Friday, January 30, 2009

Out on A Whim

Location: Other, Augusta, GA, USA
Industry: Retail
Annoyed By: The 2 Owners

I placed a substantial order, via their website, with this seed-bead distributor. Their seed beads (a component frequently used in jewelry-making) are advertised as available in 1/4 kilo bags.

Upon receiving any order of seed-beads, we dump the bag into a small tub, and then begin weighing out 10 gram increments into the much smaller tubes we use for retail purposes.

Since these were purported to be 1/4 kilo bags, I expected each to contain 250 grams of seed beads, which would, by extension, provide me with 25 10-gram tubes for each 1/4 kilo bag. Let me make it very clear that we use a highly sensitive scale, and weigh each individual 10 gram tube, every time, while filling them, in order to acheive consist quality assurance in the product we provide our customers. We also, obviously, zero-out the scale to account for the weight of each tube.

However, it became apparent that these 1/4 kilo bags did not actually contain 250 grams of beads, because after opening and re-tubing a total of 8 of their bags, we had acheived 25 full 10 grams tubes for only 3 of those bags. The other 5 bags were light by anywhere from 5 to 18 grams.

At this time, I decided to call the company about my concerns. When the phone was answered, I immediately asked to speak to someone in customer service - and was immediately put on with someone named Nikki (?sp). Nikki was very concerned about my concern, and explained that the company had a brand new scale, and a brand new person operating the scale, so perhaps there was a problem, but I would need to speak to Sean (?sp).

Sean gets on the phone, does not further identify himself, and proceeds to tell me that individual beads can take up more or less volume in the tubes than other beads, so, basically, I did not know what I was talking about.

I explained that I was weighing each tube by weight, not volume, so his argument was irrelevant.

He then tells me that I need to open a bag and weigh the entire contents BEFORE trying to redistribute them into 10 gram tubes, as this would prove that each bag weighed 250 g. I explained that if I had dumped a bag, weighed out 10 grams "X" number of times, and finished up with 23 ten-gram tubes plus 2 grams left over, then that bag obviously weighed only 232 grams to begin with. He argued that I needed to do it HIS way in order to prove I was wrong. I asked how his way would prove anything, and he said, just move past this, and try it my way.

I told him I would NOT try it his way, because since 3 of the first 8 bags we had sorted were correct, it was possible that the next 2 I did his way could be correct, and that STILL would not prove anything. So I said, "I want to thank you for your business, and assure you you won't be getting any more of mine."

He tried to convince me to do his experiment, and I ultimately hung up on him.

After thinking about this for about 30 minutes, I called the company back, and asked whoever answered the phone what Sean's title was. SHe said "He's one of the owners." I was absolutely floored, because he had been totally rude the entire time I had been talking with him, insisting that this was no one's problem but my own.

So I then asked to speak to "another owner", and she said "You are."

And of course, by now Sean had filled her in (allegedly) on our entire conversation - except that he had told her that I was insisting that I was measuring the beads by volume - into pre-measured 10 gram tubes with little lines on them indicated how much ten grams is - and I told her that was absolutely not true, and had told him MULTIPLE times I was measuring each tube.

So she switched tacks, and told me that her scales meet California standards, so clearly my scale was the issue. Period. And since she could not physically see my scale, it was my word against hers.

She said all their bags, when received from their suppliers, are 500 grams, and they split them into 2 250 gram bags before re-shipping them, and she could see no room for possible error on their end.

The end.

I have never dealt with any company owner as ridiculously rude and illogical as Sean, and this 2nd owner, who never gave her name, while remaining calm, never once apologized for my concerns.

So, they have definitely lost my business, as well as that of as many people in this industry as I can pass this on to ---
I receive 250 and 500 gram tubes from a variety of other suppliers, and have never ONCE had a bag weigh out short - and this is something we do at least 2 days a week, so I am fairly confident it is not my scale -
Based on attitude alone, I never want to deal with these folks again, but I am also extremely dissapointed in their product.

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