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Hostile corporate messaging


Further to my post the other day about Fabricland, here’s a photograph of the sign that hangs over the check-out area.

I know it’s hard to read, so I’ve transcribed it for you. It’s especially fun if you read it out loud. Shout whenever you get to the all-caps or bold parts.



Fabricland Store Policy

Fabricland’s RETURN POLICY on packaged items is:

All packaged items, excluding ‘Final Sale’ items may be returned for refund or exchange, IF they are returned as follows:

  • Within 7 days
  • With original receipt
  • In original packaging



Credit notes are “store credit”. Credit notes have an expiry date of 90 days from date of issue, which is indicated on the credit note. Lost or stolen credit notes will not be replaced.

Methods of Payment For your protection, photo ID may be required for credit card purchases. Methods of payment accepted at Fabricland are cash, debit, VISA, Mastercard.

Limited cash on hand.

Shoplifting is a criminal offense. All shoplifters will be prosecuted.

We reserve the right to inspect all customer bags.

Lost or stolen Gift Certificates will not be replaced.

Days and Hours of Operation are posted in-store. We are not open on statutory holidays.

Special Orders require a deposit of 50% at time of order; please note shipping charges may apply.

Competitive Pricing in some locations some items may be sold at a price lower than Fabricland’s regular chain-store price. Where this ‘competitive pricing’ occurs, the advertised savings will be off Fabricland’s regular chain-store price.

No food, drinks or smoking in the store.

No pets allowed, with the exception of service animals.

Shirts and shoes must be worn.

Striving to be environmentally responsible, Fabricland encourages customers to bring re-usable bags. There is a 5 cent charge per plastic bag.

Sewing Club Membership:

Sewing Club cards are not transferable or assignable in any way; they must be presented in order to obtain the applicable discount and are not valid with any other discount offers.

Management of Fabricland assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen cards. A replacement fee will apply.

Health and Safety:

Fabricland’s Commitment to a Safe Work Environment

Our employees have the right to work in a safe work environment. Any act of abuse directed to or against our staff will not be tolerated. Abuse is any verbal or physical threat such as shouting, swearing or any other inappropriate behaviour. Conduct of this nature will result in the offending party being refused service, and/or the behaviour being reported to the police.

FABRICLAND. Sew much more than a fabric store.

For general inquiries or customer service feedback, call 1-888-780-0333 or email

Sounds like a fun place to shop, doesn’t it? They might as well just hang a sign that says “We hate our customers.”

In my experience, businesses that treat their customers like that tend to treat their staff like that too. I bet it’s just as bad a store to work at as it is to shop at.

9 comments to Hostile corporate messaging

  • I bet there is a good story or two behind many of those policies!

    • Maybe one day they had a barefoot shirtless woman and her dog running around the store smoking and swearing and spilling giant slurpees all over everything and claiming her credit note, membership card and gift certificate had been stolen!

  • Fabricland: the store that fun forgot

  • What do you want? Employees (whom you can never find when you need one) wearing buttons that say “Ask me about our return policy!”?

    Most of these policies are fairly standard. Is it such a bad thing that Fabricland is putting them out there for you to read *before* you make your purchase, instead of when you get to the cash and discover you can’t return those 18 yards of olive green cougar-spotted velour?

    By contrast, in other stores I’ve seen these types of policies:

    – Posted in a dozen different places on signs of varying sizes, colours, fonts, and handwriting styles

    – Printed on the bottom or back of your receipt

    – Not posted anywhere at all

    On the Fabricland sign, the most important information (i.e. stuff that you can’t undo) is the most prominent. The rest is organized in such a way that you can easily skim it to see the topics, or navigate it to find what you’re looking for. Yes, there’s a lot of stuff, but it’s written in fairly objective language.

    You want to see hostile corporate messaging? Look no further than this gem featured on David Scrimshaw’s blog:

    – RG>

    • I have no problem with the return policy being publicly posted at the cash. I just find much of the content of this sign, and definitely the tone of it, to be unfriendly. It’s like they expect the worst of their customers, and find it necessary to order us not to smoke or steal or threaten their staff.

      The sign on David’s blog is an excellent example of hostile corporate messaging. But at least that one isn’t directed at their own customers!

  • Them that can’t actually manage, post increasingly ignorant (and increasingly ignored) signs…

    • I think you’re right. I also buy fabric at the very well managed Running Stitch in Kanata, and I don’t think they have any signs at all. Their staff are friendly and helpful, and as far as I can tell, their lack of rules and signage has not resulted in swarms of shirtless, shoeless thieves and hoodlums running amok and creating havoc in their store.

  • Sharon

    Good God. I frequent that store often and have noticed the sign there, but of course paid absolutley no attention to it. Both my children often run around inside there, shouting, giggling, often shoeless.
    Next time I’ll make sure they are topless too.