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C

Croatcat

Guest
So how about ol' Ponzio tooting his horn for everyone in this months' issue of Decor. From my experience the quality issue seems to be a problem with his company right now. Yet he brags on his quality conscience aims.

Think he's a little removed from the warehouses and what really goes on there? It's great and all that he came up from the ranks, but what kind of dreamworld is he living?

I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance of the story other than a five page advertisement for Larson-Juhl. Does the company have that much clout? If so, we are the ones that let it happen, because we are the ones pushing his products and allowing LJ to set industry pricing. No company should be allowed that much power!

Just my two cents worth...
 
Sponsor Wanted

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Normally I wouldn't be one to talk about a private problem with a vendor, but in this case I feel compelled to.

I made an order with Larson the other day. Along with the other mldgs I ordered was X2622 Regency Antique. It came in with the beaded lip fully detaching from the frame. Leaving a rabbetless frame, and a toungeless fillet. I called to return this, and get a re-placement stick. The new order looked like:
CM62041200 Whitewashed maple
X2622 Regency Antique (replacement)
319714 Allegra Antique Silver 1"
636700 Nantucket Cedar 2 ½"
861IB Imperial Black 4 3/8
573IB Imperial Black 1 3/8

Central said my local warehouse had all the quantities I asked for. Things pretty much have gone down hill from there.

The 40 feet of CM62041200 ( I only needed 10) did not actually exist at the local DC and was b/o.
The replacement X2622 Regency Antique had the beaded part attached, but had dents and dings, and just looked generally nasty.
The 319714 ( shadowbox type frame, where you see the tall side) had dents along the backside about every 18 inches. Some were "emboss" type dents. Others were through the silver and made black nasties to look at.
The 636700 Nantucket had a 1 x 1/8 scratch by the lip, crossgrain, EVERY 3 inches. It actually broke/cracked the lip at both ends.
861IB Imperial Black 4 3/8, a $9.97 list mldg, that I received 45 feet of. After cutting, and when ready to join, it was clearly evident, on the inner corner of the frame, the lengths were of different widths. The frame would be unacceptable. In an effort to salvage out the frame, and use another length, the "dust" did not match any of the other sticks, and on a third, the brown tone did not match any of the other sticks. My customer wanted one large frame, and some bedside ready-mades to match. It was to go in a BH&G spread. The customer chose a different frame from a different company to complete the job after this problem. I still made my sale, but Larson lost a 448.65 (45 feet x 9.97 ft) order from me, and another photo in a consumer magazine due to the poor QC.
The 573IB Imperial Black 1 3/8 wide, very tall shadow-box frame was to be used as a store sample for framing a violin. We were not intending to cut the frame for a week or two. After the problems with five out of 6 of the other frames we decided to open the paper on the stick. Sure enough this moulding was also not acceptable. Like the 861, I retuned the mldg and did not re-order. After such bad quality control, I will use another profile, from another vendor for the same task.

So this means 6 out of 6 had problems on this order. And one of the six was already a replacement order. So would that be 7 out of 6? I am not a baseball fan, but from what I know about the sport, this is not a good batting average.

However, it does get even worse. Remember I said the CM62041200 Whitewashed maple was in-stock on the computer, but not in reality. I called to re-order the mldg from another location. The computer listed about the same footage in the next closest city, and 140 feet in a warehouse one location further. I ordered it chop from that location.
Later that day I was notified by that warehouse, the 140 feet of theirs was phantom footage also.
I have now called again, and another warehouse has 300 feet or so listed in-stock. I have put in an order to get the mldg from that location. If this is also phantom footage, it will make 9 out 6 mouldings on the original order having "issues."

