Jo-Ann Fabrics' CEO Apologizes For Refusing To Let Woman Use Bathroom As Diarrhea Ran Down Her Pants

Jo-Ann Fabrics is sending out apology emails to people who write them in about a customer who was refused access to the bathroom even as she suffered diarrhea right in front of the employees.

We made a mistake. We re very sorry for any frustration and embarrassment that we caused our customer at the Logansport, Indiana, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store on Friday, June 29.

Many of our store restrooms are located in areas that are not readily accessible to customers and therefore our policy limits the access to the restrooms. However, we have immediately changed our policy to allow any customer to use our restrooms upon request.

Again, we acknowledge our mistake in handling this matter and sincerely hope that our customers will be pleased by our change in policy.

Darrell Webb
Chairman, President, and CEO
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

We checked in with Catherine, the complainant, after posting this and she said she’s heard “not a peep” from the company, despite writing them a letter weeks ago. “Seems Jo-Ann’s is sending apologies to everyone but me,” she writes.

PREVIOUSLY: Jo-Ann Fabrics Refuses To Let Customer Use Bathroom, Even As She Suffers Diarrhea Right In Front Of Them

Comments

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  1. LowerHouseMember says:

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

    I hate stores that don’t offer a restroom for customers.

  2. maximeyocks says:

    OOOOOooo. Wow!! Sheesh. This is making is worse. That woman will never forget that day. Screw Jo-Ann’s.

  3. SOhp101 says:

    This is one thing that makes me turn away from mom-and-pop stores; they don’t allow customers access to the bathrooms.

  4. dbeahn says:

    Yeah, I got that cut and paste form letter in e-mail from them.

    Doesn’t seem like much of an apology, or that they’re going to try to make things right with the woman.

    I think if I were her I’d be suing for pain and suffering.

  5. TheDude06 says:

    Hmm… that response makes me wonder if they really understand the problem. Their employee was trained that violation of the customer bathroom policy was SO grave of an offense, nothing is worth violating it.

    Rather than allow compassion, they changed the global policy completely to the other side. Which reintroduces all the problems that led them to restrict access in the first place.

  6. dohtem says:

    @dbeahn: I am sorry for the woman that had to endure the embarrassment but I don’t see any grounds for a lawsuit. Jo-Ann’s Fabrics might be run by incompetents but they DID NOT cause her pain and suffering. They merely refused to help.

    Disclaimer. I am not sticking up for them. I think this is despicable but it is hardly grounds for a lawsuit.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t think an apology is enough, given the level of the embarrassment and humiliation she experienced.

    I find it odd the claim that because of the unorthodox placement of restrooms, they limit customer use. I wonder which came first, the placement or the policy. Maybe they placed them so that they wouldn’t have to allow customer use.

    I also hope this wasn’t an Alli “treatment effect”.

  8. bohemian says:

    I thought stores were required to have public restrooms unless they were in a mall that provided them?

    I am pretty sure they do it as some sort of loss prevention policy. You know, to prevent those criminal stay at home moms from shoplifting scrap book craft supplies.

    She should sue the (soiled) pants off of them.

  9. JRuiz47 says:

    I think we should have a Consumerist Bathroom Watch similar to the Nazi t-shirt watch at Wal-Mart.

    “Everybody pile in, we’re going to Jo-Ann’s!”

  10. Dibbler says:

    @sohp101 These aren’t “mom and pop” organizations… It’s a nationwide company. That’s why it has a CEO.

  11. niteflytes says:

    I’m Catherine W. and it seems Jo-Ann’s has apologized to everyone but me. Maybe I should send them an email too.

  12. niteflytes says:

    Catherine W., the original poster, and I would like to say for the record that I DO NOT TAKE ALLI! I can’t believe the number of people who think I’m taking that based on this incident. Also, I have no intention of suing them.

  13. bearymore says:

    @niteflytes1:
    I would imagine since you contacted them by mail, they are sending an apology by mail. Perhaps it will arrive in a day or two.

