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Knit and Purl Grrl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
414 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2005 :  10:46:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Knit and Purl Grrl's Homepage Send Knit and Purl Grrl a Private Message
I live right near an awesome LYS from the yarn point of view, but I have to say that my experiences with the friendliness of the staff leave something to be desired. It is amazing to me that yarn store owners spend so much money on merchandising, staffing, newsletters, advertising, etc., and then don't do something as simple as BE NICE to their customers!

I have spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 at this store since I learned how to knit a year and a half ago. That's about $100 a month. I'm in there several times a month, sometimes several times a week. And I find the majority of the staff (including the owner) to be very standoffish, if not downright cold.

Most people like me. I don't smell (at least, not usually). I keep a handle on my kids when they must come with me. What gives? Am I expecting too much? I always thought LYSs would be warm and fuzzy. But apparently not all are. I've even thought of writing the owner a letter to let her know how she and her staff are coming across to the customer. But I haven't, as of yet.

Would love your thoughts.



Lain
Knit & Purl Grrl
visit me at http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/

blwinteler
Permanent Resident

USA
3145 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2005 :  10:56:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit blwinteler's Homepage  Send blwinteler a Yahoo! Message Send blwinteler a Private Message
You should definately talk to them. You are spending a great deal there and losing your business is not a good thing for them. They need to know. Some people just don't realize when they come off as unfriendly. Usually it just needs to be pointed out for it change. And if they give you grief over it, you may consider a change of store (even if it is not so convenient). Of course, I doubt they will give you any grief.

Take care!
Brandy

My finished projects

We are but 8 score young blondes and brunettes... all between 16 and 19-and-a-half... cut off in this castle with no one to protect us! Oh... it is a lonely life. Bathing... dressing... undressing... knitting exciting underwear ....(Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Tale of Sir Galahad)
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Bullmonty
Seriously Hooked

814 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2005 :  11:10:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bullmonty's Homepage Send Bullmonty a Private Message
hmmmm.... sounds like Wondoflex to me.... although I haven't been there again for about oh maybe 10 yrs...?

Lain, you sound like a fantastic customer that any LYS wld love to have...
good idea to speak to them to let them know you're no 'one-off' customer...
keep us posted...

The Maniacal Multitasker
[img]http://www.bensonassoc.com/pct/p09/mom_baby.gif[/img]
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Roxanne
Seriously Hooked

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2005 :  07:52:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Roxanne's Homepage Send Roxanne a Private Message
Sorry to hear that Lain...it looks like a quaint little yarn shop online too...you would think the employees would match...you know, quaint and nice! There's no real excuse for such an attitude especially since customers are your number one way of getting revenue into the store....you'd think their policy would be customers are #1....LOL

My Mom works in Wal-mart and she has to smile at the loudest, crudest and most obnoxious customers...and I have a hard time believing any customer would be obnoxious in a yarn store...yes, probably there are a few, there always is...but I'm sure you aren't! Write them!

"Success is a Journey; not a Destination"
My Blog: http://knitnpurlzen.blogspot.com
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Knit and Purl Grrl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
414 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  10:14:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Knit and Purl Grrl's Homepage Send Knit and Purl Grrl a Private Message
That's what I don't get, Roxanne-
You go somewhere like WalMart, and everyone's friendly... then you go someplace where you drop hundreds of dollars, and they act like they can't see you... Hmmm...

Lain
Knit & Purl Grrl
visit me at http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1350 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  10:58:53 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
There is an LYS here that I feel like that with. They are very popular and get rave reviews by a few people who have a strong voice in the online knitting community. Every time I go there I feel like they are burdened to have me in their store. If you aren't a close personal friend they don't greet you, ask you if you need help or even say three words to you. I'm definately not the only one who feels this way about them. Luckily there are 4 other LYSs that are as close or closer so I just don't go there.

Jayme
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  11:08:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
Well, that's just it Jayme, you aren't a close personal friend (I have a feeling I know which shop and which voices you mean) and you are't dropping more than I make in a year on yarn. I don't shop there either (not that I really would, it's an hour or so away, but I've made special trips to see another shop that's a very few blocks away...)

