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Need opinions regarding a customer

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by fruitgirl1107, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. fruitgirl1107

    fruitgirl1107 Grumbler

    Customer came in to have a print re-framed. She picked out a moulding and fell in love with it. Upon hearing the price, said no way. She decided to stain the frame the print was already in and just update the matting. The frame style was very thin and screamed it was from the 80's. She brought the frame back in and it looked awful. There were drip marks down the side, color wasn't consistent and it just looked bad. She said, 'not my best work... but it will do.' Re-mat the print, re-assemble and she picked it up. Comes back in after a day or two. The glass is broke, corner is cracked and it looks like it went through a bad storm. She is claiming we didn't use a screw to hold the D-strap and if in fact we did (we did)... it wasn't affixed properly. Upon looking at the back... there was a screw because you can see where it went into the wood. It looks like it was ripped out of the wood. She demanded that we re-frame it because it was our fault. We agree to not charge for the matting and are giving a discount on the the new moulding and acrylic (because she is afraid if this were to happen again... the glass shattering again could kill someone - her words). She came back in to pick out a frame and proceeds to tell me this elaborate story about this frame falling off the wall, glass shattering and the force of it falling caused glass shards to stick into the wall and their new hardwood floors. I asked how high the frame was hanging (because in my head... I can't imagine glass shards to cut into the walls and the hardwood floor unless it fell from a decent height.) She said it was hanging just above her eye level (she is about 5'8"). In my head I am thinking back to this whole process, finding a moulding she loved but not liking the price and not being 100% happy with her stain job. She picks out a moulding and says that this will look how it should have looked from the beginning and what she really wanted.

    Am I wrong to think she is claiming it fell off the wall to get the frame up she wanted at a significantly reduced price?!?!?!
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  2. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    If you reused the same holes where the original screws were, that would be a likely cause for the screw to pull out of the frame. Always flip the frame to reset screws into "new" wood.
    Lesson learned.
    cjmst3k and artfolio like this.
  3. fruitgirl1107

    fruitgirl1107 Grumbler

    I flipped the frame and didn't re-use the old holes.
    cjmst3k likes this.
  4. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Off hand, I'd say yeah. Was the wood around the screw hole torn out in any way? There's usually sign of trauma when a screw pulls out on its own. The part about glass sticking into the wall and floor is pure fiction. That would require more force than would be generated by falling (especially the wall part).

    People have a very hard time admitting they messed up somehow and their picture fell as a result. (I'm still thinking this case is entirely fraud). We had a woman who came in just last week to have a piece of glass replaced because "the frame just fell off the wall". She wasn't saying it was our fault because we didn't frame the print, but the glass was broken in the classic spiderweb form with the center of the "web" being toward the center of the glass. Obviously. something hit the glass, broke it, and then the frame fell.
    Joe B and shayla like this.
  5. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    When frames fall from a screw coming out they usually fall vertically and one corner will hit the floor as a result. Then if they are not still standing up leaning against the wall, they fall face down toward the floor. Was there any damage to the frame to suggest the frame hit the floor at all.

    Unless i could see how it was possibly my fault i would have said no. That it was not our frame and can't take responsibility for it, regardless if we attached the hanging - unless it was obvious it was the hanging.

    We once had a customer for the same on a $10k painting we framed with a double frame. She rang up saying the wire broke, and it needed us to replace the frame because of it. When she bought it in, it was obvious what had happened. Due to the size and weight we only put 2 3hole drings, straight up to hang off. Had explained as we do with all our customs why we don't use wire and they will need to hang off the 2 drings. Anyway she had put wire on it. Also obvious nothing a picture framer would put on. But over the next couple years the weight had been slowly twisting and pulling on the Dring until it eventually gave way.

    She eventually admitted that she may have though couldn't remember and paid for a new frame.

    We guarantee OUR work, not modifications.
  6. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Any frame job going out if your store is your responsibility IMHO.
    If the molding was too narrow or too soft to safely attach a hanger, then she should have bee told so.
    Nonetheless, if this had happened with one of my customers, I would be mad too!
  7. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Two comments: if the customer's frame failed because of age or bad wood, it is not your responsibility to replace it it is hers.

    Second: when you use double D-rings without wire, glue a written warning on the back, saying "Do Not Use Wire On This Artwork", and explain how it should be hung. In writing. Michaels does not include this warning, and we gladly replace their disasters when customers bring in the failed, broken pieces.

    We glue that written warning on all pieces that go out without wire.
  8. Robbie55

    Robbie55 Grumbler

    Perhaps a bit of both - It probably did fall for some reason but I imagine she's talked it up to get the most out of it (and you). Unless you can show them in no uncertain terms that you weren't at fault AND get them to believe you, it's best to just put your best foot forward and make them happy.

    I'd rather they spoke of me as the framer that got it wrong but set it right - rather than just the one that got it wrong.
    CB Art & Framing likes this.
  9. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Whenever I use a customers frame, I tell them I cannot guarantee the frame. I explain that in order to fit the art, I have to put quite some pressure on the rails and not every frame can handle that.

    You already mentioned the frame was too thin and old, red flag right away.

    I also, when forced to work with crappy frame, add a good extra charge to my order. It is always more time consuming to work with old frame. Making it secure, cleaning, fit without flaking and so on

    Lesson learned
    Aiden, artfolio, FM Framer and 4 others like this.
  10. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would echo what Ylva said. Beyond that, I have become a lot less willing in my old age to agree to do things using customers' sub-standard materials. I simply and earnestly explain that my 40+ years of experience tell me that this won't work, so I cannot use those materials. I try to assume an understanding "gosh, I'm sorry" tone of voice, but remain firm in my decision. Sometimes I blame it on my equipment that "won't handle that".
    :rolleyes: Rick
    shayla, Ylva, Joe B and 1 other person like this.
  11. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm not saying you should burn down her house but you do have her address and easy access to matches, right?

  12. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'd rather not be known as that gullible framer.

    This customer seems to just want the best frame but not willing to pay for it. I don't see any scenario, just going by what is in original post, where the framer was wrong.
  13. BernieS

    BernieS Grumbler in Training

    It's nearly impossible to make a manipulative, impetuous person into a good customer. If you're lucky, she won't come back, but since you've given her what she wanted, that is, your undivided attention and acquiescence, it's likely she will be back for more outrageous fun at your expense. Killer frames. Daggers of glass. Such drama! The good news is you can laugh about it eventually! It was never about your work or the money, it was a different game for her. What a character!
    Gilder, IFGL and shayla like this.
  14. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Often when people want an old frame 're-doing' the cost involved to make it anywhere near sound
    greatly exceeds the cost of completely replacing the whole frame package. Not always the case by
    any means, but more often than not. You can usually tell if the original framer knew his stuff.

    FWIW it sounds to me like the lady is definitely "trying it on". o_O
  15. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    At the most, if I were being generous, I would have tried to find a frame that looked closest to the ugly frame she came in with.

    Ask her if you could visit her home to take a photo of the glass shards in the wall, so you can "approach your insurance" so they can reimburse you for the frame. ...she will say "no".

    Then ask "then can you please email me a photo of the glass shards in the wall?". Again, she will say "no".

    If she's insisting you pay out of your pocket due to an issue, she'd better be willing to show you what she is complaining about.

    Having said all that, the screws that come in the bags with those smaller d-rings I rarely trust. Did you use longer ones? Or was this a smaller piece that it would have been overkill?
    Rick Granick and tedh like this.
  16. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Did you try a big santa clause style belly laugh every time the customer spoke?
    FramerCat and nettie ott like this.
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