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How do you handle pricing mistakes?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by jim_p, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. jim_p

    jim_p SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Recently we took in an order where the piece was 23x35, but was accidentally entered in the system as 23x25. We didn't catch this until it came time to build the frame (I always re-measure art before building frames Just In Case). Of course, changing the size in the system would raise the price quite a bit.

    So, two kwestions: (1) What do you do in this case? Honor your initial quote and eat the cost? Call the customer and tell them there was a mistake and it'll cost more? Offer to split the difference? Other ideas?

    (2) Any ideas as to how to prevent this from happening in the future? The problem is most likely to rear its head on busy days when we're in a hurry to wrap it up with one customer and get on to the next, so double-checking the measurements while the customer is there might not be an option...

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  2. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Honor it! Lesson learned. :)
    Pat Cipolla and prospero like this.
  3. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    No matter how busy it is, you have to take a breath and check your work.
  4. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's business and it happens.
    • If I make a mistake and price to low - I honor it and it keeps me on my toes for the next time. / Might let the customer know a mistake was made and that another one of the same size later would be at regular correct price. Also might want to ad an alert to your POS when pulling up that customer info next time, so there are no misunderstandings.
    • If I make a mistake and the price is too high - I let the customer know and refund the difference. Added benefit is customer knows you are honest and will come back again and refer their friends.
    prospero and Tudor Rose like this.
  5. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    I would honor the price given to the customer, because it was our mistake.

    I think anything less might cause damage to the relationship with the customer, and/or be a potential breach of contract. (from the agreed upon terms of the transaction) I suppose that would also depend on them having a copy of the paperwork/specs, showing the wrong numbers.

    Good question. It should be an interesting topic, and to hear what others think

    prospero likes this.
  6. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    Mistakes happen and are a cost of doing business. I do just like J Paul.
    prospero likes this.
  7. Twin2

    Twin2 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ditto about honoring the price and I also would inform the customer that a pricing mistake was made so they wouldn't expect to get the same size frame done for the same cost in the future. It's a hard lesson to learn, but hopefully it won't happen again.
    Tudor Rose and Rick Granick like this.
  8. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yep. It's really no different than when you accidentally break a lite of glass and have to bite the bullet and use a new one.

    Like jPaul said, if I overprice by mistake I will lower my price and let the customer know I made a mistake, but you can't go back and raise the price after the fact and maintain any kind of good will.

    POS systems help to eliminate pricing mistakes but would not have helped in this case.
  9. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Honor the price, always.

    The question is whether to let the customer know, in case they want to get it again.

    If I made a mistake and honor the price, and was concerned that they may ask for it again and expect the same price, I might tell them when they picked up that we're honoring an accidentally low price, or I might say "You had good timing on that frame, it was right before the price of that one went up!" to give them higher priced expectations for the future without conceding to making a pricing mistake.
  10. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    yep...always painful. I did the same thing a few weeks back, entered the wrong information, ordered not enough of the moulding (it was a huge difference) and just felt extremely stupid.
    It happens.

    I would never charge my mistake to a customer. It was my mistake. End of story.

    I didn't tell the customer about the mistake either (why admit to a mistake...doesn't make you look all too good). I don't think there is any chance he would order the exact same moulding in the exact same size. If he does...I'll make up a story......
  11. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  12. pwalters

    pwalters SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've got to say, I'll be stunned if anyone (who deals with the retail public) on this site will chime in that they would charge the customer.
  13. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    EAT IT

    or is that beeeeaaat it . da da da da da da da dat

    Less is More

    can you imagine if your roofer mismeasured :0
  14. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    My sister and BIL once had a quote for stamping their new driveway with a "cobblestone" impression. Seems the contractor had given them a price for xxx SF, when the job was partially done, they came to the door and told them it would be $X,xxx more as they had only been quoted on XXXSF and they had XXXXSF. Sister and BIL caved and paid. I would have told them to take the rest of their wet concrete and go somewhere else.
  15. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I even one time honored a mistaken price, as the customer is standing there. I forgot to charge the frame at all... and said "you know, I forgot to price in the frame, but I'm gonna honor the price I said".