  14. Haplo9000 says:

    What is wrong with execs at large companies? I mean, really…any normal person in that job that suddenly has a gigantic cluster on their hands, like this situation, would IMMEDIATELY write, e-mail, call, carrier pigeon, or whatever to get a hold of the ACTUAL PERSON who was the focus of the awful support. After dealing with that, THEN you worry about press releases and apology letters to people that have no dog in the fight but you want to keep as customers.

    *sigh* All pumping out some form letter without actually apologizing to the person involved does is make you look worse.

    Moron.

  15. VeryPlainJane says:

    This doesn’t bode well for a business whose customers are predominantly female, i.e. pregnant women, older women, and women with children.

  16. Ponygirl says:

    I think it is really offensive that so many people in the last thread and this thread are mentioning Alli as the cause. People had bowel problems well before Pharmaceuticals decided that explosive stools counted as a weight loss method. Why assume this accident is in any way related to Alli?

  17. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @niteflytes1: Don’t take the Alli thing as any slam on you personally — the Alli “treatment effects” have just been mentioned on the site lately, and people connected the dots.

  18. TexasBelle says:

    It’s incidents like this one that remind us customer service is as much, if not more, about individual employees as it is about company policy. I mean, did it really take a policy change to allow a customer with diarrhea to use a store restroom? I doubt it. That’s just common sense and common decency. I’ve seen my share of retail employees who lacked one or both of those qualities.

  19. eli_b says:

    I’m sure her pack of depends is in the mail.

  20. Ola says:

    JoAnn used to have restrooms available, up until probably a few months ago, and then the policy changed because the restrooms weren’t “up to code”. (Nationwide, I guess.)

    I feel bad for the customer and -maybe- for the first clerk, who probably didn’t see a huge problem at first and was concerned that they would fire her. (Yes, corporate policies can be inane and full of lawsuit fear.) But seriously, the manager should’ve just let her use it.

  21. Chris says:

    Here’s the reason a good chunk of stores don’t have public restrooms anymore: The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which “prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities,” including shopping.

    Professional Plaintiffs file ADA suits all the time, alleging a laundry list of access problems. These almost always include the bathrooms. Half the time (ore more) the Plaintiff has never actually been to the location, and definitely hasn’t observed all the violations he alleged.

    But that usually doesn’t matter, because the allegations are RIGHT anyway. The ADA standards are REALLY strict, including things like the height of the handrail, depth of the counters, height of the soap dispenser, etc. etc.

    Business owners know they’re nailed on these things (pretty much every place in the USA is in violation, pretty much all the time), and since the ADA provides for attorney’s fees and money penalties, there’s usually a quick settlement. The store agrees to fix most of the violations, put up better signage about the things they can’t reasonably fix; the Plaintiff gets a couple thousand bucks (or a donation to a disabilities-access charity); and so does her lawyer.

    I’m not criticizing this system, really – it’s more efficient at moving toward universal compliance than government action has proven, and the Plaintiffs and their lawyers are usually pretty reasonable, as are the defendants. Most businesses want to comply, so long as they can do so without driving themselves out of business.

    BUT, one unintended consequence is that because (in California, anyway), you’re not usually required to offer public bathrooms. Since those areas are some of the most expensive to remedy, and you can typically sell fabric, for example, without a public bathroom, a lot of ADA defendants will simply close down their public bathrooms altogether. Once the bathroom is no longer a public accommodation, it’s no longer under the ADA and there’s no obligation to remedy it. Since nobody gets to use the john, disabled people are treated exactly the same as the rest of the public.

    Like I said – unintended consequences. And I bet Jo-Ann just bought itself about 300 access cases. Nice work.

  22. Kornkob says:

    And Chris wins the thread.

  23. bravo369 says:

    I’m torn. she obviously really needed the bathroom but i used to work at a place that only had an employee bathroom. we even had signs that said bathroom is for employees only but did this stop people from asking? no. one day, a lady was making a big deal about it so the manager asked me to escort her into the stockroom so she could use it. she had the nerve to complain about how dirty it was. I wasn’t trying to be mean but i told her since there’s only 1 bathroom and it looks like that, that’s the reason we reserve it only for employees. It just bugged me. She wants to make a big deal about using the bathroom she wasn’t entitled to and then complain that it wasn’t good enough.

