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To Refund or not to Refund, that is the question!

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by RParrish, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    A customer left a message, they claim a print a I reframed for them does not have the Museum Glass they ordered and it has acrylic (unlikely) and they want to me to refund the difference to their credit card, without ever seeing the frame to double check. I don't keep their cc info on hand (illegal) so they would have to come in for a refund. Do I ask them to bring the frame in?
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  2. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How about explaining to them that they really need to bring it in so that you can determine what type acrylic was used, in order to give them the appropriate refund. Whatcha want to bet they don't show.
  3. NY Framer

    NY Framer Grumbler

    Yes. As Pres. Reagan used to say" trust but verify".
  4. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I can't give them a refund unless they come in anyways, so why not bring in the frame to double check is my stance.
  5. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Love it!!!!! That's how you should do it Randy.

    Anyone can say anything.....keep us updated!
  6. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's well put. I agree.
    :cool: Rick
  7. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Absolutely. Customers are not always correctly informed, especially about product.
    Who told them that what they have is not museum glass? Is it someone qualified to recognize it?
    You have to examine the framing to know exactly what they have in order to give an appropriate refund.

    No way would I give any refund without examining it.
  8. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    we very rarely use perspex. But i would say to bring it back and i will put the museum Glass in. If it is museum perpex then say they got a bargain and actually owe you extra.
  9. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    If they care so much about it being a certain kind of glass, why aren't they wanting that
    type put in, rather than just getting a refund? I agree that they should bring it in.
  10. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    1. Check the Work Order to verify what was ordered and paid for.

    2. Offer to replace whatever was used by mistake with whatever they wanted in the first place.

    3. Require them to bring in the frame so you can see the type of glazing actually installed, and that your original fitting/finishing is intact.

    4. On the slim chance that the customer is correct, I would not only refund the difference, but install the Museum Glass at no extra charge for their inconvenience and my penance.
  11. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If they give any type of resistance to bringing it in, tell them you'll be glad to come over to pick it up (and bring your glass specifier). Also, quiz them on why they believe it is Acrylic.
  12. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There's fifty ways to handle this, but I suggest you ask them to come in with the frame, and the credit card they paid with.

    Let them know you'll inspect the picture and if you erred, you will, at their option, refund the difference or replace the glazing with the proper type.

    In either case, I would also give them a $25 (or $50) Gift Certificate to compensate them for their inconvenience. This helps ensure that they will continue to be your customer. Otherwise, this ordeal will leave them with a bad aftertaste regardless the outcome.

    Even if you prove them wrong, they may be embarrassed and decide to never return, so you have to handle it delicately. Get them to remain a customer, that's all that matters. This is especially true for one who buys high end products.
  13. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Unless they are many miles away, you could offer to come to them.
    You could then verify on the spot (bring a museum glass sample) and be done.

    If it's not right, you can take it back and fix it or refund the difference.
    No inconvenience to them, how could they refuse?
  14. Mark D

    Mark D CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I would ask the customer to bring in the frame
    to inspect it. If , in fact, the wrong glazing was
    used I would happily refund the difference in
    price or put in museum glass. For some reason
    their story sounds fishy.
  15. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    I spoke with the customer today and asked them to bring it in and I would refund them if it was acrylic or replace it and take care of them. That's when the excuses started rolling out and conversation when down hill fast. My shop is too hard to park near (they work a block away), if it is museum glass it would be to fragile to carry, it would take too long, excreta ..I made every appeal to accommodate them. All they needed to do was bring the work back. Then they said they would take it too another shop to have it inspected and flat out accused me of cheating my customers by selling them museum glass and giving them acrylic.

    I was pretty upset after that last comment, I have been in business for 18 years and it was not my cheating customers, that is not me not how I was raised. I am an independent business and I want all my customers satisfied. I don't know what this customers problem is but she seems to have an axe to grind. If there was a mistake made in the glazing, which I doubt, it was simple error not a scam. I know it was not acrylic. I don't think I will be seeing them again unless they are coming to apologize.

