Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

Welcome to our weblog about picture framers, picture frames and picture framing. It is published and maintained with the goal to share information, knowledge, tips, ideas and opinions about this industry. All posts are grouped in the sections listed below. For help with orders, please visit our Store Help and FAQS page, or use our Contact page.

When at the framer’s, who should open up and remove prints and poster from mailing tubes?

At first glance this seems a trivial and unimportant question.  You go to your picture framer’s shop, or store, with your freshly-arrived, eBay or Amazon poster rolled up in a tube, you get it opened or unpacked, show it to the framer, and get it framed, what’s the problem?  The problem is, what happens when the framer opens up the tube, removes your print or poster, and then presents you with damaged art?  This necessarily begs the question, was the print or poster already packed in that state, or did the damage occur while it was being unpacked or removed?  This is a situation that occurred to us a few times over the years and once more, just recently. As  a result our Staff no longer affords Customers the courtesy of opening tubes, parcels but instead request that they do so themselves ...   We now explain why we have changed our policy by recounting the following incident that took place at our store some weeks back.  A busy and hurried Customer mum with two young children in tow came in. She handed over a mailing tube saying that there’s a print inside rolled up that she wanted put in a picture frame. The tube was closed, tightly ducted and taped at both ends. The Customers’ children were running around, she was busy restraining them.  She complained that she could not open the tube as she did not have an office knife or a pair of scissors with her.  She asked us to open the parcel tube.  By way of courtesy, we complied, naturally. Our duty, senior female picture framer opened the tube slowly and carefully, as she had done hundreds of time before, for other customers.  As she was spreading out the glossy print on the picture framing counter table, the Customer noticed nicks and marks on her print.  She immediately blamed our framer,  claimed that our picture framer had done this while opening the tubed print. She began to complain how unhappy she was and demanded compensation or that her print be immediately replaced. Our Staff member vainly protested that’s she had done nothing wrong, became upset and started to cry. The Customer got angry, began raising her voice demanding to see the Manager. At this point the Manager stepped in and asked the framer to take a break. Tactfully, and without debating the any real or imagined rights and wrongs of the incident, our Manager apologized and proffered compensation. This we duly did by way of $55 cash payment to the Customer after having checked the  Customer’s Invoice for the print which was still inside the tube. The Customer left, slightly annoyed, but at least mollified, if not appeased.  So why did we pay her compensation if we had done nothing wrong ?   Because it is nearly always quicker and cheaper to settle small claims than to argue or, even heaven forbid, litigate them.  The other factor is online reviews. With the advent of online reviews, we find  that many Customer are behaving badly, becoming instant keyboard warriors at the smallest real, or imagined, slight.  We even have had one Customer posting a bad review when we hadn’t even done any work for him!  It seems to us that this is a becoming an online problem for traders and merchants made worse by the fact that there are no effective online defence mechanisms online for honest store traders to block or delete spurious, adverse reviews.  This is why, even when the Customer isn’t always right, it’s generally better to pay up and shut up. While on the subject of legal or satutory rights and obligations to Customers, these are found in our Terms and Conditions of Sale page.


I don't this is fair, really. The picture framers should open up the box or tube for the customers, as a matter of good service. After all prints are brought to them for the express purpose to be picture framed. Framers just need to be careful when doing so. Can't store owners do anything anymore or do they just scan barcodes and tap Credit Cards?
Lorna P. - 2 Sep 2018 08:18 pm
After I read this post, and as a fellow picture framer, I feel like yelling "Me too!!". I have had rare instances where this has happened to me but luckily enough for me I've had reasonable customers who were prepared to listen. I was able to convince them that their artwork was already packed in that’s state and have never had to pay compensation. I know of one picture framer in Sydney who has been conned by a dishonest customer and now will not help customers one little bit in unpacking their stuff. What is this world coming to when we just try to help customers and get shafted back for our efforts?
Andrea C. - 2 Dec 2017 07:17 pm

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