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Jan

Quoting you: “We thought we were dealing with a reputable business with a track record.”
i have no track record with crowdsource funding on pozible, cormo, or dealing with wool brokers, farmers, scours, or wool processors. spinning mill? sort of, but TON OF WOOL is a different beast entirely. i used to dye sock yarn (and i’m looking forward to getting those days back)
now, together, we’re making history.

I think disingenuous is a good word for the moment. Something stronger may be needed. She remarks on her Rav group in a now locked thread with many enquiries and comments deleted, that she does not do customer service well, in fact she's no good at it. So why did she take it on in the first place?

I think she's disingenuous in thinking that no one considers her previous track record of service as an indie dyer. Of course that was considered. Not many people would have regarded the original venture if someone unknown had popped up out of the blue with such an idea.

It seems that many people regarded it as a business venture when really, it was nothing of the kind. I believe that it should clearly, very clearly, have been pointed out that the return on investment made was not necessarily something set in concrete.

The Rav group further left a nasty taste in the mouth for many. Total lack of communication, deletions, broken promises have left a nasty taste in the mouth for many. The thread is locked. We both know someone who has been banned after just one query. She at least had her money refunded so financially is not out of pocket. She's just had an unpleasant experience to undergo and recompense for that won't be given.

Promises of postage which went unfulfilled remind me of a similar debacle currently going through yet another reincarnation in England, (mostly).

Now I'm not involved in either of these. I learnt my lesson with Lush where I should have paid more attention to the fact that one partner had withdrawn not long before. I had bought twice from them and been happy with service and wool. However, I'm saddened when what is usually a fairly supportive community is treated like this.

I'd like to think that she was just overwhelmed by size of the undertaking. However, her manner of withdrawing from enquiries, her non-communication of postage dates, progress etc etc., and her high handed treatment of many raising very reasonable questions raise nasty doubts in my mind.

Such a shame and I really hope that all concerned get some just treatment and received their "rewards" as she calls them. Sooner rather than later. I also hope that if she really meant well that she gets some business advice and that she uses a business plan etc even for "just returning to dyeing sock wool."

I think she has probably done a very considerable amount of damage to her reputation built on what she had done prior to this mess. I believe it will be almost impossible to ever regain the good reputation she had there.

Jan

I've just discovered a still active new thread from other "customer" who have announced they have banned themselves.

http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/msgusset/2249282/1-25#6

Sally

With 400 people signing up to this and the massive amount of ensuing publicity this woman has received, it was a tremendous opportunity to build her business. Lots of new, happy customers for her database.

As a result of incompetence and a total inability to provide any sort of customer service, I think (from the messages I’ve received) that she not only has not gained many new customers (if any) but has lost a number she already had. What a complete waste!

I think she had every intention of providing the “rewards” but it does raise many questions about the role Pozible could play in scams. As she constantly points out, those who don’t receive what they believed they paid for have no legal recourse; in other words, it all depends on the goodwill of the person being funded.

I’ve now been sent an unsolicited refund and barred from any discussion in her Ravelry group as apparently I was “negative” and it was decided that I wouldn’t be happy with the yarn when I got it. "Experience has told us that if we do send yarn to people who are already extremely unhappy with what we’ve done, they won’t be happy with that either."

I wonder what the School of Social Entrepreneurs makes of their member’s entrepreneurial skills?

Jan

What entrepreneurial skills?? LOL. Yes, I think it got all out of control and now it's too much to do. However, being an ostrich won't help her either.

redambition

I definitely think she's damaged her reputation. I've had her on the list of dyers to buy from for quite some time, but with her behaviour in this debacle she's been crossed off.

I don't mind if things take a while. I don't mind if there are delays. The most important thing is to treat your customers well and ensure that they are kept up to date with the situation.

Silence, ignoring requests and being wilfully rude is a no go to me.

I'm also thinking very carefully about whether to get involved in any crowdfunding projects. This has me thinking about the risks.

JoVanEvery

As I understand it, crowd sourcing is like venture capital but for small ventures and smaller investors. This case sounds like it was badly managed. She needs to keep her investors happy and she hasn't. Not only that but she was drawing on an investor pool that are also potential customers so she's burning all sorts of bridges to future business success.

It seems that the business woman in question didn't think this through very well and didn't get the support she needed to make it happen. Maybe 1 ton of wool is the minimum order for processing but if that's the case she should have thought about her capacity to deal with that much yarn and made plans to hire help, if not with dying then with customer service and other admin functions so she could devote her time to getting the product out the door.

As far as whether you support future crowd sourcing projects, I'd say keep in mind that you ar being a venture capitalist/investor. Examine the business asking for support in this light.

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