May 20, 2016 4 Comments
A few days ago I posted a link to a blog article about the cost of longarm quilting. (To view this blog article Click Here) I also posted the same link on two FaceBook groups, Quilting Friends and Quilters Show and Tell. Both of these groups are open to all quilters and piecers who are at all levels of quilting. From the absolutely raw beginner to the very experienced and professional quilters.
After posting the link about the cost of longarm quilting, there were MANY responses and comments to that post. Most of the responses were encouraging and appreciative of what longarm quilters do for their pieced tops.
Then there was a somewhat negative response –
If a longarmer ruins a pieced quilt top, does he/she carry insurance to cover the (at least) the cost of materials back to the customer?
Which another person replied –
Two responses to a post, SO MUCH to write about!!!!! Where do I start???
Let’s start with business insurance. If you are quilting as a business, YOU NEED BUSINESS INSURANCE! If you are working from or in your home, DO NOT assume that your homeowner’s insurance will cover any business “problems!”
Note: I am not an insurance person and I don’t know anything about insurance except what I have learned the hard way. Always talk to an insurance professional with any insurance related question or problem.( If you are an insurance person, feel free to comment on this or contact me privately at email@example.com)
Talk to your insurance person and tell them you have a quilting business. They will probably have NO clue as to what you do, that’s OK. Invite them over to your home/studio so they can see what equipment, supplies, etc., that you have. Make sure your coverage includes your equipment and the customer quilts you have in your possession. You need to KNOW what the (insurance) definition of “ruined quilt” is, what is covered for a ruined customer quilt and how a value of the ruined quilt is determined. If needed, get this information IN WRITING from your insurance person and keep it in your files.
Tip – if your insurance person doesn’t know what kind of insurance you need, the magic words are “Inland Marine.” I have no idea what this means, but say that to an insurance person and their eyes light up and they know what to do!
Let’s assume that the insurance definition of a “ruined quilt” is where the quilt is destroyed in a fire, flood, or other type of disaster – which I hope and pray NEVER happens to you. In other words, the quilt is totally un-usable in it’s ruined/destroyed condition.
In most cases, it is up to your customer to provide receipts and records to document the $$ they spent on the fabrics, pattern, and any other supplies needed to complete the quilt top. Generally, there is no allowance made for the time it took to piece the quilt top. Even if your customer says that the quilt top is worth several thousand dollars, if they can’t DOCUMENT that amount, the insurance company may pay only a fraction of that amount!
Now let’s assume that the “ruined quilt” is not destroyed in a fire or flood. For whatever reason, your customer is not happy with the quilting and she is saying that you “ruined her quilt.”
This is where you have to play detective and find out why your customer is saying this and what can be done to fix things.
There can be MANY reasons for your customer to be unhappy – from machine and tension issues to unrealistic expectations. YOU have to talk to your customer and find out what (in their minds) is wrong.
Did your customer say “do what you want” on the quilt and is not happy with what you did? Did you document that statement on your worksheet – that the customer signed and dated before leaving their quilt with you?
How long after picking up their quilt is the customer saying they are unhappy with it? Is it within a day or two or has it been six months or longer?
What is happening in your customer’s life at this time? Is she taking out her frustration from another situation on you?
What does the customer expect you to do about this situation? Her solution may not be as drastic and you think it is?
Hopefully you can work with your customer to come to a resolution of this problem. This may mean re-quilting some areas of the quilt, or possibly giving the customer a refund, discount, or credit for future quilting.
For a short time, I will send you a FREE copy of the the Unhappy Customer article if you send a private email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy.
You WILL, at some time in your professional quilting career, have an unhappy customer. This situation should be handled in a professional way and your customer (hopefully) will be satisfied with the solution.
I look forward to your comments.