Joann Fabrics - Idiotic Corporate Policies
Framing and Home Decor - Complaint
COUNTRYSIDE, ILLINOIS -- I am a long time Joann's customer (15+ years) and visit their stores an average of once per week (sometimes much more). I also spend several thousand dollars per year on both fabric and craft items during my visits. I find most of the employees to be polite and helpful....I know most of them by face if not name and they, in turn, know me.
Unfortunately, they are handicapped by corporate policies that make absolutely no sense and only serve to irritate loyal customers like myself. Today is the perfect example. I visited the Countryside, IL store fully prepared to drop several hundred dollars on curtain fabric and framing.
First the framing: I had never used their framing services as I have a very good framer that I use for all my artwork but I had seen the coupons and the piece in question was an inexpensive poster so I decided to bring it to Joann's. I had a coupon for 60% off the regular price so imagine my surprise when the price I was quoted for a simple metal frame/no matt was $150! This is more than I would pay to take it to my usual CUSTOM framer never mind about the cost comparison of Joann's "regular" price. I was prepared to pay about $75 for said frame so, needless to say, chose not to leave the piece with Joann's. Based on past experience, I will probably have to pay $100 at my usual framer but I know the quality will be top notch and there won't be anything shady about the pricing structure.
Now for the fabric: I brought my daughter with me to the store today so that we could pick out fabric for bedroom curtains. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, there were almost no pre-cut samples in the plastic pouches attached to each bolt. Never the less, we went around and identified approx. 5-6 samples that looked like potential candidates. I then approached the employee behind the cutting counter and asked her if she would cut samples for us. She replied that no, she couldn't do that and I would have to bring each of the bolts up to the cutting counter. Please note that there was next to no one in the store this afternoon and nobody at the cutting counter waiting to be served. I was less than pleased but what really frosted me was her insistence that I could not have more than 3 samples (this in spite of the fact that if there had been samples precut as there should have been, I could have taken one for each bolt that we were interested in). Fine. We selected 3 bolts and brought them up for cutting which, by the way, took almost 10 minutes thanks to all the paperwork she had to fill in. When I finally got my samples, they were so tiny that they did not include all the colors in the fabric (never mind about any sense of what the pattern looked like). To her credit, she sorted through all the samples to find the "best" ones but this was little consolation when the end result was so useless!
As someone who sews full time, Joann's is not the only store I frequent. One of the other stores I like to shop at is Calico Corners. Unlike Joann's, they provide customers with an unlimited # of samples that are generous enough to actually be of some use when making a final selection. They also cut the samples in-situ with no lengthy delays while employees fill in tedious paperwork. Their prices are similar to Joann's but the service is in a completely different league. Unfortunately, none of the three samples we brought home from Joann's was quite the right thing but, rather than going back for another 3 samples (a 40 minute round trip), I will be making the 20 minute round trip to Calico Corners.
The net result was that instead of the several hundred dollars I intended to spend, I walked out with $1.50 in embroidery floss! Although I have never filed a complaint before, I decided that I have had enough of this nonsense (especially since employees have asked me to give them a good review to boost the store's ratings - something I can't in good conscience do even though the problems I regularly encounter are not their fault).
To add insult to injury, the web site is set up to make filing a complaint virtually impossible......customers are expected to have full contact info, including phone and zip code, for a store in order to file a complaint and comments are limited to so few characters it is impossible to adequately describe the problem. Hence my decision to post my complaint on this and other web sites.