Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to alienate customers and gain bad press..

I've had a few pretty spaced out days since last Tuesday thanks to wacky painkillers but nothing prepared me for the hilarious unbelievable conversation I had with the owner of a new LYS this afternoon.

I started knitting a new cardigan last night and realised that I needed a 3.5mm needle. As is always the case, I couldn't find the one set of needles that I needed so today while we were out, I thought we would nip into a new yarn shop, since we were passing the front door and I wanted to get home and carry on with the knitting tonight.

We walked in and I noticed that there was a knitting group all sitting around the table, having a great time.  While the majority of the yarn was really cheap acrylic, there was some nicer yarn and I had spotted a lovely shade of King Cole Riot that I hadn't seen before and was tempted to buy for J to make him a new hat.  They also had this crazy yarn which looked interesting for making bags and quick cushion covers with big needles. Anyway, I was being good, all I needed were needles so off I went to buy some, only to find that they had every size other than 3.5mm except for in sets with needle rolls and we all know, I'm not short of a few needle rolls so I asked the owner and that is where the 'fun' started:

Me > 'Hi, do you sell any 3.5mm needles please?'
Owner > 'They don't exist'
Me >  'Ah. I've used them before, I just can't find mine now that I need them'
Owner >  'No, they don't make them.'

Cue the gaggle of knitters talking very loudly amongst themselves about the 'silly girl' who wanted a 3.5mm knitting needle.  'Well Nora, I've never used one in all the years I have knitted. Honestly these young knitters, they think they know everything' Owner and her groupies spend a bit of time talking amongst themselves about how I am asking for something akin to the moon on a stick.

At this point I would normally have abandoned it as a bad job but I wanted to go home and knit tonight and I knew these needles existed, especially since they were selling them in a kit and being made to feel like a fool by about ten people was really quite infuriating so I continued....

Me > 'Well you sell them down there in sets so they clearly exist but I only want the 3.5mm, not the whole set'
Owner > 'There is no such thing as a 3.5mm needle. Those are just really special ones (she spoke slowly to me here because clearly I was a mad girl who hadn't got a clue what I was talking about) called double pointed but you wouldn't want those'
Me > 'Yes, I can see the dpns but what about these ?' (picking up the straight 3.5mm needles out of the set, working really hard not to stab any of her knitting club members who were still talking about how stupid I was) 
Owner > 'Ahh well yes, we sell those. Maybe we have some of them.'  She squeezes past Doris to get a box out of a cupboard and low and behold she finds.......a box of 3.5mm needles..you know, the size of needle that doesn't exist!
Me > 'Oh yes, just what I want. Can I have a pair of those please?'

Now the knitting club women are virtually picking themselves up off the floor because Doris, these needles don't exist. In all of these years I have never needed one so why would anyone else need one? 

I paid, declined the offer a bag from the shop because I'd rather not advertise their fantastic shop as I walked back to the car and left. Vowing never to step foot in the shop again.

Thank you very much Mrs Yarn Shop Owner.  At least your shop is one place I won't be spending my money....and you all want to see the non-existant needles? 


Nickerjac said...

Wow, what an attitude that owner had, I know some of the smaller sizes (2.75) are difficult to get if you only have one supplier but to sit there and say they don't exist what was she thinking, even if they didn't exist its still not the attitude and people wander why they go out of business

GiddyStuff said...

I have also experienced this sort of attitude in an 'acrylic style' LYS - being told that they didn't make 2.5mm dpns!
Thanks for the blog post about the poppies, i'm currently knitting lots of petals :) x

Lanswyfte said...

If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that just because I haven't heard of something, that does NOT mean that it doesn't exist! I've learned a lot since the Internet was invented by Al Gore (*grin, wink*).

I wonder if that LYS owner would have said the same thing had you asked for US 3 needles? I knit all the time with 3.5mm needles and smaller... I just can't imagine not knowing that there are smaller needles!

blueadt said...

My nearest LYS is 2 miles away & it sounds as if the owner has cloned herself. She started being polite to me 7 years ago when I set my knitting club up but I'd already seen her true personality.

Joanne said...

Wow, that's incredible. Glad that's not the only option - thank goodness!

Soorawn said...

I've found such shop owners before. This attitude guarantees I will warn other people how they're bound to be treated if they bother to go to that shop. The moment a shop owner tells me "it doesn't exists" is the moment I stop shopping there forever.

Sarah Knits said...

Oh dear - you are not alone in this experience I am sad to say. I went into my LYS to ask for 2.5mm bamboo dpns and was told they don't make them! It would seem that this style of yarn shop seem to have one catalogue they purchase things from and if it is not in there it doesn't exist.

Evelyn said...

How rude! What an appalling attitude, so much for "the customer is always right" !!

Leanne Woods said...

Ah the joys of a clique who'll all agree for the sake of fitting in even if it means being wrong:). Eejits. I could have have sent you a set, I've 3, maybe they're made by Irish pixies:)

Leanne xx

BigPants said...

Hey Nic, It's AZ - goodness knows how I found this post but lets just say it had something to do with crocheting.
I hope that LYS isn't anywhere near me or I might have to go and do something childish with a flag on top in a quiet corner of the shop for being horrible to you.
Love AZ xx