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Combatant Gentlemen, the ‘baller on a budget’ menswear start-up, hammered by angry customers

One of those irate users was Shaun Leeper, a 31-year-old entrepreneur who lives in Sacramento. On March 21, Leper, who is getting married later this month, placed an order through Combat Gent for himself and eight other groomsmen. The company’s website says wedding party orders usually ship a month prior to the wedding.

“We got way out in front of it because the last thing you want to deal with on your wedding day was worrying about what to wear,” Leeper told CNBC in an interview. However, he received an incomplete shipment, and said he got the runaround from the company’s representatives when he demanded answers.

After being assured by the company that the tuxedos would arrive by late June, the order was never fulfilled in its entirety. Finding himself in a bind, Leeper turned to Men’s Wearhouse and ultimately canceled his shipment with Combat Gent.

Melwani wrote in his letter that the company was “taking action to make things right, and we have already begun taking the steps we need to improve: Adding new factories to meet demand and shorten turnaround, onboarding additional customer service representatives and implementing stronger communications and growth strategies.”

He added: “Our team — myself included — is working around the clock to answer your messages and make sure you get your suits, tuxedos, shoes, bags and delayed orders as soon as possible.”

Leeper, a millennial who runs his own consulting firm, fits squarely into Combat Gent’s target demographic of aspirational male professionals. Yet he told CNBC that Melwani’s mea culpa was cold comfort for the problems he endured ahead of a milestone occasion.

“There were a million points when they could have saved face but it was too late,” Leeper told CNBC, vowing never to use the service again.

“I feel like I lost a year off my life stressing over it,” he lamented. “I’m glad the CEO came out and publicly addressed what happened, but it’s easy to do that after the fact.”

Correction: An updated version of this story fixes the spelling of Shaun Leeper’s name.

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