Friday, June 1, 2012

2 letters to Lion and Joann's.

Dear Lion Brand.
I'm so very upset that the day after I finished knitting 4 dishcloths from my NYD '05 Dishcloth pattern,
I found out you've discontinued the Lion Cotton.
Time after time I find something I really like and poof it's gone. Lion Cotton was my first choice in cotton yarn for knitting dishcloths. It's a great long staple cotton and wears very well without fading. Now, it's going to be gone. The Michael's nearby is totally out of it. Joann's has a few colors I'm not fond of left. Yarn Supply is trying to get some more in. I'm not a happy camper. Replacing it with your new yarn stinks. I can't make a complete hanging towel

out of only one skein like I could with your 5oz balls of Lion Cotton.

First a few years back you got rid of cotton-ease. After many of us hollered, you brought it back, but in stupid colors. I preferred the original colors. Why can't you yarn companies stop messing with what works? Crayola 8, sports teams colors and baby colors-you can never go wrong keeping them in stock. Especially when it's a great yarn for summer baby blankets. Thankfully, I have a little bit left from when I picked them up when you got rid of it years ago. And no, I'm not sharing. See how pretty it looks?
You should rethink both of these terrible decisions. Must not be knitters thinking this through these days. I won't even get started on what's happened with the Peaches & Creme labels since they were bought out by Spinrite. What's a kitchen knitter to do? What's left?


Dear Joann's. You've gone and really pissed me off. Last night after I finished knitting 4 dishcloths, I came up with an idea for a new set of patterns. Since I 'saw' it in my head in a color that isn't always easy to find in store, I was happy to find it on your joann's dot com web site and placed an order. I paid full price for several balls. forward to this afternoon when I walked into your store here in Michigan. Imagine how I felt when I found out that you have the same yarn for sale on your shelves at LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE I PAID FOR IT LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!

Now, it's bad enough that the manufacturer has made the dumb decision to stop making Lion Cotton. I've loved that stuff as my all time favorite since the first moment I laid hands and needles on it. It was only through finding the gazillion of colors that Peaches & Creme offered that I could get past the fact that Lion Cotton stopped selling so many of their colors by 1# cones. Peaches & Creme blew them out of the water with their color selection and customer service. Lion Cotton still had the quality that I wanted in my kitchen knitting cotton yarn. You get what you pay for.

However, You, dear joann's...have hit the all time low in the customer service department this afternoon. Just as I left the store after finding Lion Cotton for less than $3/ball, I received an email via my phone that my order from last night had shipped. I was hoping since the Lion Cotton has been clearanced from the stores, you would have given me a price adjustment on my order since you are the same company. After all, who in their right minds would WANT to spend more than double the price for an item they'd ordered online when the same company has it for less than half price in their stores???

Let me help you with that answer. NOT ME! In this time of economic downturn, on the day that the stock market dropped from a bad report of unemployment numbers, I would think someone trying to stay in business would do everything in their power to not piss off a 40+ year customer! I've been doing business with your company since it was Cloth World before Joann's bought them out. I called and talked with your supervisor, CLINT in your Hudson, Ohio offices today, and found him to be a very rude 'non-knitter'. By his own admission, he doesn't even buy products, specifically yarn from your own company. He told me he doesn't have yarn in his budget at all. Then, he just didn't 'get it' that all I asked for was a price adjustment since the yarn in question isn't being clearanced because you're not going to carry a particular color, but rather because the manufacturer has stopped making it. We both know that it won't be too long before you're going to drop the price on your web site and add it to your sale section.

So please explain to me why it's such a great corporate policy that when a knitter calls and asks for a price adjustment on an order that was placed for full price after your company put the same item on clearance in your stores for less than half price, you tell her no? Don't you know that we knitters have computers and can share our stories very quickly? I didn't call and ask you to match your price, but rather I asked you to give me a good faith gesture price adjustment to acknowledge the fact that there is a nearly 60% price difference between your store price and your online price. I'm thinking that your over all sales have dropped since the economic down turn back several years ago. Making your customers happy, will that's just smart business. That's what we refer to as GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. Because then, by word of mouth, or the touch of a computer keyboard, word travels fast. Both about good service...but even faster when it's very poor customer service. And Joann's. Let me explain to you. Today, with the words over the phone from CLINT in your corporate offices in Hudson, was very poor customer service. Being unwilling to apease a 40+ year customer and give me a bit of a price adjustment...means I've now posted this letter online.