    Oh and when they first brought me the piece it had water damage and I was handling it and inspecting it and after a few minutes, they said it was cat urine!!!!!!!! Thanks for the info!
  16. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    It sounded a bit fishy to begin with, and this just confirms it. When the customer complains and seeks redress, and you freely offer it, and they suddenly make excuses, well, you know who is trying to cheat whom. It's remotely possible that someone read the work order wrongly and used acrylic instead of museum glass, we all make mistakes, but you've clearly offered to fix the situation. The customer can come in and get the right glazing, or he can come in and get money. His reluctance to bring in the artwork (which would clarify exactly what happened and who is at fault) speaks volumes.

  17. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Randy, apparently cat urine and B.S. go together. You don't need customers like that, so don't let them ruin your holiday spirit.
  18. EllenAtHowards

    EllenAtHowards PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hey, good news! They ain't coming in, and you don't have to take apart a job and refit the week before Christmas! AND you don't have to refund any money!

    "Always look on the briiiight side of life. Da dum da dum da dum"
  19. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What an appropriate typo... :)
  20. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    ~ They are willing to "haul" it to another framer but not to bring it back to you??? STRIKE ONE! :fire:

    ~ They are accusing you of cheating your customers??? STRIKE 2!! :fire: :fire:

    ~ The art has cat urine damage??? STRIKE THREE!!! :fire: :fire: :fire: :vomit:

    If they do come back tell them to not let the door slam them on their arse as they leave...


    This is the kind of customer you should hand out 50% off coupons to Michael's or Hobbly Lobbly.

    You don't deserve this, Randy. I know how conscientious and customer service oriented you are .
  21. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    No big loss . This is the kind of customer you tell to get lost. Bet they never take it to another shop and you'll never hear from them again, which is the best outcome with these type of "customers".
  22. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The problem is that if they really believe you duped them, they will be telling "all" their friends. Maybe they are being unreasonable in their demands and desired resolution (ok, they ARE being unreasonable...) but that doesn't mean they are trying to get something for nothing. Remember that many businesses today are pulling the wool over consumers' eyes, so their first reaction is "he ripped me off". Now they want compensation and don't want to put themselves out over it.
  23. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hopefully they didn't pay by credit card.
  24. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That's the part I like. They've already admitted they could be wrong. I would be interested to know where they got their new found knowledge. Given the obvious weight difference. Any experience framer would know as soon as they picked it up.
  25. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If I were you, I would drop in and ask to have a look at the frame. If the problem really is yours, you could offer to take it back and fix it. Or, if the problem is theirs, you could at least try to help them understand where they went wrong.

    In any case, I would not agree to a refund. In my shop, the presumption is that you want what you order. But if you want compensation because you change your mind, that is a different conversation.
  26. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    That is my concern too. Bad word of mouth, I will have to do a Google Alert on myself and see if anything shows up online.

    Another odd thing, they said during a previous job, they brought in some art work and I asked them if they wanted to framed like the last one of the same kind and they said, "No......we don't like anything that we have framed before". I stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds, thinking "why on earth are you coming back ?"

    I was thinking to reach out to them one final time, in a letter, to offer to resolve the matter, to protest their claim of being cheated. Maybe I should send them a gift card to M's?
  27. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sometimes Randy. No matter what you do, a customer absolutely refuses any offer for you to be the good business person you are. That is on them. I've had them as well. You have done what you could. If they come back, offer to have everything ready for them to inspect before you fit the item in the frame. And they can watch you as you fit it.
  28. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's a tiny piece about 12 x 12, so weight is not an issue, and maybe they have it in a spot where there is a reflection? museum glass will show a strong direct reflection and cut out all the surrounding clutter reflections. To tell the truth, sometimes I have a customer bring in a frame and on occasion is hard to tell if it's glass or plexi with out taking it all apart.
  29. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Honestly........... tell them to POUND SAND......