Why am I sharing this? Obviously Larson, after reading this will be able to figure out what account I am. And I have spoken to my Rep already anyways. I just have a small hope, that the problem will be heard beyond my local distribution center. I left a message with the GM of the Distribution Center but I think the call from my Rep was supposed to be the only contact to smooth out such an order that has been a comedy of errors. I take that back. The order has been very little comedy, and mostly errors. I can't even get a phone number of the local warehouse. I must call Central, and get "speed dialed" to the local warehouse. They will not say they can not give out the number, but rather say "the number is only in speed dial." And when you do get "speed dialed." then it is only voice mail-box choices. Never a person to solve a problem. I do not know how far, beyond the warehouse GM (by voice mail) and my Rep, Larson is aware of the extant of QC issues and CC issues. I would hope this long litany is heard by Larson Central Mgmt, or Craig, then they might get a handle on what is transpiring on a daily level with the average customer. I would at least like to hear from them, and have them let me know they care about what it going on, even if they have no intent on fixing the QC and CC problems. At least have the decency to lie to me. Let alone, actually take action.

Love, Peace and Prosperity,
Anon.

P.S. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. . . .
I had made the return request for the x2622 when it first came in bad. Then two or three days later I made the return order for the replacement stick of x2622, and the other 4 mouldings on the same order. I boxed up the whole group to prevent any additional damage from occurring in my work area. The driver came today with the RTV's but only had a sheet listing the original x2622. Another sheet for the replacement x2622 that was bad. Another sheet with the 319714 Allegra , and the 636700 Nantucket. But not the 861 and 573 Imperial. Do I waste time, and risk damage to the mldg and un box it and send back only those with a paper trail? Or do I send the whole box, and hope that I get credit of the Imperials?

Screw it. I sent the box. Only time will tell if I get credit for the $500.00 or so of un-documented returns.

For that matter, only time will tell if my order for CM62041200 is real or phantom from a third warehouse.
Sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
 
K

Kit aka emrr

Guest
Sorry to hear about your problems with LJ but please don't expect them - or us - or anyone - to take you very seriously if you insist on being anonymous.

If you have the courage of your convictions, have the courage to put your name on them. If not, then you're just sniping from the bell tower.

Kit
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Kit,
I understand where you are coming from. But who I am is not important. I post this as an "anyframer." I am you. Let me put it another way. If I am important or not, is not important. If I am a partner or not, is not important. In fact, if I am important, then this is even more disheartening. If I am a partner, and this is the level quality and customer care a good customer gets, then what about the average customer? I am not sniping. I am sharing. And looking for a reasonable answer.
Look, I call Central, and say I have a problem, and I am given the voice mail of my rep. My Rep is good (now), but I still wish to speak to a person at the company about quality. I am given the voice mail of the GM of a local warehouse. Voice mail messages to the GM only get me a call from my Rep, and not the GM. As I said, great Rep, But I am sorry, a greater than 100% miss rate on an order. $500 in missing credit memos. Phantom length at 3 different warehouses. These are, in my opinion, problems larger than my local Rep. What do you think? Where would you go? WWYD?
 

johnfdtaff

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I'm glad you read the cover story in the August issue of DECOR. And I'm glad you felt strongly enough to post your feelings about it.

But let me say this. DECOR is a magazine serving the art and framing trade. As such, we have the responsibility to report on everything that affects the business--from new products and images, to new services and to the companies that lead the business. You might have your problems with Larson-Juhl. I have no argument there. But my belief is that every company at the top of its industry has its detractors. It's easy to take a swing at the big guys. Lord knows that's how I feel about DECOR's position.

However, if you don't believe Craig Ponzio has influenced this industry tremendously, that he has helped it move in a certain direction, I would have to respectfully disagree with you. Mr. Ponzio has, in 20 years, (as the article said ; ) ) taken a company to the top of the art & framing industry. There are only a handful of people in this industry who occupy similar niches as Mr. Ponzio. Therefore, he is not only a legitimate person for DECOR to interview and feature on its cover, not doing so would be a thing to wonder about, akin to a computer magazine not being interested in speaking with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

That's not to denigrate, deny or lessen in any way the problems you say you're having with Larson. It simply helps to put in perspective why we chose to meet with, interview and feature Mr. Ponzio in DECOR.

John Taff
Editor
DECOR
 

MiterMan

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Gee whiz!

