Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Writing N Complaining

According to 'those in the know', I'm not supposed to complain in a blog. Apparently, as a business owner, never ever! Too bad .. being human and all .. here I go. If anyone is upset by this, I apologize in advance for disturbing your sensibilities.

Do we actually listen to ourselves talk? When you go somewhere, do you ever hear how you are sounding to others, or is it a just don't care issue. Maybe I should start wearing a recording device and have it on at all times so I don't do this either. I know, in retrospect, of times I've sounded off and upset someone (ones) around me .. and I'm sorry for that. I try to make amends.
Yesterday in the shop was one of those days where I honestly don't think 'they' were hearing themselves. Or perhaps, just being rude was a way of life, I don't know. I do know I had a raging headache after the hour and a half they were in, and am pretty sure Diana did too.
Nothing was right .. their first time to the shop too. We were too hard to find; Charts not arranged alphabetically; product too crowded ("you should find a bigger place if you want to stay in business" I was told .. I responded, with a smile, if I found a bigger place in this economy, I wouldn't be able to stay in business); "why don't q-snap extensions come longer" and "why don't I carry that larger size" (A-they don't make them longer, and B- ... see A!!); "Why should I want a magnifier light that can clip to my project if I don't use anything to hold my fabric" (see previous comment about q-snaps with her previous explanation that this is all she uses).
"This light is perfect for what I need .. what kind of discount are you going to give me?" I offered a 15% discount (as I'd had that light for some time just sitting there taking up space). She had to think about it. Does she have to take that light or do I have one boxed and unopened.
"Do I have to pay tax with that discount?" ... um, yeah .. the state gets a bit upset if I don't charge tax (smiling). "Can you print off a picture with description of this light so I can think about it?" (thinking .. walk 17 steps and look at it again but .. smiling, printed off all info for her)
"I want this fabric .. and this is the only piece you have in stock (18 x 17) .. and I want it cut to size (11 x 13). Responded that I could cut it to 11 x 17 but cannot go smaller as bits of fabric just don't sell in the shop and we do not cut smaller than 6" for leftovers. "Do I have to pay for the extra that I don't need?" "I can't believe you're going to charge me for 4 inches that I'll be throwing away." "No, I don't want it."
"Pull these colors of silks for me .. but do it quickly, I don't want to spend the whole day here."
"Now, what kind of discount are you giving me on these fibers? If you don't give a discount, I don't want them and you'll lose a $54.00 sale". (I'm sorry, I'm unable to discount all the items you are purchasing.) "Then I'm not buying these!"
"Where can we get lunch in this area?" (to all replies - about 9 suggestions - "oh that sounds terrible .. not at all what we're looking for".)
"If I don't buy that light today, will you still give the discount later?" "Do I have to come to the shop again to purchase it or can I order it". "You mail .. do I have to pay shipping"? (A-no ; B-no ; C-yes)
Bought light (at the discount).. both did actually, after nearly 2 hours in the shop and tag-teaming Diana and myself, and each a pair of teeny scissors (at no discount). Told us how much they LOVED the shop and they'd be back (smiling, saying goodbye and thinking .. hope it's my day off).

Called on shop recorder .. had opened box with light and there was no cord in one box. Responded that we were very sorry, that it was obviously a packaging error from the manufacturer as the box was still sealed and had not been opened, but I had a cord in the shop and would mail it that day at no shipping charge; that I would contact the manufacturer as I would have to tell them when and what distributor I'd purchased it from so they could send me a replacement cord for the existing shop light.

They then drove back to the shop (from some distance - at the price of gas), returned lights (if cord not in box, did not want either) AND scissors were not sharp enough, so returning those too. Grumble grumble grumble .... and then the killer, "we'll be back even though this shop does not meet our expectations".

I love my business, I really do! I love working with stitchers that come into the shop! And I understand that there are those bad days when we're just 'off', but every once in a great while (usually no more than once a year, if that often) there are those who just make me want to walk out and never look back. And I'm positively sure that they would never recognize themselves here in print!


Anonymous said...

I am sure that, had I been in your place, I would have pointedly said, "I'm so sorry my store doesn't meet your expectations, perhaps you can find another store to shop in". Then I would have said, "Please DO go elsewhere."

Why would I do that? Because--they were just *one* group of customers, not a whole year's worth, and if I lost them as customers, so be it, the stress of putting up with them is not worth it. I absolutely stunned that the one lady expected you to DISCOUNT the fibers! What the H&LL! Unbelievably rude! I probably would have escorted her out the door myself, but that's just me. I am nice, but not when faced with stupidity.

If you are especially stressed when someone mentiones (again) that you should expand your shop in this bad economy, perhaps you should say "Wonderful, so you'll give me the money I need to do that?" That would shut them up.

Yes, I know I'm bad.

BTW, don't ever doubt your business. I don't have a LNS in my area and so YOU are my LNS, even though you're a good three hours north of me. I order all my cross stitch stuff from you.

