Friday, March 27, 2009

Frustrating Jo-Ann Fabric Store Experience

I have to tell you all about a recent disappointing experience with the store, Jo-Ann Fabric, which will bar me from going there again.

My mother and I went into one of their new stores near our home, to pick up her framing order. It was Saturday, March 21st, around 9:15am. The store was nearly empty. My mother got behind an old couple at the framing section and waited and waited and waited. The old couple had an extensive set of problems involving refunds and re-ordering of their custom frame jobs. My mother simply wanted to pick up her pre-paid order. After 15 minutes, she asked if if was possible to pick up her order and the man behind the counter, the manager of the store, very curtly told her "no, these people were here first and you'll just have to wait till I am through with them."
She than asked how long that would be and he said, "25 to 30 more minutes." In total my mother was being asked to wait 45 minutes to pick up two pre-paid custom framing orders - is that the average for Jo-Ann?
I asked if we could just pick them up and process at the front register and he raised his voice and said, "no they can't be picked up because they have to be processed and I'm sorry but this couple was here first. When I am done with them than I will deal with you." He was very short and did not offer any further apologies for the delay (which would cause us to be waiting around for 45 minutes) nor any alternatives.

We left the store.

I later went back to the store two days later to pick up the order and again had to wait 10 minutes for someone to even come to the framing department and than the process by which the rude manager was going to make us wait 25 to 30 minutes for, took all of 5 minutes.

My questions that have risen from this situation are:
1. Why even have a framing department if you are not going to regularly staff it? In this economy, when I have choices, why would I go to Jo-Ann and wait around for 45 minutes and get yelled at when I can go to Michaels and get prompt service in one minute?

2. Why couldn't the manager call someone back to the framing department to help check us out, the store was empty and the "process" he so pointedly stated must be done and how we would have to wait 25 to 30 minutes for because the old couple had come first, took only five minutes?

3. Why does Jo-Ann even have this rude guy as the store manager for this new Jo-Ann store, he is abysmal at customer service. The assistant managers at this location are MUCH nicer. I am unclear as to the reasoning behind hiring and retaining him. He lost Jo-Ann two customers permanently because of that day and his clearly unapologetic manner. Isn't Jo-Ann's business about selling, doesn't that involve some level of customer service?? Aam mistaken about that, is customer service is not the store's concern, please let me know.

Either way, I was very disheartened by how my mother and I were treated and for that we are never going back.


Blogger mommanator said...

You should definately copy this post and send it on the corporate of Jo Anns. I have never had this type of problem there. In fact I usually am quite pleased with the staff.
In this financial climate the should be happy to have customers at all!
You have worked in retail, and know about good versis bad customer service along with rude versis nice customers!

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with mommanator - this needs to go to someone aboeve the manager.

10:45 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

1. Yes, tell them not us.
2. Sorry, but it would have been polite to wait for someone that was there first. How would you like to be doing a complicated thing at a store and then be continually pushed aside while the staff worked on people that came in with quicker things?

12:05 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

just popping in to ditto all three comments.
if there was someone else who could've helped you, they should've offered. and you should definitely write to corporate. but you should also never presume to be attended to first when you were there second.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Mommantor - I think you hit the nail on the head, because I am in customer service I know how I treat others and how I want to be treated and I did not like the way I was treated.

Citizen - thank you : )

Joe - I respectfully disagree, I understand that those people were there before me, but they were going to take TRIPLE the time I was, it is ridiculous that I would be made to wait. A good manager would have gotten someone else to help us or would have profusely apologized (instead of being a jerk) and/or offered something because of the wait. No one should be expected to wait 45 minutes, not even at the doctor's office. I am sorry if you have some big problem, than you need to call ahead and set up an appointment. And that couple was rude also, not even offering to let us go ahead. It was just bad all around.

Molly - I wrote to corporate.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Gwen Ann Wilson said...

Customer Service Representatives are important part of the company. While customers experience some rudeness sometimes, there is no doubt that customer service representatives are experiencing this kind of treatment too. If some customer service representatives made a mistake or doesn't seem to sound helpful at all, I think it is the company that has to be blamed for that. They managed their own people.
To those who are interested on having a Customer Service career path, please visit New Customer Service Jobs for the latest job of the day review.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

As someone who works in public service, I will pipe in and say that yes, there are times when I am doing something complicated and someone has to wait. But there are certainly better ways of dealing with it that do not alienate customers so much. A simple, "I'm sorry, I'm on my own here and may be a while. Would you like to look around the store and I'll come find you when I'm finished?" might have worked a bit better. Or at least an apology. That rudeness was not necessary.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this posting after googling "Joann fabric working experience," trying to find out what other Joann employees think of the job. I have to say, I am surprised by (and sorry for) your experience. I work in the custom framing department of a Jo-Ann's and I promise they are not all like that.

Often times I am the only framer there, with a line of people waiting to be helped, but I always make sure to ask them all if they are there to pick up an order, or if they even just have a simple question because they can't find anyone else to help them. The only people who have to wait are those who are placing an order, since most orders take at least half an hour to complete. No one else has to wait through that stuff, that's ridiculous.

Anyways, I'd like to apologize, not trying to "win" you back to Jo-Anns (I'm quitting as soon as I find a different job), but just to let you know that some of us are nice people! Framing is something I love and it feels like a personally blow to me when people have bad experiences with it.

1:20 AM  
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