View Full Version : Bad LYS stories?
04-16-2007, 01:59 AM
Now this is often posted on Craftster and sometimes referred to in passing here... but I really enjoy reading the stories about shocking service or incompetence from LYSs people have experienced! On Craftster they're usually deleted or locked, allegedly because of the POTENTIAL for someone to possibly in the future mention the name of the shop on the thread, or post contact details, so an owner will get nasty e-mails/phone calls, or could sue for defamation/slander. However, I think they just don't like having threads with a generally negative tone.
But as I said, I love reading about these and getting outraged and shocked. I don't know why, and I'm not proud of it, but it's the case nonetheless.
So can I start a thread on this? No naming of particular shops or individuals, and anyone who doesn't want to read a bitchy or complaining thread be warned that you probably won't like reading the posts on here! And yes, there are helpful shops and staff out there with good stock.
But it's always nice to rant and vent.
Here's my peeve! NZ shops ironically have a pathetic range of wool and supplies, there just isn't the production in NZ. And there are no good circulars, I have some kind of Addi picked up in HK and I love them, circs here are atrocious. The best ones I have found (for my taste) weren't even glued to the cable and would come off with the least force. I had to superglue them myself. I have never seen alpaca wool in a shop here, I have seen only one wool containing silk in Auckland, and one cashmerino-type wool. Okay, there's a fair bit of merino around here. There's a woman who imports some Noro, Rowans, DB, etc. Oh, and 3/4-ply are only for babies and come almost exclusively in white, yellow, pastel pink, and pastel blue. Obviously there's little market for it so not the shops' fault.
But the assistants at the shops here are hopeless! When I asked whether they have any circs with a good join and long - something suitable for ML etc. - they usually say 'what?' I say, 'for doing socks and things like that on circular needles.'
They reply, trying to contain their scorn at my ignorance, 'Oh no, you can't do socks on circular needles, they're too big. Circular needles are for things like jumpers. You need double-pointed needles for socks.' And this was at a shop whose advertising says 'All our staff are experienced knitters and can help you with a project.'
And at another chain the staff are frequently lazy. They don't seem the least bit interested in helping me get hold of what I need. When I ask 'does the other branch stock this? or Would they have more of the colour I need? or Might they have it in different colours to what you have?' (commonly the case) they say 'I don't know, you'd have to go there and see what they have.' HINT for assistants: when someone asks that and you don't know, you ask if they would like you to call and find out!! I mean come on! Sometimes they say flat out 'no x branch doesn't have such and such' when the other branch does have it GRRR! This is in a large usually empty shop with 2 or 3 assistants.
Now I'm mad. Someone please post a story? I'm sure reading it will cheer me up!
04-16-2007, 02:15 AM
I wish I had a LYS to complain about... None here that I've found. Actually, I've been thinking (with all the competition) that I should open one, and give people something to complain about :teehee:
04-16-2007, 11:06 AM
I posted this story before, but it works here too. I went to the store I thought was the closest to my home and had two bad experiences. First - I wanted some information about felting yarns... the store lady said that she had made one felted bag and hated the bag. She said felting was a complete waste of yarn and walked away.
Like a dummy, I went back the next week. I asked a different lady something about a couple of different kinds of yarn, and another question about needles...the answer to everything was "I don't know" :!!!: :!!!:
I am so glad I found a new store, which I love so much I am tempted to just move in and live there!!
:heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:
04-16-2007, 11:27 AM
I only have one LYS that is close by, but I haven't stepped foot in their shop in almost two years.
This shop keeps customer cards in a file box behind their counter. If you're a regular customer who just made a purchase, normally the saleslady pulls your card out and the dollar amount of your purchase is crossed off. When all the spots are crossed out, you get a certain amount of store credit and start a new card.
Up until November 2004 (when I was bit by the knitting bug) I only shopped there for the occasional cross stitch supplies, and I was only on my second customer card at that point because my purchases were usually small. By spring of 2005 I was spending more there because I was stocking up on circular needles and buying Noro and Cascade yarns.