    If they wont even bring in a little 12x12 frame for you to look at because its TOO FRAGILE.....
    COME ON...... this chick is either insane..... or thinks you are nice.
  30. EMcBride

    EMcBride SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    To a framer that's used to the weight of glass, something that small is difficult to judge. I was assuming this was a larger piece. Are they not telling you what has them convinced you've snoogled them?
  31. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    You can tell the difference between plexi and glass just by tapping on it.
  32. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Sometimes that is hard to do, especially on a smaller piece. You gotta lick it, glass is colder!
  33. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I'll pass, thanks, especially after the cat urine incident.

    I can usually tell the difference by comparing it to a sample of glass...of course, Museum Glass is easy to spot with the funky purple/green reflection of florescent lighting.
  34. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Did you adopt that sig just for this thread? ;)
  35. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    That was in honor of the recent build up to the election. I wasn't painting the entire mess with that broad of a brush....more like a roller.
  36. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    UGH....another customer comes in, who's job is not due til the 20th, it's a mat only.

    " The work is not done? You haven't started it yet? Can I get a credit?"

    No, I have not defaulted on the due date, I would at least like to complete the job by the date promised"

    what the heck?
  37. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That makes two unreasonable customers for you in less than a week. Are things getting a little tense in Michigan?
  38. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    If they bring it in, or if you go to them, have a little wager - give it a sharp smack with a hammer, if it shatters they pay for replacement; if not you replace the damaged plexi with whatever.
  39. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Where's the "LIKE" button???

  40. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

  41. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If they work only a block away, I would walk over there with the glass specifier in one hand, and a check filled out in the other hand, and say "I came prepared, I just wanted to hold this specifier up to your frame to make sure it is acrylic, like you say, and then give you the check!". Or show up to their home and say the same thing.

    If they're not scamming you, they'll show it to you.

    If they are scamming you, then they will come up with a reason why you can't walk 22' to the placement of the picture.
  42. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    They work a block away but, the art is in their home, and I don't want to seem like a crazy stalker. They have issues, I offered to resolve them and they balked.
  43. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    if you have their email or mobile phone number, send your attempt to resolve the issue as well. this way if they try to claim later on that you made no attempt to fix the situation, you will have something in writing. Nowadays, email and SMS messages are proof of correspondence, and it will not come down to he said, they said. etc
  44. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    Just keep an eye peeled for a charge-back if they paid by credit card.

    What amazes me is that you got someone that brings in a piece stained with cat urine to spring for Museum Glass. :p
  45. OzFramer

    OzFramer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Maybe they want to view the Cat Pizz with the utmost clarity and preserve that sukka from fading ;)
  46. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    All jokes aside, you've done the very best you can do to resolve the problem and they have rejected it. That sounds like they are unsure of themselves or are blatantly trying to scam you.Did they really think you'd just hand them a check? :nuts:

    Put it behind you. If they do come in with the art, you can deal with it then.

    And you may want to document this for your records in case it comes up again, or you need to explain it to someone else.
  47. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    i would make sure to get something in writing so that when the charge back happens at least you can show it wasnt for the want of trying etc
  48. RParrish

    RParrish PFG, Picture Framing God

    They can do whatever they want, I will send out a letter attempting to resolve the matter to a point of mutual satisfaction, then I am done hopefully.

    I don't think I will see them again unless they reframe everything with acrylic and come in wanting refunds for the dozen pieces I have framed for them.
  49. Beveled

    Beveled SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Interestingly, I just had a similar problem. A woman had been quoted for her framing 2 weeks ago, and then added on conservation glass. She was told there would be an "extra charge" for that, and she agreed, but didn't ask how much that would be. When she came in to pick it up today, she was angry that the extra charge for the glass was $28, and insisted that we shouldn't make her pay that, because she wasn't told.

    Her words were "if I had known it would be that much more, I would have ordered regular glass."

    Sooooooo I offered to change the glass while she waited. She declined the offer, and paid the whole bill.
  50. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If we allow consumers the option of misunderstanding anything, they often will, and expect us to accept responsibility. The surest way to avoid that problem is to make sure they understand and agree to everything about their orders.
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