Letter Candy Friday: customer service edition

I’m very happy to tell you that Schaefer Yarn customer service got in touch with me about my Andrea scarf and is making everything all better.

In a very nice e-mail, Schaefer’s Laura Nelkin (who can be reached at laura@schaeferyarn.com) wrote:

This is Schaefer Yarn customer service coming to your aid… I hope. My good friend let me know about your blog entries. I have to say I am so sorry! We discovered last year that Clara Barton in Andrea is a problem, and in fact discontinued it as we were having problems similar to yours.

We would be happy to replace your yarn with anything else of your choosing to help redeem Schaefer in your eyes (and hopefully those of your blog readers). We are a small company and strive to maintain an excellent rapport with the knitting community.

… As for helping the scarf you have to feel better, I would try some softener in a warm soak for a bit. Then reblock… argh… I know…, or you can try the steam technique mentioned by others on your blog first. Synthrapol can leave silk with a horrible feeling hand, so you want to get that taken care of one way or another. Soaking it in a vinegar/water bath would have probably been your best bet to set the dye.

Just what I wanted to hear! A company discovered that one of its yarn & dye combos wasn’t up to par, and discontinued it – isn’t that exactly what we (the knitters) would want them to do? It was my bad luck that I already had some of this yarn in my stash. According to my records, I bought it on April 30th, 2006, which I guess was before the recall.

The Fir Cone scarf, leftover yarn, and all my other Schaefer stash (just in case) is currently on its way to June. As a friend and very talented dyer, she will attempt to set the dye for me, test the bleeding, and so forth. She is a gem to come to my rescue, because I’m sort of done dealing with this right now.

For completeness’ sake I’ll mention that the Synthrapol was long gone by the time I pinned out the scarf (I added it around rinse #10 out of 20 total), and that I block most of my goodies, including this scarf, in Pantene’s Clarifying Shampoo. If the scarf was still in my possession, I would try to steam it, I guess, though I know it would bleed like crazy and need re-blocking, so… in any case I’d need to set the dye first. Which I’m not about to do – thanks, June!

Anyway, yay! Customer Service to the rescue! It’s good to be informed, so I’m very happy to pass this info to you. If you’re having any issues with any Schaefer Yarns, or have any questions, Laura urges you to contact Schaefer Yarn customer service at customerservice@schaeferyarn.com.

Have a fantastic Friday!

49 thoughts on “Letter Candy Friday: customer service edition

  1. Shamiran

    That’s great of them to address the issue. We’ve seen your powers at work, Oh Grumpy One!!! ;)

  2. materfamilias

    Lovely to see that level of concern for customer service, and offered by someone who’s obviously quite knowledgeable about product and process. Also lovely to see the power of the blog in action! And friendship of the dye-rescue-variety, lovely above all!

  3. Chris H

    I just love it when folks actually know what “customer service” really is! Woo hoo! Although I do not at present own any Schaefer Yarn, just knowing their commitment to their customers makes me want to go out right now and spend money I don’t have…LOL. I’m always more likely to do business with a company that I know cares the way that these folks obviously do. Thanks go out to them, and to you!

  4. lyndsey-jane

    What great customer service. Firstly to admit that there is a problems, secondly to discontinue it and thirdly to contact you to help. I really don’t mind companies making mistakes (no-one’s perfect but the way they deal with the mistakes/problems is to me more important). I hope your friend can sort the scarf out for you.

  5. June

    The pressure is on! I will do my best for your yarn. :)

    (But, erm, I would have to disagree with use of the descriptor “very talented” when describing my not-so-mad skillz!)

  6. Jocelyn

    So glad to hear that they were responsive to your inquiry. I sent Brown Sheep an e-mail more than a month ago about a colorway of Cotton Fleece that ran, and I haven’t heard a word back.

  7. Amy

    I love the yarn community!! I’ve never bought Schaefer Yarn before…but now I feel an urge to get out and buy some just to support them!

  8. Holly

    Nice but if they were really great they’d agree to knit it FOR you in nonbleeding the color of your choice.

  9. Sarah

    It’s so nice to hear about customer service that is actually good! I had a bad experience a couple weeks ago with (non-knitting) customer service where the representative was extremely nasty and rude to me. Leave it to the knitters to know how it should be done!