I had a yarn shop near me in Baltimore tell me if I wanted a ball wound from the skein of mohair I'd just bought (I spent $70 that trip in yarn and patterns) I could come back, but it was five minutes to close, and they wouldn't do it then. Now, I didn't ask them to do it, but excuse me - FIVE MINUTES left. How long does it take to wind one ball of yarn? I smiled, said no thanks, and left, but it made me wish I hadn't spent as much as I did (and I know that was a smaller purchase than many make, but c'mon!!!)

Customer service is lacking in so many areas. It's true that you'll get a smile at Walmart, because they pay someone to stand there and smile, but try to ask a legitimate question and get a solid answer...

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Roxanne
Seriously Hooked

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  12:27:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Roxanne's Homepage Send Roxanne a Private Message
My Mom has worked at Wal-mart and whatever store there was before that for 25+ years and believe me, you ask her a question and she'll answer it for you and if she can't, she'll find out for you. She is the old-school customer service type...customer always first, do whatever you can to help the customer and go well out of your way to help whichever way you can. And there are a few experienced people in her store so I don't think it's Wal-mart, it's the person doing the job and you find those that can't answer in all stores like you find those that can answer in all stores too.

"Success is a Journey; not a Destination"
My Blog: http://knitnpurlzen.blogspot.com
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  12:46:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
That wasn't a slam, it was an example.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1350 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  2:04:27 PM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
RoseByAny,
Yes, I think we are talking about the same store. I make special trips to the other store all the time and I'll only stop at the b!tchy one when they have a sale (I'll take cheap yarn from anywhere). I think this is a common sentiment about them, my whole knitting group agrees.

I say if it's your only LYS then write a nice letter to the owner, maybe more of an FYI than a complaint, and mail it. I wouldn't hand it to her in person. If you can go to a different LYS with out hassle I would, especially if a letter failed to result in any changes.

Jayme
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HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2005 :  7:34:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message
Lain:

I'm opening up in Los Altos in October (I hope, we're still waiting for the walls to go up) and I hope you will come in and say hi.

As we've been putting our sales team together, our top priority is making sure we have a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for everyone.

I hope that we can make your experience a good one.



HoJo

Our estore: www.fullthreadahead.com
Yarn for the mind, body, and soul

My blog: www.fullthreadahead.com/blog
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Knit and Purl Grrl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
414 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2005 :  4:42:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Knit and Purl Grrl's Homepage Send Knit and Purl Grrl a Private Message
Woohoo!
I will definitely come by (and come BUY!).
Thanks, HoJo


Lain
Knit & Purl Grrl
visit me at http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/
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TheMrsKnits
New Pal

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  7:06:04 PM  Show Profile Send TheMrsKnits a Private Message
As someone who works in a yarn shop (that I was a customer of prior to working there), I certainly see both sides of this issue.

I would definitely send a note to the owner explaing precisely what happened to make you feel bad. I wouldn't however, go bashing them on my blog. That really puts you on the same level. Wouldn't you want to know if someone had a poor perception of you before going off to blab to all their friends? And what if that persons' perception of you was wrong?

I see parents with kids come into the shop I work at often. Not saying you do this, but many parents *think* their kids are angels when in fact the parents turn a blind eye because they are trying to unwind in a pleasant place and shop. I have seen children climb on the comfy knitting chairs, pull yarn off of the shelves, throw tantrums, or at least whine at a fairly annoying pitch for several minutes on end, that as a parent, I can perhaps block out because I am used to it (what I call the "Mama I'm hungry and you told me 'just one more minute' a minute ago, and a minute before that, and a minute before that" syndrome). I can say this because I am a mama who has been guilty of this.

Case in point: Recently a mom came in with her "angel" and the angel began spinning around and pulling a blanket made of fairly expensive yarn off of it's place repeatedly. When our staff person very politely asked the child to refrain (because the parent was nowhere nearby!) the mom instantly materialzed and was upset. The child began to whine & the mom pulled the child aside and said (with "stage voice" ) something like "Mommy doesn't know why the lady won't let you play with the blankie"...

