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Avoid Frames By Mail (

Avoid Frames By Mail (

While I've been happy with what American Frame has delivered to me, in the past they only did up 40" for complete frames so I tried out "Frames By Mail" at, as they were willing to go larger.

In my judgement, the quality control was terrible. My first order has slightly mismatched frames, but I could deal with that. When I noted that to them and ordered months later a second order of 4 large frames, not a single frame in the second order matched my specifications, and I had to crop one picture to get it displayed, and 3 of the pictures were not able to be displayed framed at the showing I had scheduled. When I asked them to correct it, they botched the correction order too, even sending a piece of plexi that was not even close to rectangular by framing standards -- close to a half inch taller at one end than the other.

I admit that I made a change to the order just after making it, by E-mail, but they accepted the change and agreed they would implement it in a reply. However their errors -- with frame parts being nowhere close to the size of the boards and plexi -- were not because of them misunderstanding the change except perhaps in one case.

Suffice to say I'm not going to order from them again, and have yet to get my money back. I did receive a refund of $45.54 out of my total purchase of $188.27 but in my judgement this did not make up for their errors.

American Frame, which I recommend on my general page on printing now offers larger frames, up to length + width = 70", for a shipping surcharge. (I used to get money from American Frame's Affiliate program, btw, but they shut that down years ago, and it has no bearing on my recommendations, where are based only on my experiences with the companies as a customer.)

Legal update!

Wow. Over 5 years later I get a C&D letter from Framesbymail's lawyers demanding I change this page (and, strangely, do what I can to remove it from Google's cache if I delete it.) They point out that I had said that I did not get my money back when in fact I had received the $45 partial refund. Both statements are true -- I did not get my money back (only a small portion of it) but I did get that refund, though frankly I don't even remember it since it just showed up on the credit card statement later. Anyway, I'm happy to add that detail though it doesn't change my recommendation to avoid Frames By Mail. In fact, quite the reverse. I have to suspect they spent more money paying lawyers to threaten me than they would have just fixing the problem and making the customer happy.

Of course, at this stage the right thing would have been to give me a call to work things out. It's amazing how resistent people are to doing that when it's almost always the right first step. You call in the lawyers when you can't resolve it directly yourself, and the amount of money involved surpasses the cost of the attack dogs, or there are important principles that require losing money to be sustained.

I always recommend companies follow my principle of customer service. It also amazes me that they use "sic lawyers first" on somebody of my background and position. Especially when the change requested was as minor as this one. I mean it doesn't take much research to figure out who I am or that this is going to be the wrong strategy with me. The client should do it and the lawyer, if they are serving their client well, should also do it.