Croat, quit whining. Do you see any other companies promoting framing to the general public the way Larson does? I don't think so. They are the ones helping drive consumers to us. And you say the we framers are partly to blame because we push their stuff? Easy solution: If you don't like the way LJ does things, don't sell their stuff.
I will concede though, the picture of Ponzio sitting at the desk with brush in hand was a bit cheesy.
As for you, Anon, your nightmare sounds a bit hard to swallow. I and a lot of my friends have used LJ for a long time and seen them through ups and downs. I've had troublesome orders, but nothing of the magnitude you describe. If you want help from further up, rather than just whining, call LJ at 800-221-4123 and ask to talk to a bigshot. Posting anonymously like this isn't going to lend you much credence. For all we know, you could be a disgruntled competitor.
Mr. Taff: Since I have YET to receive this month's Decor, I borrowed one from a friend. Why no Frame of the Month? And I'm sorry, but those articles oh Ph and framing watercolors: ZZzzzz....
 
P

Paul&Nikki

Guest
I put in for a subscription to Decor on or around the 20th of July, it said 4-6 weeks for delivery and I STILL HAVEN'T GOT it yet either!!!!! I had wanted the August issue badly because we have a client who is in the magazine and we desperately wanted to see that issue, maybe it will show up in September...

Nikki
 
P

Paul&Nikki

Guest
I put in for a subscription to Decor on or around the 20th of July, it said 4-6 weeks for delivery and I STILL HAVEN'T GOT it yet either!!!!! I had wanted the August issue badly because we have a client who is in the magazine and we desperately wanted to see that issue, maybe it will show up in September...

Nikki
 

johnfdtaff

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Wow. I opened a floodgate.

First, no Frame of the Month because we had no frame of the month. We runs it when we gets it. So, if you've got something, send it in. (BTW--it's in September and October). As far as the pH article and the watercolors article, well, to each their own.

Paul & Nikki--send me your address and I'll do two things: first check on your tardy subscription and second send you some copies of the August issue ASAP.

Thanks,

John Taff
Editor
DECOR
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Mr MiterMan,
You do bring up some good points. Yes, Larson is the only Consumer Advertising Campaign from a vendor. And yes, my price per foot will reflect me paying for the campaign. And according to the Décor article, stressing commitment to service and quality, I would also expect my per-foot price to reflect that. To use the 3 legged stool analogy that has been making the rounds on The Grumble. Mr. Ponzio feels the Service and Quality legs are in equal length to the Price leg, and he has a good sturdy stool to seat to his business.

My "story" is sad, but true. It even goes on. The order of 9 mldgs that arrived yesterday afternoon did have one bad moulding that is in need of replacement. This means 3 were the replacements. And of the 6 new orders, 1 was deeply flawed (the 415mah). When I called to say it needed replacing, the voice on the phone asked if it was warped. Come to think of it, I did not look. The dents that were not marked as 1foot allowances, and the bubbles in the clear coat are what stood out. What hit stronger was the 1 foot allowance stickers that were on the sticks make getting the frame from the footage next to impossible. But I put down the phone, looked at the sticks, to at least try and honestly answer his question. Sure enough, they looked like railroad ties after Sherman's March. During this time I had logged on to The Grumble and found your secret service phone number. I asked the fellow on the line where number went to. He had never heard that number before. I did not find that number in the Décor Sources book either. He did give me a 770-279 xxxx number to call, and the name of the person responsible for quality. Again, the order people are very helpful. I just wish I did not have to have help me with problems. I should be making orders, and not re-orders. I did call the 800 number you listed, and it closes at 5 EST. I will be sure to try in the AM. And I will be sure to update you. But where am I actually calling to with this number? Should I ask for just any bigshot or is there a special bigshot to ask for? Perhaps a Mr.Bigshot? Where did you get it? Who is on the other end? Who did you have to sleep with to get it?

Just to allay you fear or concerns. I am not a disgruntled competitor. I am not even a gruntled competitor. I am just a framer like you. Well maybe not like you because it appears your moulding comes in better shape than mine. I wish to be in your position.

To come back to the 3 legged stool, the service and price leg are still long, and the quality leg is shrinking. I doubt it will topple Mr. Ponzio off his stool, but, as a customer it makes me strongly look at other chairs to go sit in myself. Other vendors are pulling out a chairs for me. And it is very tempting to take a nice comfy seat and rest my tired dogs. It will be hard to break a relationship that goes back 20 years.

