitter ran him through a basic but serviceable list of fitting questions. From that, he determined Bruno would be best off with a Ventus Blue regular-flex shaft in a 10.5-degree head.
Later that evening, Bruno received the order confirmation which accurately reflected the information gathered during the phone fitting. However, because the order was placed on a Friday afternoon, it wouldn’t process until Monday. The driver did get shipped the following Monday and reached its destination on Wednesday. Because Bruno didn’t have any illusions that his driver would show up over the weekend, he wasn’t at all put off by a mid-week delivery. I’d imagine Bruno is close to the most typical customer Tour Edge encounters. He’s not super picky but appreciates a solid value.
TEST SUBJECT No. 2
One challenge of any blanket policy or practice is that it’s not going to fit every situation. The other reality is that no business is perfect. Miscommunication happens. What’s more important is what a company does to make sure the customer feels valued. That’s the moral of this brief story.
This customer – call him Jerry – worked with an individual who likely felt more comfortable helping golfers place orders on Tour Edge’s website than navigating a more detailed fitting conversation. However, once Jerry established that he needed some help making a selection, this agent answered all of his questions and placed the order accurately.
Because Jerry wanted the driver cut down from from 45.5 inches to 44.5 inches, the agent correctly informed him that they’d need to increase the head weight to offset the shorter length to maintain a reasonable swing weight. No problem. The agent indicated this wouldn’t have any impact on delivery times and Jerry could expect the driver in three business days based on his address.
The agent never mentioned the 48-hour delivery guarantee. It’s one of those “If your waiter doesn’t offer the Mountain Man Chocolate Pie dessert, it’s on us!” type situations. Six days later, the driver hadn’t arrived. Jerry called customer service to get an update and was told that the heavier weight needed for the head was on backorder. Oops.
Jerry was never informed of the situation. Fortunately, this agent offered to overnight the driver to Jerry and ship the extra weight as soon as it was available. Problem solved.
The driver did show up the following day and ultimately, all’s well that ends well, right? Well, mostly.
TEST SUBJECT No. 3
This is a great example of how customer expectations play a vital role in the fitting-purchasing transaction. This subject, Larry, (again, names changed to protect the “innocent”) is perhaps more literal than some others. That said, in the absence of information, it’s reasonable to expect consumers to take your word – or guarantee -at face value.
As with Bruno, this individual placed an order over the phone on a Friday. However, it was earlier in the day and more than reasonable to think that a company touting such an expeditious process would be able to process and ship the order without delay.
However, the customer service representative seemed less than enthused at the prospect of fitting Larry and getting this sale across the finish line.
Larry was looking for guidance based on the “Custom Fitting” language Tour Edge publishes. Given his swing speed, Larry really only had one shaft option. The Project X HZDRUS Smoke in X-flex. When it came to discussing shaft length, grip and loft, Larry reported that the agent took it a bit too carefully. Rather than asking questions or working toward an answer, it was a lot of “well, if that’s what you think you need…” or “I’d go with the loft that you think best fits that gap….” type of language.
To be clear, customer service representatives are in a tough spot. For the golfer who wants nothing more than help placing an order or answers to very basic questions, it’s generally fine. However, for consumers looking for a more in-depth fitting and conversation that weighs the pros and cons of different models, components and specs, it can get a little dicey. Ultimately, those topics are probably best discussed in person, preferably with a professional fitter. Based on Larry’s experience, I’m not certain Tour Edge is equipped to best service this type of buyer over the phone. To be fair, I can’t imagine that Larry is the most typical Tour Edge customer, either.
As you might surmise, Larry was also expecting a 48-hour delivery regardless of the order date. In his mind, Friday+48 hours = Sunday.
It’s possibly splitting hairs and I can make a solid argument why Larry’s expectations might be been a bit too literal. The typical business week is Monday-Friday and even with weekend delivery from USPS and FedEx (and others), it seems like an order placed on Friday with two-day delivery should arrive on Tuesday the following week – fine print notwithstanding. But that was Larry’s bone to pick. The Tour Edge website doesn’t really offer any further explanation around what constitutes “48 hours” and the customer service agent couldn’t offer a definitive timeline, either.
So, what’s Larry to do? Expect the worst or hope for the best?
It’s probably best to heed former President Reagan’s sage advice, “Trust, but verify.”
Effectively, we have two questions in play. The first is whether the 48-hour delivery guarantee adds demonstrable value for Tour Edge customers. The second is how consistently does Tour Edge meet the 48-hour obligation.
I think it’s clear there is certainly some value in offering expedited delivery on all orders. Perhaps the best part of the 48-hour guarantee is that it’s included whether you opt for it or not. No doubt there is a cost for this. However, Tour Edge continues to offer golfers arguably one of the best value propositions in the golf equipment space. If we want to delve into semantics, I can see where some might object to how Tour Edge defines “48 hours.”
That is, two days is 48 hours, except when it’s not. A little fine print that explains the guarantee would go a long way toward avoiding some needless confusion. To be clear, it’s a solid concept in need of several tweaks.
As to the second question, my hunch is if we were to run this same scenario with several hundred buyers, Tour Edge would deliver within the appropriate window the vast majority of the time.
The bottom line: If you order a club early on a Friday morning (or even Thursday), it won’t be there in time for a late afternoon Sunday round. So plan accordingly.
We didn’t set out to assess Tour Edge’s virtual fitting platform. However, it’s probably safe to say that if you’re looking for something more than someone to help place an order or answer basic questions, it’s best to find a way to do this in person with a qualified professional.
Tour Edge traditionally does well in MyGolfSpy testing. If you’re looking for a buy that offers quality and value, Global Golf (no 48 hour guarantee here) is currently offering $30 off on any purchase of $150 or more.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions. Please post them below!
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