Really bad customer service--what do you do when it is a business you have really liked buying stuff

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Posted 2/20/2013 by SweetieBugs in NSBR Board


PeaNut 56,437
November 2002
Posts: 1,622
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northern California

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:04:40 PM
I purchase 6 ombree hand dyed fabrics from Hancocks of Paducah for quilting. They look gorgeous in the their catalog and online.

When I received them, they had numerous black stains (the fabric colors and green, organge, yellow and coral so black really stands out) and strange "bleach" spatter marks (one has a clear image of a piece of twine that was on the fabric in the dark area so there is the clear image of a piece of twine super light in the dark area of the fabric).

After my two emails to customer service were unanswered (the first one last Thursday afternoon), I called today and discussed the problem. They said they have had a number of calls about the same thing--black stains on multiple areas of the fabric and bleach splatter marks. They said that this is not a defective product and is not subject to return postage reimbursement. I spoke to a supervisor and got the same answer. Even though they know quite clearly that there are black stains and very errant coloration problems, they say this is a perfectly good fabric. They offer for me to return it for a full refund but that I will have to pay postage to do so. I paid postage to receive it (around $8 and will now have to pay close to that or more to return it).

This is an unacceptable outcome to me. I have never been so disappointed in a company's customer service before.

I have enjoyed purchasing from this company in the past so much and am really, really torn now on future purchases. I just feel kind of victimized. I know a hand-dyed fabric is going to have some variations in it but black stains should not be part of that.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 452,048
January 2010
Posts: 6,190
Layouts: 9
Loc: Indiana

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:10:43 PM
I think that if they have had several complaints they should reimburse all of their customers that purchased the fabric and then send the whole lot back to their manufacturer so they can be reimbursed.

Since they're not doing that, I would return it but let them know that I would not be ordering from them again.



PeaNut 24,564
November 2001
Posts: 4,109
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:10:47 PM
I've had lots of success buying fabric online and the only company I have ever had an issue with is Hancock of Paducah's! So much so that i don't order from them anymore. Which is sad because they have such a great catalog and selection.

(my issue had to do with an internet special price but in the ordering process it asks for your catalog code which I had and it charged me full price. I didn't notice until the fabric came through and charged my card. They argued about giving me the discount but in the end did...)

The Project Pea

PeaNut 139,756
April 2004
Posts: 8,446
Layouts: 30
Loc: Sacramento

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:13:39 PM
what I would LIKE to do is never shop there again. What I would probably do is suck it up and still shop there. It's really hard for me to find places where I really like buying stuff. I would probably still look for any social media outlet and post about my experience, and probably post about it on my blog to see if I could get anyone's attention who could remedy the situation (both the bad fabric and the bad CS).

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 38,979
May 2002
Posts: 5,873
Layouts: 71
Loc: Anywhere one or more of my kids are

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:14:52 PM
dispute the charge with your credit card company. ell them the quality was not wht was promised.


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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
Posts: 5,850
Layouts: 8

Posted: 2/20/2013 4:16:47 PM
Since they've had so many complaints, maybe they will send you new curs of fabric. It may be worth a shot to ask. Also make sure you are talking to a manager, supervisor or someone in the authority that can authorize help.

I'd also ask them to send a ups call tag so they can inspect the fabric themselves.


PeaNut 56,437
November 2002
Posts: 1,622
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northern California

Posted: 2/20/2013 5:12:19 PM
The customer service supervisor I spoke with said I can return these and request new cuts of the same fabric but 1) I still have to pay return postage and 2) they will most likely have the same issues. I asked if she thought it was possible to cut a 2 yard cut and not have any black ink stains and she said probably not.

She clearly said that Hancocks has discussed this with Marcus Fabrics and that Hancocks feels satisfied that this is a perfectly good product. I purchased 12 yards (and at full price)!!! It is crazy to think I am going to use over $250 in fabric (counting the backing) and possibly another $200 for quilting not to mention the amount of time I would spend making the quilt. This fabric is far from perfect in my opinion!!

I'm really just shocked at this outcome.


PeaNut 434,842
August 2009
Posts: 2,838
Layouts: 654

Posted: 2/20/2013 5:27:24 PM
I guess it would depend on how much I liked the store. Imagine that if youbkeep shopping there, and this happens again....not decide if it's worth the risk? Is how much money you're losing with what you're getting from there?

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 27,235
January 2002
Posts: 6,377
Layouts: 0
Loc: Margaritaville at The Islands (Gilbert, AZ)

Posted: 2/20/2013 5:36:36 PM
I would express my displeasure on their Facebook site...that seems to get customer service departments suddenly deciding to be reasonable.


PeaNut 409,118
January 2009
Posts: 2,913
Layouts: 0
Loc: NC

Posted: 2/20/2013 5:59:46 PM
I would return the product and mail (not email) a letter to the corporate office.


PeaNut 235,630
December 2005
Posts: 2,176
Layouts: 0

Posted: 2/20/2013 7:33:13 PM
I just had to drop Kohl's for bad customer service. It sucks too because I really liked going there but when corporate had bad customer service like the local store did I just said forget it. I have too many other choices.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 274,935
August 2006
Posts: 5,850
Layouts: 8

Posted: 2/20/2013 7:53:10 PM
Well in that case I would eat the postage and hope that a well written and documented letter to corporate gets some type of reimbursement.

That sucks since they agree the fabric isn't necessarily as described.


PeaNut 204,991
May 2005
Posts: 3,177
Layouts: 100
Loc: New Jersey

Posted: 2/20/2013 8:08:12 PM
I would return any fabric that I am not happy with. Were the stains on all six fabrics or just one? If it is all six and they are from one company/line then I would think that it is just the way the company dyed the fabric.

I think that if the catalog does not show black in the fabric that it was misrepresented. I do understand also that a hand dyed fabric is not uniform like a printed fabric is, which makes it more difficult to describe accurately. I would expect them to pay for return shipping.

I have ordered from Hancocks of Paducah many times. I have called customer service twice with excellent results. Because of that I would continue to order from them. If I had a problem with an order and was not satisfied with the outcome I would probably have a different answer.

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