My 'never shopping there' story relates to a small, independent shop in my home town. It sells little nice but non-essential things - greetings cards, gift wrap, ornaments, scented candles, posters and prints, frames etc. It also offers a picture framing service.
So, a few years ago I had a non-standard sized print I wanted to get framed, so I took it in. Had a discussion about the style / colour of the frame etc, picked what I wanted (which wasn't complication, it was a plain, matt black wooden frame and a pale grey mount) They gave me a price, I paid 50% deposit and was told it would be 2 weeks.
2 weeks later - nothing. I was busy that weekend, assumed that they hadn't called as they'd told me when I dropped it off it would be 2 weeks (although they did also say they'd call when it was done). Went in the next weekend (so 3 weeks after leaving it) No, they don't have it. They dodn't think it was necessary to call to tell me. They don't know when it will be in.
I told them I wasn't happy, and that I thought that they should have called me to let me know there was a delay. I was also not happy to learn that they actually send everything away, they don't do the framing themselves. This was not made clear when I dropped it off)
So, I ask them to speak to the framer, find out what the delay is, and get a firm date to get it back, and made it clear that I expected it to be done without more delay.
3 weeks later (and after several further calls from me, and none at all from them) it's finally back. Except the framer didn't have the frame I picked, so he chose a different one instead. Without consulting me. The new frame was lightly more expensive and they expected me to pay the difference! At that point, I told them that I was prepared to take it with the wrong frame (which was close to what I'd picked) but I felt they ought to be offering me a discount for having taken 3 times as long as they promised, changing my order without consulting me, and failing to keep me informed even after promising to do so. They backed down.
About 6 months later I had another framing job. In the mean time, I've had friends tell me they have had good servioce there so I thought maybe I'd just been really unlucky, and decided to give therm a second chance (they are the only place in town which offers framing, too)
second time round it was even worse. Based on my previous experience, I specifically requested that they call me if there were any difficulty, and that they *not* make any changes without my agreement. I also asked if the timescale they'd given me was accurate, explaining the previous problems. This time, they told me it would definitely be back in 3 weeks. You can see where this is going, can't you?
After 5 weeks, and several calls, my picture is ready for me to pick up. When I go in, they tell me that they didn't have the frame I'd picked, but they were sure I'd like what they'd done instead.
The frame I picked was a very plain, narrow, matt, silver frame, to complement the greys and silvers in the picture. The frame they'd used was twice as wide, and was a glossy gold colour, with lots of detailing on it. It looked really cheap and tacky, really didn't suit the style of the picture and was absolutely nothing like what I ordered.
At this point I was furious and requested a refund of the 50% deposit I had paid. Which they refused. They were "prepared to let me" have my picture back, unframed, without charging me for the framing, though, "as a gesture of goodwill"
It was at this point that told them (I'd reached "Icy Politeness" at this point) that no, they were going to return my picture and refund my money, or alternatively I would be taking my picture, and making a claim through the small claims court for breach of contract, reporting the transaction to my credit card company as fraudulent since they had clearly not made any attempt to carry out their part of the contract, and that I would be contacting the local paper with full details.
The owner did then decide that I could have my money back, but the whole time she was processing the transaction was grumbling out loud (in earshot of other customers) about how people like me were really unreasonable and ruining local businesses.
I am afraid my e-hell approced manner slipped at this point and I told her (very clearly, and loudly enough for the other customers to hear) that if she could not cope with customers unreasonable enough to carry out the work she contracted to do, in the time and they way in which she had promised to do it, she should not be running a business, and that she was extremely lucky I was not demanding interest from her on MY money which she had held for SIX WEEKS without doing any of the work she was paid for.
I have not bought anything there since, and advise visiting friends and family not to shop there. If they's simply messed up my orders I'd have given up using the framing service, but given the owner basically accused me of stealing from her, she is not getting a penny more from me.
I've since found (in the next town over) a far better framer - he's very good, takes infinite pains to get what you want, and, despite the fact I only go there maybe once or twice a year, always remembers who I am. Last time I had something framed, when I went back to collect it he came out to show me that he had done it as he and I had discussed, but having seen how it looked when it was finished, he didn't think it worked as well as we'd hoped, recommended that we do it differently (with a hessian backing instead of card) and made the changes without charging, because although he'd done exactly what I ordered, he felt I'd picked that backing on his advice so it was his mistake. Now him I recommend!