Unusual conversation!

CAframer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Posts
3,834
Location
Orange County, CA
We're closed Sundays but I'm often here anyway. So this morning a gal works thru the door ...

" Do you have some of those metal things to join the corner of my frame?"

"Sure I can give you a set of fasteners to put your metal frame together ... it is metal isn't it?"

"No it's wood. I just need some of those things you hammer in from the back".

Pointing to a sample "Like this? These are called V-Nails. They only work with a special piece of equipment. You can't just hammer them in".

"Oh that's nonsense! You must be wrong! They must make some that people can just use to fix their frames."

"Do you have your frame with you? I'll be glad to see if I can fix it for you"

"No that's no good. I'll have to go somewhere else to get some of those little nail things if you won't sell them to me"

And off she went!

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Should have sold her some, about 50 cents each sounds about right. But I bet she was looking for those ribbed metal devices that are sharpend on one end.
 
Yeah David. Then sell her the "special hammer" for $49.95. ;)
 
Don't people like that just drive ya crazy??!!

It's like they think you are trying to keep a trade secret from them or something and are lying!
 
That's why you should have a baseball bat (a shotgun is not bad either...) prominently displayed within easy reach.

It really cuts down on the # of stupid questions and useless interrogations....
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what do you suggest for stupid phone calls Paul? How about a blow horn???

We get SO many stupid calls - people who don't seem to understand that you just can't give an accurate quote on the phone...........
 
Got one yesterday...one of those "relay" phone messages for the hearing impaired, where an operator interprets while the hearing impaired person types his end of the conversation. Asked if I built picture frames. Wants a quote for 20 4"x6" "custom" wood frames and 12 16x20 black metal ones. Finally got him to fax something more specific, sorta. Then an e-mail. I asked does he want frames only? What type of art? Glass and mats? etc. I don't even know if he's local! I won't do a quote until I know exactly what is needed. Even offered to have a friend who signs come in to interpret, so we can do this in person.
This may take days!! Argh!!
 
See what happens when you open your door on a Sunday!

$5 says she was looking for simple little wire brads! Not corrugated nails, v-nails or thumbnails but simple little wire brads!

I've had go-arounds with customers that just blow your mind, (speech therapists like to call it circumlocution). I personally rally like the ones that want you to "just mat over" the print. Give it a little mat like 3/4" BUT DON'T CUT THE ORIGINAL.

What like I'm supposed to fold it under? No don't bend it, don't cut it, just put it in a frame that is 3" smaller than the print.

So you want me to cut it to fit? No don't cut it. Then I need to use a 3.5" mat. But isn't that too much mat, I only want 3/4" mat all around.

Then after 15 minutes of cut vs. no cut THEY get exasperated and leave, like I don't know what I'm doing....

Better to lose a job than to take some!
 
Originally posted by HannaFate:
"How much is a frame?"

I also once had a fellow bring in a metal frame and ask me to "screw it down a quarter inch smaller".
If you put a wire about midpoint and twist it rally tight you can pull the outer edges closer. Problem is the middle bow out!
 
In a stark contrast to the usual reality, I had 2 sets of customers in on Sunday that were very nice, friendly, and decisive plus a few browsers. All in all, a very good day. Of course, for one we put a 1 1/2" suede mat on a photograph showing 1/8" of it's white border and then using a metal poster frame and for the other we framed a Kinkade, but they were decisive and happy and I'm in this to make people happy and satisfied, not frame everything like I would.
 
I had a young lady who came in for a price quote Saturday. She wondered why framing is so expensive in the US. She was from Italy.

I told her.......... because the frame moulding is imported from your country! :rolleyes:
 
Originally posted by Handy:
what do you suggest for stupid phone calls Paul? How about a blow horn???

We get SO many stupid calls - people who don't seem to understand that you just can't give an accurate quote on the phone...........
A Bullhorn!! Thanks, you just gave me a great idea!!
 