You mentioned that Larson was the only one trying to drive consumers to us. As a partner, you are able to be on a referral list if a consumer calls Larson looking for a framer. Not ay Larson customer, only partners. However, even as a partner you are not automatically on this list. You are only on the list if you ask. How many partners are there wondering where the flood of referrals is?

I appreciate Larson's efforts, but I realize the Legs should stay roughly the same length. With such a rash opf problems I can not help but be left off balance.
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Just to answer the hanging question.
Computer said I needed ten feet. I ordered fourteen. Got in two, nine foot sticks, equaling eighteen feet, but charged for fifteen after taking off the three, one foot allowances. I added forty percent waste factor. Got enough wood to have a fifty to eighty percent waste factor, and still could not get good wood to cut.
Quality is an issue here. If I was Decor, I would be asking for a follow-up interview.
 

MiterMan

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
The number is the LJ headquarters in Norcross Georgia. I can't tell you who I had to sleep with to get that number. Don't wanna be a homewrecker ya know. Just ask for someone in charge of distribution centers and or quality control, and just be persistent until you have an answer.

And of course you have to be a partner to be on their referral list. Duh! Put yourself in their position for a minute. Wouldn't you want to reward your best customers?

As far as getting 18 feet of moulding...why not just order enough for three legs and order the 4th as a chop and avoid all that hassle?
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Sorry MiterMan, I think I may not have been clear in my last thoughts. It is my understanding (from my Rep) that the referral list is not made up of Partners, but rather only those Partners who ask if they are on the list. We have been in the partner program since it began. We have been on the referral list for only two weeks. Guess what question I asked two weeks ago? So it is not a reward for the best customers, only the ones who have asked where any referrals were. Hence the referral list is shorter than the list of partners.

My other thought about the eighteen feet, was not that I got more mldg than I wanted. The point is that even with 80% more footage than needed, due to poor quality, I could not get the frame. If I had one, nine foot stick, and a chop side, the poor quality would still be a problem.
Normal waste on the final conversion level (the frameshop) is usually at least 25 % regular waste (meaning not damage or flaw waste). If a vendor is converting footage (doing the chop), they can have a 15% loss due to regular waste (meaning not damage). I ordered with a 40% waste factor. I got in with a 50% waste factor, and because of just bad quality, could not get ten clear feet out of eighteen un-converted length.
Larson will deliver the replacement tomorrow. It will come in chop. I will see if the converted footage suitable for framing. I'm not bellyaching about getting MORE footage. I am bellyaching about getting BAD footage.

One other thing. Mr Taff, I will offer to do that follow up interview with Mr. Ponzio if you wish. I promise to ask some good questions.
 
C

Croatcat

Guest
MitreMan,

You seemed to have missed my point, and it seems I somehow stepped on your toes. Who knows?

Anyway, I like most of the LJ line and like selling it. As many complaints as there have been lately, my own not withstanding,(but that's another "whine") there seems to be a deeper problem.

I expect more from a company who pushes their quality. My local distributer doesn't have huge ads, but I seem to have less problems, and they get the majority of my business.

I worked in distributer warehouse for 3 years so I have an understanding of what goes on there. Most of the problems can be fixed by the employees being a little more conscientious.

Could be a lack of training, but I am not on site, so I really don't know.

Jim
 

framegroup

Grumbler
Want some Larson-Juhl horror stories? I’ve got plenty of them. I also have horror stories about nearly every major moulding vendor.

Why do these stories exist? I think a big part of it has to do with the complexity of transforming a tree on the other side of the world into a piece of perfect moulding delivered to your store.

Every major moulding vendor that I know of faces enormous challenges in accomplishing that mission. Most do it rather well when you consider the number of miles, people and obstacles between your order and their delivery.

From my personal experience, there is no vendor better prepared to serve the needs of a business in our industry than Larson-Juhl. That is why they are far and away my largest vendor.

My ability to build my business has been partly based on the fact that Larson-Juhl has a warehouse ready to deliver product in response to my phone call or internet order. If it weren’t for their ability to deliver, I would probably have one store not 10.