Imagine my surprise by summer 2005 when I asked that my latest hefty purchase be put on my card, and the saleslady couldn't find it. She promised to look into it and give me a call.
Two days later she left a message on my answering machine. Apparently the owner of the shop decided that all customer cards older than two years had to be thrown away, and mine was started in early 2003 so it was tossed.
My card was nearly completely full at the time they threw it away. I never returned to that LYS and I happily spend most of my yarn money online now.
04-16-2007, 07:15 PM
I've had good experiences with LYS' near me, especially at the one closest to my house. However, on a weekend quest for backissues of Interweave Knits, I visited one about 45 minutes from my house.
First of all, the shop reeked of cigarette smoke. Why anyone would allow that in their shop is beyond me, especially when so many people are sensitive to smoke. Then the woman started calling Malabrigo "mah-BREE-zhee-o" and Eucalan "you-SEE-lee-an." That's understandable. I don't care how you pronounce things, as long as you know what they are. But then she started going on about how all sock yarn is machine washable...don't think so, lady.
Once at my old LYS which closed, the sales person swore at the registar in front of my daughter. :-x
04-17-2007, 12:49 AM
you know what? i would start a sock using 2 circs, or magic loop, and i would march right back in that yarn store and SHOW them. duh! the ignorance is breathtaking sometimes, isn't it?
04-17-2007, 12:54 AM
I've never had a bad experience with the people working at my LYS. They're older, so they're a little colder to me (I live in a small college town. Outside of the bar and gaming shop, people in my age range are thought of as trouble makers, so I don't mind it in the least), but they're still slightly helpful. They do press for a sale, but it is their job, and it's never in an annoying manner. I asked about scarves once, and they highly suggested several books they had, etc.
The only thing that irks me is that the LYS is run by older people who don't know about the internet. Their yarn and supplies, on a regular basis, is 20-50%, sometimes even double, what I can find it going for online. While I love the fact that I can walk down there and look around, I simply don't have the money to spend on their merch. Especially seeing as I can order the yarn online, plus shipping, and get it cheaper. And it larger quantity.
Another thing that irks me: they mislabel their yarn. I picked up some alpaca to try out, and it was labeled "2for12". Literally. So I assumed that it meant to hanks for $12. This is something that I can safely imagine that everyone assumes when they see a price tag like that.
Wrong. It was 1 hank for $12, I was informed at the register. It was just the 2nd product in the 12th area, because that was 'how they labeled for stock'. That made me angry, as that was just mislabeling a product completely, and I ended up needing to spend a lot more money on my project. Except I spent that money online, as I knew it would take me a while to get through the first skein.
I like the LYS, I just hate the people running it. That, and the fact that there's no synthetic yarn or metal knitting needles, outside of a rare Addi. :!!!:
04-17-2007, 01:12 AM
the first two LYS i found locally were owned by older retired women. i was not really a knitter yet, crocheting only at that point. while they were cordial enough in the beginning, i guess, it took each of them about a month of regular visits to actually warm up to me and i adore them both. i would speculate this i largely because i'm a boy knitter, although now i think it works to my advantage as many female knitter friends find both of them to be unpleasant and i rather enjoy both of them.
