On Site Wizard Help (with some Wizard insights)

Kerry Krueger CPF

Grumbler in Training
Jul 25, 2005
Stayton, Oregon, USA
Hi, folks! I'm new to the Grumbler, but wanted to make myself known.

I'm a CPF operating out of Oregon and have been working with Wizard systems for ten years now. I've been in retail framing for just slightly longer, and I've been a CPF for about half that time. My first day on the job with my current employer, I arrived in time for them to say, "Oh, good. You're here. This is your first job," and they pointed to a large group of boxes containing their new Wizard. I've installed, tuned, repaired, replaced, calibrated, instructed on, and occasionally sworn at Wizards ever since.

Long back story: I was actually offered a job by Rob Bridges of Wizard not long after the episode above. This was back when they were still located in Woodinville. Rob asked if I wanted to come work for the company, but my wife didn't want to move to Washington. At that time, I told them they needed techs that were able to go out to the frame shops that had Wizards to give hands-on help, but Mike Bell (then the company manager for Wizard) admitted that Wizard had committed an error in setting up their program... they didn't charge customers enough to be able to afford to send out techs into the field and absorb the cost. In short, they cut their prices so low to make their systems available to everyone, they shot themselves in the foot in regards to field service. Five years or so later, I read that Wizard was contracting a Florida company called "Frame Tech Force" to do what I had proposed on a limited basis. FTF was looking for qualified people to go out and do tune-ups in as many shops as possible. I contacted them and was signed up as the subcontractor for the Northwest. I went up and received extra training at Wizard as part of the program, then went out into the field and did a tune-up of virtually every Wizard in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I wasn't able to get to much of Montana because of the fires which had closed down much of the western half of the state that year, so I contacted FTF to find out who else needed help. I turned out that they hadn't ever found someone to take California, so I headed south and did as many tune-ups in Northern California as time allowed during the contract period. By the time the contract with FTF expired, I did almost 200 units.

Now, the bad news... FTF was never able to sign up techs to cover almost half the regions they were supposed to cover (five out of eleven had no rep at all), and of those that were contracted for the job, most were basically salespeople trying to sell Wizards and DaVinci mat printers with little thought of continuing doing service. As a result, a lot of systems were never given a tune-up, and a number of people visited by FTF "techs" were not thrilled with the service. Overall, I was the only one who went in with the idea of making this a permanent job and doing the job well enough to have no customer complaints for the entire time of the program. When the contract ended, Wizard said that so far as they were concerned, "Frame Tech force no longer exists". The company was disbanded, and I've never heard anyone say a word about FTF since.

This led to a problem. I had been given the impression that FTF was going to continue on as privoding tech service to anyone who wanted to pay for the service, and now FTF was gone and no one was doing the job.

So I decided I was going independent. I formed Clearly Perfect Framing in 2000 and started contacting the shops who had expressed an interest. I now have clients from Sacramento to Seattle and I'm going to be opening up more spots for new customers. I do on-site calibrations, repairs, instructions, and even do a bit of v-cadd work for good customers.

Now, just to be perfectly up front, Wizard does NOT refer customers to me. The bad taste from FTF had poisoned the well, and I'm out here strictly on my own. Wizard doesn't pay me to do service, but so far as I know, they have never objected either. I think they probably pretend I don't exist because it's easier than trying to come up with policy for how to deal with independents like myself (i.e., they don't get a cut of what I make, and I don't get referrals from them.) Hopefully someday I'll be able to establish normalized relations with them, but until I do, I'm going to keep plugging away.

Anyway, I have lots of experience on the Wizard, and if you need help, I'll try to check in here on a regular basis. Also, you can drop me an e-mail at cpf@wvi.com.

Nice to be aboard.
Welcome to the Grumble! There are lots of Wizard users here (counting myself among them) who love the machine. I have found the tech support folks at the Home Office to be very patient when helping me over and over. It will be nice to have you an additional source as well...