And I'm hoping some of my knitter friends will want to pick up their phones and explain to CLINT of Joann's from your HUDSON, OHIO offices that he made a really bad choice to not try and close the gap on a nearly 60% difference in your online and store prices for my purchases last night on Lion Cotton yarn.

This type of very poor customer service, once my Lion Cotton stash that I had bought back when Hancock Fabric closed so many of their stores years ago is gone, might make me go to snooty fabric stores. After all, knitters don't need to live on wool alone, and the Loopy Ewe

has impeccable customer service! (Wollmeise in 2 days of shipping!) So I'll keep on knitting sweaters

and blankets

and socks.

But...when I run out of cotton, I'll have to find some snooty fabric store to shop in. Your customer service is horrific.

See? I'm ready to start stocking up on fabric. After all, I may have started knitting when I was seven years old, but I've also been sewing my own clothes since I was ten. I'm no slouch. CLINT, on the other hand, needs to have a review of proper customer service attitudes.  And the value of long term customers. After all, not only have we been around long enough to remember the 'good old days' when companies wanted customers to return to shop again and again, but we generally have that many more friends to pass on word of mouth to about your customer service, or the lack of intelligent decision making skills.

sincerely...a really pissed off customer who is not only a knitter, but also, unlike CLINT, purchases products from your store thus providing CLINT with his paycheck, me.


Carolyn said...

Amen! You need to print this out and send it to Clint. Maybe he will get the message, although not highly likely!

Panhandle Jane said...

I am very, very tired of poor customer service as well. I haven't much experience with Lion Cotton since no one close to me ever had it in stock. I was pretty much a Peaches and Creme person, and we all know what happened there. I do not, however, knit nearly as much with cotton as you do. I also wish they would bring back the baby colors in Cotton-Ease.

I did notice, however, this review on the Knitter's Review forum:

I know, of course, that even if this happens to be the same yarn relabeled, they will inevitably have messed with the colors or the size of the put-up or something.


knitterbeader said...

You go girl! You're so right about "non"-customer service. Joann's is now off my list of places to buy yarn!

Cathy said...


The 'new' lion cotton replacement well...let's politely say isn't the same. 1-it's labeled 'organic'. 2-it's a veryyyyyyyyyyyyy loose twist, therefore it's going to pill, and cut very quickly when in use. Don't know about you, but I am very hard on my dishcloths because I actually use them daily. Washing butcher type knives, pots, long as they stay out of the garbage disposal, I need them to be work horses. This new yarn is just not going to withstand what I want them to do. 3-the new yarn comes in very small balls. There is no way that only one of them are going to be enough to make one of my towels. 4-have you seen the price of 'organic' cotton? At this point I'll just say, I'm not a fan.

Cathy said...

ps, I'm not advocating the lack of shopping at Joann's. They've been good to me over time. But....I will not dissuade someone from calling the corporate offices to let them know that Clint needs a re-education in customer service and how a 60% difference in price is a veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy bad idea among knitters with computers.

Karen Williams said...

Hi, Cathy,
I just discovered your blog while searching for knit dish towel patterns. I've fallen in love with several of your patterns, and have been searching for a way to "Follow" you.
Thanks so much for publishing these awesome patterns! I can't wait to dig in.

Cathy said...

Thanks Karen, Glad you like them. Hope they work well in your kitchen!

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned why you are throwing a stick in JoAnn's face when you had the option to shop around. You could have called the store and checked their prices before clicking the submit button, in turn paying such high prices for your yarn. I can see why you are upset with the customer service, but I think you should realize you could have shopped around too.

Disneypal said...

I didn't know Lion Cotton had been discontinued. Bummer

Anonymous said...

HI Cathy, Actually Lion Brand Cotton was originally made by Pisgah, same company that made Peaches and Creme. Same cotton (Long staple which is why it's softer than Spinrite who uses Short staple cotton.) and dyes. Kertzers CoolSpun Cotton was also made by Pisgah, again same cotton and dyes as Peaches and Creme. The names of colors and dyelots are also the same. We didn't know any of this until Pisgah closed.
For more information, if you're interested, please check out the Peaches and Creme group on Ravelry. They changed the name and it's so long I can't remember it all. I think if you type in Peaches and Creme or Pisgah, it should come up.

HOPE this helps.