So, just playing devil's advocate here after reading your blog about your child, and having seen this happen again and again just asking if you are being fair about your child's behavior? As I say, I'm guilty of it myself, further, I could see how not taking care of it because I want a few minutes of peace to shop could wreck it for other "peace-seekers"!

Hope you allow the shop the opportunity to correct your poor impression of them. Any good and reputable shop would. Further, I would really give thought to what I said about how you would want it handled if it were you. If your child were like the child I saw and the shop I work at posted a picture of her up in the shop or online with the details of what happened (with our slant & our bias without giving you a chance to give your side of it), how would you feel?

If they do respond, it might be nice if you posted their response on your blog.
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  7:11:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by TheMrsKnits
...or at least whine at a fairly annoying pitch for several minutes on end, that as a parent, I can perhaps block out because I am used to it...


Oh my golly--when I was a customer service rep at Marshall's, one day I just couldn't deal with it. The whole time this woman was in the store her kid had been saying, "Mommy, guess what, Mommy, guess what, Mommy! Listen to me!" and getting "um hm" and silence as her response.

She had a long transaction with me and the whole time he was doing this and finally after another, "Mommy, guess what--"

"What?"

He shut up. She stared at me. He started giggling and she said, "Sorry, I'm used to it."

I don't know why having kids makes some women lose their hearing but arg.

Amanda

"Is that my Not-Mine Sweater? Whoever gets that Not-Mine Sweater is very lucky."
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Knit and Purl Grrl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
414 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  8:53:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Knit and Purl Grrl's Homepage Send Knit and Purl Grrl a Private Message
Hi Mrs. Knits-
I hear your points, but of course I have to respond... first, the customer-establishment relationship is not an even one, as one between two friends would be. I don't "owe" them anything, and certainly they don't "owe" me. But they are hoping that I will spend my hard-earned cash at their store, so I feel that it's totally within my rights as a consumer to complain about my experiences and share them with others if I feel that I've been treated shabbily -- and in some cases, the treatment has bordered on downright rude.

Let me emphasize that this is not a one-time occurrence -- it's repeated over a period of a year, with and without my kids present. No, my three are not always angels. But they're not always with me in the store, either. In fact, unless it's a quick grab-and-run, I leave them at home when I shop -- and I never bring all three with me. You might ask why I continue to patronize the store in question, and the answer is simple -- up until a month or two ago, there was no comparable store within a quick drive.

As a consumer, I value other shoppers' experiences and I think others do, too. In fact, there is even a spot on this forum for sharing experiences about on-line stores, good and bad. Why is it any different when I share my experiences with a bricks-and-mortar store? No one is saying that those sharing negative opinions about, say, Joslyn's Fiber Farm or DiscountYarnSale.com (both have negative experiences posted in the KR online stores section) are being unfair.

I agree that I should give the store the chance to address my concerns before I "bash" them on my blog --although I disagree with the term "bash." I am clearly stating my own opinions, and yes, they are negative, but with good reason. This isn't an opinion I've formed lightly -- it's one that's developed over a year (and, I repeat, over $1500 worth of yarn!). However, I will take down the link to their store from my blog so it won't be immediately apparent what LYS I am talking about. I draw the line, though, at censoring my own experiences on my personal forum.

I agree with you that if they should respond to my experiences, I should (and will) post the letter. That goes for a positive or negative response, though.

Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts.


Lain
Knit & Purl Grrl
visit me at http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/
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Knit and Purl Grrl
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
414 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2005 :  8:54:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Knit and Purl Grrl's Homepage Send Knit and Purl Grrl a Private Message
P.S. I also edited my original post in this topic to take out the name of the yarn store and the link to their site.

Lain
Knit & Purl Grrl
visit me at http://knitandpurlgrrl.blogs.com/my_weblog/
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The Irish Ewe
Permanent Resident

USA
1052 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  07:29:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit The Irish Ewe's Homepage Send The Irish Ewe a Private Message
Lain, that was top-class all the way hon, and if no one else says it, I will... it took a lot of guts to speak up, and even more to post that last post.