  24. Maybebaby says:

    I used to work at a midwest Joann’s (not in Indiana) during college. The restroom in my store was located in the backroom and its use was restricted to employees. Customers were allowed to use it if they requested but only if escorted by an employee . At times, when staffing was low and the store was busy and I did have to deny people from using the bathroom. I would direct people to other stores in the strip mall with public bathrooms. However, in an true emergency I don’t think we would have denied anyone.

  25. Mymaya says:

    I’m sure that Catherine will get her letter. Also not all JoAnn’s bathrooms are not restricted. For instance, the employee picture at the top is my sister. At her store the customers are escorted around the store if they ask for something. This also includes the bathrooms. That is the store’s policy here in Chicago, IL.

  26. @thbarnes: “I find it odd the claim that because of the unorthodox placement of restrooms, they limit customer use.”

    I worked at a store whose bathroom was in the skanky basement tucked sort-of behind the merchandise cages that you had to almost sidle to get to, and the entire basement was VERY ill-lit. The stairs were also very steep. We DEFINITELY limited customer access; the thing was several accidents waiting to happen. (Heck, it was perfectly clean, but none of the employees wanted to use it either because it was dark and scary and hard to get to.)

    However, the store’s policy was that when asked we would say, “We don’t have a public restroom, but we can make the employees restroom available if this is an emergency” and the policy was that basically anything involving a child under 5 could qualify as “emergency.” But the customer had to be escorted and escorting involved a lot of “watch your head — don’t trip on the stairs — I’m sorry there’s no more light ….”

    Sometimes we recommended they go to the Walgreens next door that had customer-accessible bathrooms that didn’t involve creepy basements and steep stairs. The Walgreens was very accommodating and always nice about letting our customers use their bathrooms, particularly if they were elderly or couldn’t do stairs.

    @bohemian: “I thought stores were required to have public restrooms unless they were in a mall that provided them?”

    I think you’re thinking of restaurants.

  27. juri squared says:

    I used to work at a JoAnn’s around 10 years ago. The bathroom was in the stock room and, since our store was tiny and overcrowded, it was surrounded by piles of merchandise that you had to step over and duck under to get to. We still allowed people to use the restroom, but they had to be escorted, which tied up an employee for however long the customer took in the restroom.

    On the other hand, I also briefly worked at a new, large JoAnn’s a couple years back, and they had public restrooms which were super-nice. So if there’s a big Jo-Ann Superstore or Etc. near you, chances are they have a public restroom.

  28. Wormfather says:

    @dohtem: I agree, I’m sitting here trying to come up with grounds for a lawsuit, but Jo-Ann doesnt seem to be actionable here. Sucks, really sucks.

    Hopefully, the negative PR machine will roll through their profits…my fiancee wont shop there anymore after I told her the story so that’s two down.

  29. Youthier says:

    I don’t think there’s ground for suit here or that even if there were, she should file suit. But come on JoAnn’s, this woman is owed a personal apology at the very least.

  30. Bye says:

    That picture is classic.

    Jo-Ann Fabrics is shooting themselves (with a button attacher, naturally) in the foot. The craft-folks of the world seem to be very connected and this story is already circulating.

    If they keep this up, Dottie Hinkle is going to be the only person left shopping there.

  31. motogirlsf says:

    35 years ago in a Chicago suburb, my epileptic sister–then 9 years old–suffered a grand mal seizure in a Jo-Ann Fabrics store and ended up with quite a mess in her pants since she couldn’t control her bowels while seizing. Immediately before the seizure my mother had asked the employee if my sister could use the bathroom–she got the same “policy” story.

    I understand stores need policies and can’t offer a public restroom per se, but rules can and should be bent from time to time for people in need. Shame on Jo-Ann Fabrics.

