Not great customer service
November 17, 2017 12:22pm CST
I have inherited some old chairs from my parents, one of which belonged to my father’s grandmother, and I would like to keep them although they need re-upholstering. This is especially true of the oldest one (in the photo) which has been stored in a shed, while the other two are a pair of reclining easy chairs. A few months ago I found a local upholstery business and thought I would try them. I went to visit and they seemed helpful, showed me around the workshop, and tried to help me choose suitable fabric, but I couldn’t find just what I wanted so in the end I said I would have to come back another day and they assured me I could come any time to browse. Well time has flown past and I’ve been too busy. Then last week I emailed them to ask if I could come in again to look at fabrics, and they replied that they were too busy and could I come on Friday 17th instead. So I put it in my diary and today I dutifully showed up. At first the man said it was fine for me to spend time there and they just left me to look through all the sample books. After looking through dozens of different fabrics I found two that looked just right for what I wanted – one for the dining chair and another for the two recliners. I was pleased, but then the man and woman came in again and she looked at my choices and explained that even though the fabric I’d chosen for the easy chairs is upholstery fabric and is shown in the catalogue covering a chair, it isn’t very hard-wearing and would only be suitable for occasional use, so if I was planning to use them often I should choose something tougher. She said that she had a pretty good idea of what designs and types of fabrics they had in their sample books, so I asked if she knew of anything similar but longer-lasting and she started to look. But the man then told me that helping me choose was taking up too much of their time and costing them money! This seemed a bit much since obviously I need to choose something to my taste, I’m not going to spend hundreds of pounds upholstering my chairs in a fabric I don’t like! I came in on the day they asked me to and chose the fabric by myself, and I’m happy enough to do so again, it was only that the woman mentioned that she had a good idea of what was available that prompted me to ask if she knew of any alternatives. We agreed to book the dining chair in to be recovered in the fabric I’d chosen for that, and I would try again to find something for the others. The woman apologised afterwards and explained that they are short-staffed due to illness, but I’m thinking that perhaps I will avoid costing them any more money and taking up any more of their time and take my two recliners elsewhere! All rights reserved. © Text and image copyright Fleur 2017.
12 people like this
• Bunbury, Australia
That's not very good service. Even if it was taking a while you had arranged it beforehand and I'm sure plenty of their business is concluded faster so it should all average out. They will certainly lose customers if that is their attitude.
• United Kingdom
I don't really see how anyone can get any furniture made or restored without choosing the fabric, that must be part of the deal surely? In some cases no doubt the choice might be easy, for example if they have their heart set on plain green velvet, but they have hundreds if not thousands of samples to choose from so if they don't want people to choose from those they shouldn't offer them!
@Fleura No, it's perfectly reasonable, but obviously the people were under stress. Being short staffed can have this effect. You can call the shop and ask when it would be convenient to come again. You can also tell them that you may need some time for your decision. Take it easy. Don't forget that the woman apologised.
• United States
Sorry you had an unpleasant encounter with the shop owner but at least you're getting the chairs done. Certainly don't want to spend money where it isn't appreciated. I would have thought they would have been more helpful since you are a potential customer afterall.