Monday, October 17, 2011

An Unhappy Customer and Getting it Straight.

I woke up Sunday morning and decided to peruse some blogs, you know get inspired by other vendor displays and garner some ideas of my own. Especially since our Winter Wonderland show is Saturday.

I noticed a comment on one of my posts.
It was from a very upset customer who had been mistreated in my store, and apparently needed to vent so much that instead of calling or emailing me, she chose to put it as a comment for the world (or all two of you) to see.

First of all, I do believe the customer is always right. Always, and that's how I treat them even if I disagree.

She had a question about our Vintage Market, which we get a lot of, and was told that... let's just say it... Carol apparently took a look at her and told her there was no room in the market. She was upset because she felt that Carol gave her a once over and decided by her looks that she was unfit for our market. She went on to say that she likes our shop, always has... we have nice stuff but we are not nice.... no way to treat customers.

Okay, first I was mortified, then upset, then I started questioning Carol and wondering what could she have done?!

I responded quickly to "anonymous" and told her to email me with her phone number and I would call her back to discuss what had happened and that of course this was unacceptable!

I told Carol I would give "anonymous" until Monday evening, and if I didn't hear from her again, I felt the need to publish this post.

Here's How It Is:
Carol has been with me for a long time. She's a hard worker, gives excellent customer service (goes above and beyond what I would do) and would never, ever judge a person, especially a prospective vendor by what they looked like. Have you seen what vintage/flea market vendors look like? This is NOT a glamorous bunch.

When I brought this to Carol's attention she said she had a feeling she knew who it was, but hardly felt like she had been rude... our Vintage Market is as near to Carol's heart as it is mine.
Carol recalled being in the middle of a rather large sale that required getting a dresser out of the store and into a car, with several people still waiting to be checked out.
Carol's recollection is that this customer, if it was "anonymous", insisted on asking questions about the requirements of the Vintage Market during this larger sale with others still waiting to be checked out.
Carol gave her the details in spurts, but gave her the same details she gives everyone. If this WAS "anonymous" you gotta know that it is really rude to interrupt a sale, especially when you see how busy the clerk is trying to keep buying customers happy and is having one on one time with someone actually spending money. "Anonymous", if this wasn't you, I'm sorry for that comment.

BTW, that is one of my biggest pet peeves, so sorry for the rant.

As far as the Vintage Market,
Here's How It Is.

We are full. Period. You have the best booth mankind has ever seen, better than some of the vendors we have already? Full. Sorry.
Yes, we are "juried", but it's not that much pressure.
We have a real waiting list.
Someone drops out, the person at the top of the list gets called.
Are you a jewelry artist?
Even tougher. Too many jewelry artists water down each other's sales and we are protective of the ones we have. But say one drops out, the next one is in.

The reason we are full is because last year I toyed with the thought of putting vendors out into the field to grow the show. You know what happened? It lost it's charm. Anyone outside of that picket fence would not do well.

While I'm at it, there's one more thing (this has nothing to do with "anonymous").
I'm having a really hard time posting lately.
I'm growing weary of reading other blogs and how fascinating their daily lives are.
Fabulous. Gag.
I realized that my blogging has the same effect.
My life is not smooth. I keep things to myself. I have major stresses in my life, just like the rest of you.
My blog is a way to express happy things, dreams... the way I want it to be, and then I go back to reality.
Did I ever tell you about the lovely July day I spent last year working at the shop and I was so cranky (due to a husband and hormones) that I only did 47.00, on a day where I should have done a lot, because I'm quite certain customers were afraid to approach me? It happens.

Big breath. Lord, I hope I don't regret this post but I just gotta say it.

"Anonymous", please email me or call me as I want to work it out and Carol and I are both sorry if you had a bad experience in the shop.

Carol, thanks. You rock.


  1. I have been in your shop numerous times and Carol has always been friendly, courteous and helpful each and every time. As for the disgruntled person's comment - isn't it amazing how bold one can be when their name is "Anonymous?"

  2. I know you take your customer service seriously, and I applaud you for taking up this matter publicly. But....I learned awhile ago that anyone who can't stand behind their words with their name and email - doesn't deserve my time on my blog. Leaving a blog comment or any sort of complaint as "anonymous" is just cowardly, and an all too common occurrence in today's internet world where everyone hides behind their computer.

    Just a little blogging advice from one blogger to the next. :0)

  3. Thanks Molly, I'm going to remove it, I just wanted to give this person a chance to contact me. Off they go.
    I also felt the need to post for Carol's sake.

  4. I am not the "anonymous" you speak of...truly. I want to say, however, that some of us blog readers/lovers post as such because we value our privacy for genuinely valid reasons! We are NOT "cowardly"...Molly (I'll be certain to avoid your blog. Nice.).


  5. Jen, Molly's cowardly remark was directed at people who leave mean or rude comments without giving the author of the blog a chance to respond. As in my case, she had a bad experience and I wanted to reach out and try to make it better.
    She was able to blast me in front of anyone who reads my shop blog, just making me look bad without giving me any kind of chance.
    Anonymous bloggers are fine... it's the MEAN anonymous bloggers that are hare to tolerate.
    Jen, you can come to my blog and be anonymous any time.

  6. You and Carol both rock! Sorry this happened; I know how frustrating it is not to be able to respond face to face when you really want to get it squared away.

    "Have you seen what vintage/flea market vendors look like? This is NOT a glamorous bunch."
    This cracked me up! Now you'll probably hear from anonymous sellers that are glam! (Definitely not me - sweaty, red-faced, flustered trying to get set-up on time...ha!)


  7. Thanks, Angie! I appreciate that. In fact, I plan on visiting your store next summer when our family takes a mini vacation to Sturgeon Bay. We're just west of Green Bay, so not that far away!!! I loooooove your blog and am a faithful, anonymous follower :-)



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