Chimera Costumes

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Skevmeister
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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Skevmeister » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:43 pm

Charis1642,

I don't think that coming on here and whingeing about Phil is going to help anyone. I think that extent that many people have gone to find out about order they have gone beyone cutting slack and being polite.

I have no idea about the company inquestion but I would have to question if business take a deposit or up front payment for an order then they have the legal and moral obligation to complete it or advise the customer. It seems that sometimes people believe that re-enactors should be more patient than any other purchaser. I would suggest that no matter how bad something is, that if you plan on running abusiness and you are taking peoples money up front then you can spare sometime to e-mail and post.

None of this has happened and it seems that only after people have taken extreme measures as contact been established. If you where aware that there where problems then you could have spoken on this persons behalf in a positive manneradvising of the problem and asking people to be patient. Rather than; as you have turn up after the fact and accussing Phil of whingeing. Knowing of the quality of the purchases that Phil makes, I can imagine it was not a inconsiderable amount that he paid. He was much more patient than I would have been in this case. If after I have not heard from any supplier after trying to contact them for a month I presume that they have decided to take my money and will start legal proceedings. Other people work hard for their money too!!


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Thumbcrusher » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:36 pm

8 months and still waiting! Lost count of emails and phone messages i'v left.

Anyone know if Chimera will be at TORM? I do hope so!


So why is it always ME that has to, "Take one for the team"?

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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby sparky » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:21 pm

January i ordered a medieval cote which was advertised as a stock item and i'm still waiting.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Skevmeister » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:24 am

Thumbcrusher & Sparky,

I would have to say that I would actually contact south yorkshire trading standards if you have both paid a deposit and can prove lack of contact.

The blogs was last updated 3/9/2011. So somebody has time to right a blog !!!. They may have been busy, they may have real life get in the way. However I believe that this is unacceptable. I have had suppliers deliver years late, but they have kept me informed of why, and when to expect it, and if its going to slip again. Frustrated yes, angry no. I write software, I love the sound of dealines as they rush past. Communication is they key and I struggle to believe that so many people can can have so many problems.

So I would suggest that anyone who is reading this thread knows Chimera get them to right to the people that are on this thread that they haven't contact (especially thumb crusher and sparky). It looks very bad to be able to find time to write a blog, but not answer e-mails!!


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Major Q » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:48 am

I wish I'd read this thread back in July when I placed an order for a doublet. I actually visited her place of work to be measured up, and was told in person that it would take between 6-8 weeks. No mention of personal problems, possible delays, nothing. Hefty deposit paid, and I left thinking I'd have it for a couple of events at the end of the season. More fool me. They haven't answered emails, haven't acknowledged facebook messages, and their answerphone is now switched off. As has been mentioned already, it's not bullying when we want goods paid for, with no communication about their delay. Quality of work doesn't count for anything with customer service as bad as this.

They won't be at TORM. I contacted the organisers as they were still on the trader's list, and this is now being corrected. Seems I wasn't the only one wanting 'a little chat' with Chimera.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Skevmeister » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:27 pm

Major Q. I would PM the other people on this thread and see if they have had contact etc.


You could try leaving a post on the blog

http://talkingstitchery.blogspot.com/


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby sparky » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:45 am

Going to citizen advice on Friday to see what i can do about getting goods or money.

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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Martin » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:06 am

They are normally at TORM, It might be easier to go over and have a face to face chat, there may be a reason for the delays, though in a day where communication options are many fold you would expect to hear something via one method or the other


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Kate Tiler » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:49 pm

I'd check with the organiser, Anne Laverick at TORM that they are trading there before making a special visit, the list of traders isn't updated each show so they may be listed as trading but they still might not be there this time.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby lucy the tudor » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:55 pm

Major Q wrote:
They won't be at TORM. I contacted the organisers as they were still on the trader's list, and this is now being corrected. Seems I wasn't the only one wanting 'a little chat' with Chimera.


Someone has already checked.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Brian la Zouche » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:34 pm

i guess traders ask for a deposit as they know sooner or later they will get left with a item one their hands that the 'buyer' no longer wants but if taking orders as a bussiness, its sickening when you contact them over and over again and do not get any response

i personally have had no dealings with cimera so im not slagging them off,

but it seems like a story i have encountered twice in the past

pay in good faith and get the run around

over a year ago i ordered a tunic off ( nameless) woman was told will be 3 months, fine i wasnt in a rush, but after 6 months i contacted again and again to got no reply
it arrived last month = 12 months after ordered, wasnt the time that really pi**ed me off was the lack of response

lucky enough durring that time i made a friend who now makes all my soft kit, as for anything else if i cant pay and pick up at the same time i dont bother

in fairness its not restricted to the reenactment scene, it happens with some of the biggest companys, and just try and get a plumber to turn up when he says, or even contact you if hes not there at the time he said

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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby ceilteach_kitten » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:34 pm

I had paid for an item through Paypal so was able to open a dispute and get a refund that way. Same as everone else- no communication by any method.
CK



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Hinny Annie » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:18 am

looks like she has gone bust, message on facebook is telling people to contact the official reciever


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby lucy the tudor » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:27 am

That's a shame, no one wins when it ends that way.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Pete the Pong » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:08 pm

Trouble is that when a relationship falls to pieces, especially one that is connected with your business it is very very difficult to keep going in the same field, as you suddenly realise how much you relied on each other. Add to that the lack of enthusiasm to keep going and building, and however talented you are, (and Ginny is a very talented seamstress) the whole situation quickly spirals downhill


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Thumbcrusher » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:29 pm

Hinny Annie wrote:looks like she has gone bust, message on facebook is telling people to contact the official reciever


Oh great! Well that'll teach me to pay up front and in full wont it!

