Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heartbroken for Hancock Fabrics

Over this past weekend I had a truly phenomenal experience at my local Hancock Fabrics store in West Des Moines.  So much so that I am grateful that we even have one at all in the Des Moines area!  However, I couldn't help but suffer from sticker shock over that gorgeous bolt of ponteroma black knit fabric which I was planning to sew my ritual robes from!  So, I decided to determine what other fabric this brilliant chain store might have at their disposal that includes a blend of polyester and rayon fibers.  So, I simply typed "poly-rayon" into Hancock's internet search field and I was astonished by what I saw.  Other store's websites are not quite so user-friendly as this, in my experience.  Hancock listed dozens of fabrics that neatly fell into my search criteria, so I limited the search results to the bolts of black fabric; after all, if you will recall, the bolt of ponteroma fabric wasn't a very dark shade of "black" when I saw it with my own eyes.

However, I was unable to determine whether or not these bolts of fabric were in stock at our local Hancock Fabric store.  Not only was that information not listed on the website, but I was unable to call out on my phone because it's considered to be rather extraordinary long-distance for us, besides which, my time frame at their lovely store would also have been limited because I do not own a vehicle of my own!  I also feared that the staff might not know whether they carry it, let alone where it may be located due to the vague name of the fabric that I was looking at, especially when the staff at Joann's Fabric store were unable to help me determine whether or not they even carried any fabric with a poly-rayon blend:
  • Costume Black Poly Rayon: 65% Poly/ 35% Rayon
  • Gabardine Black Poly Rayon: 80% Poly/ 20% Rayon
  • Linen Looks Solid Black: 50% Poly/ 50% Rayon
  • Knit Mesh Black Costume Fabric: 65% Poly/ 35% Rayon
I guess I took it for granted that I would naturally encounter poor assistance when shopping for fabric due to my previous years of experience!  I am so glad that I was wrong, as I shall explain...

You see, unable to determine if my local branch of Hancock Fabrics carried these four bolts of fabric for me to explore I thought it might behoove me if I sent an enquiry briefly explaining what I was looking for, and in so doing I seem to have put my foot in my mouth by admitting that I feared the staff may ultimately prove "unhelpful".  Some names for fabric are, after all, so vague that even I wouldn't know what part of the store they may reside in.  I was surprised to receive a phone call from our local branch of Hancock Fabric in West Des Moines less than 48 hours later!  Sadly, my personal enquiry was taken to be a complaint, and for that I profusely apologize!  I'm really very tender-hearted and if I had felt that I had more space to explain where I was coming from due to my individual experiences, I would have. Nor did I intend to denigrate the staff, who were so kind to me.  So, what they have done for me is they have pulled these four bolts of fabric for me in a private room where I may examine, compare, and contrast them when I am next in the Des Moines location.

Not only did I receive a phone call yesterday, but I received another phone call this morning from Hancock's Corporate Office!  Again, they were unfortunately under the impression that I was issuing a complaint, rather than an inquiry.  She, of course, apologized for it, but I told her there was no need and I explained my impetus for my note.  I sincerely hope that no action was taken to reprimand the staff in any way on behalf of me!  That would utterly break my heart...  However, on the other hand, I was extremely impressed by how quickly they responded to my needs.

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