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A Cautionary Tale

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Here's how things can go south in a hurry with rush orders. We had a customer call in Monday asking for a hickory moulding. I told her we had one series of moulding in hickory. She wanted to know if we had it in stock. We don't, but I told her we could get it on our Wednesday delivery. She came in Tuesday to look at the moulding and liked it, but wasn't sure of the size of the photo because it had been printed yet. What she did know was the picture had to done Friday at the latest. We figured that's okay because we were going to order length anyway so we could match the color of the moulding since hickory varies in color so much.

We order the moulding. They don't have it at the warehouse our delivery comes out of. They have some in Florida. We order it and have it sent second day so we can get it Thursday. They call on Wednesday. Oops, all the Florida moulding is bad. They have some (but not all we ordered) in Baltimore. We have them send what they have cut 6 and 4 overnight and hope it will be enough. The package came on Thursday. The moulding looked good. There was enough to get the frame we needed with the color matching well. Here's the rub- shipping was $720.00.


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Ouch. Not going to hit the "Like" button on that one.

Same subject: we stopped ordering prints at retail for customers after two customers didn't like them, and we were stuck with them. Those days are gone.

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Morals of the story:
• It is not realistic to be able to fulfill every customer request in a "reasonable" way.
• Don't make promises based on circumstances not in your control.
• Find out in advance what the shipping will cost and let the customer know. You'll quickly find out just how important that "rush" really is.
:kaffeetrinker-2: Rick

That situation could probably be avioded by ordering chop, and specifying the moulding color. If there is too much potential variation, then it is not what I would consider a "reasonable" rush situation.
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MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Where did you order from that had such a shipping fee?
So we know what to avoid.

Hope they loved the framing.


WOW Framer
What an unpleasant surprise. I'm curious as to whether you ordered twenty feet or a couple hundred.

Either way, what a 'yikes'. Not on the same scale, but several years ago, a phone rep told me my length order was coming 'freight'. Having ordered almost entirely UPS, Fed Ex or weekly supplier trucks, it didn't register with me what this meant. Turned out that it meant a great big delivery truck, which came on Monday. As we were closed, they came again Tuesday, saying we owed $108.00 extra for not having been there the first time. That took a bit of wrangling to fix.

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Firstly, by way of update, the folks at Larson are all beautiful and invariably fresh smelling. They are rebating us $620.00 of the shipping charge.

We were unaware the shipping would be that much and, in fact, Larson had no way of knowing when we placed the order.

As I stated before, this was a perfect storm of bad circumstances. We told the customer we could do the order because it was so simple. It was just a photo going into a frame we would normally get the day after they placed the order. They had to have it on a certain day and couldn't come back in to look at other frames. Then the moulding virtually disappeared from North America.

Had we known we were going to run into this large a problem, we would have worked out a better solution, but things happened one after another in the course of two days.
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