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Thread: Your thoughts on being overcharged at an lqs (Warning: LONG)

  1. #1
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    I love supporting the lqs. I want them to survive and rise above the chain stores. I have no problems not being able to use a coupon every week, or the lqs not giving discounts unless you're a guild member. No problem. On top of this, I like developing relationships with my lqs and its employees. I like learning from them, getting their opinions on various projects..... etc. You catch my drift.

    Now, tell me what you would do if you were in my shoes.

    I have an lqs that will cut fabric for as little as 1/8 yard off the regular price bolt. Terrific. This morning, I went to the store. I was the ONLY customer there. So, I asked the employee if he wouldn't mind cutting 1/6 sections for me (which is slightly larger than 1/8 ) since I was working on a Dear Jane quilt, and really didn't need a whole bunch of extra fabric. In essence, I was asking him to cut me six-inch increments.

    He said he would gladly do it since there wasn't anyone else in the store. If there were other people in the store, and it was super-busy, he would ask me to limit my selection to six bolts if all I wanted was 1/6" yard each. I can understand this completely.

    If you do the math, if I bought ten "six-inch-increments" that comes out to 1 - 2/3 yards. I looked at the receipt. He charged me for 2 - 1/3 yard. So, an extra 2/3 yard. The fabric is $8.99 per yard. So, he charged me an extra $6 (give or take 20 cents for tax). In the grand scheme of things, $6 is not going to put me in the poor house.

    But, when I pointed out the over-charge, he got completely defensive and reminded me that I had bought some fabric that was 'on sale.' I told him that the issue wasn't the price per yard. The issue was he had charged me for fabric that wasn't even cut at all......an EXTRA 2/3 yard.

    Now, I went back and forth on this, and as much as I do appreciate the time he took to cut fabric from ten bolts:

    1) He agreed to do this for me. I didn't force him to do it, nor were there any other customers who were waiting to be helped.
    2) Eight of the ten bolts were regular priced fabric. Two were on sale at 25% off. So, it wasn't as if I was being 'cheap.' Plus, I even bought supplies on top of the fabric.

    I thought that it was a relatively harmless and honest mistake. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I was just taken aback by his reaction and his comment about buying "discount fabric." If I was in his shoes, and a customer pointed out an error in calculation, the first thing I would have done would be:

    1) Apologize; and offer to count out the yardages again.
    2) Keep my mouth SHUT about any discounted fabric.
    3) Not get defensive and offer to "make it right" so that both parties are happy in the end.

    I know, in my case, it was just $6, but what if this guy is doing it to all customers? What if nine other customers came through the door, today and he did that to every single customer? That's an extra $60 for the store for "imaginary cut" inventory per day. That's an extra $300 per week that they're overcharging customers (they're open five days per week).

    I think I was correct for saying something, but now I have a bad taste in my mouth about this store. Would you have let it go and not said anything at all, and YOU eat the $6 in fabric that was never given to you? I wasn't concerned about the six dollars as much as the 'principle' of it. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    I can't agree more with you. I am on a pretty tight budget and if I'm buying fabric from a LQS, it is going to be a special quilt for me. I just can't afford to buy the majority of my fabric there, as much as I would love to! If I found they were overcharging, you can bet your booty I would bring it up and probably make a bigger stink than you did. (I've been told I need to work on my filter! :oops: ) I would probably ask to speak withthe manager/owner and let them know what happened, especially if you plan to go there on a regular basis. Good luck and happy quilting!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Pinkrose4664's Avatar
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    I think you did the right thing. Personally I would bring it up to the Owner of the store, or at the very least the Manager. Could HE be pocketing the extra money? I would appreciate a customer letting me know there is a problem with one of employees. They are not there to argue with my customers or give them a hard time.

    Personally, I would want to know. IMHO


  4. #4
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I don't think it was a very nice experience at all. First thought, was this the owner, or an employee? It shouldn't make any difference to his reaction, I was just wondering if it would be in order to write/phone/email the owner with an account just as you have written here? No one likes to think that they have been cheated. I understand that fat quarters often (at least here and in the UK) cost more, because of the cutting involved, but in this case, since he agreed to cut your fabric, if he was intending to add an extra cost for doing that, then he should have made that plain before he started cutting.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkrose4664
    I think you did the right thing. Personally I would bring it up to the Owner of the store, or at the very least the Manager. Could HE be pocketing the extra money? I would appreciate a customer letting me know there is a problem with one of employees. They are not there to argue with my customers or give them a hard time.

