On customer service

It is amazing how good customer service can transform a bad product experience, whereas a bad customer service experience can ruin a good product experience.Case in point:

Over the weekend I found a pan on sale, the Ribbon pan that I’ve been wanting.  So, naturally, I bought one.  Unfortunately I got it home and the glue that was used to keep the label on wouldn’t come off – despite every effort.  I was cheesed off.  I got my ‘disgruntled customer’ on and called customer service. I explained and was all ready to fight to get a new one, when the customer service agent said: “That’s horrible, I’ll send you out a new one.”  I was stunned – I didn’t have to complain or fight or threaten, she just gave me what I wanted… without even having to ask!!  I ended up having to call up the Canadian branch (I originally only found a US number), but when I got in touch with them, they had a file on my situation already!  And there, again, the agent was friendly and helpful, and I should have a new pan in a couple of days.  I was very impressed and will be purchasing from them again.  (The company, btw,  is Wilton.)


While on the other hand.  Today my lace weight arrived from Webs.  I ordered 3 cones of the Colrain lace.  The Ocean Blue and the Dark Teal are stunning, while the Coffee actually looks more like the Merlot, but not horrible.  However, when I went to enter it on Ravelry it came up as being only 1400 yds per cone.  I had thought it was supposed to be more, so I went back to Webs to check it out.  This the information which the product page provides: A beautiful new addition to our line of Valley Yarns. The blend of merino and Tencel in Colrain creates an absolutely stunning fabric that is soft, has fabulous drape, and a subtle sheen. It is perfect for both knitting and weaving and you will be pleased with the results.
Content: 50% Merino/50% Tencel
Care: Hand Wash
Weight/Yardage: 2800YPP 1/2 lb cone
Sett: 15-16 epi
Knitting Weight: Lace
Price: $22.50/cone, discountable

There is no place on the product site indicating that the cones are only 1400y, despite the yardage being given.  Given the price of Zephyr for a 1lb cone (over 5000 yards and wool/silk) is usually around $60, $22.50 is not unreasonable for a 2800yds of lace weight so it didn’t occur to me to question the size of the put up.  This pissed me off, I cannot tell you how!  I expected better, quite frankly, from such a large and respected yarn store.   I’ve had to order another cone of the Ocean Blue and the Dark Teal (as they were for specific projects that required more than 1400yds), I didn’t like the colour of the coffee enough to order more.   I asked, in my second order, where the size of the cones for sale was to be found on the product page, and I’ll wait to see if and how that is answered.  But this is likely the last time I will order from them. Which is a pity since the yarn is lovely, and they generally have excellent product and good prices.

{Edit:  Tikabelle has pointed out what I missed that it says 2800YPP 1/2lb cone – so it would only be 1400 for a 1/2lb -which must be what I ended up with (I didn’t go weigh it), I still think that is way too confusing, and will not be ordering it again in the future.  Be clear people, the only math I should have to do is how many I want, not what hell are you selling in the first place.}

(Ocean Blue)

(Dark Teal)


[It doesn’t help my mood much that my attempted retail therapy of ordering a Sheep2Shoe kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts fell through (I have been longing for one in Thraven).  I understand the need to charge more for international shipping, however, I will not pay in excess of 85% of the product cost for shipping.  A $30 bag of fiber should not cost $26 in shipping, guess I’ll have to hit the Canadian Spinners group on Ravelry and look through the thread on suppliers whose shipping is Canadian friendly.  (But I’m going to pout about not being able to get my S2S kit anyway!)]

On a happier note

– there is a chocolate shamrock cake in the oven (today is my little brother’s birthday – in addition to being St. Patrick’s Day).

– It is St. Patrick’s Day

– And I am currently threading 2500 beads on to the Ocean Blue so I can cast on the Moroccan Days/Arabian Nights shawl, which is going to be my Aunt’s Christmas present.  And the beads look fantastic with the yarn.

– I finished my Jaywalkers!


5 thoughts on “On customer service

  1. Oh that is lousy about the laceweight. Bleah. If they don’t say it’s 1/4 pound up there, that is totally misadvertising.

    Can’t wait to see how those beads knit up though.

  2. If it says 1/2 lb cone, then the cones should be… let me do the math… hold on a sec… 8 oz? But if it’s 2800 ypp, that would make 1400 yards for 1/2 pound, right? I think the cut/paste you did might be correct, but that seems overly expensive for even merino/tencel. WTF?!? AND I’m bummed about BMFA being cheaty on postage. Boo.

    Your shawl will be drop-dead gorgeous, OTOH. Would you be mad if I used your color scheme?

  3. Hi There

    Just picked up your post and wanted to respond to your issues. First and foremost, I am sorry that you did not have the experience you expected shopping with us. If you are unhappy with the coffee color, you are welcome to return it and I am willing to refund not only your cost to send it back but the portion of the shipping you were charged to get it to you. It may be more work than it’s worth for you, but the option is there.

    In terms of the yardage/put-up confusion. The way we list the yards per pound and the actual weight of the cone is a standard practice. BUT you raise a good point – even if it is standard, if it’s confusing to the consumer it really doesn’t matter. Something for us to seriously conisder changing. Part of the problem is that this particular product is for weaving as well as lace knitting and the weavers want to see the “YPP” number and I’m sure you are probably not the only knitter who just wants to see what the cone yardage is. I am sure we can make this clearer to both customers.

    In terms of price – our Merino/Silk and Merino/Tencel are priced at $22.50 for 1/2 lb cones – making a full pound $45.00, which is $15.00 (approx 25%) less than Zephyr. All of the yarns in our Valley Yarns line are very competitively priced and all count towards our volume discount (which you must have received on this order). No, we don’t mark things up to then mark them down with the discount.

    I do feel badly you are unhappy – if there is anything else I can do, please let me know by emailing me at kathy.elkins@yarn.com. We appreciate your business and don’t take the fact that you chose to shop with us over one of the many other on-line yarn companies for granted.

    I hope you enjoy the project – I think the shawl will be gorgeous.

    Kathy Elkins

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