Saturday, December 29, 2007

Using the power of the internet to vent!!!!

Gather round for a sewing related tale of frustration and woe... I'm going to relay a little saga I've been involved in. As you know, I purchased my Embellisher in November after ordering it over the telephone from Central Sewing in Edmonton. The place had been recommended by a friend in my Quilting Guild. With shipping, it came to just under $500. The salesperson was very pleasant. I hung up the phone quite excited and 3 weeks later, the Embellisher arrived. Alas, the Embellisher arrived in a less than brand new condition. It had clearly been used as a demo machine before it was sold to me. There was lint in the trap, two needles were missing from the felting assembly and an additional needle was bent beyond use. Since they had just had a workshop at Central Sewing by fibre artist Ms. Ema I figure there had been a boo boo. In addition, the screw that holds the finger guard assembly in place was mildly stripped, making it challenging to move it. I had also purchased extra needles at the same time - and none were included in the boxes. The only needles I had were the standard 10 that come with the machine, except there were only 6 and I had to use those 3 to replace the ones broken and bent in the machine. Also, a minor annoyance is that the cover for the light doesn't want to stay closed and there was no 'free project book' included like Babylock says there was. Minor annoyances. I'm passive. I'll live with it all. The machine is usable, it works and I've been enjoying it. But, I typically quietly stew about these things. I'm not the type of person to call back, rant and rave except....the friend who recommended the purchase to me kept browbeating me a bit to complain. She did it with the best intentions. She felt sorry because she had recommended them so highly. So I bowed to peer pressure. I sent an email to the owner and explained what happened, explained that I was giving him feedback and that I didn't expect anything because returning the machine is difficult given that I'm 3000 km away and that I was using it. I said that I would appreciate them looking into the missing needles ($40 worth) though.

The owner (I think) Randy called me to apologize on Christmas Eve. He was very pleasant and said that they would be looking into it after the holidays. He asked me to look on the box for a handwritten number, which I did and provided to him. I told him that the box had been open; those large staples keeping it closed pulled out and then covered with tape. Christmas came and went.

Yesterday, I received an email from the original Salesperson that included a copy of an email from Randy (the owner) asking her to deal with the matter. We have now reached the point in our story where I keep getting seriously pissed off.... be back in a second, I need to go and have a smoke and calm myself down.... again..... Okay, this is part of the email I received from the salesperson:

"Randy e-mailed me about the EMB7 that you had received. To my knowledge that was a new embellisher. I do not ship floor models out to customers unless they have been informed before hand that it is a floor model. I would not do anything underhanded. My customers mean too much to me."

The customers who don't complain anyways. She is refuting my complaint. Anyone get that she is tad defensive? This is my translation and interpretation of the email:

My boss sent me your complaint. How dare you complain. I don't really care about the state of the embellisher you received - I'm doing my job. I mailed you a closed box, what more do you expect? If a floor model got mixed up with a demo model - well that's not my problem. It was probably a mistake - you're just one customer, no one else complained.

It gets better (or worse).... she continues in the email "We would like to compensate you for your trouble and grief by shipping you a pkg. of needles...". and then the email ends with a nicety. Okay, it is at this point that I now switch from 'oh, how lovely, they are dealing with
it" to a point where I am bubbling with anger. I am fuming. Little puffs of steam are coming out my ears! THEY ARE GOING TO COMPENSATE ME FOR MY TROUBLE AND GRIEF BY SENDING ME NEEDLES THAT I ALREADY PAID FOR!!!! HELLOOOOOO!! THEY ARE GOING TO COMPENSATE ME BY GIVING ME NEEDLES FOR THE ONES THAT I HAD TO REPLACE IN THE ACTUAL EMBELLISHER (WITH THE ONES THAT COME WITH THE EMBELLISHER) BECAUSE THE NEEDLES IN THE EMBELLISHER WERE BROKEN BEFORE ARRIVAL. UHM....wow!

Anyone else struck by their overwhelming generosity? Are you in awe by those crackerjack customer service skills? Excuse me while I pause again..... I'm starting to well up from the humanity of it! How...how.....ARGH!!!!! As an afterthought in the next email that says the needles are sent - she says that the extra needles I purchased were very small and perhaps I should look through the packaging material again (I did that by the way - every piece of newsprint and shredded paper - a number of times since!).

No, oops, the needles were small so we taped them to the box so you could find them easily in the first place; or to the invoice, or to the packing slip. No, we're sending these separately or we put them in a large envelope so they wouldn't get lost; or even we taped them to the Embellisher itself.... just... your fault, go through the packing paper, you must have overlooked them... you idiot!! Okay, they didn't say 'you idiot' but it was implied! Remember, dear readers this is a fair sized box containing another fair sized box with the Embellisher in it and lots and lots of packing material. I am at the point in this whole schmoggle, where I want to send an email back saying "Stuff the needles up your nose, I'm happier being out the $40 bucks as payment for my indignation". I won't, but I want to. Then I could righteously fume for the next century or so. Oh, what the heck, I think I still will.

The moral of this story. A little letter from Randy apologizing would have worked so much better. A small "oops we're so sorry for the trouble, we won't let it happen again. We don't know what happened. Do please forgive us". You know what, I would have let it go. I may even have been inclined to continue shopping at Central Sewing in Edmonton. Unfortunately, Central Sewing took a minuscule step in fixing this problem, instead of taking one normal step to put things completely right. A normal step might have been a coupon (and the missing needles); or the needles and and additional package of needles; or $50 off the price of the Embellisher because it had been demo'd.

But they didn't do that and I'm mad and they'll have to live with that ire's consequences. I had plans you see to buy a bigger better sewing machine with one of those fancy dancy stitch regulators sometime later this year. It's a major investment. I have no intention of aiming that investment their direction. Will I tell the next quilter in my guild warm and fuzzy stories about Central Sewing - No! Will I recommend them? Nope. Will I link every keyword in this blog so that search engines pick this post up and the next time someone is looking for a sewing machine retailer in Edmonton, Canada, they'll find this rant - Yep! It's the only power I have, so I'll use it. They have tarnished the reputation of themselves and of Babylock Canada (who is no longer on my list to purchase from too...just because I'm spiteful... njah njah). Will it make any difference? Sadly, No! But do I feel better? Okay, a little. I still want to shove the felting needles up their noses though. I have violent tendancies! Therapy might help?

2 comments:

Jane said...

Ohhh, buggers! I commiserate and can only call you a saint with the handling of the matter! Very poor customer service indeed.

Helen Conway said...

I understand where you are coming from but I don't actually think that sticking the needles up their nose will be productive. I suggest you sit down at your demo'd (Demo'd?- sounds like ruined!!) embellisher and play with making a nice little voodoo doll then stick the ****** needles into that! I am sorry but this type of behaviour ( their's not yours) just makes my blood boil!