Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How not to run a business

Dear XXX,
I just thought you might like to know why I won't be returning to your yarn store or recommending it to any of my friends.
I have to admit the "up to 50 percent off" sign did grab my attention. Not that I was expecting it to actually mean anything. I imagined a basketful of odd-balls and maybe a few multiple balls of yarn in a strange colour that didn't catch on last season. That's what it usually means.
What I didn't expect was a basketful of odd-balls with regular prices inflated far above anything I have seen elsewhere. I guess it is easy to offer 30 percent off Patons Lush, for example, if your regular price is 25 percent higher than the regular price anywhere else. Your discount price worked out to be the regular price I can buy that yarn for at most other stores - although I usually get it for less because they offer genuine 10-20 percent discounts. I didn't even consider any of the other so-called discount yarns once I recognised that anomaly.
I had really come in to check-out the hand-painted yarns that you are famous for, and I have to admit they are beautiful. Despite the high price tag I was still tempted to buy the rainbow shawl kit but I think you demonstrated a poor sense of business by charging me $1.00 for a pattern that I could download for free off your website and which basically amounts to casting on 70 stitches on 20 mm needles and knitting 2 rows of garter stitch in each colour. I'll give you a clue. Most yarn stores give such simple patterns away for FREE when someone buys nearly $50 worth of yarn. Especially since it is only half a page that might have cost you a whole $0.05 to copy at Officeworks.

But the creme de la creme of my whole shopping experience was the way you ripped me off an extra $0.80 on the needles I bought at your store. They were clearly marked $9.50 but you charged $10.30. OK, I should have checked the addition more carefully before signing the credit card charge. My fault. But yours too. Maybe the $9.50 was the pre-GST price and the real price was $10.30 but it is bad business to mislead people that way. I was probably only ripped off about $1.75 in total by you. Less than a cup of coffee. In the greater scheme of things, not that important at all.

But at the end of the day I have an unpleasant memory of visiting your store and I will not be returning. Buying yarn at a local yarn store is more than just a business transaction. It has to be a pleasant experience or else we might as well all stay home and purchase via the internet.

Yours sincerely,

Maggie B

PS: I have decided to use the rainbow yarn for something more exciting and deserving than a stupid garter shawl.

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