    The way I look at it is I assume a customer is always expecting to hear a lower price. If you quote $300, they had expected it to be $100. If you quote $800, they had expected it to be $400. So, with my assumption that its already higher than they expected, I wouldn't "raise" it again.
  16. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I actually do tell people of my mistake. I'm paranoid they'll want to come in wanting to duplicate the order and then have a surprise the second time around.
  17. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I also do as J Paul. But I also admit to my mistakes. I get enough diplicate orders later on that I don't want the price to surprise them the second time.
  18. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I apologize for the repetitive post, my phone is acting wonky.
  19. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would honor the price but if it were a concern that they might want to repeat the mistake I would update the invoice. Correct the work order and update the line item on the invoice then add a line item discount with the explanation. This way if the old work order were pulled it would show the correct cost for a repeat job but if the invoice was viewed there would be an explanation as to why there was a difference. Depending on the circumstances I might print the newly written invoice with the discount shown and hand the copy to the customer if I felt I needed to tell them about the mistake.
  20. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Always be up front with the customer. They may not know framing, but they usually have a clue to human nature, and fabricating on the fly will get you in trouble. Honor your quote, and show them the real price admitting your error and assuming responsibility for it. This isn't a sitcom.
  21. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would honor the price.

    Having said that, about 30 years ago a customer came in to pick up his frame and noticed I had added wrong on my order. "Haw, haw, haw - I got a bargain - you added wrong!" He was so very pleased with himself. No offer to make up the difference, which still kind of cheeses me off because if a clerk makes an error in the supermarket (gives me too much change, for instance) I always point it out and have had many cashiers thank me over the years.
    prospero likes this.
  22. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There have been very rare exceptions over the years but, Yep, honor the price. I did find it interesting though, we recently bought a new truck & written right in to the contract was a statement that if they made an error & undercharged or mis added the cost would be added on when the error was caught.
  23. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Wow. That sounds like back when I had that CC terminal lease from Northern Lease. One year after I finished the contract I got a bill for $135 for something they had neglected to charge me. I phoned them, all irate, and they led me to the fine print in my lease - and sure enough - it was written out (buried, buried, buried) right there.
  24. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I had the same problem with Northern Leasing. Stay away from them like the plague!

  25. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Northern Leasing is truly the scum of the earth x 2!!!
  26. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    They can walk under the belly of a snake with a top hat on!

    prospero likes this.
  27. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I would honor the price, but I would honestly tell the customer the price was in error, and on the invoice I would show the correct price, and then show a discount to reflect the discounted price. I learned long ago, if you give someone something (in business), make sure they understand it has value.

    POS systems are great, and they magnify mistakes greatly. I strongly believe good framers should know their pricing well enough to know if the computer price is way off base.

    For example, you might not know the exact frame price, but at least know the basic prices for glass sizes (I price based on the price for the size I'm cutting from), and on every order, glance at the price for the glass to see if there is an obvious error.
  28. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    We don't have a computerized pricing system here, and
    if I ever notice after giving an estimate that I've made an
    error, I've called the customer and told them so. I've said
    that if that's too much, I'm happy to redesign with them
    or they can do the job but it will cost 'x' amount.

    Ducking tomatoes.....
  29. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Is that an order or an estimate. I believe most here are discussing an order with some sort of payment.
  30. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Good point. Although it's wise to take pre-payment on orders,
    this shop doesn't ask unless they're huge. So most people placing
    an order won't be paying until it's finished.
  31. Framar

    Framar SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Here I am, dredging up an old thread again - but guess what, fellow Grumblers? I signed on to be a part of the class action settlement against Northern Leasing, believing I was entitled to $20 or so and figured that was worth the price of a stamp.

    Well, just received a check for over $160!!!

    Knock me over with a feather.

    shayla, Dave, Grey Owl and 3 others like this.
  32. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    We got one for the Meadowbrook class action last week for over $500!
  33. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I also figured to get about the same as Framar, and was also surprised to get as much as I did from NL. Very happy too, and won't deal with them again.
    But I have always seen glowing recommendations for Meadowbrook, and now they are having to pay up as well? Interesting.
  34. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    It was a class action from last year, for people that were getting unsolicited fax ads. We were getting them often, so I said yes and registered. To our surprise, a check for $537.01 came last week, made out to the business. I never thought it would be THAT much. I guess it's a good lesson to be learned for framers, too, that we have to be careful never to spam people with unsolicited emails that they didn't OPT IN for, or there could be such an action taken against us.

    As far as insurance, I hear that they are top notch. Everyone raves about them. Marketing, perhaps not.
    shayla likes this.
  35. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Nothing worse than backsliding on a quote. Leaves a very nasty taste. As they sat in the Antipodies,
    "Cop it sweet". But make sure you tell the customer the situation to score a bit of cred. Also, they may
    come back with a truckload and expect the same deal. :confused:
    Joe B and artfolio like this.
  36. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Eat it and don't look back. Personally, I would also not tell the customer.
    Bob Carter likes this.
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