Last September I got involved in a project run by an Australian indy-dyer, Kylie Gusset (Ms.Gusset). She had the great idea of purchasing a ton of cormo wool direct from the farmer and having it processed in Australia. If you’re not in Australia, you may not know that nearly all our wool goes overseas (mainly to China) to be processed and that Australian Cormo is not readily available here.
So she set up a Pozible account (like CrowdFunder) where she asked people to pledge money towards this enterprise. Depending on what we’d pledged, we’d receive a “gift” – in my case 3 x 100g of spun yarn. She had to raise $33,000 for this and exceeded her target. In other words, we were pre-buying the yarn (and tops, for the spinners among us) and anything left she’d be able to sell on the open market.
This is a large endeavour and we all knew that we’d have to wait a while for our purchases. Tops started to be sent out in January/February and in March she received the undyed spun yarn for those who wanted that, or to be dyed, for the rest of us. In May, I was asked to choose which colourway I’d prefer. I did that but as I was going away for 5 weeks, asked if she’d hold onto the yarn until I returned. This was refused on the grounds that it had to be sent out “immediately”. So I gave her a friend’s address and was assured “it will be waiting for you on your return”.
I think you can guess the rest. I was away for 5 weeks and have been back for 6. No yarn, no explanation.
And I’m not alone I gather from the PMs I’ve received on Ravelry (where I’ve raised the issue in her group – in the Ton of Wool Q&A section, which seemed appropriate). Some are still waiting for their tops, some for the dyed yarn. But a number are still waiting and getting nowhere with their queries. Questions asked in her group are often deleted. I’ve been “ordered” to delete my post, she’s threatening to report me to Ravelry for being in breach of their Guidelines**, and if I post again, she’ll block me from the group. Overkill?
I think the final straw was to see that she was selling it at the Bendigo Show recently so now we have to read about happy shoppers who’ve got their beautiful yarn (and I believe it really is lovely) and have already used it while those of us who funded this project are still waiting.
What is such a shame is that what should have been a wonderful marketing opportunity for her business has resulted in a large number of knitters saying that they’ll never deal with her again. She had loads of good publicity from this but instead of capitalising on it, has wasted it. It was a huge undertaking, I’m fully aware of that, but if she weren’t up to the job, she really shouldn’t have taken it on. But as she did, she could at least be polite and business-like, not threatening, with her customers who are still waiting.
I’ll let you know when I get my wool.
** Ravelry Guideline: “Ravelry is not customer service! If you have negative feedback about a business to share, share it with the owner first. When posting reviews that contain negative feedback, remember that you are talking about somebody’s livelihood. “
This is to stop people from posting all over Ravelry unsubstantiated claims about bad service INSTEAD OF contacting the owner of the business. The group I posted in IS the owner of the business. I posted my concerns nowhere else in Ravelry. And it wasn’t “negative feedback” – it was a simple, polite request for delivery information, similar to asking in a group run by a knitting magazine what date I could expect my next subscriber copy.
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