  32. timmus says:

    Why doesn’t Consumerist have a Hall of Shame? Jo-Ann Fabrics ought to be in there somewhere.

  33. Art Vandelay says:

    @bohemian: I know you say it mockingly, but middle aged women are the largest demographic of shoplifters, usually done for the thrill.

  34. Jerim says:

    It doesn’t really make sense for Jo-Ann’s to apologize. The original story said that the store had gotten citations for having a hazardous bathroom and that they were told not to let anyone in there until it was fixed. So is Jo-Ann’s saying that they will disregard any citations or restrictions? Essentially they are saying they will break the law to help a customer.

  35. acambras says:

    @timmus:

    Why doesn’t Consumerist have a Hall of Shame? Jo-Ann Fabrics ought to be in there somewhere.

    Oh God, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Consumerist should send JoAnn one of those Golden Shit awards.

  36. ellemnopee says:

    I wrote and complained… If I need something crafty, JoAnn’s was where I WENT.

    I have not received any communication from the company and I wrote them 2 days ago.

    They should have dealt with Catherine first and then the public — they don’t even talk about her in the ‘apology’.

  37. bbbici says:

    having a bathroom in the store lets customers ‘do their business’ and continue shopping, rather than hurry up or leave without purchase because they can’t hold their pee any longer. it’s just sound business practice to keep customers in your store longer.

  38. ironchef says:

    please don’t mind while I wipe my ass with the fabrics!

  39. memphis9 says:

    “We’re very sorry for any frustration and embarrassment…”? — Anybody who really thinks that being denied so much as a hole to **** in on an extreme emergency basis constitutes no worse than frustration and embarassment for the average non-senile adult, needs to live with a really vicious case of colitis for awhile so they can get a first-hand perspective. This little sorry-note to emailers has been vetted by legal so as to concede nothing that could be construed as – you know – emotional pain and suffering.

  40. @Jerim: Where does it say they got citations or that it was hazardous?

    She again said no and quoted a recent policy change regarding the rest room facilities not being up to code and that they were not allowed to let customers use the rest room.

    We don’t know why it wasn’t up to code.

  41. sylviat says:

    JoAnne’s sucks alright.
    I was at a Joanne’s with my mom to buy some material for bridal shower candy doo dads (favors?). There was a sign posted immediately above the bolt of material with an arrow pointing right to it saying 50% off. When I went to pay it rang at full price so I mentioned the sign. The sales lady said it wasn’t on sale and marched over to the sign and said it was meant for the material below mine. I said it was pointing right to the one I was buying. She angrily tore the sign off and said, “There. Now nothing’s on sale!” I was dumbstruck. Could she have been offended that my mom and I were speaking to each other in Spanish as we shopped? I rarely feel discriminated against (I’m a 3rd generation Mexican American and speak ‘Taco Bell’ Spanish).
    Needless to say, I was jumping for joy when they went out of business recently.

  42. MeMikeYouNot says:

    @dbeahn: Yup, just what the courts need-another lawsuit from someone who was embarrassed. I feel sorry for the woman, but having worked retail on and off for years, I know why most stores don’t provide customer restrooms. Has to do with customer theft.

  43. JayXJ says:

    Stores that don’t allow bathroom access are annoying, especially for parents. I’m surprised stores, especially grocery stores and gas stations, don’t have this avaialble. There was a grocery store in Alabama, where I lived for 2 years, that did not allow the public access to thier restrooms. I never gave them business after that first shopping experience there.

  44. SJActress says:

    I don’t necessarily agree that a store’s bathroom has to be accessible to EVERYONE. Many petty thieves try to get access to a bathroom to steal something, and shoplifting is already rampant. However, I used to work at a store with an employees only bathroom, and we would allow children with their parents to use it, and if someone told me what this woman told the clerk at JAF, I certainly would have let her use it! That’s just common decency. If I were that woman, I probably would have used some fabrics from the store to clean up. Poor lady.