  10. chialea

    I found that Cambridge water made *everything* run essentially forever. There’s something nasty in that water that picks dye right out of fibers.

  11. ksmaybe

    Wow! I’ve seen more examples of excellent customer service on this blog than anywhere-the jeans, skacel, schaefer… You are one powerful blogger girl!

  12. Rosi G.

    I completely HEART Schaeffer and all of their yarns. I think they are so fantastic as far as customer service. It was great of them to offer you whatever you want (may I recommend their Trenna or Lola?? lovely yarns!).

    Linda LaBelle from the Yarn Tree recently wrote a book about hand-dyeing and interviewed the folks at Schaeffer. I was able to see the book in person from Linda last night at the Yarn Tree (it doesn’t come out until November so I was the EIGHTH person to see it! WOO HOO!). The interview and pictures alone are worth it. The Schaeffer house where all of the yarns are dyed up is soooo beautiful and the owner has the most beautiful gardens. I can’t wait to read all about my favorite yarn company and their processes when the book finally comes out!

  13. Aimee

    Wow. Just wow. After reading your post on the bleeding I was sad because I had been eyeing some Andrea and figured it just wasn’t worth the dye issues. I am SO glad they emailed you and you have share with us. I no longer feel like I wouldn’t buy it … in fact I think I should just because they are so GREAT!!! That and The Loopy Ewe carries it now.

  14. margaux

    that’s so great to hear! good customer service rocks. :-) They do have some really great yarns too and it’s good to know that you’re buying/knitting yarn frm such a great company!

  15. Kathy in KS

    Wow. I am in awe of Schaeffer Yarn people. That takes something special to actually admit that there was something actually wrong. Usually you’d get the “You must have gotten a bad one” line. I have to say, this has made me want to try them. Having worked in customer service in my previous life (before 3 kids), it says a lot about that company. I am a customer as soon as my yarn $ lets me.

  16. Rebecca

    I am not the most unbiased user of Schaefer Yarns ever (I design and knit samples for them… and my mom has bought many irises from Cheryl’s gardens), but that does mean I’ve knit with and blocked a lot of their yarn, and none of it has ever lost a noticeable amount of dye. Thinking harder, the only time I remember losing any dye was also with Andrea, in a dark color. It just turned the first wash slightly cloudy, didn’t dye anything else, and didn’t affect the color of the yarn that I could see.

    I second Lola and Trenna, and also recommend Martha.

  17. Romi

    How very wonderful to hear. I had seen this particular yarn at my lys (not in this colorway though) and lusted after it.

  18. kmkat

    I just sent Laura @ Schaefer Yarns a thank you for being so helpful to you. (The cynical side of me says part of her motivation was the enormous number of knitters who read your blog, but that is neither here nor there and we shall not speak of it again.) I have three skeins of Schaefer Anne in my stash and I will be thinking pleasant thoughts about the company when I (eventually) knit them.

  19. Peg

    I will also send Laura a thank you from knitters everywhere, even though I do not have any of the ‘said’ yarn. Customer service – that is what keeps us coming back to our suppliers and LYSs.

  20. the Procrastinatrix

    Wow! Great customer service on their part! It’s great to hear about stuff like that. The scarf is beautiful and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your friend can help you with it. :)

  21. Sarah

    Nice job, Shaefer — I’ve always liked their yarns, I’m glad to see they try to be as good with the customer service as they are with the beautiful dyeing.

  22. Ashley

    What a great response. I remember an episode where a widely-read blogger was having issues with bleeding in some sock yarn made by a company whose name rhymes with Shmerry Free Bill, and their customer service reps were downright uppity with her, accusing her of washing the socks “the wrong way,” doing everything but taking responsibility for what was probably just one bad batch of yarn. Result: I won’t ever buy from them, not because I think all their products are bad, but because I know they won’t be responsive to me as a customer. Schaefer, on the other hand? Sign me up! Good job, Schaefer peeps.

  23. beth

    Schaefer Yarn: about to rack up another sale (from me!!) as a reward for Great Customer Service!!

    Company-Whose-Name-Rhymes-With-Shmerry-Free-Bill: This was the sale you were about to get but for Ashley’s post!!