one of them is very unhelpful when it comes to knitting questions, but because she is more of a crocheter/needlepointer, and she's allowed, i guess. ;) she does have other staff in on certain days to help and give free lessons, so it works out, and she's learning too now. what was hysterical about her, though, is on one of my very first trips to her store to buy Addi Turbo crochet hooks and she said to me, 'what are you crocheting for, crocheting is TACKY! learn to knit!" (there i was dropping $7 per hook on her addi turbos and buying her yarn no less) later i found out she only knew how to crochet, so this was doubly amusing. but it worked, anyway, she was the first little bite from the kniting bug. the other one is a retired teacher who is really just a doll and can answer just about any question you can throw at her with a smile. then we have the big one over across the bay. the first time i went, there were great people working there, but the other customers were snobby and rotten (found out later they are known for such.) I worked there for a day and didn't go back much after that, but on a recent trip, I found one staff member incredibly helpful (so happened to be a young man) and the other one fairly clueless. Their circulars were in plastic bins with drawers and I had to direct her which drawer to look in and such, wasn't familiar with available sizes/materials/techniques, etc., but very, very friendly and smiled easily and was happy to ask her coworker for help if she couldn't answer, and i am TOTALLY okay with that, still a pleasant experience (and I was that person once too.) That store is the largest around and well known, but they really are kinda stuck up there.
And speaking of stuck up (as if the post wasn't long enough) down on my mother's coast of Florida, there is a chain store in Boca and they were MEAN MEAN MEAN to me! Both times I was in and I had a witness the second time, looked at me with scorn and disdain, answer to every question was 'no,' and just 'no' or 'i don't know' and one of the employees made me ask every question twice, pretending i wasn't there. I am not sure if it was because I am young, becase I'm a boy, or because I didn't drive up in a Jaguar, but whatever it is, they didn't like me. However, one of their employees who I knew from another location was there one of the times and was just wonderful, remembered my name from months prior, and was very sweet.
my other LYS is not so L, about 40 minutes from me, but i LOVE LOVE LOVE them, the owner is wonderful, i consider her to be a friend, really, love all of her employees, love the store, love everything. but i am so not into the 40-minute drive. :(
now one of my very bestest knitter friends has a store of her own 10 minutes away so i needn't worry much about snotty LYS people and i get to help out there and be super nice to everyone too. :)
i am realizing now too i am REALLY fortunate to have such a selection!
I found the people in my LYS were a bit cold and not as helpful as I would have liked...but it was my first time there. Thing is I don't think I can afford to be a regular customer so I doubt I'll ever get more than frosty helpfullness!
04-17-2007, 05:10 AM
Where I live we have 2 lys (not including Michaels, and another craft store).
The one used to be the best, the staff were nice and they had a wonderful selection-I haven't been to the second one as they have a web site, and I haven't seen anything that remotely interests me.
I had been away from town for a few years and returned a year ago, thought I would check out the lys. Much to my dismay it looks empty. They have a poor selection, most of it is very drab and over priced.
I was on the hunt for some sock yarn to start a pair for my MIL, and she requested something either solid colour or very pale colour changes (nothing crazy like my Lorna's Laces)..lol
I was directed to the sock yarn area.
-containing 5 balls of opal (rain forest collection)
-3 balls of cascade fixation (dark green) and one ball pink (not enough for a pair of socks)
-and 4 balls of this stuff that reminds you of knit picks essential, nothing fancy about it, except the price was (9.00 for 1- 50 gram ball)
I politely asked the lady if there was anymore, or if she was expecting some, she starts telling me about all these new ones, and the colours and everything about them, she had me completely sold, till she proceeds to tell me, we don't have any and don't know when or if we will.....grrrrr...
So needless to say, I am an online sock yarn collector, I do plan on visiting one that really intrigues me but it is a 3 hour drive to get to it, so its going to have to wait for another time.
04-17-2007, 07:37 AM
Im still diggin out my LYSs. my localist is about a 10 min walk from me and is a stall in our local market. The woman is lovely and tries her hardest but the range of stock is quite limited and the more 'speciality' yarns they have are on the pricy side - i still always have a ook in though if im after somthing as i dont want to let her down. She was kind enough to sit me down and get me a glass of water and a cup of tea one day when i whent there because i was ill and almost passed out - how could i turn down that kindness?!
