Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why I make every effort to stand behind my work; pattern clarifications

I think most of us folks "of a certain age" can agree that customer service at big-name companies in the US has become scarce, if not completely extinct. On Feb. 4, 2006 hubster bought me a set of Godinger silver salt and pepper shakers for our anniversary. (The Steelers also won the Super Bowl the next day but I don't think it was intended as part of my anniversary present.) The set was part of my 'good china' used only on holidays and important dinners. I used the set that Easter. Took it out for Christmas 2006 to find that there was white crust on the side of the salt shaker, but I cleaned it and used it. Next time I wanted to use it for Easter 2007, it was again encrusted and the top was fused to the body by crust. Looked up the company online so I could ask them how to clean it and avoid the same experience in future--no address, no contact info as they are wholesale only. Six months later they now have email, which I used and to which I never received a reply. Couldn't use them for Christmas 2008 either, so sat down yesterday to search out a phone number which is now included on the website. First time, I went round and round the digital menu and finally left a message. Got tired of waiting for a return call and phoned again, only to be told that I shouldn't keep salt in the salt shaker (???). Then I'm transferred to 3 other people, none of whom "work in that department", including the supervisor (Mr. Torn) who got rather nasty with me and sent me back to his assistant, who tells me to contact the Mississippi plantation where the set was purchased. This is a direct quote from their website:
"The Godinger motto is, "customer first". Our aim is to focus on the unique demands of every customer, and to aggressively fulfill those needs. Our excellent customer service is what allows us to retain and grow our loyal customer base."

Really? In what alternative universe are you known for your customer service? Not here, not in my house right now. All I wanted to know was how to clean off the salt shaker so I could use it and learn how to care for it in the future. Godinger Silver is a lesson to me in how I will never treat a customer of mine. I may not be able to solve your problem, but at least I won't tell you that it's not my department and shove you off onto someone else.

All of which leads me to an small announcement. If you have purchased a copy of my Red Dog Redux Shawl pattern, please be aware that I've made some small changes to make the lace pattern easier to follow. If you're interested in receiving the clarifications, please contact me at feistywoman AT verizon DOT net.

Thank you all for being wonderful customers, wonderful friends and loving family this past year. May all your needs be met and may you enjoy good health, good friends and much love in the coming year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Turning the page

The holidays are a few days away and I'm pushing myself to finish knitting the gifts I want to give friends and family. Obviously I can't post photos as that would be giving away the surprise, but I promise to try to get them up after Christmas.

Last month, I decided that I really needed to concentrate my efforts if I was going to complete the COE-Handspinning work for Level I. While in the Netherlands last year I did much of the research, but still have several in-depth research presentations to finish. Although I've done some of the spinning, I really need to start producing finished sample skeins to complete the 40 that are required. These are not projects that I can pick up and work on for 20-30 minutes but need my full attention. And all of it needs to be packaged in a certain way and sent off for the examination in October 2009. So this is my New Years resolution--I'll be devoting much less time to my Etsy shop and saleable items and spending several hours each day finishing up the research and samples for the examination. I'll still be teaching at the shop because I so enjoy enabling others, but I need to buckle down and get this done. I've already learned so much and refreshed my memory of spinning basics by doing the research. I'll be blogging about the work as it gets done and putting up photos, because I think this learning experience could benefit many of the spinners I know.

For those who observe the holiday (and those who don't, too!), I wish for you lots of yarn and fiber in your stocking, many happy hours of knitting, good health, and the love of those around you.