  45. frogman31680 says:

    This woman should get her apology. But what I would like to know is when do most businesses realize that people have babies. Install those little changing tables in the mens room. I hate going into our local McDonalds and have to change my daughter in the car.

    Course, I have more respect than the mother I saw changing her child on the table. EEEWWWW

  46. lkngfrfnnsd says:

    Re: Joann’s,
    I feel for the woman and she should have been allowed to use the bathroom. but..

    The company’s policy should not be whats the problem, the employee actions should

    The ADA argument in California anyway, is very real. Ive seen small business’ go out of business because of multiple ADA scammer lawyers who will go away for a few thousand dollars

  47. rockergal says:

    hmm I used to work in a store that had a employee bathroom but it was in the back room, and since we were always overflowed with inventory stock and other crap,(no pun intended) many of the stock ended up in the bathroom. so letting customers in there where there are no security cams and tons of stuff that can be conceiled was just asking for theft.

  48. nidolke says:

    Isn’t bringing about a big ol’ lawsuit bringing more attention to her than if she had just went in her pants, was embarrassed for the day, complained to the store manager, and then moved on? People confuse me.

  49. Chris says:

    @nidolke: That’s a great point. “I was SOOOOOOOOOO embarrassed and humiliated!!! — Here, let me go on TV and tell you all about it…”

  50. frogman31680 says:

    yeah, I guess I never saw that side of it. Complaining on TV now makes this seem like a bad Monty Python sketch.

  51. brenjacob says:

    I did not have diarrhea but had a similar run in with New York branch of Charles Schwab. They had 1.6 million dollars of my money invested and when I went in to help a friend open an account with them they delayed helping us so long that my bladder was about to burst. When I told them that I needed to use their bathroom they said that they did not have one and said that I would have to go to a neighboring building to find one which was sending me on a wild goose chase. By the time I got back to the their office I was in dire straights and afraid of wetting my pants in front of my friend. I went to a man at a desk and explained that if he did let me use a bathroom I would have an accident then and there. He called a security guard and tried to have me ejected from the office. Only when I asked him to call my Schwab team did he allow me to use the bathroom which I had been told didn’t exist.

    After that I went to a barber in the same building directly across the hall from the Schwab office to get a 10 dollar haircut. While I was getting the haircut my friend said that she needed to use a bathroom and the barber said that there was a public restroom just down the hall. The point being that we got treated better by a 12 dollar barber than I did from Schwab who had over a million dollars of my business.

  52. arachnophilia says:

    of course they apologized to everyone but her.

    she’s never shopping there again. what good, monetarily speaking, would an apology do? now, all the people that heard her horrendous story, well. there’s still a chance that they might say “oh, ok, that’s reasonable, they’ve fixed it an apologized. i guess i’ll continue to buy needles and thread there.”

  53. dutchess says:

    i live in this very small midwestern community. what makes this behavior doubly harsh is that Joann’s corporate office was thinking of closing this store. the community bonded together and deluged corporate with letters, calls, and emails. these very loyal customers came to the rescue and corporate decided to leave the store open. and then this is how they treat those customers. they won’t be getting my money, and i will be sure to spread the word.

  54. aminwagegirl says:

    @sylviat: Holy shit where was this? You should have totally asked to speak the the manager on duty and then ripped that chick a new butt-hole!
    I would have given you that 50% sale price. Some stupid employee didn’t take down the sign ain’t your fault. And guess what, its the manager duty to make sure all the sale signs are down after the sale is over. Please let me know what store that was!!
    Best of Luck to you!

  55. mrrbob says:

    I dont care what this moron CEO spouts. I own a business and I can tell you everything comes down from the top. If the company execs exude a customer friendly attitude and enforce it then all store managers and store employees will also exude this attitude and this kind of thing would never happen. This store manager needs to be fired and so does the stupid jerk CEO. I know I am telling my wife about this and making sure she agrees to never go into one of these stores. Now I am male and my wife does not sew so no lost biz from us but the buz is out and this company needs to go into the toilet until their top management is replaced with people instead off assholes.