Sure they have made mistakes. In fact, more than a few times, they have had my blood ready to boil. But then again, I order more than 500 line items of product each week so even if their failure rate is one-half of one percent, they will still mess up several times each week.

All things considered, I find Larson-Juhl to be supremely dedicated to their mission. Since Croatcat lists his/her address as Kansas City, I can say that I receive my deliveries from the same distribution center that services him/her. Croatcat mentioned that since he/she is not on site, they couldn’t really comment. Fair enough.

I have been ‘on-site’ many times. I have had the opportunity to meet many of the people at the St. Louis distribution center. From their General Manager all the way down to their newest warehouse help, I can assure you that they are a diligent and professional group of people dedicated to doing a good job. They are worthy of more than ridicule.

As far as Craig Ponzio…

I found Décor’s article to be long overdue. I have often wished for Craig to speak out more. He is undeniably a leader of our industry and has had an enormous impact on nearly every aspect of our industry. Craig clearly has ‘big picture’ vision and lots of talent (both as a business person and an artist).

That vision has motivated him to undertake the most ambitious consumer advertising campaign ever seen by anyone in our business. Even more, that vision has caused the birth and growth of a successful worldwide company.

Craig has built an incredible business. Isn’t there a valid story whenever a guy takes a relatively small distribution business and turns it into an industry leader? Craig has made enormous personal sacrifices to pursue his ambition. In the process, he has given thousands of people a great paying job with good benefits, he has assembled a remarkably talented and professional management group, he has paid a ton of taxes to help our country run, he has increased the taste level and assortment of product available to framers, and perhaps most of all, Larson-Juhl’s presence in the market has caused every other moulding manufacturer and distributor to work harder and serve us better. (Even your cherished local distributors have become better as a result of Larson-Juhl’s presence in the market). In short, Craig Ponzio and Larson-Juhl have raised the bar for everyone… to all of our benefit.

I’m sure Craig would be the first to admit that Larson-Juhl has issues to deal with. But I don’t think that should detract from his accomplishments or subject him to personal ridicule. (As a parallel example… I have had 48 General Electric T-5 lightbulbs on backorder for 90 days because GE is having a supply chain problem. Does that make Jack Welch a *******?).

In summary, we may all have our issues from time to time with vendors. But that hardly offers grounds to invalidate the bulk of a persons life work and to deny their influence on our industry.


------------------
Marc Bluestone
FrameGroup Incorporated
marc@framegroup.net
 
C

Croatcat

Guest
WoW! This is the liveliest I've seen this section get!

Marc, Marc, Marc. Ridicule? Invalidate? You are reading much more into my post than I ever intended!

I take nothing away from Mr. Ponzio. Maybe "dreamworld" was too harsh? How would you put it "hopefully optimistic"? I'm a small shop. Every order matters for me. If I have to settle on another frame of less price because the "perfect" frame, after three months, still can't be had, that matters to me.

As I said before I expect more from an "industry leader".

Guess my two cents was more like $.98...

Jim
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Just when things can only get better, things seem to go in the other direction.

My CM62041200 came in today. It was the out-of-stock item from the original order. It was also the out of stock item from a second location. It was in-stock two-thirds of the way across the country.
First, I was charged for the shipping. O/S is a N/C on the shipping.
Then, I was charged for chop, and not length in my price category, as I was told would be the case. The chop price, was full chop price, and did not reflect any partner discounts.
Here is the kicker. As it was sent COD, I can't just pay the revised amount and accept the package. I would need to write a check and pay over twice what the cost is supposed to be, and then work on getting the balance credited to the account (more time wasted on what could have been new orders with the same company, not repairing problems?).
The double kicker is that our account was just credited over 400.00 dollars (from the (Castialno), and orders, in theory, were supposed to be worked against that amount.
Am I just in the Bermuda Triangle of orders? Do I just have the worst luck? Obviously it must be me, because I read from the Décor article about Larson " raise the standard in the quality of products . . " as well as improving quality and service constantly. From all the positive responses, I must be in a QC bubble.
If I am to read Mr. Bluestones comments correctly, I need to be a bigger account, or a bigger person to get better service.
As for Mr. Carter's comments: I thank you for your edit. I read it before and after. I would have taken exception to the first comments. However, as it reads now, all I can say is I am an easy-going person, and by no means a hard-ass or finicky. And, by and large, am easy to please. But, as I have said before, the flaw, damage, and error rate is reaching a critical mass on my orders. Hopefully I have been able to speak with the right people to get to the root of some problems.
By the way: UPS will not accept a revised amount (nix on the shipping and the correct per-foot charge) on a COD invoice. Either money, or the package. As an aside, I did not get to open the package to see if the chop was without flaw, or at least acceptable. If I open it, I own it. With any hope, the package will return tomorrow with the correct amounts, and be good material inside.
As it turns out, in the time it has taken to effort out this order, it is now (in the computer) available at the local warehouse. Of course this information comes after my cut-off time to order it. Do you think they will make an exception this time? Will it be billed correctly? Will it come in, in acceptable condition?

