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Arghhh, Now it's my fault the #s are crooked!

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Well, a couple of weeks ago I got two signed Jerseys in to frame. (Magic Johnson and Larry Bird) We laid them out on the counter, measured, picked mats, you know the drill. While laid out on the counter, I measured and showed the customer how I was going to sew them down. He insisted I fold the bottom up about 5 inches (to save money.) No problem. I finish them and he comes to pick them up.

He loves the Magic Johnson jersey. He is not happy with the Larry Bird. See, when they sewed the number 33 on the back (where he signed) they did not keep it straight and did not perfectly center it. (The numbers are a good inch out of whack and visibly tipped.) I framed the jersey straight and centered in the frame.

He says I should have called and told him the numbers were crooked. He wants the jersey remounted with the numbers straight and the sides folded in so they are vertical. The neck and arm openings will of course be crooked, but he says that's better than the numbers being crooked. He offered to pay for the remounting. I think it will look silly, but I agreed to redo it at no charge. (I am still trying to get my name out there and he agreed to wait until after Christmas for the redo, so I will have time anyway.)

Should I have called him before mounting? I did not notice the crooked #s when we were doing the design. (Most of the layout was done using the Johnson jersey, then colors were selected against the Bird jersy.)

Well, mostly I just wanted to whine a little. There isn't much to do except mount it again.

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Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Originally posted by Cliff Wilson:
...He says I should have called and told him the numbers were crooked....Should I have called him before mounting?....
Yes, you should have called him. It would have taken only a few minutes, and he might have been impressed with your concern about getting it right.

It would have saved you from remounting, and from making this thread.

Art On Canvas

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
You're not going to win on this one. Maybe the customer will be happy the second time.

I had a signed NHL hockey jersey that was wrinkled, sewn crooked, and impossible to mount flat, which I had to sew twice. It never looked good. I don't think that it could have been worn, either.

I should have told the customer it would not be flat etc. when we laid it out, but I didn't know any better then.

Perhaps the players get cheaper missewn and defective jerseys that they cannot wear, and use them for signings. For whatever reason, some will never lay flat or straight. Maybe the factory where they are made is located in Appleton.

[ 12-16-2003, 03:42 PM: Message edited by: Art On Canvas ]

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
They could've been made in Appleton - if Jansport makes jerseys - and shipped off to third-world countries.

Cliff, you should know by know that EVERYTHING is your fault, unless it happens in MY shop.

Then it's FramerGuy's fault.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

Less thinks you are right and the customer is stupid.

It's hard to say, but I might have call him.

And, right now I'm not in the mood to argue.


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Guess customer should be upset he bought a crooked signed jersy back it should go to where ever he bought it....

Cliff Wilson

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yeah, I didn't feel much like arguing either. In hind sight I should have called him. But, at the time I thought what I did was the best display for the jersey. Even now, I don't think what he wants me to do will look good. Well, I guess this is oen of those learning experiences. :( Let's hope I do! :rolleyes:


<span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><
Surely you can use some of the 5 inches from the bottom and make the folds above the numbers and below the shoulders and everything but the folds will look straight. Maybe it has something to do with the right/left brain. Good luck.


PFG, Picture Framing God
I can relate. Framed a jersey that had some sort of patches on shoulders. One was about an inch lower than the other. Called the customer. He didn't believe me. He had to come and see... ("I think I will LIE to this customer and make them come in again, just because it was soooo much fun to visit with him..." Showed him with the ruler and he grudgingly admitted I might be close to right. We did it my way. (Sinatra swells in the background...)

The last jersey we framed had a tag that said something like "Not to be worn. Do not wash or dryclean." Sounds like something I'D pay for.... but it WAS signed by Cal Ripkin, Jr., who is, of course a minor deity around here... (Of course the customer SWEARS that he had chosen black rather than orange suede for the background, but he says he'll live with it until after Christmas....


PFG, Picture Framing God
Cliff, I would mount it so it is a bit askew to begin with. Meaning, tilted, maybe a sleeve folded across or maybe the waist cinched in. That way it doesn't have to be all lined up and even. I really think mounting the numbers straight and the jersey crooked is going to look worse. If that is the way I understand he wants you to redo it.

I agree totally with what Art on Canvas said also. These things were designed to fit bodies not to be mounted flat against a board. You just have to do the best you can. Most customers understand the limitations. But it is nice if you can discuss them with them before hand.


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
It seems to me that the crooked numbers are a feature of the collectible item. Like stamps that are printed crooked, and are worth more. So, you would want to show them crooked.

Just my slant on the issue.

AndyPan CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I may be talking out my rear on this one, but I think most of the jerseys we get for framing have never been, nor were ever intended to be, worn by the player that they are "made" for. Just the fact that the bulk of them have some sort of tag on them would tend to indicate that they are specifically made as collectible items. Therefore, they are most likely mass produced in some third-world country somewhere, and quality of the stitching is less of a priority than getting something a player can sign, thereby making the "official" jersey a "true" collectible. Of course, this is just my take on things.

I have maybe, in the course of ten years, framed only two "authentic" player jerseys, and they were both pretty close to perfect. Both were actually worn by the players, signed, and sold at an exhorbitant amount. They were, of course, framed "money no object," conservation methods all the way.

Maybe Roz should have called him, but chances are, he probably would have had an issue even if he HAD known before hand. Most of the jerseys I have done have some small issue with them, ie. sleeves are slightly different sizes, patch on sleeve offsets the mounting a bit, crooked numbers, etc. So far, I have been lucky and no one has given me grief about it. Best thing you can do is try to catch these issues while they are in the store the first time, and point them out to him/her. Saves a whole lot of headache in the long run.

Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think I recently read a Vivian Kistler article in which she says something to the effect of "When a customer complains, you will lose, so lose with style." Boy. Is that a challenge or what?

Look at it this way, Cliff. Now is your opportunity to show off your customer service skills. I'd take that jersey back and redo it and offer to deliver it or what ever it takes to turn them around. People just don't get very good customer service from stores these days, so you have a real opportunity to shine.

I would probably offer a small gift certificate to this customer for their willingness to accommidate you by waiting until after Christmas for the redo. If this person is impressed by the way you handle this--they will go away feeling very good and will likely share that with others. If not, you may lose them for good.

I'm only writing this as a little pep talk--you already know this, and will call the customers in the future about these things. (If you call them, 90% of the time they will say "What do you think looks the best? Ok, then do it that way." They just like to be involved with the process, after all it IS their stuff! Not to mention that the personal phone call to them to discuss THEIR important project scores brownie points in most books.)

Whining is allowed. It's a pain to redo--but if redo you must, then redo "with style!".
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