One of the drawbacks of having a retail store is complaints. Our little shop gets about five a year. Some of them have been vituperative, complete with four-letter words and personal threats. Others have been just plain silly--a person who, after eight months, decided the ebook was defective and wanted to return it. Regardless of the mental state of the customer, in all cases, we replace the item or issue a refund. We want everyone to be satisfied, and if for some reason, it's not within our ability to please, we refund the money and thank the customer for patronizing our store.
A few months ago, I bought a $42 circular knitting needle...smiles at the group gasp. The day of the purchase, I had the unpleasant experience of having three sets of circulars needle tips separate from their respective cables as I was working on a top-down sweater. And I was sick and tired of picking up stitches. Thus, I decided to go for the Lamborghini, the Bentley, the ne plus ultra of knitting needles--a Signature.
When it arrived, I reverently unwrapped it...to discover a slight burr on the tip. Oh well. It took five gentle swipes with 800-grit sandpaper to smooth the burr. I was in the middle of the sleeves at that point, so I put the needle aside until I was back at the underarms.
I knit four inches of sweater...and then...one of the needle tips disengaged from the cable. I was flabbergasted.
Here's the letter I wrote to customer service:
I purchased this needle on November 29, 2012, invoice #xxxx, Paypal Unique Transaction ID #xxxx.
It arrived with a burr on the tip. You can see where I sanded it off. I knit four inches of a sweater with this needle. This morning, one of the tips separated from the cable and rolled underneath the refrigerator. I am not moving the refrigerator to find it. I am an old woman with a bad back.
Notice that if you run your finger up the remaining join from the cable to the needle, there is a sharp edge on the metal. I was wondering why I was seeing frayed yarn bits as I was knitting. As I paid $42 for this needle, it never occurred to me that the join was responsible. Instead, I was blaming the yarn vendor for the fact that I kept having to unknit areas and join in new yarn. Silly me.
I expect you to replace this needle with one that actually works as advertised. That is, the joins remained joined and doesn't shred the yarn.
And here's their reply:
Now, I don't know about you, but I infinitely prefer the treatment I've received from KnitPicks when their needle tips go walkabout. They replace them. No fuss, no muss, at least for the four that I have called them about. And I give you three guesses as to which needles I will be purchasing in the future. And which company I will never again patronize nor recommend.
ETA: Less than an hour after this blog post appeared, this email dropped into my mailbox. Yay Internet!