Now, I will disagree. I think that yarn shop owes you, and owes you a lot! If the staff is *always* rude/busy/snotty/sharp, or even *often* so, then the owner should be told, and should THANK YOU for filling them in. A bad day may excuse this once in a while, but unless they all have PMS at the same time, and that's the day you are shopping, there isn't a reason. The owner needs to step up and take charge of his/her employees, and tell them that they are to be polite to all, or look elsewhere for work.

The Irish Ewe
Norway, Maine
http://www.TheIrishEwe.com
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  07:34:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I absolutely agree that the shop owes you something. If they want my money, in exchange, the shop owes me goods. If they want my money vs me giving that money to another equal business, they owe me proof that their ball of cashmerino (or whatever) is better than anyone else's cashmerino (or whatever) - and the way to do that is service.

As a customer, I don't owe them more than my money. As an equal soul in the universe, I owe them respect, manners and dignity. But as a CUSTOMER, if they want my money, they owe me something first.

Yes, Lain, I think you've handled this well, particularly with your intent to update on any follow-up.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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ScubaQueen
Seriously Hooked

USA
883 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  08:35:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit ScubaQueen's Homepage Send ScubaQueen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by TheMrsKnits

I wouldn't however, go bashing them on my blog. That really puts you on the same level.


Sorry but I have to disagree with you. I read her blog and she is not BASHING...she is telling it like it is! Yes, she should let the owner know about the service....HOWEVER, she also stated that the OWNER treated her this way too....so it will probably fall on deaf ears.

Regarding the kids....yes I've seen a lot of mothers with MONSTEROUS children and it's aggrevating....HOWEVER when you open a business whose customer base is at least 90% female...then you have to expect mommies with kiddies....it's just the way it is. Plus she said they treated her poorly regardless if her children are with her or not.

I'm happy to hear there is another store that opened near her.....perhaps her business will be appreciated more there.

~Wendy

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW...WHAT A RIDE!!!"

My blog and other such nonsense... 2 Wet Fins
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jannafanna
New Pal

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  6:33:48 PM  Show Profile Send jannafanna a Private Message
Dear Lain:
I am the owner of Knitting Arts. I read your blog and your posting on KR. I feel very badly about your experiences at my shop - with our staff, and apparently myself. I have tried to hire a very knowledgeable and helpful staff - those who are experienced in knitting and crochet. We do have several employees who work mainly as cashiers on the weekend who do not have knitting experience, but I do my best to ensure that they have positive customer service attitudes and find someone who can help.
I must admit that moms with children can be a challenge at times in our shop. I have a very active, 9 year-old boy, so I am very aware that it is not always possible to have great behavior when you are in a store with your kids. But it sounds like yours don't really fit into that category (lucky you!). I try to be as engaging with the kids in my shop as the moms - sometimes I've been on my feet all day and I guess the energy just goes. We held a kids knitting camp this summer and the store was filled with kids and their projects. We even held a fashion show when they were through.

Anyway - I don't mean to be making excuses for how you were treated - I feel badly that it happened (and not just once). I will make my entire staff aware of what you experienced (anonymously of course) at our next store meeting. I always make it a point to discuss customer service issues when we meet, and work together to see how we can do our jobs better.

When I opened my shop 2 years ago, one of my major goals was, and still is, to create a pleasurable haven for knitters/crocheters where they can come to be inspired, meet others, and get great customer service. I hope you will give us another chance. Please email me at jan@goknit.com along with your postal address. I would like to send you a gift certificate as an apology for your negative experiences, and as a thank you for your business. If you don't want to come back I understand - you can pass the gift certificate on to a friend.

Best Regards,
Jan Hurwitz, Owner
Knitting Arts
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Sher
Permanent Resident

1292 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2005 :  6:59:09 PM  Show Profile  Send Sher a Yahoo! Message Send Sher a Private Message
WOW!!
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