Saturday, December 15, 2012

customers, the wonderful and the ugly...

Got a phone call late Monday afternoon from a youngish-sounding voice from Texas.  She had seen someone stitching a gorgeous Christmas stocking.  She asked and they had purchased it from Needle Nicely.  She went on our website and then called me.  She has never needlepointed.  I told her to please not start stitching with a stocking (not even mentioning things like price), but to start with something small like an ornament.  I asked her location (near Dallas) and so I mentioned several shops close-by where I feel she can go for assistance.  But as a last resort, I told her that if no one were helpful, she should call me and I would mail her our "beginner's kit" that we hand out free of charge.  I figure needlepoint is addictive and I'll get paid eventually.  What a wonderful conversation and positive experience for both of us.

And then there's the letter I received in the mail several weeks ago in an envelope with a law firm's name and address.  Wow!  The big guns already.  I opened it and out popped a skein of silk 'n ivory I mailed to someone the week before.  There was a foolscrap note telling me that not only was it not a full skein, but it didn't even have the official tag.  Say what!  For all the years Needle Nicely has sold silk 'n ivory, we have always bought the large hanks and made our own small skeins (20 skeins per hank as per instructions) with labels indicating name, number, and dye lot.  We do this with many fibers because we are a seasonal shop and have lots of downtime in the summer to do mindless things like twisting skeins.  It increases our bottom line without cheating our customers.  For things like gold dust and fuzzy stuff, I have a board with 2 nails a yard apart.  You sit there running strands around the two nails.  When you hit 5  or 7.5 (tougher--you have to think), you cut the strand and start twisting.  For the last 5 or so years we've been doing 5 long strands into small skeins for Paternayan yarn, and now we're doing it for the colors of Waverly that we carry.  No more single strands of wool.  It makes kitting a delight for wool.  

Anyway, I was the person who took the order for the silk 'n ivory.  She told me it was the lightest color in a certain family.  I corrected her--it was too clear for that family.  I asked if she were certain that that was the color she wanted.  She allowed as how that was it.  I reminded her that I would be happy to mail it to her, but we don't accept returns.  No problem, she said.  So now she returns it saying in essence I'm a sleeze and selling short skeins.  Trust me, I'm preserving that note.  I'm not a lawyer, but I'm also not a doofus.  I wrote her a check for the total cost of her charge even though I believe she was only due the cost of the fiber and tax, if that.  Never mind.  It's worth it to me to have the satisfaction that I am a better person for refunding the entire amount.  And boy am I grateful that she isn't a regular customer of mine!

1 comment:

  1. You're an honest shopowner, no doubt of that! I guess sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.