The Rockin' Sock Yarn Scam. Or Not.

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Blue Moon Fiber Arts is an independent yarn seller founded by one woman with an obsession for color and fiber  that has grown to employ a team of six.  This company manufactures one of the most luscious hand painted sock yarns in the world: Socks That Rock. Knitters lust for this yarn with it's fabulous colors and great feel.  

Because of this yarn-lust, Blue Moon set up a Knit-A-Long Sock Club where those who join pay one fee at the beginning of the year (this year just over $200) and receive shipments of sock yarn and other goodies throughout the year.  For 2007 several hundred people signed up.  The orders began to be processed this week.

And then the swatch hit the fan.

A bank is required to process Blue Moon's credit card purchases, and said bank grew suspicious.  "How" they thought, "could several hundred people agree to spend over $200 on sock yarn when you can buy perfectly good socks in the store so cheaply?"

Nope.

It must be a sock yarn scam!!

So, acting as a responsible fiscal institution to protect these (mostly female) "sock yarn victims" the bank shut down the Rockin' Sock Club 2007 order processing for Blue Moon Fiber Arts and is in the process of returning everyone's money to them.

They'd really rather have their sock yarn.

Fortunately, the women at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are professional and collected.  They immediately contracted with a different bank who understands small business and agrees to process these orders without viewing the businesswomen as scam artists.  A brand new website redesign is being reworked to accomodate the new bank system. And the team at BMFA has adopted a new mantra:

Do not panic!!!

So what are the "victims" of this yarn scam saying??

Steph at YarnHarlot voices the opinion of many:

The ladies at Blue Moon also (and this demonstrates to me the depths of their class) have declined my offer to provide each and every one of you with the address of the bank and the Bank managers email address, so that you (ALL of you) could provide him with an expansive email detailing your feelings about sock yarn, his behaviour and the relationship between the two.

I would not have had that amount of class.

Knitters...say it with me. Freakin' muggles. They have no idea who they are messing with.

Steph's rant has already gotten over 500 comments...

Cara at January One wrote a Call For Calm:

I want to reiterate that we shouldn't worry about Blue Moon - they are strong, independent, FIERCE women who are perfectly able to defend themselves. There are lots of excellent, important reasons NOT to release the name of the bank. Trust them on this. They are not taking this lying down. Does this mean they don't need your support? Of course they do. We can support them best by having faith in them, in their yarn, and most of all in our knitting and ourselves.

To help support Blue Moon, Cara will be rewarding 10.. no 20.. STR virgins with a skein of this yarn to convert them. Keep your fingers crossed for me, as I, too, am a Socks That Rock Virgin.

Wendy believes that the bank might have benefitted with a little 21st century technology:

And further to the bank manager I say:

Next time you need to do research about the popularity of an item one of your clients is selling? Instead of assuming your client is doing something illegal . . .

Just Fucking Google It.

Idiot. Sheesh.

One of the commenters came up with the best line: "Dear National Bank of Royal Morons,"

Lifelong Knitter suggests:

consider the ramification of putting your money where your treasure lies....Seriously, folks. Let's find out just WHICH bank will take our money, and which one won't. Small businesses depend on being able to transact business in a professional manner....
I'm still so annoyed about this I think I will have to go cast on with some
SOCKS THAT ROCK yarn....and knit in the bank lobby ;)
Care to join me?

Drive-By Thinking rationally examined both sides of the issue and came to this conclusion:

In the end, BMFA benefits from the outrage generated among the demographic that really cares. So it's a major inconvenience for them, which ultimately will end up positive. Lucky, in that respect. Many small business quashed in similar circumstances aren't so lucky.

So, what do you think? Should the bank have done more research and listened to it's customer?  Did they act responsibly or rashly?  Blue Moon will not name the bank, but if you knew it's identity would you choose to do business with them?

Hat tip to Liz Henry and Cynthia Gonsalves for this.

Debra Roby blogs her art at A Stitch in Time and her life at Deb's Daily Distractions .

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