PFM and eye color?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Oct 6, 2001
Montana ( A Tourist runs through it )
My daughter received a call from someone who said that he was from Picture Framing Magazine on Friday.
He asked if we were going to the WCAF show. She told him that she could not go but her Mom Judy was going to attend the trade show.
He said he wanted to sign me up on the phone. She told him I was unavailable and could I call him back. He said no the ONLY way to sign up was with this phone call. "
He also told her that he needed the "color" of her eyes to confirm with his supervisor that he had talked to to her.
She told him " to guess what color they were as she was not giving out such personal information!"

Has anyone else recieved such a strange call from PFM? :cool: :rolleyes:
No, I sure haven't. That sounds like a crank call to me.
You know, this certainly may be over-reacting, but I wouldn't hesitate throwing this one off your local police department. I'd make them aware of the call, its nature and let them decide if it should be forwarded to other authorities.

They just probed too far! It certainly can't do any harm to do a notification - we all must do our part these days!!
Heck fire, your local police dept. may even decide to give a 'heads up' to Las Vegas. Because of the L.V. security concerns, I wonder if PFM is doing anything special for ID. Gosh, I wouldn't want anyone to steal your identity!!
The eye color question was probably legit(and strange), although I don't know about the dates of what they were trying to sign you up for.

Outside telemarketing companies are probably used, which often ask things such as "City in which you were born", "Month you were born", "mothers maiden name", "favorite color", etc (things I have personally been asked to verify they actually spoke with me). I think the reason they do this is so the person paying them has some way of verifying they got their money's worth. I doubt they actually track this stuff
The questions used to be very personal, but lately they've toned it down a bit due to all the privacy concerns.

On Saturday I received FOUR calls from different soliciters purporting to be PFM representatives and going into a long winded WCAF speil.

Finally I asked one, and they were all working for a marking/phone solicitation company, not directly for PFM.

Somebody must be desperate to sign up attendees for this show.
Someone on HH had the exact thing happen to them. They refused to give the info also. I'd report it to PFM.
Originally posted by Mike-L@GTP:
The eye color question was probably legit(and strange)...
I got the call and registered through it, though I don't know if they can use sh*t green as a legitimate color.
Got my documents in the mail today, so at least to some degree, they are legit.
Between the phone calls from the WCAF and the barrage of emails from the PMA/PPFA somebody is beginning to sound a bit despirate. I also heard through the grapevine that the Decor Expo show in Ft. Lauderdale was not well attended.
What do it mean????
Originally posted by wpfay:
Between the phone calls from the WCAF and the barrage of emails from the PMA/PPFA somebody is beginning to sound a bit despirate. I also heard through the grapevine that the Decor Expo show in Ft. Lauderdale was not well attended.
What do it mean????
It probably means that the shows are too frequent and too numerous for good attendance to each and every show. I know that I can't afford to attend the 6 or 8 major shows that are put on by the PPFA, PFM, and Decor each year. Plus you have regional and local shows that pop up throughout the year. Gosh, you could spend alot of your waking hours just preparing for, going to, and coming back from all these shows! I still have to do some framing once in awhild to pay for all these shows plus little odds and ends like lease, utilities, advertising, ..............

I'll bet that you will see a portion of these shows drop by the wayside in coming years simply because of the "food chain" syndrome, the people don't go, the vendors stop buying booths, less people go because there aren't as many vendors, etc.

Thank goodness!!!I posted about them calling me about two weeks ago, they need to stop the crap. They called my cell phone about 25 times in three hours. I talked to someone after the first ten calls, then the manager hung up on me. The after another 15 hang ups I got someone on the phone. I was not happy, I have never got these calls before. PFM needs to stop this stuff. It is a waste of time. I thought I was the only one, I am not pleased that anyone has to deal with this stupid stuff. Bad, bad, company!!!

The call is legitimate, and yes, it's from a boiler room hired by, I would guess, PFM.

I told him I would not be attending because the last time I went to a trade show I spent over $15,000.00.

He asked me the eye question in order to give me a free issue of PFM for a year. I told him I had purple eyes.

I have been receiving PFM for free since they started, I hope my lying to a boiler room caller does not get my subscription canceled. If it does, oh well, I've already read it a million times.

I think what I found most offensive about the call was that eye color question. Does Picture Framing Magazine think we are that stupid and gullible?

Myself I hardly ever even glance at their magazine, my employee does seem to enjoy it now and then. After that phone call I'm really wondering about it's value altogether.

I guess I don't understand the importance of what color your eyes are. Do they confirm your eye color before they let you in? Were we asked our eye color when we first subscribed to PFM?