    Personally, I would want to know. IMHO
    I would like to say something to the owner, but the person who was helping me today is the owner's son.

    Now, what do I do? Should I say something to the owner? This is a really 'sticky' issue.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    I don't think it was a very nice experience at all. First thought, was this the owner, or an employee? It shouldn't make any difference to his reaction, I was just wondering if it would be in order to write/phone/email the owner with an account just as you have written here? No one likes to think that they have been cheated. I understand that fat quarters often (at least here and in the UK) cost more, because of the cutting involved, but in this case, since he agreed to cut your fabric, if he was intending to add an extra cost for doing that, then he should have made that plain before he started cutting.
    No extra charges for special cuts. I wasn't even asking him to do more than one cut. Plus, the smallest cut they do is 1/8 yard which is smaller than 1/6. I don't know if he thought he was entitled to 'charging me extra' for his labor cost. If so, that's pretty arrogant to just tack that on without telling the customer, first (like you said).

  7. #7
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    It sounds to me as he has trouble dealing in fractions and got very defensive when it was pointed out to him. I think I would just take my receipt back in and ask to speak to the owner or manager. Explain it very calmly as you did here and tell the owner/manager that at first you were just going to 'eat' the $6 but the more you think about it, you feel it does need to be brought to the attention of someone. I think you will feel better after you do that, even if an adjustment isn't made. I hope this is not a repeat of other posts...I have only read your initial posting and I don't have the time right now to read the others...I need to be on my way to an appt.

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Just to make sure: You bought 10 6"strips = 60" /36" = 1.67 yd

    Assuming that he didn't do it on purpose, he was most likely emberrassed that he made a mistake and that a customer pointed it out (let alone a female)

    It is too bad that he couldn't accept his error and fix it on the fly.

    Is this person an employee or part of management?

    LQSs are only as good as their service and the best slection of fabric will not draw repeat business when the employees are inept or unfriendly. One of our LQSs just went out of business because the owner was a raging [fill in the blank].

    I would let the owner know what transpired. It is the owner's responsibility to train the personnel on the meaning of customer service. Arguing and belittling is NEVER good customer service.
    If you don't feel comfortable talking to the owner, I'd suggest email.

  9. #9

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    If you are a regular there then you are helping support that store in sales and word of mouth to others. I would try talking to the owner. Explain what happened and how his son's reaction was wrong. If there was to be an extra charge then he should have stated that in the beginning! If there was an extra charge he could of said that he was sorry that he didn't tell you there was and left it at that. If they don't want you to buy "cheap" fabric then they shouldn't sell it!! every sale counts no matter how small :x And 6 dollars is six dollars. It could have happened to you before without you evenrealizing it and you don't want it to become a regular thing either. You are right!! he was wrong!

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Over charging is stealing...no different than if you tried to leave the shop without paying for a 2/3 yard cut!!!
    It sounds like he made a mistake, and did not want to admit, he needs to get over that issue, we ALL make mistakes!!!
    Just because he is the owner's son, does not make him untouchable, if everyone feels that way, the owner may never find out how customers are being treated....or if it just a few comments being made they may think it only happens once in a blue moon!!! For all you know, he may be treating many customers this way.
    Owner may not be happy that their inventory is off...they may be using a computerized system, the owner may be happy knowing why the actual stock is not matching to the computer's records...if he makes a lot of mistakes, inventory is waaaay off and that is hard to track back to the cause!!!
    That shop figures labor into the price of the fabric...it should not matter if you ask for 1+ yard cuts or 1/8 yd cuts (THEIR stated minimum) busy or not in the shop, it is not a good practice to turn away business...I have waited in line while other's have needed smaller cuts, It takes the same amount of time to cut 1/8 yard as a full yard!!!

    EDITED: Would they turn away a customer when it is busy who had 15 bolts and wanted one yard of each???

    $6 dollars here, $5 dollars there can easily add up to an extra couple+ thousand dollars of THEFT each year at the customer's expense

    I would not go back if my smaller purchases are not as important to them as my larger ones..... :wink:

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