Monday, November 23, 2009

The I Loathe Lincraft slightly less now Society

So, last week I posted a bit of a rant about Lincraft doubling the price of my favourite cushion inserts, seemingly overnight and for no obvious reason.

And I must say that a reply was the last thing I expected to receive, but receive it I did - from the Managing Director himself, Brian Swersky. I reproduce it here in full:

Hi, my name is Brian Swersky and I am the MD of Lincraft. I follow these posts as we are concerned about what our customers think and generally like to keep up with the "chatter" in the categories of interest to you.

I take on board the comments made and will follow up accordingly. The cushion inserts in question have been a major concern for us as our Australian supplier has ceased production and now only make synthetic product.

We of course desire to offer a local product at good quality wherever possible. We have had to source the feather insert overseas and unfortunately that is the best price we can land it for. The cost is high mainly because of the freight component of this type of product which takes up a disproportionate amount of container space to its cost. We will continue to source a local supplier and review our costings.

So I have to say: kudos to Lincraft and to Brian in particular for listening to his customers (though I did get a bit of a start when I realised the Boss-of-Lincraft had read my snarky post). However, because he took the time to investigate this, now I understand why the price of my inserts have gone up, which is far better than simply being met with the blank stare of the customer representative I asked in the store.

I wanted to reply to Brian, so I googled him, found him on Facebook, joined up to Facebook myself, and sent him a reply thanking him for taking the time to reply to my piddling little post. I also cheekily offered him some further unsolicited feedback about the kids who work in the store and how a sewing supplier isn't like a supermarket and wouldn't it be wonderful if they actually knew some stuff about the products they sell, etc etc.

To his credit, he kept the line of communication open and sent a very gracious reply about the commercial imperative and how it can be difficult to invest in staff when they leave so regularly but that he appreciated the feedback.

How's that for the speed of social media? Pretty cool, I've got to say. I'm still not Lincraft's biggest fan, but I have to commend this man's efforts to actually listen to his customers, which is more than I can say for most of his employees.

And then on the weekend I went to IKEA and spent up big on feather cushion inserts. Thanks to everyone who suggested some good alternatives to me, I really appreciate it! More cushions will be sewn up forthwith.


Isabella Golightly said...

Wow. Now that you are the 'get things at Lincraft fixed' guru, can you do something about the fabric selections, too? I am soooooooo impressed! But I'm still a member of the "I hate Lincraft" society. I'm still getting over the 'rat-tail' incident.

Jennie said...

Wow! I feel I should lay a red carpet in front of your stall at Northside Makers Market.

CurlyPops said...

Completely utterly amazing!

I Purr-Furr to Craft said...

I must commend Brian, and i wish him all the best on the quest for Australian good quality inserts! Sad to hear yet another Australian manufacturer has gone down,
Well done to you too for making things like this answerable. We are much more sympathetic when we have a good reason to our questions.

Wisdom.Courage.Love said...

Wow thats great that he got back to you, but in relation to staff I don't what the answer is there. I am a passionate crafter and sewer, and applied for a position in another major sewing store and didnt even get looked at even though I definately had the skills. It is very frustrating, I can't stand it when (even in local patchwork store) there is a disinterest in the product and the customer!! Glad you could find the cushions in bulk though. Thanks for sharing...

Sarah said...

wow wow and wow - even I am impressed - did you add the bit about Hobart needing a Lincraft store for me?????

Maybe I need to blog about that LOL!


Kate said...

What a fantastic story! I think its hilarious that you facebooked him. Good luck with your crazy pre Christmas market schedule.