Only tomorrow will tell.


[This message has been edited by anonymous was a framer (edited August 28, 2001).]
 

Susan May

Gone.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by anonymous was a framer:
What do you think? Where would you go? WWYD?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Anonymous... I would love to help you out, the problem is you don't have an E-Mail address for me to respond to. The other problem is, I don't answer E-Mails from people I don't know. (Too much spam.) If you were upfront with who you were, perhaps we could get you the help you need.

I also am in the DC area, and I no longer have problems with quality from the location in Waldorf. (Waldorf is refered to as the DC or Baltimore location.)

Susan May
 
C

Croatcat

Guest
Just an update on one of my "problems". I'm on the third re-order of two chopped frames. I remain "hopefully optimistic".

Jim the-I wanna complete your order-framer.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I know we get clients, that no matter what we do, they are just never satisfied. I'll bet Larson (and all the others) could share horror stories, also of their clients that simply cannot be pleased.



[This message has been edited by Bob Carter (edited August 26, 2001).]
 

Janet L

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
IMHO, every customer who walks though my door is important. I don't care if they want a picture mounted in a readymade frame, they are just as important as the customer who places an order for several custom framing orders. Everyone's situation in life can change. The small framer like me may one day be a multi store owner, if that is the direction they want to pursue. To me, any vendor should have that same attitude. It doesn't matter if you place a tremendous order or a teeny-tiny order...It's your bucks going to that vendor in return for what the vendor claims is a quality product. Many of the "problems" that are delivered to our shop could have been recognized by anyone with eyesight in a warehouse. I think it boils down to the fact that QC is just a buzz-term that very few companies really know the true meaning of any longer.
 

Lyn

Grumbler
Interesting Thread, indeed!!!
I have to say that we are extremely grateful to LJ for assisting us in building our business - we started with them when we opened our shop and have had three great sales reps - they have done and would do anything to help us. Our first rep spent two full days right before Xmas our second year, helping us do the framing so that we could get it out before Xmas. He is now in the upper ranks of LJ! Our current rep gave me Jay Goltz's book for Christmas two years ago and for that, I'll be eternally grateful, too! We have had a few ups and downs with quality from the Greensboro DC, but over the last five years - their record has been exceptional, especially when compared to some of our other suppliers. LJ is far and away my favorite supplier because they have very few quality problems, when they do have them, they fix them FAST, without sending an additional invoice to worry about and figure out, and they have helped us grow our business. The DC manager came to see us several times when we were still a very small fish (now we are probably a medium-sized fish in our market!!) and helped in several ways. We were contacted via fax about being on their referral list and we of course, accepted. So, I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for the company.

As for Mr. Ponzio - he HAS done a lot for the industry and as such, will probably take many hits (possibly jealousy?), sort of like Bill Gates. Too bad more of the big guns from the suppliers with big bucks didn't do more for all of us as far as comsumer awareness. Yes, we pay for the ads in our moulding prices, but the price is much, much smaller than if you or I paid for it with our advertsising dollars!

I thank Decor for doing the article and hope they will do more ads like these, on the movers and shakers of our industry!

Just my two cents!
Lyn
 

Framar

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hmmm, interesting thread indeed. I have been doing business with LJ since they were JP and this is this first I have heard anything about a "referral list." Of course I don't see my rep for more than 10 minutes, twice a year. I guess I am one of the small fish...
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
Just when things can only get better, things seem to go in the other direction.

