That's a neat, little way to put the blame for things going wrong onto the customer.
Any maker (of whatever product) will make mistakes and has things not coming out the way they are supposed to come out. Sometimes the fault can be corrected easily, sometimes not and the faulty product ought to be binned and a new item started afresh and from scratch. The later into the production cycle the fault appears, the higher the cost of a full remake.
The maker will be the first to see that things have turned out not to standard (long before the customer). He or she will have to decide whether to start afresh or they hope to get away with the problem as the customer won't be able to see it or, if they do, will not be bold enough to complain, asking for a either a remake or their money back. The craftsman/woman might come to different judgements for different customers: "X will notice and complain, but Y won't". So they decide which course of action to take on their knowledge of the customer.
Every individual has a different moral compass. If greed gets the better of a craftsman/woman, and quality control, best practices and work ethic break down, that cannot be laid at the door of the customer, but only at the mercenary nature of the maker him/herself.
Every language of the world has a word meaning "No!"
I agree with you about the responsibility of the craftsman but a lot of the onus does accrue to the customer. Why has GY supplanted HW as the gold standard...esp. among some factions of SF? I would argue that a great deal of the reason is the customers' demand for lower costs and greater accessibility. Combine that with an almost deliberate, if not perverse, ignorance about the alternatives and I don't know how anyone could expect the industry to do anything but respond.
The individual craftsman is not necessarily a paragon of morality or virtue and I've never said they were. They...we...are part of the consumer culture whether we like it or not and just as subject to the temptation to gain financial advantage. Every great RTW maker in the world started off as a bespoke workshop with the highest standards. Standards that, it could reasonably and objectively be argued, they abandoned when they made the choice to put profit above every other consideration...when they made the decision to cater to customer demand rather than adhere to best practices. When they made the decision to replace skilled workers and age old techniques with machines and expediency that allowed greater profit margins at the expense of quality. .
One of the early contributors to this thread-within-a-thread...maybe the OP--the person who posted the photos originally...said something to the effect that despite the flaws he would just live with them. If the customer won't, or doesn't know how to, demand better, why would the average businessman assume the apparently thankless task of giving the customer more than what he is asking for?
Another contributor suggested that the flaws were made all that more egregious because the wait was so long. Implying that the waiting time was more important to the perception of quality than the flaws themselves.
And just for the record...I took a great deal of time to look at those photos. I thought that the finishing problems were more than minor and I would hope...strive...to avoid such issue in my own work. But...and here I'm going out on a limb and I apologize for it...there were greater problems with that shoe than a little bit of edge ink or cement on the upper.
Edited by DWFII - 5/8/14 at 4:37pm