Just for the record.....I keep forgetting to renew my subscription to PFM soooooo, I'd be happy to tell anybody the color of my eyes for a subscription......I think I just got my last friendly reminder and my last copy. Just because I am too lazy to pick up a phone or to find a stamp if anybody is listening, my eyes are blue.......
PMF have most likely outsourced this telephone campaign…….outsourcing in this case is an acceptable option for the PFM……. It is most unlikely that they would have the in-house resources to undertake this task themselves.

I think it is a bit unfair to slag the PFM off for (1) undertaking a telephone campaign to promote the trade show that they are involved in……….bottom line is that if you disagree with them promoting their show you are disagreeing with business promotions in general…..just because it’s not your cup of tea doesn’t mean that it is wrong…….(2) the eye colour thing is just a simple quality control check for the PFM to check the quality of the service they are receiving from the outsource company…….. and that the outsource company to run a quality control check on their agents.

As a BTW I have NO love for the PFM……..the reason they want about 3 to 4 times the subscription rate of the US to send the journal to Europe :rolleyes: …….that mark up has no place in reality……it is just sheer bad business an a lazy approach on their part.


[ 01-13-2004, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Dermot ]
I think Dermot has the best take on the situation.

All of this seems like a tempest in a molehill...No, wait a minute. Make that a mountain in a teapot. :rolleyes:

You can dislike telemarketers (I do, too), but promoting a trade show is just smart marketing. It certainly doesn't indicate desperation.

The eye color request is for verification. It's common practice to ask for some unique bit of information -- birthplace, mother's maiden name, favorite color, eye color, etc.

There's nothing sinister about it, and there's no right or wrong answer. It seems unreasonably cautious to refuse to answer, or to take offense, or to fear any harm if your eyes really are not the color you said they are.

All that matters is that you give the same answer if the question ever comes again. There's a bank that thinks my mother's maiden name was "mom".
There have been some concerns discussed on the Grumble in the past few days regarding a telemarketing effort on behalf of the National Conference and PFM.

First, registration is going very well for the West Coast Art & Frame Show and National Conference in Las Vegas. We put a certain measure of pride in the show and feel that it has become successful because we’re working hard to create the best educational event in the industry as well as the leading framing show in the West. However, a significant percentage of framers have not yet discovered the benefits of attending National Conference classes and the WCAF trade show. We elected to use an outside telemarketing firm to contact PFM subscribers in certain regions of the U.S. to ask if they planned to attend (and assist them in signing up for the trade show if they hadn’t already registered). More importantly, we wanted to survey subscribers’ reasons if they did not plan to attend. Our goal was to gather information so we can tailor our show and what it offers to appeal to more framers.

While the telemarketing firm had subscribers on the phone, we also wanted to use that opportunity to see if they would like to renew their subscriptions. Because of magazine industry auditing requirements, any magazine renewal done by telephone must be verified by asking a question only the subscriber can answer. In this case, we used eye color. Other magazines use things like birth month or the first letter of your grade school. Magazines like PFM are required to prove that the subscriber himself or herself has asked to receive the magazine, and such a question is necessary because there is no signature on a subscription card to prove that it is the subscriber asking to receive the publication. This is standard procedure for phone renewals for all magazines regardless of subject matter.

Telemarketing is certainly not the only way framers can subscribe to PFM. We continue to offer subscription cards in the publication and at trade shows and by occasional direct mail solicitations. Once a subscriber answered a call from the telemarketing firm, there should not have been any further calls. The only exception to this would be if a subscriber were getting a magazine at more than one location.

I hope this clears up any misunderstanding that framers on the Grumble may have had about these calls.

Patrick Sarver
PFM Seminars
The question was put to me exactly like this, " If you can answer a simple question, we will give you a one year free subscription to Picture Framing magazine, do you want to try? The question is..... what color are your eyes?"

They did not say, if you will give us your eye color for security reasons, we will renew your subscription.

Telemarketers, although helping the business they represent grow, do nothing for my business. I have to stop what I'm doing, such as helping a customer, running a machine, or whatever, to answer the phone. I then have to listen to their spiel, especially when they start out with, " I am calling on behalf of Picture Framing Magazine." I then have to get back into my original thought pattern of what I was doing before I was interrupted.

I don't appreciate telemarketers calls at work, or at home.

Well, they haven't called me yet. And I have been a subscriber for about 10 years. When I moved, I called them to verify my change of address and request the 2 issues that I missed in the move and, so far, all I have gotten are the 2 copies that I lost in the move from I******* to Florida.

I have no idea where the remainder of my subscription has gone. I won't renew again as I don't want to encourage them if they plan on using the telemarketing team to promote their wares through my frame shop.

Like John, I don't have any time for perfect strangers interupting me in my place of business particularly when I am trying to work with a customer. It is rude and uncalled for to push the speil on anybody when they are trying to run a business. That is as bad as unsolicited calls during supper time. I can get very curt with my replies to those individuals when I am trying to eat my microwave burrito and beans in the evening!