Well i don't care what anyone else calls it but i call it theft plain and simple! :twisted:


So why is it always ME that has to, "Take one for the team"?

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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Brian la Zouche » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:12 am

unless you buy off the peg, its a chance you take anywhere

ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances

or nip up there and have their telly away



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Chris T » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:40 am

Theft is what occurs when somebody plans to deprive you of your property.

To suggest that this was a planned outcome is both rude and untrue: at worst you have lost an amount of money, which since you were spending it on something not strictly required for life can be counted as 'spare'.
Gini on the other hand has lost her home and virtually everything in her life: the last thing she needs is random abuse!



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Tod » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:05 pm

Sorry Chris I don't agree at all. Yes re-enactment is a hobby and most people spend their spare cash on it but ( this isn't aimed at any one directly) if you take money and don't communicate or offer a refund its not on. There are a lot of us who trade, some of us take deposits to cover materail costs, not to keep our lives going becasue we don't have enough income. So if some one goes down the pan and has no money to offer refunds then they could at least communicate with their customers and offer them the materails they bought with their cash.
If you have to use deposits to keep you out of trouble you are just heading for bigger trouble a little way down the road.
I've dealt with Gini and we ended up in a cash with order situation which was fine and we had no problems, she was a very easy person to deal with, but unfortunatly now if she manages to get through this difficult period and rebuild her business no one is likely to pay her a deposit up front (unless they are a freind etc) so she won't be able to invest in materails. Some of my group had a problem with a different person some years ago, they paid a deposit or supplied the cloth for kit and lost the lot. As that was man it was much easier to deal with.



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby lucy the tudor » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:19 pm

I would say, the main issue people seem to have, is that more orders were taken on, and monies taken for them, when things were already in crisis. This was a gamble on the trader in question being able to get back up to speed.
No one is doubting that the lady has hit a crisis in her life, and that is absolutely horrible, we all wish her well and hope she can get back on her feet as soon as possible.
Tod is right though, communication would have helped people feel less agrrieved by their money being used to prop up the business- or if it wasn't, if it was used to buy the raw materials as the orders were taken, that their "paid for" raw materials will now likely be siezed in lieu of debts?
Our business works a lot on trust, and though it takes a long time to build a reputation for doing your best to always work fairly, it doesn't take very long at all to lose it.
I genuinely hope that Gini will be as fortunate as I have been after my family crisis, and that she too will be able to keep going in some way at the job she loved.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Hinny Annie » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Chis I also disagree, its immaterial if the money was spare or not, the fact is if you take peoples money you cannot just ignore them. People were trying to contact her for months, this is not gossip or hearsay it is public information, apart from posts on here, there is a business page on Facebook with unanswered messages. Maybe if there had been some communication going bust could have been avoided.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Neibelungen » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:08 pm

Well i don't care what anyone else calls it but i call it theft plain and simple!


Theft is the taking of peoples property without their consent, with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. It's pretty clear that that was never the deliberate intention and to suggest otherwise is extremely unfair and unpleasant.
Bankruptcy happen for a whole variety of reasons, not the least being running out of available cash to pay that months bills. You can have thousands sitting in unpaid invoices from customers and still be bankrupt.

Lets put it into a reverse context.. if you lost your job and couldn't pay your mortgage. By that very simplistic original accusation of what amounts to theft. You have property, and no means to pay for it. Thus your a theif.
The fact you never intended not paying, or that circumstances put you into a position that you couldn't control, created the situation of being unable to pay.
You might borrow money off family or friends to help you through till you get a job etc. But if you don't get a job quick enough, does that make you even more of a theif.

Yes, there are probably better ways it could have been managed, vis communication, but when your life and your business are falling apart round your ears it's often very hard to cope or prevent things spiralling out of control even more.

When you find your electricity supply cut so you can't even work to earn cash you have to pay it from somewhere to be able to carry on, even if it's a deposit money. And that creates it's own problem.. Because then how do you get materials for that job since you've no cash left. And every other telephone call is from a customer wanting goods or their money back that you are struggleing to be able to complete.


Yes, it's unpleasant for those who have lost out and have paid money and got nothing in return. That's bankruptcy and it's painful and unpleasant for all concerned on both sides.