  56. virgokitty says:

    Yesterday, I went to Jo-Ann and asked for a flyer. The sales person gave me a nasty look as if it’s a crime that I don’t have my own flyer with me. And when I pay at the register, I was appalled that same employee didn’t give me a pleasant greeting, no smile, “thank you”, nothing. I was employed by Jo-Ann 5 years ago at $6.10 an hour and it was never this bad. Their management sucks and I quit as soon as I found out that I make less than new employee. Since Jo-Ann bought Fabricland, Cloth World and other fabric stores they got a head up their ass. Don’t expect a good customer service, they don’t pay employees enough money anyway. Too bad that there are no competitors out there.

  57. labbilover says:

    I work for JoAnn in a New Jersey suburban location. There has been a lot of controversy about the restroom policy, and some confrontations as well from assertive customers. There are as always two sides to this. Yes, it is courteous to allow our “guests” to use the facilities, and this may prompt them to shop longer. On the other side, many of our “guests” abuse the facilities, leaving messes too disgusting to describe that are hazardous for the employees to clean up. (the company does not employ an outside service for rest-room cleaning, which is shared by the employees)
    However, the cost-savings projections(on water and supplies) may be important for a company that is up for sale.

  58. hockeymom1997 says:

    Well it sounds to me like all of you live in some pretty crappy places. Every Joanns that I have been in has been clean, the customer service nice and the bathrooms readily available for customer use. I agree with Catherine that she should not sue, they didn’t do anything against company policy or against the law. The employee just didn’t use common sense. If anyone should write her an apology letter it is the employee. Lots of stores don’t have public restrooms, but if there’s an emergency a logical person will let you go pee, or whatever it is you have to do. They just need to teach their employees to think outside the box a little.

  59. virgokitty says:

    Jo Ann Fabrics has a policy called “insignificant inches”. If you want to buy 1 yard of material, they will cut no more than 1 yard, not even 1/4 inch longer. Some employees cut too short. They are so stingy about even 1/16 of an inch. I always measure the material that they cut before I pay at the cashier. Sometimes they stretch the material and measure. I don’t want to be so neurotic about 1/16 of an inch. But I’m the customer to pay for it. After all they sell remnants for 50% off anyway. Am I too crazy? Do anyone have some experiences that you have to go back to the store and complain about it?

  60. brondy says:

    I ran into this problem at the Lynchburg, VA store, where they seem to pride themselves on vile customer service. They told me my 4-year-old could use the bathroom at the store next door. “Oh. Where I’m NOT a customer?” Joann’s CS rep apologized and said I would get an apology from the manager. Of course it never came and when it happened the next time I was in there, I left my cart FULL of merchandise & never went back. Instead I discovered an independent fabric store whose better service and better product make it worth the extra $. What was I thinking shopping at the chain over the local guys anyway?

  61. ucntcme says:

    Not up to code. What did it mean. I’ll tell you what I think it means. They tell you right there in the “letter”.

    They were unintelligent in how they “designed” their store layout. They tell us that most stores, the bathrooms are an afterthought, out in “hard to reach” places.

    That is the first failure of customer service. What the CEO has told us is that they made sure the cash registers were readily available because they make sales, but customer convenience or decency is an afterthought.

    I maintain that any place of business that people are in for more than a couple minutes on average is failing customer service 101 without proper facilities. Further, any business that fails to provide customer quality facilities to employees is telling their employees that they are an afterthought. A failure of leadership 101.

    That the assistant manager did not feel empowered to do what she knew to be the right thing indicates a failure of leadership in the store and possibly corporate management chains. To the customer, the people they interface with ARE the company. they are the first line of defense of your reputation and bottom line. If your people can not be trusted to do the right thing, you hired wrong or failed to train well.

  62. 2bananas says:

    Worst Customer Service- as a long time customer I certainly am tired of being treated like I am an inconvenience when I ask for some customer service. These employees need to be reminded why they have a job!! If there was another fabric store around I certainly would not go to Jo-Anne Fabric.

