It’s my knitting needle dealer.
back in march I started thinking about purchasing a set of “interchangeable circular needles”, in an attempt to consolidate my ever-growing collection of circs. So after some research (read: listening to the gossip/chatter on the various Ravelry message boards I read), some advice from the experience knitters I know, and seeing a really pretty web ad, I found a set that looked promising from a little mom & pop company. Rather than purchase them sight unseen, I opted to buy a set of their double-pointed needles (DPNS) as sort of a trial*. I was about to start CawfeeMate’s second Java Sock and we had our trip to Arizona coming, so I figured the timing was perfect for a new set of DPNS; a plane ride is a great time to knit; and, really, how long could it take to get a set of knitting needles? So, I found a color I liked (“Winter Sky”), placed the order about 2 weeks before we left, and since the website didn’t specify a shipping time, I called the company to see if it’d be possible to expedite the request. The owner explained that shipping usually took about 3 or 4 weeks, since the needles we, basically, custom made, but he’d see what he could do based on the circumstances. Satisfied, I waited, expectantly.
Arizona came and went and so did the “usual” 4 weeks it takes them to ship; So I e-mailed the company for a status, only to learn that they were behind in their shipping due to illness (this is a very small company, apparently; truly mom & pop run) and the incredibly atrocious weather which hit every state (they’re in Vermont) this past winter, but I’d have them in about a week. 2 weeks later, still nothing. After a volley of e-mails, it appeared that they’d been lost in the mail; a new set would be sent, post-haste, and a tracking number would be sent via e-mail. I was understandably perturbed.
Three months after my order, I finally got them (without so much as a "Sorry about the delay" note) and they
Long story short: just shy of two months later, I got the needles I ordered, but only after a volley of e-mails with the owner. Again, there were circumstances which prevented the shipment of the needles in a timely fashion; understandable personal problems, to be sure, but irrelevant from a service provider/consumer perspective. The circs arrived***, last week, almost three months after CawfeeMate ordered them, and he experienced similar communications with the owners of the company which ended with him alluding to legal action.
now, i find myself in a quandary: I absolutely love their product, but get nothing but agita from ordering with the company. They're almost unapologetic about their bad shipping and give the impression that this is just how their business operates. I've never stood for this level of poor customer service and, in the past, i would've turned my back on a business for such behavior, and found a different outlet for the service. But this is different. There’s no other company out there that makes a product this fine; plus, I’ve started a set that I’m desperate to complete****.
Do I continue to order from them, until the set is complete or just move on?
*My logic was that the Ravelry gossip, about the construction of their interchangeable circs, was very positive; so if I liked the material of the DPNS I’d be sold on them.
** a laminated white birch
*** I’ve yet to use them on a project, but they’re everything I could hope for and more; they're gorgeous.
****there are still sizes of DPNS i don't have and they're about to start selling additional sizes in the interchangeable circ tips...