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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:

  11. #11

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    I think you did the right thing too.... Does anyone ever wonder were the old saying went... "The customer is always right "

    Squeakers1

  12. #12
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    I would have been upset - and I think you were reasonable in pointing it out. People make mistakes. If they are unintended and it's corrected, no big deal.

    Sounds like you did it in a pleasant way. After the clerk was condescending, I would have progressed from upset to angry.

    Then I would try talking to the owner - maybe you could pretend you didn't know the person was the owner's son?

    And if they were still jerks about it, I would take my business else where.

    They could either put up signs saying they have minimum cuts - which I think would be counter-productive for them to do -

    Or they could put up charts with the decimal equivalents and teach the clerks how to use a calculator.

    I think the store (person) was wrong wrong and wrong in this case.

    JoAnns and WalMart have these charts and sell fabric by the inch. In fact, one of the LQS here sells fabric by the inch.

    Let us know what happens if you choose to pursue it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Stitching4Fun's Avatar
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    What would make the difference if you got 1/6th yard or 1 yard? You are purchasing fabric from the business. I don't agree that if they were crowded that you would be limited to just 6 bolts. Would someone that is getting a yard of each be limited to the amount? To me, regardless of what amount you had him cut, he would have cut it if you got the full yard, right? You are a customer and if they don't please you, and you don't return, then it is their loss.

    Did he correct your order?

    Barb

  14. #14
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Of course you feel like you do. What I wonder is why he didn't alert you of any extra charges before he cut. You most likely would have bought nothing or scaled back your choices. No vendor should assume the customer will pay for things they are not expecting and the vendor should always communicate with the customer. That's just polite and common sense. No surprises makes a happy shopper. Quilting is an expensive hobby and I really think they should have made it right once you expressed your concern. It's their loss. They probably lost a valuable customer.

  15. #15
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    I would point it out for sure. Like others said, maybe he is keeping this extra money. Did you ever get the six dollars back?

  16. #16
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethel A

    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." ...
    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?
    I'm confused about what you did in the end?
    Did he correct his mistake or did you simply leave? :(

    Obviously the mistake was his. He didn't seem to distill what you were conveying when you brought it to his attention. It seems as if he was more concerned with the price differences in the bolts than the fact that he couldn't complete the math successfully.

    Are you co-mingling issues here a bit though? It sounds as if you felt guilty for requesting the small increments, and those feelings may have influenced your permitting the clerk to continue on with HIS mistake. People order small increments all the time, honestly there is no reason to feel like you are putting anyone out for doing their job. This problem isn't about what you purchased, it was what he did, which was likely a math error -- fractions are hard! :lol:

    When I don't stand up for myself at moments like this, it is always harder on me. I get really upset and it lingers. What I usually discover at the bottom of it is that I am disappointed for not digging deep and getting assertive right at the moment. So, I guess I'm mad at myself more than anything else.

    I would definitely contact the owner (related or not) and express your concern with the mistake, the uncordial response, and let her know whether the situation was or was not resolved to your satisfaction. Can you drop her an email? Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes including not being polite at times. Lord knows what he could be going through in life. However, the shop owner needs to know what is happening with her business while she's not there. Perhaps she has been wondering why some of her customers have not been in so often lately! :shock:



  17. #17
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtHomeSewing
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethel A

    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." ...
    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?
    I'm confused about what you did in the end?
    Did he correct his mistake or did you simply leave? :(

    Obviously the mistake was his. He didn't seem to distill what you were conveying when you brought it to his attention. It seems as if he was more concerned with the price differences in the bolts than the fact that he couldn't complete the math successfully.

    Are you co-mingling issues here a bit though? It sounds as if you felt guilty for requesting the small increments, and those feelings may have influenced your permitting the clerk to continue on with HIS mistake. People order small increments all the time, honestly there is no reason to feel like you are putting anyone out for doing their job. This problem isn't about what you purchased, it was what he did, which was likely a math error -- fractions are hard! :lol:

    When I don't stand up for myself at moments like this, it is always harder on me. I get really upset and it lingers. What I usually discover at the bottom of it is that I am disappointed for not digging deep and getting assertive right at the moment. So, I guess I'm mad at myself more than anything else.

    I would definitely contact the owner (related or not) and express your concern with the mistake, the uncordial response, and let her know whether the situation was or was not resolved to your satisfaction. Can you drop her an email? Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes including not being polite at times. Lord knows what he could be going through in life. However, the shop owner needs to know what is happening with her business while she's not there. Perhaps she has been wondering why some of her customers have not been in so often lately! :shock:

    I pointed it out to him. I stood up for myself and pointed it out to him.

