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Unhappy Customer - Advice needed..

Unhappy Customer - Advice needed..

Old 02-09-2016, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Default Unhappy Customer - Advice needed..

(Longarm Question) Hello everyone... thanks in advance for any advice...

I'm very new at quilting for others. I freehand and have three very basic patterns. I charge .01 per inch. I had a new customer bring me a 85"x 95" quilt. I told her upfront my rates and what I was capable of doing. She knew the size of her quilt and said that whatever the pattern was it didn't matter...she just wanted it done. I'd also told her that the quilt has to be all cotton (this statement was made because of another customers polyester quilt..grrr). Her quilt was all cotton... all cotton Crown Royal bags with sashing! Lots of cording to go over and make sure that it stayed flat.

Once I got the quilt on the machine... I find that the quilt and backing were the exact some size... nothing to grip onto. I called her and told her that strips would need to be added...did she want me to do this and quoted her a price of $15 ... she said yes... but I only charged $5.00 to do this.

The reason for this post. When I called her and told her it was ready... and gave her the price of $85.00 - she was not happy. She paid me but made sure to tell me that she has a sister that only charges $50.00 for queen size quilts. My husband said I was snippy when I suggested that she take the next quilt to her sister (I'll admit he is probably correct.)

(This is getting long... sorry.) I realize I'm new.. and she didn't get anything fancy.. but she was told up front the price and apparently didn't do the math. She was told up front that the pattern would be a simple meandering. My quilting was plain.. but even.

So was I wrong in holding to my price? Do you think she was overcharged? (The price I use is the price that I was told is the going rate for the guild I belong to - its a very small, small town guild.) Obviously I won't be quilting any more quilts for her... but would like to know what others think about this.

Again... thanks for any advice/opinions.

lmnopquilter is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1

You are right. don't cut your prices to "get along", that's not professional.
jbonnie is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:19 PM
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I think you were up front with your quilting skills and price. I however don't think you should have gotten snippy with your customer. It's fine if she didn't do the math herself. (That's why you are there.) But, you did burn a bridge and it may be harder to build a cliental if you receive bad feed back. It would probably have been better to finesse the customer. (Even if she was rude.) It's one of those live and learn things. You did not state, is this a new venture you are going into? (Quilting other's quilts.)

Congrats on having the first customer under your belt. And, it sounds like you learned a bit along the way.
Judith1005 is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Brookfield, MO
Posts: 86

She was wrong. Some people like to complain just to see if you will lower your price. If you were up front with all the costs she should not have been surprised at the final price.
equigle5 is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:21 PM
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Location: MN
Posts: 23,778

There are some people that are only pleased if you pay them for the privilege of doing work for them.

Sorry you had this unpleasant experience.

(Next time - ask to see what it is before agreeing to doing anything!)
bearisgray is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:22 PM
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Location: Lake Elsinore, CA
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I think you were right in sticking to your price. However, in the future you might consider giving a written estimate in advance so that the customer sees the full price up front. You also have the right to refuse a quilt after you see it, if it involves more work than you are prepared to do for that price. I imagine her sister had already refused to quilt this for her.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Now I wonder why she didn't bring it to her sister? Could it be her sister is tired of quilting her quilts at a cut rate and didn't want to touch that one? Tell the whole story to your quilt guild friends in case she bad mouths you so they know the truth. Time to write up a contract for clients to sign so you both know what to expect.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:28 PM
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Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 1,018

One of my LA friends----very good quilter-----has a contract that both parties must sign. A Crown Royal bag quilt is a specialty item in my opinion. One that would require a much higher price.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by luvstoquilt301 View Post
One of my LA friends----very good quilter-----has a contract that both parties must sign. A Crown Royal bag quilt is a specialty item in my opinion. One that would require a much higher price.
Yes this! You are not her sister and if she likes her sister's quilting so much she should have brought it there. Your quilting is already very cheap.
Annaquilts is offline  
Old 02-09-2016, 01:39 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,356

Omgoodness, I feel your pain! Been there, done that. I could write a long long reply but as stated before she should have let her sister do the quilt. She is probably a pain in the [email protected]#=/ to everyone.
I always gave them the actual cost after I measured their top while they were there.
Yes she might do damage to your business but if people know her hopefully they will consider the source!
Tiggersmom is offline  
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