Thursday, May 6, 2010

Support your local yarn shop? Maybe not!

I love going to yarn shops. I love yarn. I love spinning yarn. I love good yarn. I love store owners who treat me with respect. I have quite a few knitting friends and I teach classes occasionally.
This is a tale of poor customer service by a local yarn store. This may be one reason why customers are buying off the Internet. Anyway …
When one of my good friends asked for my help in selecting yarn to make a sweater for a new grandchild I was honored to help. She wanted something nice for a gift but as she had only ever bought less expensive stuff from the discount stores, she really didn’t know what to buy.
Road Trip.
We drove about 20 miles on a Friday afternoon to visit one of the stores where I have bought yarn in the past –not just once, but often when I needed something new and wasn’t spinning it.
When we arrived my friend was really impressed with all the different choices and colors. And was eager to get started looking for “the” yarn.
We are both over 50. And, because we had just driven a half an hour she wanted to visit the ladies’ room.  So, we asked to use the restroom and were told by the owner “WE DO NOT HAVE PUBLIC RESTROOMS”.
I was in shock. I have never been denied use of a restroom at a place that was supposedly a good quality store.  I never thought this store would be so unaccommodating,  or I never would have brought my friend there.  Clearly we didn’t look like street people or just those hanging out on the sidewalk. We were there to buy. Well, we didn’t buy anything there.
We went to a Friendly’s - bought ice cream  and Coffee and used their restroom. Then we drove 30 miles the other way and went to another of my favorite LYS (whose restroom was clearly visible).
She looked in awe. Bought $60 worth of stash and a pattern.
Note to store owners: The Internet has just about every color, manufacturer and very good sale prices. If you are not going to treat us well - we will buy elsewhere.
I will not recommend this store to anyone else.  And, I will not go back.
And, since I have told friends of this incident, they have mentioned other places where they have been treated poorly, snootily, or ignored, and where the shopkeeper was more interested in working on the computer than helping, etc. 
Anyway I am happy to say that 99% of the shops in and near Rochester, NY are excellent and visitors and newbies and experienced alike are treated very well. Thank you. You will get my business.