My CM62041200 came in today. It was the out-of-stock item from the original order. It was also the out of stock item from a second location. It was in-stock two-thirds of the way across the country.
First, I was charged for the shipping. O/S is a N/C on the shipping.
Then, I was charged for chop, and not length in my price category, as I was told would be the case. The chop price, was full chop price, and did not reflect any partner discounts.
Here is the kicker. As it was sent COD, I can't just pay the revised amount and accept the package. I would need to write a check and pay over twice what the cost is supposed to be, and then work on getting the balance credited to the account (more time wasted on what could have been new orders with the same company, not repairing problems?).
The double kicker is that our account was just credited over 400.00 dollars (from the (Castialno), and orders, in theory, were supposed to be worked against that amount.
Am I just in the Bermuda Triangle of orders? Do I just have the worst luck? Obviously it must be me, because I read from the Décor article about Larson " raise the standard in the quality of products . . " as well as improving quality and service constantly. From all the positive responses, I must be in a QC bubble.
If I am to read Mr. Bluestones comments correctly, I need to be a bigger account, or a bigger person to get better service.
As for Mr. Carter's comments: I thank you for your edit. I read it before and after. I would have taken exception to the first comments. However, as it reads now, all I can say is I am an easy-going person, and by no means a hard-ass or finicky. And, by and large, am easy to please. But, as I have said before, the flaw, damage, and error rate is reaching a critical mass on my orders. Hopefully I have been able to speak with the right people to get to the root of some problems.
By the way: UPS will not accept a revised amount (nix on the shipping and the correct per-foot charge) on a COD invoice. Either money, or the package. As an aside, I did not get to open the package to see if the chop was without flaw, or at least acceptable. If I open it, I own it. With any hope, the package will return tomorrow with the correct amounts, and be good material inside.
As it turns out, in the time it has taken to effort out this order, it is now (in the computer) available at the local warehouse. Of course this information comes after my cut-off time to order it. Do you think they will make an exception this time? Will it be billed correctly? Will it come in, in acceptable condition?

Only tomorrow will tell.

As an aside. I just re-wrote over a previous response. I will see if I saved the old post. If not, is there a way to restore it?
 

Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sheesh what a mess!
AWAF,
The Goddess wants to know why you are even doing business with LJ?
There are too many other EXCELLENT moulding companies out there who will be more than happy to fill in the gaps that LJ leaves. And who would be more flexible about terms (COD is a BIG time and money waste.)
LJ is a nice big old target and if you check out the archives, you'll see what I mean.
Chalk it up to an expensive learning experience and move on. Atlanta would be a great place to do some research on alternate moulding co.'s!
-Edie
 

framegroup

Grumbler
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by anonymous was a framer:
If I am to read Mr. Bluestones comments correctly, I need to be a bigger account, or a bigger person to get better service.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just a clarification. While I may be a bigger account, I am certainly no bigger a person than anyone on this forum. And I don't believe you have to be either to get good service.

The numbers I offered were simply meant to provide a basis to share my experience with Larson-Juhl, which has been very good.

Larson doesn't treat me well just because I give them a lot of business... The truth is that I give them a lot of business because they treated me well when we had just one store.

Forgive me if you have answered this question, but have you talked with the General Manager of your distribution center directly? I feel pretty confident that they would want to address your concerns. If you have trouble getting to that person, you can email me directly and I will pass it along to someone who I know will want to help.

Best wishes,

Marc


------------------
Marc Bluestone
FrameGroup Incorporated
marc@framegroup.net
 

anonymous was a framer

Grumbler in Training
To answer your question. I was "speed dialed to the GM several times. Voice mail, it seems was the final destination. Larson would not give the direct number to the warehouse, they said the number was only in speed dial, and would be more than happy to pass me through.
I did leave word on the GM's voice mail.
I got the return phone call returned from my rep.
After getting to Ron, the quality guy in Atlanta, I did get a call from the GM. I have spoken to him, as well as Donna the Customer Service point in Atlanta. If you have another person to be of assistance you can contact me at ihands@hotmail.com . Maybe you have inroads I do not. As tempting as it is to just toss in the towel, I think these issues are one that are able to be solved, and prevented.
On another note. My replacement chop of 415Mah came in today. It had a series of dents 5 inches long on the end of one rail, and a crack in the wood, that had been finished over, that was two black crevices at the end of another rail. This, by the way, was a replacement of a replacement. Would a fourth try be better? I do not have the CM maple frame yet either, as UPS has not gotten authorization to release it without payment. My driver will try again tomorrow. I hope to get to framing soon, and quit bellyaching.
 

