Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Overreacting over an inch?

Warning: Rant ahead.

Yesterday I wanted to make Brielle a new workout outfit. She wanted matching leggings and a top, so we went to our local fabric store to buy some black spandex fabric.

I arrived at the store with my 40% off coupon, which was a good thing because the fabric was several dollars more per yard than the other fabric store that I frequent.

We took the bolt of fabric to the cutting table, took a number and patiently waited for our turn.
I should have known that something was up when the lady in front of me finished and rolled her eyes at me as she walked away from the cut table.

When our number was called, I stepped up to the table, handed the bolt to the girl and asked for two yards.

She looked at the bolt and said "I'm not sure if there's that much here" then she unrolled all of the fabric and started to measure it. She seemed to be having great difficulty deciding which end of the fabric to start measuring from. She finally decided on an end to start with and tried to line it up with the yardstick.
I immediately noticed that the edge of the fabric had been previously cut at an angle, and she was measuring from the longest edge of the fabric. I pointed this out to her, and she tried several times to straighten the edge, she was about to trim it even and then decided that it wasn't that uneven (which it was)
She continued to struggle with measuring the fabric, complaining that the spandex just wouldn't cooperate, and finally measured the two yards and there was just barely an inch of fabric left over.
She asked another employee what she should do with this remaining inch of fabric.

"You can offer to sell it to her for 50% off."

She turned to me and asked if I wanted to buy the remaining inch of fabric for half price. I stood there dumbfounded and said "You're really going to cut that off?"

She looked at me with a straight face and said "Yes, unless you want to buy it. We will give it to you for half price."

Then I said "ARE YOU SERIOUS? I have NEVER been to a fabric store where they were this close on measurement and haven't just included the extra inch or two."
She replied "I'm sorry, this is my first day here and I'm just doing what I was told to do."
Then the older lady chimed in "We need to come out even on our measuring. it needs to be exact because sometimes they measure the fabric at the checkstand and we need to be correct."If you want to buy the extra fabric, we will sell it to you for half price."

I then pointed out to the older lady that the edge of the fabric had been cut unevenly on an angle to start with and the girl jumped in and said "It was only a quarter of an inch and I already gave that to you!"
I knew for sure that this wasn't true because I had watched her measure from the very edge of the fabric.

By now I was fuming. "What on earth are you going to do with one inch of fabric?!!! You can't do anything with one inch of fabric. You're only going to throw it away, I can't believe that you are really going to cut that off!"

"If you want it" said the older lady "we would need to charge you for it. If they measure it at the checkstand, the numbers need to add up."

I couldn't believe what she was saying. Never in my life have I seen them measure fabric at the checkstand at this particular fabric/craft store.

So I told her to go ahead and cut off the inch.

She trimmed off the inch (with much difficulty, I might add) handed me the fabric and told me to have a nice day.

I went to the checkstand and paid for my fabric. Nobody measured the fabric again. I kind of wished that I had because when I got home, I measured the fabric and it was one inch short.

I measured it again, it was still one inch short.

I measured it a third time. You guessed it, One. Inch. Short.

This was spandex fabric and I think she might have stretched it a bit as she was measuring it, either that or the yardstick on the cutting table is short.

Over the years, I have spent literally thousands of dollars on fabric at this particular fabric store. I have been buying fabric there for over 20 years!

Tomorrow I will call the manager. Do you think I should ask her to refund the money they overcharged me on that inch of fabric that I didn't get.

This really happened, I only wish I was making it up.


Debbie said...

Thats so crazy. It's funny to me that its more important to them to make a point instead of keep customers. Thats too bad for them.

Busty LaRue said...

That particular store in my area (Orem) wouldn't return a cutting mat I got for Christmas because it didn't come from their store, and "the skus are all different from store to store, so unless you have a receipt from our store you have to take it back to the store your parents bought it from." I was going to exchange it for a more expensive one, meaning more money for them during hard economic times. (It was the day after Christmas, mind you). I ended up driving 30 miles to a different one of that particular store, and exchanged it there.

Honestly, I think that that particular store has some major issues when it comes to customer service. Although, I don't think I've ever had a problem with the SF version. Fingers Crossed! :)

Good luck with the manager tomorrow :) I say make them cut you a new piece off of a new bolt and give it to you for free for having to go through all of that! :D

Annette Lyon said...

I'd take the spandex back, find the employee, and strangle her with it. Or at least, I'd fantasize about doing that.

M-Cat said...

I would be more helpful if I had every\ actually STEPPED FOOT in a, what do you call them?, fabric store. For reals.

BUT - you got shorted, by all means call the manager, give them an earful and get your just due.

