A woman emailed me to say "I am disappointed in the two pillow patterns that I received. One has only a 3” border and the other only has 2 ¾” which makes it difficult without sewing something on the edges. Is this your standard?
I didn't recognize the woman's name but that's okay, a lot of orders go out and I can't remember them all. But I started going through the computer emails and website to locate it and finding nothing, went through all the paper copies all the way back to January, thinking it was probably a phone order. Nothing surfaced so I went through them the second time to double check. By now I'd wasted ten minutes stewing about it to Shane as to how this could happen and in all wasted 1/2 hour looking for the order. Even if Shane had done the pattern, I always sew the zig-zag and would have picked up on a chintzy border. I'm the last stop on the line for quality control. I was feeling kind of icky thinking we'd screwed up causing someone to have an issue with my patterns! Ouchy!
So in an attempt to straighten it all out, I emailed and asked for the names of the patterns to jog my memory. I did say that it is our policy to allow 4 inches of excess on the patterns, sometimes it is slightly shorter but generally it is 4. I think the industry standard is anything over 3" but that's an assumption as I have nothing to back it up...just what I've seen elsewhere. All I could think was oh shit....someone out there wasn't happy and probably telling all their friends. It's a small world this rug hooking community and negative feedback hurts. I needed to diffuse this somehow before it got on Facebook or the National Enquirer.
So she emailed back the name of the two patterns. With a sigh of relief I realized they weren't mine so she'd ordered them from someone else. I explained that we don't have any designs by those names so they had to come from another shop. I guess she didn't believe it because she emailed back and said she would send pictures and did, two of them with rulers showing the short edge around the pattern. Of course I didn't recognize the patterns, just like I hadn't been familiar with their names, but interestingly I could clearly read the company name along the edge of the patterns, proof of where they originated from. I won't broadcast that because it has no bearing on the story and now that the problem was solved, all I had to do was point out this fact and she'd realize her mistake.
Well, that didn't work. She still didn't believe me, because I received another email stating she thought I was affiliated with Encompassing Designs. Well yes, I am affiliated with Encompassing Designs, but those patterns had another company name written across the edge which I know nothing about. I emailed back to say I don't sell ___________ patterns, Encompassing Designs has nothing to do with that company. So I haven't heard anything further so I don't know where we stand...if she finally believed me and realized the error or if she thinks I'm an ass and my patterns are mediocre.
This isn't a new phenomena as it has happened before, more times than you would think. People who comb the internet become inundated with so much choice that they get confused about where they saw what. It's understandable, there are so many places to visit and all that eye candy must be overwhelming and unless you are keeping strict notes or placing the sites in favourites you can easily get messed up.
I've had people call to order patterns and call by the name of other shops owners. I've been Deanne once or twice and Carol several times. I've even had people walk in the door and say "Hi Carol, so nice to meet you!" When I say my name is Christine they look confused so I enlighten them and send them up the street.
Sometimes a customer will ask for a pattern I don't sell and then argue that I do. To prove I'm mistaken they describe it in detail and no matter how much I insist I don't have anything of the sort they still don't believe me. Some will phone and say they were in my shop and saw a particular pattern on a rack but didn't buy it at the time and want it now. I say sorry, you must have been in another shop but they say no and probably hang up thinking up a loon.
Now I do have a lot of inventory and there was these two times recently when customers ordered patterns that I actually had to go to the website to see what they looked like cause I'd forgotten it but that happened because I was working late nights and was seriously sleep deprived and a good time to haul out and play the senior moment card. I thought it was funny and had a good laugh at my own foil and I hope the people on the other end of the line laughed with me, not at me, but then again, maybe cuckoo was on the tip of their tongue.
So all I'm saying is that if this has happened to me it's happened to others. It's okay to make the blunder, but when it's discovered don't keep insisting that the shop keeper is wrong cause most of us know our inventory more intimately than our mates.....just have a laugh and figure out who you should have been calling in the first place........