My other LYS is a chain haberdashery which has a growing yarn and knitting section. Sometimes they are nice to me sometimes they are a bit brisk. I put that down largely to the lcoation. It has a bus stop outside, and isnt in the nicest of areas so i think they get quite a few unseemly characters in, especially when its raining! Again the stock of yarn is a bit limited, but they have the odd nice surprise. They seem to have more synthetic than wool for some reason. The stock of needles though is useless. When i was searching for 16" circualrs for a hat, i got told, no we don't stock them, i don't think they are made that size' (i then whent to LYS mentioned above and got some) thy arnt great at advoce, but there is one woman who has only been knitting for a bout 6 months and while she cant always help me she realy does try which i have to respect.
Another LYS again part LYS/part haberdashery is near where i work and the woman was realy snotty. They hardly had any ayrn in at all, and when i was buying some DPNS, i realised i dint have enough money on my so asked if she could just keep a hold of them while a got some cash, She very rudely said that she wouldnt be able to do that and didnt give a reason. Goodness knows why, the shop is tiny and was empty except for me, so i cant see them being in high demand... i havnt been back since. there is just no need fo service like that. I have heard there is a shop somewhere else near here but i have yet to explore it.
nadja la claire
04-17-2007, 08:53 AM
This isn't a bad experience, just kind of a disappointment. There is a new LYS in my town, within walking distance of my home and it's wonderful. The people are friendly the space is great, it's in what was a private single family home. There's a lovely knitting nook in front of a fireplace with three big happy kitty cats curled up on the chairs snoozing. The only problem is that I've got more yarn in my stash, and I don't have that big a stach, than they've got in the store. It was so funny, because as I was speaking to one of the owners I would periodically say "This is great but you really need more yarn." It seems as though it's primarily a sewing store :ick: (I hate sewing) with a space and a little bit of yarn and some needles for knitting. I am going to go back because I really liked it there and because the partner that knits told me that she would show me how to do intarsia and maybe if I can get other knitters to go there they'll make more space for knitting.
04-17-2007, 11:07 AM
I visited an LYS that was in a local hospital (was visiting my mother) last year. They had some beautiful yarn that was on sale that I picked up. The salesperson at the register informed me that the shop owner didn't allow them to wind sale yarn. Needless to say I put the yarn back and let them know that they lost a customer.
04-17-2007, 11:19 AM
dreamsheri, i heard the very same thing at a LYS here, but I can't remember which one (although I think the employee eventually conceded,) and I was like WHAT?! what kind of policy is that?
04-17-2007, 11:49 AM
How bout this one:
I signed up for a class at the LYS. I was so excited about this class I called my mother and a couple friends, and they signed up also. My mother went down and bought yarn and needles for the project. The NEXT DAY, we each got a message on the answering machine saying the store was closing as of THAT DAY, our credit cards would not be charged for the class, have a nice day.
Can you believe they signed people up for a class and sold materials for a class when they knew full well they were never going to give it?!
04-17-2007, 02:58 PM
I am really lucky since I live in an area with a bunch of LYS near me. The first one that I went to was a big disappointment. The owners were so cold and snobby. Everytime I went back I always bought stuff and eventually they warmed up but after ahile I said to myself - I work to hard for my money to be treated this way. So I stopped going there.
Close to work there is another store - it is so dark and dirty and even though they have nice yarn and their prices are great you feel like you need a shower when you walk out of there so I do not go there any longer.
A new store opened about 2 blocks from my office. The owner is a nice as can be; her prices are reasonable and she has a decent selection. She really listens to her customers about what they want in terms of yarns and classes. So now when I need something I usually run over there on my lunch hour.
Bottom line - I refuse to shop in a store where I am not treated as a valued customer. I will no longer put up with that. So if I go into a new store and get the feeling that I am not welcome, I will leave and go somewhere else... I hope some of the LYS owners read these boards and realize if their business fails, in most cases they have no one to blame but themselves.
Just my 2 cents!
