Saturday, April 11, 2009

This Concerns Me.

There's a thread going at one of our favorite sewing websites about an independent company. Seems a person had a problem with a pattern and posted the info. Some responded they had a similar experience, some have never had this problem, most were supportive of the company however.

I am supportive of the company as well, although I've only ordered 1 pattern from them and purchased another via a used pattern sale. The pattern I paid top dollar for was in excellent condition, no problems whatsoever, and it was purchased with my eyes wide open. I know what to expect from this company because of what people have posted in the past.

Getting a new company started is tough. Even more so in this economy. Negative comments travel at the speed of light, and positive comments are like snail mail.

Overall, I didn't feel the thread was taking a spin in a negative direction. However, the thread was closed by the moderator and I respect that. She has to make a tough decision and it was made.

The one thing that concerns me is that many feel the person should go directly to the source (the company) to air their complaint. I absolutely agree with that. However, I think posting it on the boards is also a good thing. Perhaps a few people might want to wait to avoid the same aggravation. This is understandable. I know I would wait.

As some posters have pointed out, there can be pattern errors from all companies. How true! My issue is I rarely pay more than $2 for a Big 4 pattern. So if there is an error, I don't mind it as much. It's the cost principle. Kind of like a hotel. If I'm paying for a cheap hotel, I don't expect good amenities. There's likely no mini fridge, no hairdryer, maybe no sample soap etc. If I'm paying $150/night or higher, my expectations go way up. I want a coffee maker, candy on my pillow, and all the goodies that one might expect by paying more for a night's stay.

When I pay between $12-$20 for a pattern from an independent, I expect a top notch pattern. In fact, spoon feeding is really nice, but not necessary. Helpful tips are very much appreciated. Okay, okay..."expected" ;) .

Therefore, if someone has a problem with a particular run of a pattern, it's helpful to know. It's not going to prevent me from ordering from X company, but I'll likely wait a few months until I think the issue is probably worked out. It saves me aggravation. I hate to see topics closed, particularly when I think the tone was not overly negative. I mean, I've seen really negative stuff about this company when it first started and those threads, if my memory serves me right, were never closed and Read Only.

I think the original poster's comment was helpful. I think the company has always tried to do right by their customers and will continue to do so. They seem helpful and eager to help. Is the issue because of the particular company? What if it was any other company like, for example, Simplicity, Butterick, McCall's or Vogue? I don't know.

We, sewers, need to know as much as possible about patterns. And if there's an issue, I, as a customer, would like to know. I can avoid this particular run for a few months. Being a moderator is a tough job, and I respect the decision made. In fact, I'm glad the entire thread wasn't deleted. Doing so would be a disservice to the members.

What do you think? All thoughts and comments are appreciated no matter what the angle.


gwensews said...

I want to know when a pattern has errors, if possible, BEFORE I cut and sew it. There are too many errors in patterns--all of them. I cannot understand why the problems are not caught when the test garments are made. I have run into some errors so severe that I really do not believe the pattern ever had a test.

Erica B. said...

I would also like to know... especially when dealing with a pattern as expensive as the one in question. But the problem I have with the person that started that thread was that they *appear* to not have contacted the company. I've had my own dealings with this company and even blogged about my experience. I sent them an email and the owner emailed me back and asked for my number so that she could contact me. She talked me through all of my problems and I posted the results of our conversation. I was pleased with the way situation was handled.

meredithp said...

I think in the case of this web site, the comments got personal (directed at each other) and the moderator--after editing the offensive remarks--put a stop to it. I think we might not have seen the remarks, since they were edited by the moderator. I agree with Erica, the person should have contacted the company and allowed them to make it right first.

Yup, I've seen some doozies, even in very expensive patterns. I would always contact the company/designer first, before going public, if I decided to do that. In one case, the response I got was so scary and off the wall, that I *never* would say anything in public, for fear of retribution by the designer. She had my address :-)

geek sewing said...

Do you think it would have been considered more appropriate if she had actually submitted a pattern review, say, if she had links to an obscene amount of pictures of the condition of the pattern when she had opened it, of the faint, narrow pattern lines, and of the 2-inch dark grey strip right down the middle of all the pattern sheets?