  63. Joyray says:

    I have just read several complaints regarding the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, because my husband and I have issues of our own. I thought I would just check them out first in order to find the President and CEO, and came across other distraught customers. Before I send Mr. Darrell Webb, Chairman, President and CEO of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, I want to document this so all of you will get in on the ground floor of our own complaints. I promise to get back to you with updates, good or bad or none at all. Several days ago, I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft Store in Thousand Oaks, CA. I picked up enough ribbon to trim 4 of my blouses, along with a few rolls of sewing thread. There were 2 women at the counter and both were helping others at the time. I told them we were next when they finished with their customers, however, one clerk continued measuring and layering fabric. I thought the customer had gone to search for more items, and allowed her to continue layering the fabric. The busy clerk finally told the other clerk that she had a customer – 5 minutes later….and then she helped me. The total ribbon cost of the ribbon came to around $24., however when we checked out with this receipt and the few spools of thread, the young male clerk rang up $89!!!! I told him to re-check these items, because it was obviously incorrect, plus the thread was on sale for 40 percent off. He told me this was not the thread on sale, and I had to pay the $89.!!! I reached over for the receipt, and he told me I could NOT have it and ripped it up right in front of me. I told him I just wanted to look at it, and he held on to the torn pieces…. He finally called a supervisor because he did not know how to credit the incorrect amount. After being there and holding up a long line which now formed for about 10 minutes, he finally got it straightened out..because I refused to buy the thread; .no apology whatsoever…very rude. Then my husband suggested the next day, that I could use fabric glue rather than the tedious sewing. He went back to Jo-Ann’s the next day and was told by another saleswoman to get a certain brand of glue which they sold. She told him this was guaranteed to hold the trim to my blouses and was totally washable in the machine after drying for 48 hours. It took me many hours to glue the trim onto my blouses and I waited 3 days before washing in the gentle and cold cycle, inside out…. Guess what? Not only did the trim fall apart from the glue, but the glue ran onto my shirts, and now I am out the ribbon, but ruined 3 perfectly good tops.. One blouse remained to be done, and I am glad I ran out of time and didn’t do that one.

    I am sending this complaint to Darrell Webb, Chairman, President and CEO and will let you all know if this problem gets resolved or if I need to complain to the Better Business Bureau, Fair Trade Commission, and the Attorney General’s Office with not only this complaint but all of yours’ as well.

    THANK GOD, I DIDN’T HAVE DIARRHEA like poor Catherine. My heart goes out to her, AND ALL OF YOU WHOM HAVE SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF JO-ANN FABRIC AND CRAFTS STORES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

    Joy Ray

  64. fjordtjie says:

    the joann i worked at had a public bathroom. it was a rented retail space, so it wasn’t really decided by joann to have one, but after reading comments, i guess it is one of very few.

    i see alot of employee bashing. in defense of some of the employees, it’s not always their fault. i spent endless evenings and weekends as the only cashier, and the manager would never come help, no matter how long the line. customers would get angry about having to wait, but i sure as hell didn’t decide to schedule only myself, during the busiest times of day.

    not letting someone use the restroom that really needed to is inexcusable.

  65. Devildontknow says:

    Nothing’s changed at the Jo-Ann in Burke, VA. They denied access to the bathroom for my four-year old daughter (and me).

  66. Anonymous says:

    The same thing happened to me at the Jo-anns in California. I didn’t go back for a year! Now I go their only for items that I can’t get at Wallmart. Today, Feb.05,09 I went to Jo-anns and waited in line to pay for 10 minutes while the cashier argued with a cusomer on the phone. Two people left the line. This Jo-anns in Oceanside should be closed down. It was the same lady that wouldn’t let me use the bathroom a year ago! The worst customer service I have ever had!