Keep up the good work and don't let the nasty ones get you down.

Becky K in OK said...

A picture is worth a 1000 words, but the beauty of words is you can picture what is written in my mind. Now mind you, I have a good imagination. There's a couple of ladies who attend my local WW'ers meeting, that I kept picturing as I was reading. Oh, it was fun.

I am sorry there are such people. I would love to be able to come see your shop. Perhaps I wouldn't be so persnickede.

BTW, it's your blog, complain on it if you want. There's many of us who will "feel your pain."
BeckyK in OK

Colleen said...

OMG, I know you have to actually put up with customers like taht, but if I saw them coming...I'd lock my doors and put up a CLOSED sign! lol Hope today goes much better for you.

The Cat Bastet said...

If I had been there, I would have snuck outside and let air out of their tires for you... :)

Seriously, I think you were unbelievably patient with these very rude people.

Glenda Andre said...


I wouldn't have been so nice. People like that need to be told that they need an attitude adjustment. If I ever act remotely like that when I am in the shop, give me a good swift kick. I won't hold it against you and will be better behaved the next time I come back.

Barb said...

Sometimes you just gotta vent! I work customer service in a large retail business and I am just blown away by the behavior of some of our customers. I would say that they only represent maybe 95% of them thankfully. Some immediately come to us with a chip on their shoulder, thinking that we are out to rip them off. Some just want what they want and they want it now!

I seriously considered opening a local LNS some years ago, and one of the comments I got from a small business owner was that I would have to deal with demanding customers and that some of them would try to take advantage at every turn. Guess I didn't believe it at the time, but now I understand. Never did open the business since I didn't see how I could possible pay the lease unless it was in a garage.

Hope these people never visit you again :).

Melanie said...

Sorry, Deb, that these people were so nasty to deal with! Some people really take the cake!

Brenda Lou said...

Oh, lord!!! I would've escorted their unhappy butts to the door! We all have our moments but that is beyond ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Deb, I am sorry, but this story is just too funny. I know, I have a funny sense of humor.
I could just imagine how that played out for you.


CritterLady62 said...

It sounds to me like you were incredibly patient. I find it odd that they would return "everything" that they bought. I cannot help but scratch my head and wonder if one was pocketing things while the other nit picked. Just call me cynical. I hope they don't darken your doors or your mood again.

Carol A. said...

I agree with you, Critter Lady. Why else would they say they would go back to the store, even though the store 'didn't meet their expectations"?
Sounds like shoplifting to me, too, though I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Deb, I'm sorry to hear about the customers and their behavior. They are just a few out of a bunch. I've been in sales also, and know how they can be sometimes. Unfortunately, they are the bread and butter of any small business owner. But I also have to tell you that I stopped coming to your shop a long time ago, nor have I ordered anything from your shop even though you're just about the only game in town now. I have always been met with loud hissing of air (deep sighs) and rolled eyes and other such behavior when I've been in both of your shops and you haven't been there. You, yourself, are and always seemed to be very upbeat and helpful! Extremely so. But not so with your staff. It's happened numerous times with not only me, but with some of my friends also. We've all stopped coming to you or ordering from you. You know, sometimes people just have bad days, customers and shop helpers alike. That is forgiveable. But I decided late last year to visit your shop again and was met with the same feeling that I was bugging someone to ask a question or to look at linen since help was not offered in finding the linen I wanted (cue in the loud sigh when I wanted to stack the linen on the counter which was extremely crowded with orders so that I could try to find the one I was looking for). I know, us as customers can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. I'm certainly not standing up for the rudeness of your recent customers, but I am, I suppose, voicing a complaint about your staff. Like I said, we all have bad days, but when it happens everytime I'm there, I go elsewhere. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Deb, love your blog, love you!
As for the store......Big Box stores just can not compete with you and your staff. Too bad some of the Big Box customers find their way into your front door.
As for me and mine we loved the store when we saw it(and shopped) at Camp!

Anonymous said...

Dear Deb, complain all you like- it's your blog! Anonymous #1 has altogether too many LNS's near her! I am not lucky enough to be a local shopper, but I have always had a wonderful telephone experience with your staff. That IS weird about them returning everything. Hugs and don't let them wear you down.

jenn r said...

I have shopped with SNT for years - in the shops (both of them), over the phone, and via the net. I have always had excellent customer service and felt that the staff went over and above to help me find things. Don't let them get you down!

Kathy said...

OMG, can I identify with you. I help out one day a week at my LNS, and have had similar incidents. It happened yesterday. Had a lady in the shop for the first time and was there for well over an hour. Assisted her with lots of things and she walked out with nothing. At least, she did not ask for discounts and since she did not buy anything we did not have to worry with returns.

Enjoy you shop. I have been a customer several times via the internet. Enjoy your blog and you can vent there anytime.