My cousin, Susie, lives in upper New York state. We get to see each other two, maybe three (if we're lucky), times a year. About a month and a half ago, we planned for her to come out and visit us for an overnight visit.
Like me, she is a scrapbooker and stamper. For some time she's been trying to turn her guest bedroom into a multi-purpose room; keep it as a guest bedroom, but also turn it into a space for scrapping and stamping so she can have easy access to her supplies and take advantage of being able to leave things out to steal a few minutes scrapping. She went to her local scrapbook store and looked at storage options. One thing she came up with was the Cropper Hopper Paper Tote and Cart. I've got one of these totes sitting on my floor. Admittedly more often than not, I pile project boxes on top of it, thus negating it's usability. We got talking about the Tote and Cart. She asked me if I had either and I said just the tote. She then suggested that she could give me the cart for my Christmas present this year if I wanted one. I jumped at the offer. Susie went back to her local scrapbook store and ordered one tote for her and two carts, one for each of us. This was back on September 10th. She was told, it would be in within 10 business days. She called on September 28th (more than 10 business days later) and was told, "Oh that didn't get ordered yet. We'll order it and put a rush on it." The day before her trip out, she called again and was told, "It's on order." She told them that didn't do her a lot of good for the recipient of one of the carts since she was travelling out of state to deliver it during a family visit. This morning she stopped in the store and was told that the owner was not available for at least a week and she handles all that. So my cousin asked if she could cancel the order because after 30 days of being brushed off, she felt it had never been ordered. Amazingly her money was instantly refunded. The woman working snapped at her, "I need to see your frequent buyer card." Now understandably, she shouldn't get the purchasing punches for something she's gotten refunded. The sensible thing would be to count off the punches, pull out a new card and punch for everything she had on the card except the tote & cart purchases. Nope, the employee ripped up the card and told my cousin to have a nice day in a snotty tone. So, my cousin went across the road to Michael's, bought one cart and tote for a lot less money. She said she went in not knowing if they even carried these products, found a helpful staff member who showed her what she wanted, offered to take it up to the register so she wouldn't have to carry it around while she shopped and pleasantly checked her out. She'll go online to order a cart for me and have it direct shipped to me.
Now another twist showing the disparity that some scrapbook stores do or don't get customer service. When Susie was here last week, we naturally hit the store near me. They keep their customer purchase cards on file. They remembered her from a visit well over a year ago, asked her if she had a card. Her reply, "No, I let Jennifer have it written on her card." So they asked her if she wanted to have a card for this visit, again my cousin said no thanks put it on Jennifer's card. Of course, when we went back the next morning for something she "had to" have they said the same thing, but were happy to put it on my card. This is my "home" store and they are good people there. They were happy to do whatever the customer wanted.
I am a firm believer in supporting the little guy. I hate Michael's and Wal-Mart because of their predatory business practices. My Michael's is horrible and I avoid it like the plague. As a result of attitude and mucking about, the store that my cousin tried to shop with has lost all her business. I just don't get it that they aren't bending over backwards in the fight against giant corporations like Michael's and Wally-World.