In Need Of Better P.R.

26 March 2010

A few months ago, I told the story of my sister who bought some yarn with far too many knots.  She complained, the company replaced it.  She’s one happy customer.  She’d recommend the company.

I recently bought some yarn from a wonderful hand-dyer (who I often rave about here) but the yarn wasn’t of her usual extremely high quality.  The dyer sent me without hesitation a new skein.  I’m one happy customer.  I’d recommend this dyer.

A friend of mine bought some yarn from what I thought to be a wonderful hand-dyer.   It was poorly dyed,  My friend has spent A LOT of money with this company over the last few months but that seems to hold no sway with them.  They refuse to acknowledge that it’s faulty and instead of just sending her a replacement, they insist that they swap it and if by post, at my friend’s expense.

What’s wrong with these people?  If my friend were mad and this dying job is perfect (she’s not . . . and it isn’t), I’d still recommend that they just send her another skein.  One happy customer, who’d carry on spending large amounts of dosh and recommending the company to the knitters of Australia. 

As it stands now, they’ve lost one customer and maybe more will follow. 

Ethically suspect;  financially stupid.




  1. Agree (1)

  2. Yep! Very unwise!

  3. I agree with you – reputations are fragile and in an on-line world can be damaged very quickly. Almost everybody I know has heard my story about an on-line shop in the USA who sent me the wrong order – it included what I had ordered, but also had other quite lovely and expensive products. When I notified them, they simply told me to keep what they had sent. I still use this shop and I recommend it to others unhesitatingly.

    But, some people just don’t know how to weigh short term losses against long-term gains.

  4. Amazon has a replacement policy that is incredible. A child had a PS3 sent to him for Christmas from his grandfather, it was left in the foyer of his apartment building by the postie and was subsequently stolen. The grandfather didn’t hold out much hope of any successful recourse, but he let Amazon know anyway. Result: replacment playstation in time for christmas.

    I replace yarn because it’s just easier in the long run. Indie dyeing is not a perfect science – base yarn batches can be of variable quality – some dye colours can be harsher on fibre than others – some colours take a century to exhaust – it is hard not to get a white stripe from the skein tie – and of course it’s done by human hands that have human failings.

    But I figure if I take a hit on a single skein of yarn her and there, and end up with happy customers it’s completely worth it.

    I don’t know that I’d do the same if I were selling diamond rings, but they’d hardly be likely to have a white stripe in them would they?

  5. I think I may have yarn from these people as well. The dye job is suspect on mine as well and I just can’t be bothered doing anything apart from not purchasing anything from them again, or if I do, unwinding it almost completely and checking everything. I also warn everyone else about it too.

    I was disappointed at how much I paid only to discover the ‘bad parts’ had been hidden by clever winding. My skein should never have gotten through quality control to their firsts.

  6. As I have just posted on Ravelry I have been offered a complete “no questions asked” replacement of a non-appearing book from The Book Depository. Yay them – it’s a text book I need for uni which has gone astray. Their customer service is greatly appreciated and I will be passing on this sort of info to this yarn supplier soon when I give them back the defective yarn from our mutual friend for a refund NOT a replacement and letting them know that they will be no longer getting orders from said friend and possibly others because of their poor customer service.
    Sad thing is that I’m not sure that the attitude is “company-wide”, it could be just one up-front person who is doing the damage. I will find out…

  7. I occasionally do commission knitting. The client supplied 20 balls of Cleckheaton yarn. It was a machine knitted pattern so I rewound each ball, finding a knot in most balls and 3 knots in one single ball.

    I sent an email to Cleckheaton to say that this was unacceptable lack of quality control, and those balls should have been relagated to the factory shop. Deafening silence.

    Had I been hand knitting those knots would have meant a maddeningly frustrating pulling back to the sides each time.

    Not good enough.

  8. I too appreciated the replacement skei. I hadn’t even strted to wind the possibly faulty skein.

    I had the same good service at the other end of the yarn spectrum. Lion Brand Magic Stripes for grandchildren’s socks. One ball was fine. Other ball had numerous breaks, all in the one colour. It was replaced, no questions asked and without my returning the faulty ball.

    Some bamboo needles with a guarantee were replaced, again without question. This was by a smallish Aussie yarn vendor who replaced one which split along its length with a complete new pack. This was before she checked with manufacturer.

  9. There are so many places that give good customer service, that I need not waste my money going back to a store that failed to impress me.

    (Only one in recent times, staff at a shop at a wool festival made rude comments about another shop-owner in my presence. The other shop owner is a friend. Seriously, ok, I’d spent $100 with my friend, but I was just about to do the exact same thing with the shop with the rude staff.)

  10. After reading rave reviews about a cetain UK yarn seller I ordered enough yarn to knit a skirt…and was sent the wrong yarn (same colour, same name, wrong thickness). When I emailed the seller to let her know of her mistake, I was told that I could send the yarn back for a replacement….at my expense. I cut my losses, kept the wrong yarn, saved the postage money & will never buy from this person again. She may have saved herself $20 postage but she’s lost out on a lot more in future sales.

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