  67. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s so lame that this lady put up a show to get attention as she let loose slowly but surely a brown lake i her pant. If she really don’t want to experience a diarrhea dilemma
    She could make a mad dash to other near by bathroom. maybe she might crapped as she ran toward another restroom but not fully loaded her pant.And certain not stood there and let it drip down her legs. Next to the hot puddin she made in her pant, she didnot have to talk to other and describe her situation so clearly as if it was a turn on to be heard.
    I believed “this sorry we let you crapped your pant in our store “thing is unfair to the CEO and workers at Jo ann. I think JO ANN frabic should send her gift for her dilemma, such gifts include chocolate laced with extra strength industrial laxative, large quantity of dieter teas that act as a super laxative. this way the next time this lady went out or goes to get her hair done or goes to a meeting or shopping at a walmart, she can made sudden sad faces as she experience a nuclear explosive diarrhea in her pant. This type of diarrhea occur so sudden and so strong she wont have time to complaint to any walmart or macy worker about her hot fudge dilemma. She will be holding her stomach and as soon as she look around for a staff her butt will explode with massive hot shit bombing her pant, over and over again. she’ll be in no dilemma this time since this diarrhea is unstoppable by any moral . As she violently load up her pant, I think she’ll be honest this time when she search for a bathroom to get out of her hot fudge pant as it still filling.I hope she wear tight clothing the day this happen. I hope she wear tight pant and maybe a thong so her thong could melt off from the all hot shit that’s flowing in her pant. And I hope her tight pant change color and it’s tight enough to contain all that shitxplosion she made, this way non of it will drip to the floor or down her legs. it will be more than on the seat of her pant and down to her knee ,but she cant complaint about her legs being wet this time , since now this dilemma is very massive and uncontrollable . Hopefully this time if she is refuse a bathroom it’s because they dont want to know where all that diarrhea in her pant will goes when she once she took her pant off in their restroom, not because she’s about to shit on the spot.

  68. katyj says:

    Let’s just keep this simple- this was bad customer service from an employee. People are trying to make this about the big bad corporation, but really, if the customer truly has an emergency, or a questions, or needs help, you figure out a way to help them. If the bathrooms truly were unusable, give her other options, as quickly as possible. This should have been done by the first employee the customer came in contact with, and not have needed to be run up the chain of command to management! What would the first employee have said to another employee with the same problem? If you work in customer service, then that’s your job to answer, not your boss’s. The first emplyee she spoke to should have helped her. If he or she is incapapble of that level of service, it’s unsurprising that his or her manager was not able to quickly provide another option.

    I work in a JoAnn’s in Florida, and, sadly enough, I know that there are emplyees in some of the stores that can’t seem to manage enough independent thought for them to clean up after themselves, or can’t be bothered to find out what their own store carries, let alone help someone else to find what they need. As an employee, be curious. If you don’t unerstand a policy, ask questions! I’ll be the first to admit it, it’s at a point with the manager in my store that as soon as new policies are posted that she immediately jokes that I’m not allowed to ask any questions about it. But I’ll tell you straight- I know the store I work in better than some of the managers! I know what we sell, where it is, and what it’s used for, and if I’m unfamiliar with something that a customer is buying, I’ll ask them questions about what it is, and how it’s used. Most customers are more than happy to tell you about what they’re making, especially if it gives them a chance to show off a new project. That way, when you see someone about to try to do something that won’t work, you can point them in a better direction.
    FYI- if you want to put a trim on a blouse, I really DON’T recommend gluing it. Sewing it is the most secure way, but failing that, use something to fuse it, rather than glue- that way you won’t ruin your blouse. Just make sure you use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric and your iron. Anyone who knows their store’s products should be able to show you the best way to do something, as well as the alternatives if that doesn’t work for you. If the person you’re talking to doesn’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to ask someone else.

    If you’re the customer, as soon as the employee needs to ask the manager for help with a bathroom question, start walking to the next store- you’re not going to get what you need quickly enough there. You don’t have time to wait for the emplyee and manager to get trained.

  69. MKEgal says:

    Find a trash can.
    Pull down pants.
    Sit.
    Let it happen.

    Every bit as embarrassing as walking around with $#it running down your legs, but with no actual mess on yourself.