What am I doing wrong?

When I first started designing cross stitch charts I used to provide all of the materials for each design. I also lived in an enormous house at the time and had the space (and time) to do this with ease.

However, 10 years on and a massive downsize later I now only provide charts via email and most of my customers understand this and sales are still great.

I think that my website explains this pretty clearly. In fact it is mentioned on EVERY SINGLE page and section and within every item that you click on. It is also in the FAQs and T&Cs that customers tick during checkout to confirm they have read – and it’s right at the top of those so no trawling through reams of junk first. AND, finally it’s in the confirmation email they receive once they have ordered. So that’s at least 6 times it is written for customers to see.

And yet, I still have customers who complain once they have received their bespoke, personalised chart saying they didn’t know what they were buying. One customer recently even admitted that she hadn’t bothered reading the website but still expected me to do something about it!

So, my question to you is this… Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Is there another way of making this completely idiot-proof or do I just have to suffer the backlash of unhappy customers as I am unwilling to refund their money for a job I’ve already done??

Your thoughts would be appreciated on this one, especially if you order online. What do the words ‘Cross stitch chart via email‘ mean to you??

It really is soul-destroying when I put so much effort into all of my designs and still have people not value them for the work that goes in…

H x


10 thoughts on “What am I doing wrong?

  1. I’m sorry you’re dealing with that, Holly. It’s entitlement and inattention. Unfortunately, there’s always going to be people like that. You can have a glaring neon sign every step of the purchasing process and some would still claim they didn’t see it. I as well as other writers have had similar issues as well. It happens. It sucks, and as you said, it is a little soul destroying, especially if people get ugly about it.

    For the record, cross stitch via email tells me that I will get the chart sent by email. No more, no less.

      • Pretty much, yeah. Like I said, I write and I have a lot of friends who write (some fanfic, like myself, and others who have actual books). We all get hit with stuff like this. Sometimes it gets ugly and makes it that much harder to take. Other times, you can just shake your head and move on. Either way, it most definitely sucks

  2. Your website is very clear and easy to read and comprehend. Don’t beat yourself up about it – if someone doesn’t take a moment to read the info you are providing, there isn’t much you can do. A flashing neon sign probably wouldn’t even work! And there are also people who will just try to get something for free… Just focus on all the nice people who DO appreciate your lovely designs ❤

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I do try to focus on all of the amazing loyal customers I have around the globe but guess today it just got through a little more than usual! Your words have really helped xx

  3. You’re not doing anything wrong. No one reads terms or instructions any more. I blame a huge part of that on everything now coming with 14 pages of tiny-print terms and conditions. No one reads that stuff, and by extension most of them also won’t read two sentences. As for the rest, well, they’re special flowers, and instructions are for the mere mortals, not them. *laugh*

    All I can suggest is including a flat statement to the effect that if someone is expecting a paper chart, a kit, or a finished product when they order, they will not receive a refund, because it is clearly stated that this is not what they’re ordering. I know that seems kind of offputting, but what it will do is shut down the ones who actually did read, but are trying to get something for nothing.

  4. If they don’t read then that is there fault. Put another line in saying there will be no refunds for not understanding that supplies do not come with chart or something to that effect. People just want something for nothing…it is disgusting. Good luck and your work is beautiful.

    • Thank you Valerie! My T&Cs do say that I don’t refund based on the fact customers don’t read the website. Just had two in quick succession this past week so feeling a little deflated. H x

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