accent

True Grumbler
Frankly, I can not understand why, if you are having all these problems you continue to do business with this company.
I have been using Larson, formerly Juhl for 25 years and have never had that many problems. Certainly there have been some quality issues at times, but they have all been solved as soon as possible, if not immediately. Any company using a custom hand finished product made from wood will never be perfect. I would not have the time to sort out all these problems. Get on with it and find another supplier or maybe another line of work.

Accent
 

Cheryl Crocker CPF GCF

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Accent, not all of us are in areas where other delivery options are available. It's not as simple as just find another supplier. I have one other distributor delivering in the NC Mountains whose prices are higher than Larson's and selection limited. The moulding from this company never matches...I'll order 30 feet and get a bundle in several differnt shades. It is impossible to get problems fixed with these guys and there is no pricing integrity.

Also, with incentives in place for Larson's distribution centers to have as few mistakes and complaints as possible, I am amazed to hear this problem was not immediately corrected.

As to the article...at first I thought Mr. Ponzio was a young Ralph Lauren and thought maybe Ralph had gotten into the framing business!!! I found the article interesting and am able to incorporate some of the info into my sales... where the designs come from, why the moulding is priced so high...

Though I have had my share of problems with Larson, they have always been responsive to my needs and helpful in building my business.
 
C

Croatcat

Guest
Just an update on my "problems". I finally received a usable rail for one chop, the 4th replacement. This was after the GM called me after reading this thread. The other chop, a full frame, came in with one rail not matching the finish of the other three. Now luckily the original chop had not been picked up, so I was able to get four rails to match.

I don't know about you, but there seems to be something wrong when it takes this much effort to get things right. Maybe it's just the DC in St. Louis, but Mr. Bluestone would disagree.

My thoughts are the less ordered the less mistakes. Conversely, in Mr. Bluestones case, the more ordered the more chances for error.

I think I've said all there is to say here.

Jim
 

Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by anonymous was a framer:
If you have another person to be of assistance you can contact me at ihands@hotmail.com . Maybe you have inroads I do not. As tempting as it is to just toss in the towel, I think these issues are one that are able to be solved, and prevented. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Awright, ihands, NOW The Goddess is curious... have you rec'd any e-mails?
I am wondering out loud here... We all know that suppliers lurk here. I would reasonably expect them to initiate a RED-ALERT in their customer service dept. if they read woes of your magnitude on this forum! Yes?? Frankly they should be darn grateful for the opportunity to address problems like yours on this somewhat public forum-- they could potentially look like big ole heroes here!
Even if we don't know who the h*ll you are, they should be able to do a bit of computer work and find out. Not that they need to-- you have made it AWFULLY EASY for them.
FWIW...
E the FG
 

John Richards

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
This has been a great topic but the gems are hidden:
1)All distributors large or small make mistakes.
2)Wood does have a life of it's own and UPS and other shipping services can add their own mysteries.
3)When distributors make mistakes they should fix them to the best of their abilities, even if the customer isn't always right.
4)Please don't order length and then one rail, it plays **** on the inventory system. Order chop, everybody will be happier.
5)Craig would have looked more like Ralph if he was in profile so his pony tail would have shown from under his cowboy hat.
6)Interesting comments on the partner programs and referals, I thought it was automatic according to my customers, they just don't get very many because of the number of responses and the number of partners in their area.
7)Big or small should not make any difference in the service you recieve...ditto framer to distributor.
8)I talked to my Decor rep about the article and she had a good point, they have featured industry titans about every other month this year and they would love to get feedback from their readers who they feel should be featured.

Give 'em your suggestions.

John
TC Moulding (Competitor?)
 
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