One morning, I was catching up on my blog reading list as well as checking my Ravelry forums and I caught two "stories" about customer service and it got me thinking.
On the blog, the discussion was regarding poor customer service from a needle manufacturer and that it took posting on said blog before someone higher up in the company decided to honor the warranty of the needle before too much bad publicity took place. You can read about it here. It brought up the issue of "famous" people being able to get companies to do the right thing with the right exposure to a large group of people.
On the Ravelry forum, the discussion was about performance for price. The question there had to do with the expectation of satisfaction when the promised product that was pre-paid has been so long overdue.
In this case, I and many others paid a designer for a series of patterns quite a while back and the designer has been very slow to produce the patterns to complete the terms of the sale. I went into the purchase knowing that it would be a moving date since each pattern was in order and the series would take time to design each pattern, review and test knit, before releasing.
However, I believe too much time has passed and if the designer has just stopped producing the patterns to finish the series, I and many others would have no recourse to obtain a refund or other satisfaction. This would of course be totally different if the designer passed away or just had some circumstance that prevented the completion, but I would expect some kind of compensation if that was the case.
This designer also ran a knit-a-long which only a few of us participated in and since the numbers were so few, every participant was to receive a "prize" for finishing the knitted pattern. It has been more than many months and no "prize" has been delivered to my mailbox.
I understand that the designer has had many obstacles in her personal life and at this point, no blogging has occurred and the last post I saw pretty much stated that when she needed the money for supporting her family, she worked super hard to meet the expectations of her sales, but when her financial situation improved so that she did not have to push herself, she pretty much let everything lapse.
This sort of behavior leaves a very bad taste in my mouth and I try to avoid people that I consider to be unreliable. It has been very disappointing to me that this designer does not seem to care much about her customers unless she needs them.
It makes me very sad that "businesses" don't seem to care much about their customers even in this difficult economy. The adage about taking care of customers and loyalty to a business has gone by the wayside.
Of course in today's social media generation and the expectation of trying to get "good" reviews, some businesses are going above and beyond to create company loyalty. My Toyota dealership provides excellent service and other perks to make sure I continue to use their service department and I plan to buy another car from them when the time arrives.