Wednesday, 4 March 2015

WOW: Real Opinions - Do They Still Matter?

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I think they do.

Last week I shared my batting pet hate. Thanks to everyone who commented. I purchased the batting at a show and have no idea where to return it although I agree that it should be sent back. That got me thinking of the other products I have previously loved and trusted ... many have fallen short lately.

One of the advantages of having a blog is the ability to share real-life unbiased feedback. I love reading the real opinions of others and must admit that most of my purchases nowadays are based on recommendations and suggestions from those very same real life opinions. It's something I'd love to see more of. I get so annoyed when I trust in a brand and am then disappointed with the performance or quality standard. And its not just quilting or sewing products either- it's services too. Remember my post about QNNTV from December last year? It's now been 8 emails and still no reply. And no, I still can't get in. I lost $12 which is no big deal, but it's the blatant money grabbing set up I can't stand. And it just doesn't make sense. If there's no one there - who's running (or not) the website? That's just a minor annoyance - there are so many more where that one came from, and many much more significant too.
What's going on? 
Whatever happened to quality control? 
Whatever happened to customer service?

Yes, I actively seek out real reviews now before buying things and I think it's the way of the future. But I can't end this post without acknowledging that there are still some real service stars out there in the quilting community. EQ7 is one. I cannot fault their customer and technical service. Whenever I have needed advice or support, Penny has responded in such a friendly and helpful way, its made all the difference.  And often at the last minute too (from my end) because creativity just works like that, when you feel you need answers you need them straight away and I have always received them as quickly as humanly possible from EQ7. Thank you EQ7 for loving quilters!

And I can't forget Quilt Pro Systems either. I had purchased their HST Triangles Magic software for use in a HST quilt for easy printing out. Then I updated my computer (this happens twice a year in my household due to my DH's work requirements). Well, somehow I lost it. And then I couldn't remember where I had purchased it. Then I found the website in my favorites bar and contacted technical support to see if I could re-download it. Well, not only did they send me a new link to download it, Linda from Quilt Pro tech support found two other purchases I had made under my username (which I'll be honest, I had forgotten about) and re-sent me those as well. Talk about customer service!
See? It's completely possible!

What do you think?


18 comments:

  1. Connecting threads is the first that comes to mind when I think of great customer service. Also you get a human on the phone right away. I've found Lands End equally as wonderful to work with. I do agree my everyday experience is that most business owners don't care about customer service anymore and don't property teach their staff about it either. I can't tell you how many times the cashier waiting on me is too busy having a conversation or checking their phone, to pay attention to what they're doing. If you ask a question in a store or by phone the answer is mostly "I don't know", they never offer to find out or look into it. Lately I've had to hunt down store managers to get an answer. Yes, I agree with you. Sorry for the rant. I do hope these things get better. ;-> Toni Anne

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, good to know.

      We have a haberdashery / lifestyle store in Australia called 'Spotlight' that is notorious for bad customer service and I was just there yesterday picking up some things for an upcoming kids class and my goodness - the staff couldn't care less! 'I don't know' or 'whatever' or 'that's fine' as a response to a complaint. 'That's fine' ??

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  2. I completely agree with you! Most embroidery/quilting relating things I buy now are from recommendations. I have had too many problems with companies ignoring emails.

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  3. I agree with you. I rely on honest feedback from bloggers as my main source for product reviews.

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  4. very poor quality control lately I agree numerous things I have purchased over the last year have fallen apart within days or weeks it is frustrating to say the least.

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  5. It is nice to hear some good comments, especially in this day and age.

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    1. Isn't it! I love hearing good recommendations, I hope to find some new favorites before this post is old

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  6. Outside of tools and fabric so many of our quilting purchases relate back to 'one of us' even when ordered via retailers. I love that you and me feeling.
    But a recent experience with Interweave Store was amazing. amazingly bad. I ordered this DVD
    http://www.interweavestore.com/modern-machine-quilting-straight-lines-spirals-serpentines-and-more-grouped?source=igodigital in early February, the 2nd I think. When March arrived and I still didn't have it I wrote to ask if they would check tracking as it should have been here weeks ago.

    Their response a few days later? A curt "You will get an email when it ships."
    Say WHAT? So I responded with a request to cancel the order and refund my money.

    You won't believe this level of customer service...their response? "When it gets there write return to sender and we'll refund when we get it back"

    6 weeks after I placed the order the DVD arrived. amazing.
    Sharyn

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    1. Oh Sharyn, that just makes me so angry. I detest this whole 'wait until you get it for us to fix it' mentality that is all too common nowadays. How awful. And you know what else? I'm going to remove Interweave from my sidebar now too. I've had two other complaints about them and I have a 3 strike personal policy. They're out!

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  7. I guess I have been lucky. Whenever I get a faulty, shoddy product, I let them know and I've always gotten a replacement or tech help. What has been frustrating for me is sales persons in stores who don't really know their products. So, yes, advise from fellow quilters is appreciated much.

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  8. Oh yes I agree with you for sure. Once they have your money some could care less about service after if you need. It. There are still a few out there. One company that is always pretty good ia Amazon.Ca. They have great service. I am having fun with Lily Rose.
    Bunny

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  9. Customer service in many cases is simply a thing of the past however when spending my hard earned money it affects my spending decisions. I purchases a subscription to Quiltmania in mid-January and have now sent three emails with a simple question: what issue will I receive first and to date I've not had the courtesy of a reply! I will not be renewing my subscription. I had purchased Mary Ellen's Best Press and the spritzer was defective. I emailed the company and again my email was totally ignored. I've never purchased the product again.
    It is very disheartening when companies just don't care once they have your money. On a bright note I had a problem with a purchase from Connecting Threads and the customer service was excellent. They sent a replacement immediately at no charge to me and told me to keep the original item!

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    1. Quilting magazines and quilting web sites are notorious for this Karen. I have several memberships with well known magazines and the magazines simply don't arrive so I end up missing out on them - and then you try to chase it up with emails....and nothing. It's so frustrating to spend time over such trivial things but it really bothers me. Especially since the point of subscribing is so that I won't have to race out and buy it each month.

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  10. I haven't had any really poor experiences with customer service recently. Bu it does seem that a lot of stores don't take the time to train their people any more.

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  11. There is no doubt that we live in a throw away society. Why bother to please an old customer when we can simply get a new one. Why should a store have a specially located (usually at the back of the store) "customer service" desk, when in my opinion, EVERYONE who works in the store should BE "customer service". I work in a boatyard where service is our business. If we don't please a customer, we are out of a job. I think all businesses should think this way. This is also why I promote "local" quilt shops as opposed to the big box and outlet stores. I want to keep my small business owner going (perhaps a little too much support sometimes!).

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  12. I would say that is awesome customer service for sure!

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  13. To me, customer service makes up for SOOO much. If something arrives and the workmanship is shady or it isn't what was represented -- but the customer service is awesome, I won't hesitate to purchase from that place again. But there's only one strike when it comes to that service. First time it's awful, I'm out. My time and dollars are too important (to me, anyway) to waste on a company that can't get a handle on that. :)

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    1. I agree. The hesitation to remedy whatever the fault is, is where customer service starts to fall down and it never really gets back up from there. It's such a common bad attitude and such a shame. The real problem is that its so prevalent nowadays and if you are in a small marketplace you really don't have many places else to go and take your business.

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Thanks for commenting!