    My feelings of sadness / disappointment / anger stem from the clerk's immediate knee-jerk reaction that I was wrong and he was right; embarassment that I was pointing out someone else's error (I never like to point out someone else's error); and then being told (in a condescending manner) that I was buying discounted (translation to him = "cheap") fabric.

    He did make me feel guilty for asking him to cut six inch increments from ten bolts of fabric. After I took the bolts to the cutting table, he told me that he had no problem doing it 'this time' since the store was empty and normally, they have a limitation on the number of bolts (had the store been busy).

    If cutting six inch increments from ten bolts was NOT AN ISSUE, then why did he bring that up? I always wonder why people say they don't want to make an issue of something yet passive agressively act the opposite of what they say.

  18. #18
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    You were right to point out the mistake; you were right to stand your ground and calmly insist that the mistake be corrected.

    Some people have a hard time not becoming defensive when someone points out a mistake. That is a shortcoming on their part, not yours, so please don't feel responsible for someone else's emotional state.

    Though it may be uncomfortable dealing with this clerk again, if you like the store's merchandise and if the other people working there are nice, then try to continue doing business with them. As long as the prevailing attitude at the shop is of courtesy to customers, don't penalize the owner for the demeanor of the son. If it would make you feel better to speak to the owner about it, then do so... but I'd say, just see what happens if he waits on you again. If there's a continued problem, then by all means speak up to the owner. Otherwise, presuming that you got your money, let it go. Life's too short to spend much time stewing.

    I manage a quilt shop, and our policy is that if we make an error, we cheerfully and promptly correct it. But... the customer isn't necessarily [/u]always[u] right, sometimes they make mistakes too! For us, that's when it gets really awkward.

    As to problem staff... personally, I watch to see if a problem is a one-time occurrence or if it keeps happening. If I think it is a one-time thing I don't say anything (micromanaging does not help the staff's mood). But if there is a pattern, then I speak to the person, privately.

  19. #19
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    i'm with you 100%. it has nothing to do with the dollar value, if its $6 or $600, i would feel the same way.

    i can not believe he didn't refund the money to you. thats very short sighted and if it were me i would never shop there again.

    i had a problem with an online fabric store regarding shipping, they sent me an email stating that they charge only the exact shipping amount and when i got my package they overcharged me on shipping.

    they wouldn't correct the mistake since it was such a small amount ($2) and i stated that the amount shouldn't matter - its your written policy and should be honored to all customers.

    needless to say, i contact the credit card company and provided them with the email and my receipt, the credit card company reversed the entire charge from the online store.


  20. #20

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    I think you did the right thing pointing it out. I would also probably contact the owner.

  21. #21
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think you were right in what you did. The owner ( and dad ) may not realize things like this are happening. And they need to realize poor customer relations can ruin a store.

  22. #22
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Ohhh ... If someone did this to me I would tell every one of the girls in the local guild to watch out for him. Those gals could break a store in no time. That store is nothing without customers.

    I agree ... Stealing is stealing. He was lucky you didn't tell him to keep it and walk out. Ooooo some people need to be taught respect for thier customers.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh ... But, he was wrong! :evil:

  23. #23
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    You were correct to say something to the young man. I would not have been so patient - myself. If you are working in this industry you must be "fluent" in fractions. This young man was obviously not.

    I, too, would approach the owner - with the concern not that he had made an error but that his attitude when being questioned was unacceptable.

    Best of luck

  24. #24
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I would be calling the owner of that LQS...
    It doesn't matter if it is 6$ or 600$, money is money and he charged you for something you did not receive.
    That is crazy!!!
    Don't think I would be shopping alot there...
    Kirsten

  25. #25
    community benefactor collettakay's Avatar
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    To me, I think they should grateful for the business they get and can't imagine them putting a "bolt limit" on purchases. That makes no sense to me. Being that there weren't to be extra charges for cutting (I don't get this either), why in the world would he charge you for 2 1/3 yds instead of 1 2/3 yds. Hey $6 dollars could be another 2/3 yds of fabric and you know how much fabric means to us quilters.

    I would take the receipt in when the owner is there and say, "I was charged for yardage that I didn't not receive." Their reaction would tell me if I was ever going to do business with them again, let alone tell all my friends, relatives, neighbors, etc. about my experience there.

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