Monday, August 29, 2011

Customer Dis-Satisfaction

My friend is getting married soon, and my Mom and I agreed to make a chuppah (canopy) for her. The canopy is a painted silk panel. We'll attach ribbon to the corners, then staple the ribbon to the posts at the four corners.

I needed to buy fleece for the snuggie I'm making, and decided to get some ribbon for the chuppah at the same time. I went to the local fabric shop.

I haven't been happy with this store for a long time. The store is dark, messy, the salesclerks are sloppily dressed, and never acknowledge when a customer enters. The store has a big selection of home dec fabrics, notions, fleece and a lot of cottons. They call themselves a quilt shop, but they don't know anything about quilting. They've always had the strangest selection of fabrics. I found out the owner buys the stock of fabric stores that have gone out of business. I've long since stopped buying my quilting fabric there, and now only shop there as a last resort.

I walked in on Saturday with my dad. I had to wait for the two salesclerks behind the desk to finish their conversation so I could ask where to find the fleece. I picked the color I needed, brought it to the cutting desk, and asked for a yard, and said I needed ribbon. The clerk cut my fleece and set it aside, placing a slip on it that indicated it was $9.90.

I found some 3/4" white satin ribbon, and five different colors of 1/4" satin ribbon. I needed 8 yards of each.

While the salesclerk was measuring out the white ribbon, she said casually, "Oh, here's a dirty patch," but she kept measuring. Then she came to a part where the ribbon had been cut, and was scotch-taped together. She kept measuring.

"I don't want that cut part," I said.

"What's this for anyway?" she asked.

"It's for a canopy for a wedding."

"Is the wedding TOMORROW?" she asked, and guffawed loudly with her co-worker. We all knew the hurricane Irene would hit the next day.

I didn't reply, feeling like I had just been insulted. What difference did it make when the wedding was?

Since she'd lost count measuring the ribbon, she had to start again. Again, she passed the cut piece.

"What are we going to do about that cut?" I asked.

"I don't know if I have eight yards after this cut."

"That's ok," I said, "I need four two-yard pieces,"

"You don't UNDERSTAND" she said, raising her voice, "I don't know if I have eight yards on this whole roll! There's NOTHING I can do about it." She glared at me.

I blinked. I couldn't believe it. I put down the five other rolls of ribbon I'd been holding and backed slightly away from the counter, and then the fleece caught my eye. I really needed the fleece for a project I'd be working on later that day. I reached into my purse, took out my wallet, pulled out a ten dollar bill and threw it on the counter.

"We're done here," I said. "Come on, dad." I took his arm, and picked up my fleece as we rounded the counter and walked out.

Two steps out the door my dad said to me, "You know, I bet she doesn't even understand why you left."

"Did I overreact?" I asked.

"Oh no," he said, "she was really rude to you."

We got into the car, and I thought about the encounter, "She wasn't just rude to me once."

"No," he said, "she insulted you twice."

I'll never, ever, go into that store again.


Joyce said...

Wow! I'm speechless...I work in a quilt shop and could guarantee you that this would have been reason to be fired! Glad you're not going back. I'd probably write a note to the owner of the store. Maybe she doesn't know how her employees are acting.

Judith said...

Do they have a lot of customers? Wouldn't think so. How do they stay in business.

The Selvage Fairy said...

My first thought as I read this was, "Oh, well that's just how it is at ------'s. But you are absolutely right. We should not have to put up with that kind of treatment.

Sybil said...

Wow, how rude. I wouldn't go back either. She shouldn't be working with the public.

Terri said...

I'm amazed at the people that work customer service... Do you know the manager? They need to know why they have lost (yet another) customer. I'd call and complain. (Those two probably have the jobs they do because they are related to the owner.) It is the way businesses fail, bad service. You aren't the only one they have been rude to, I'm sure.

NeverBored said...

In this day and age when you can order anything you want online, you would expect that local businesses would do anything and everything they could think of to "win friends and influence customers" in a positive way so they didn't shop online. I've had some bad experiences in a couple quilt shops and I've never returned. I'd rather go without than be subjected to rude behavior.