04-17-2007, 03:10 PM
I dont have a LYS here. I shop at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or *gag* JoAnns for yarn. Hobby Lobby is tops for me, cause they usually have good sales...but I find they have more "novelty" yarn than a good wool yarn I can use. So I go there for needles, and Sugar and Cream.
Michaels...I bought my Knifty Knitters looms from there.. and a few books.
JoAnns....meh. Im not going to rush to go there again anytime soon.
When I go to Dallas for the Astros game for my birthday..MAYBE I can talk DH into scouting me out a YS there. :teehee:
04-17-2007, 03:47 PM
I have 2 LYS in my town... I call them Nice LYS & Evil LYS.
I was getting ready to start my first sweater project last summer. I was filled with equal parts excitement and terror. I mean, a sweater's huge! You need a lot of yarn, and a lot of perseverance... and at the end it's gotta fit you! The pressure!
I realized that I must get gauge, and so I go off the Evil LYS (which had not yet earned the title). I browsed around and dithered a lot, and got no help, none, from the owner behind the counter. (I know she was the owner because it said "Proprietor" on her name tag) She was too busy slurping soup (loudly) and talking on the phone... for 45 minutes.
Finally, I decided I liked the look and feel of the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, so I took a skein of it to the counter. She thumps the phone down and says, "What are you making?" Finally, some interest! I told her I was going to start a sweater soon, and that the skein on the counter was for gauge practice.
"Well, you'd better buy enough for your whole sweater right now. The dye lot's gotta match or you'll be up the creek. Don't expect to be able to match this one when you finally come back. I can't special order dye lots, so if you're going to make a sweater, you've got to buy it all right now." I told her that I hadn't decided on the color yet, that I just needed the one skein for now and that I'd be back for more yarn once I was ready for it.
Heavy and Martyred Sigh from the Proprietor, "I'm telling you, you have to buy enough right now! What if I don't have it when you come back? Just go pick out a color!"
I told her I was sorry to have interrupted her phone call and her lunch, and that I looked forward to coming to her Going Out Of Business Sale. Left the skein on the counter and walked out the door.
Two days later I went to Nice LYS, and the experience couldn't have been more different. When I was observed mooning over no less than 6 balls of different types of yarn, one of the women came to see if I needed help. I showed her the sweater pattern, explained that it was my first, and begged her for help. She told me I'd picked a lovely pattern, gave me a rundown on the pros & cons of the yarns on the table, and insisted that I start with 1 skein to swatch with.
Guess which one I shop at.
04-17-2007, 03:54 PM
In my opinion, the biggest edge a physical LYS has over an online one is service. Offering to wind yarn, offering advice in choosing yarn, and offering to help with problems if required, being kind and friendly.. all these are sure to make me come back even if I spend a little more than I would online.
An online store usually is more convenient, has lower prices and many times, free shipping if you're willing to order a certain quantity or wait for a promotion.
So how on earth do the LYS' expect to compete unless they are able to offer superlative service?
The very first LYS I went to was in Fort Wayne, IN. The place is cozy and the owner a lovely lady. The selection of yarn was good too. I went back several times and spent a good bit of money there. Then we had to move and since then I'm yet to find a place I love. I've been to one in Boston, one in NYC, and two here in Denver. All were ok. No real bad experiences, nor any good. I've made small purchases in all of them, but doubt I'll ever drop big bucks in any of them.
I also don't believe in shopping at the LYS to "support small local businesses". If I shop there it is because I get value of some kind. I'm not being charitable. You give me value for the money I worked so hard to earn and I'll happily spend it there. But if an online store offers me more value, I'll just as happily spend it there. Isn't that what healthy competition is about?
Oh I forgot to say, there's a 'John Lewis' (big store) in Liverpool which has a large craft section in the basement and the ladies in charge of that were quite nice and helpful :mrgreen:
04-17-2007, 10:59 PM
In my opinion, the biggest edge a physical LYS has over an online one is service. Offering to wind yarn, offering advice