Costume-making in the re-enactment world is a very hard game. Very few people are prepared to pay realistic prices for something bespoke and hand made. Imports and overseas manufacture make it incredibly difficult to compete when a weeks worth of work retails online for £100 or less. And there's no sick pay or holiday pay when your self employed.
One bad customer and that's your rent and food money for the month gone. Try loosing one weeks pay out of your monthly pay cheque. Easy to cope when you have job security to guarantee your overdraft. Take that away and then see what happens.

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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Neibelungen » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:17 pm

Ps... Deposit... it might well be used to pay for materials, but it's not strictly that... what it is, is a reservation fee to secure a place in the makers order book.

How they use it is irrelevant.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Tod » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:00 pm

The fact is its someone elses money. Whilst I agree it isn't theft its still bad practice not to communicate with customers. If you are selling cheap then that's no ones fault buy your own. Making any thing and selling it is difficult if it wasn't we (traders) would be out of work. But unless you are completely unable to do any thing (as in your in hospital or laid up in bed and live on your own) you should tell the people you took money from what is going on if a problem comes up.
Traders who don't communicate get a bad reputatiion pretty quickly.



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Neibelungen » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:16 pm

I'll agree, it's certainly doesn't help not to communicate, but then it also doesn't look good for a business to say it's having problems either. People don't like to admitt to having problems or often don't recognise that their in difficulty. It doesn't help either when there's a relationship or patnership involved with it either.

But yes, fundamentally, communication to customers solves a lot of problems and makes people aware and hence perhaps more understanding. Everybody makes mistakes and being good in a business doesn't make you good at business.

It's not always selling cheap.. it's often what price people are willing to pay or what the competition prices will allow. And there's lots of people who can, or at least think they can, make costume. After all it's just fabric and a sewing machine.
It's no good being the best if nobody is prepared to pay for it and it's all you've spent your life doing. Where do you go from there. People hate to give up on what they hasve invested a huge part of their life trying to create, even if realistically they should. People spend a lot of effort struggling on to keep something afloat when they should have pulled the plug and walked away months earlier.

Sutler's store have been bankrupt twice. My error... 19th Century Tailoring.. completely different company. Sometimes reputation doesn't always count.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Chris T » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:43 pm

The biggest organisations are often the worst at paying their bills.....despite the fact that they often want the good so fast that there is not even time to take a deposit.
I currently have one amount 10+ months overdue from such an organisation, ( and no, they have not been sending me regular updates on progress!!!) and the record is much more than that: it is encouraging that if I was to go down the tubes as a result of this sort of non payment my fellow re-enactors would not only blame me but accuse me of theft!

There is a world of difference between a part time trader with a regular job income and somebody who relies on their trade as sole income. If problems occur for the latter it is very difficult to recover.

It should be kept in mind that trading conditions are poor: this has not been caused by the traders, but by the errors and greed of large organisations such as banks....maybe those ahould be the targets of peoples anger, not the little people who have been caught in the cogs.



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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Martin » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:51 pm

communication is the key, first and last, no matter what is going on in your life (within reason of course), it takes 5 mins to email or post on facebook etc, some form of communication must be kept up, otherwise unpleasantness and rumors start spreading, people fall out who were friends etc


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Phil the Grips » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:43 pm

The actual problem is this-
http://chimera-costumes.co.uk/shop/shop.php?d=2

A fully active website that takes all your payment upfront and guarantees that your kit will be with you, at least in part, within 28 days, if not sooner. Still active, still taking funds and no word that the business is bust, or even lagging behind.

I could still, should I wish, click the buttons expecting to have a full set of kit for me for numerous periods, or enough times to equip a new group of a dozen folk within a month (as I have considered doing in the past for a few projects- in fact my last order was a "test-run" for just such an idea) and be none the wiser to the fact that the company is bust. Even at full operating capacity it seems like a flaw in the system for a one-person operation to have a flow of orders beyond one's control.

The very first act should have been to disable the shop site and that would at least stem the tide, yet it has been active for the whole time that there has been difficulty keeping up with orders and I know, from those that contacted me when I kicked up a fuss, that people have been doing just that in ignorance of the facts and rumours and rightfully expecting their order to be fulfilled as guaranteed.

Doing this, and putting up a banner or statement as to why, would be the first line in communication. Emailing those with extant orders would be the second.


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Re: Chimera Costumes

Postby Neibelungen » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:12 pm

I don't think there are any active buttons working on that site that will actually take money. It also does link back to the front page and there's a less than obvious link to an announcement.

It is difficult if you don't have the web skills to take down a site and replace it with an anouncement or holding page or make the neccesary changes to alter it sufficuently. I'd agree, removing it would be better.
A lot of people don't realise you don't always bookmark the front page only, so can dive into sections you can't navigate to directly.

The trouble is folding up never happens immediately untill the very day you decide you can't continue anymore or the court demands it. Untill then people try everything they can to keep going and work a way forward. Often making the matter worse.

Perhaps in this particular case it could have been done better and reduced a degree of the anger felt by people caught up in it.


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