  24. Ariel

    Schaefer, you handled this in pretty much the only way possible that would actually satisfy not only her, but the rest of us! You sure didn’t lose a customer here :)

  25. Carolyn

    Kathy – this just goes to show how influential your blog is. You know you’ve got a popular outlet when yarn companies jump at the first mention of any dissatisfaction with their products. Thanks for the thorough and honest reviews, as usual. And thanks to Schaefer for their excellent customer service.

  26. Frances

    yay! don’t you love good customer service?!?! this makes me look forward to trying schaefer yarn, whereas yesterday i was scared off from it. it was a lovely scarf though.

  27. linken

    Hi Kathy, this is off comment from today’s post – but it is awesome to see that a yarn company reads the blog rolls and is stepping up to proclaim they can make it right! I had a question on Romantic Hand Knits by Annie Modesitt – have you seen it? What are your thoughts on the patterns? I’ve scoured the google…but can’t seem to get photos of them. Thank you! (How did the dress you knit for the book turn out?)

  28. Ria

    That’s pretty good of them to offer to give you more yarn to make up the dye issue. A good number of companies would pass the buck, saying you must have done something wrong or not handled the yarn properly, or any number of stupid excuses that just add up to them not wanting to take responsibility. Well, I certain plan to buy yarn from them in the future, if this is what they’re like!

  29. Devri

    For Linken:

    I’m not Grumperina, but I too went web-looking for the items in Romantic Hand Knits. The author actually has a Flickr photo set with many wonderful pictures from the book. This is the URL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28142715@N00/sets/72157594333481852/

    I went and bought the book after looking at them, and I think it’s a great purchase. Hope this was helpful!

    Grumperina: Awesome customer service on Schaefer’s part. Thanks for passing it along to us.

  30. grace

    I had a very similar problem with yarn from Joslyn’s Fiber Farms, I blogged about at the time even including a picture of the lovely blue water that leached out, the letter I got from them was this is the nature of the beast and I would have to deal with it, Needless to say they will see no more of my money, I love Schaefer and I am glad they stepped up to the plate for you!!

  31. Christy

    I can’t believe that many washes didn’t take out all of the loose dye. I think I would have cried. Congrats on the FO though, it’s absoultely beautiful!

  32. Christy

    P.S. Sorry for the double post, bu tI just got my copy of Romantic Hand Knits, and the dress you test-knitted looks amazing. I’ve already got about 20 projects in the cue to knit from that book!

  33. hopalong682003

    I’m glad that they are making things right for you. I’m also glad that you posted their response. You definately gave them the opportunity to maintain (or improve) their reputation.

  34. Mary

    Schaefer rocks! So glad they came to your rescue. Their yarns are just too lovely to write off their entire inventory over one bad experience. And their customer service seems to be exemplary — the mark of a great business.

    Their response to your post is just one more example of why knitting blogs rock, too! :-)

  35. Susan

    Well, I give kudos to Schaeffer. Just for this I’m going to order some of their yarn. A company with this much integrity deserves more business.

  36. Elizabeth

    Glad Schaefer has come through. I wonder if the scarf could be overdyed in the same shade (by them or you or someone else) to get it back to it’s lovely crimson???

    Great work!

  37. Ann Rose

    Wow, Schaefer Yarns is really on top of things, with their responsiveness and great customer service. I figured they were hip, with some of their inventive colorway names (Lise Meitner, Susan Sontag, Kermie), but now I *know* they’re great!

  38. Judy

    I have had the same issues with Schmerry Bee Trill sock yarns, and I remember that correspondance. They won’t get any more of my money!

    On the other hand, Sunshine Yarns, who sells on etsy, has great customer service. I bought a skein from her as a gift and it turned out to be in about 6 pieces, so she sent a replacement skein.

    Hooray for good customer service!

  39. claire

    It’s good that you had positive experience in the end with this company. I’m in the midst of something similar with them, but not so happy. I bought 2 skeins of Patty for a scarf for DIL birthday coming up in May. I have found 7 knots in the first $50 skein and 3 in the first half of the 2nd skein; I’m not finished yet. This yarn will be very difficult to hide the knots securely and aesthetically. When I Emailed I was told the yarn is discontinued, so that can’t replace it. They wanted me to mail it back and they offered me a skein of “sock yarn” to make things right. I guess I’m not Grumerina.

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