Over the last couple of years, I have purchased/received as gifts four prints by the artist, Dan-ah Kim. I have been wanting to frame them for quite some time. In February, I saw a 50% off coupon in the paper for Aaron Brothers. Aaron Brothers is a chain whose corporate headquarters is in our state. I have never had any custom framing done there before, because 1. I like my locally owned frame shop that I have used forever, and 2. When I priced Aaron Brothers many years ago, they were outrageously expensive for custom framing.
I still like my locally owned shop, but it’s located in my old town, so it’s a hike to get there. It turns out that Aaron Brothers is still crazy expensive. The total for the four pieces, with museum glass and double fabric mats was $500. That’s right, five hundred smackeroos! And that’s with the 50% off coupon. Luckily, my father was with me and he paid half as an early birthday present (thanks Dad!). Also, I had saved money for projects and this was one of them. So what I’m saying is that I had the cash. But still it was a shocking total.
Even though they told me two weeks at the outside, it took almost three. Then when I went to pick them up, the corners of every single mat, that’s eight mats and 32 corners, all had frayed fabric sticking out of them. So I left them there to be re-done. When I went back over a week later, one of the cream colored mats had a stain on it. So I had to leave it there to be re-done again. At this point, the manager on duty does a very smart thing and refunds my money for that picture (without my even having to ask!). They have now had it again for almost two weeks and haven’t fixed it because this mat is out of stock. And the people in the store have no idea when it will be back in stock. The lady I spoke with yesterday asked me if I wanted to change to a different mat. But that means changing the other three as well. I told her that if they don’t have it in a couple of weeks, that we need to talk about them changing all four and not at my expense. She looked dubious to say the least.
I don’t think I’m off base here. If their framer had not done such a crap ass job the first time around, he wouldn’t have had to re-do them and thus use up all the supply of that mat. And what about him turning in the finished product for the second time with a big stain on it? Seriously?
Everyone in the store has been very polite and helpful. I realize that they have no control over this, and the person who refunded my money is certainly on the ball when it comes to customer service. They keep insisting that stuff like this “NEVER” happens. But I am finding it harder and harder to believe. The lady I spoke with yesterday said she would try and find out the expected in stock date, and would let me know. I’m not holding my breath…
Here is what I believe to be the moral of my tale: If you have found a business whose services you are happy with, don’t try another. It’s not worth it.