Go girl, hope we get a follow up post

Vanessa said...

I hate going to a store where I know more then the employees (which isn't much when it comes to sewing) and this always seems to be the case at JoAnn's. So sorry and SO LAME!

Me said...

You need to call!! That was really really silly of the employees to do that...What are they going to do with that inch!! You should have told her you are going to messure it before you buy it..

Me said...

call and email...they have a contact us part of their web page...I know they care more if the complaint is from their headquarters..Good luck!

Kristina P. said...

How ridiculous!

I would definitely talk to a manager.

Erin said...

That is ridiculous! I am just positive the inch went in the garbage as soon as you left the store.

Bonnie the Boss said...

Complete;y assinine! Honestly, that was just wasteful on her part and I would call and talk to someone! It is not like it is your first day!

Jessica G. said...

Dude, definitely call the manager. Seriously, an INCH??? I can understand getting all Cheapy McFrugal on you with an extra foot of fabric but not an inch.

(And I've never had then "re-measure" my fabric at the check-out. That's ridiculous!)

Vickie said...

The store manager will probably tell you that it is "company policy" and do nothing about it. That may frustrate you even more but then you can take the "next step".

What you could do is write a letter to their corporate office letting them know (without being too snippy or they will chalk you up as a hooch) that you are concerned and disappointed with the manner in which your grievance was handled. You may end up with a discount coupon as well as a letter of thanks.

When my girls were little I had washed a white blouse after spraying with SHOUT. It came out of the washer with funny brown dots everywhere I had sprayed. I figured the blouse was a loss anyway so I wrote a letter of disappointment about their cleaner, included the blouse and forgot about it. About a month later I got this HUGE package in the mail. In it was a bottle of each of their cleaning products along with the sparkling clean blouse and a letter of thanks! Needless to say I am a fan for life.

I hate that particular chain of fabric shop by the way. I won't go there because of the treatment I have received...

Staci K. said...

Well, I have to say first off that I work part-time at this particular fabric store. Don't hate me for that - I mainly do it for the employee discount! :)

I have heard from many of our customers about the horrible customer service they receive at some of the stores. In defense of the clerk, I will say that once a year we go through a very intensive inventory process and that corporate does indeed care about a 1" difference. Now, if I had been the clerk at the cutting counter I would have just given you that inch, especially since the edge was so crooked, and done a write off in the book for edge straightening.

As for the store telling someone that the SKUs are different from store to store - that's a bunch of BS. The reason they told you that is most likely because the return will count against their sales and they don't want that to happen so they tell their customers this so the return goes back to the original store.

MaeRae said...

Over reacting? I don't think so. The "economy" has to start looking at poor customer service as one of the reasons the stores are hurting as bad as they are. Seriously, I have NEVER heard of them cutting off the last part unless it is of significant size.

And I am sorry, first day or not, "USE YOUR HEAD FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN A HAT RACK" (as my father used to say).

utmomof 5 said...

Without even clicking on the link I could have guessed it was Joann's. I have had similar experiences of stellar customer service there.

Jen said...

I've not had such trouble at JoAnns, though I had to cut my own at our Walmart the other day because the employee was from another section and there would be no one there for four more hours who knew how to properly cut fabric.

As for your experience: Un. Be. Lievable. Not overreacting one bit.

Jen said...

Get this. The Walmart employee was going to cut my two yards of fabric one yard at a time. Bahahaha. I gently asked if I could have both yards intact.

b. said...

Do you have an update?

Because I loathe sewing and everything to do with it...but this got my dander up!

Belovedgoddess said...

You have got to be joking? An inch? I'd definitely be calling the manager.

I work at a fabric store and will often give extra on the end of the roll, what are we going to do with it? That being said I have seen a staff member arguing with a customer over an extra 20 cm worth of fabric. Madness seeing at the customer only asked for 2 metres and the measurement was 2 metres and 20 cms. She told the customer she had to pay for the extra 20cm even though the customer didn't want it.

AzĂșcar said...

I would be LIVID.

tiburon said...

I would for sure call and complain. And then punch someone.

That is crap.

amelia said...

Send this letter to corporate. And change those links on your blog to the actual name of the store. You will hear back.

And agreed with others that JoAnns has CRAP customer service. I hate getting fabric there because their fabric-cutting-employees are always rude/short/unkind.

Post an update!

Mrs. C. said...

Would it be vulgar of me to say that an inch really CAN make a big difference? Smirk.

And I have been in said store a few times and felt lucky to get out without the fabric counter person cutting off a vital body part and staining my fabric... they seem a bit out of it.