Originally posted by HannaFate:

I also once had a fellow bring in a metal frame and ask me to "screw it down a quarter inch smaller".
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are! :D
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Psst! Don't anyone tell Hanna about the Screw Threaded Micro Adjustable Metal Frames from Don T. Gother. :D
 
We have several regular customers who buy a single stack of V-nails and hammer them in, it works fine if their clamping system is robust enough.
 
I've joined a few frames upside down in the framing vise and hand hammered in the v-nails. The "Maplethorpe" profile in hardwood from Vermont HArdwoods or Picture Woods won't necessarily work with the existing fence of most v-nailers (and can't be joined right-side-up in a conventional vise), so before I purchased the Hoffmann dove-tail router I would join them in this manner.
 
How about those customers that want you to mat their very old and valuable artwork so everything is acid free and then insist that you put the old orginal backing plus the planks of old wood back--actually had one want the original mat and backing back in a pocket on the back and the orginal wire because it was framed by a master in 1885, instead of cica 1950
 
That is when Mylar and Jim Miller's packing tape comes in handy. [if it will all fit].

fit the package with Alphacare as the backer. ATG down a sized-to-frame sheet of mylar or aluminum foil. Seal in with Lineco Aluminum frame barrier tape, and top with the packing tape. Now fit the original wood splats and call it good....
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Paul - isnt' it a great idea??!! Now you said a bull horn - but I was thinking of one of those blown horn things that people take to sporting events, etc and they just make that God awful ear splitting honk. oops - Hubby just told me they are called air horns.

I'd like to just say "STUPID QUESTION!!!" and then BLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAATTT!! Just once. That's all I would need - just one time.....

I actually thought about calling a car dealership the other day and saying "I'd like to buy a car. How much is one??" just to see what they would say........
 
The hearing impaired guy "called" again today. Said "Just pick 5 frames at random and give me a quote."
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I still don't have any more information than that. Still won't give him the quote without it. Like I said earlier, this may take days. What should I do here? Or is this another "Mary" calling? (see "The Joke's On Me, or...?")
 
Okay Val be very careful. When you said "hearing impaired relay call" alarms went off. I did a search on snopes.com which is an urban legend page which basically tells you which stories floating around are true and which are urban legends. This is what I found:

In a number of cases, Nigerians looking to disguise their identities have taken to placing calls through relay telephone systems that had been set up to assist the deaf. (As to how that works, hearing-impaired phone users type text messages on teletypewriters [TTY]. These text messages are relayed to specialised call centers where they are converted into spoken word for the people at the other ends of the phone lines. When these other parties reply, their messages are converted into text and relayed back to the hearing-impaired users.) Such "relaying" disguises what would have been otherwise telltale accents. Also, because there is no cost for this service, Nigerians can make these calls to businesses in the U.S. without racking up international phone charges.

Only after the goods have been shipped does the seller come to the realization that the credit card used to effect the transaction was stolen. By then it is too late — the goods are gone, as is the "buyer."


The site is: http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/cnp.asp

We work too hard to be victims of fraud.
 
AHA! Maybe that's why he won't answer my question of "Do you live locally?" And every time he "calls" his name is a bit different. One of those two-first-names names.
Thanks Maryann! I've had a weird feeling about this one, I'll play along until it comes to the credit card time, then we'll see what happens. I won't do it. Don't need the business that bad. If he isn't willing to come in, I'm not willing to do it.
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On second thought, I'm going to end it now. If he isn't willing to come in, I'm not willing to take it any further. Don't need the business that much, and this is just too weird.
Everyone else, read Maryann's link. Very informative, something we should all be aware of!
I wasn't. Glad I spoke up about my suspicions.
I learned something new today, and it's only 5:30 in the morning!
 
Yes! Except this guy can't seem to remember what his name really is. That was the first fishy part. I thought it was just getting confused in the translation with the phone relay thing. First it was Davidson Williams. Then William Davidson. Then Brit Williams. etc.
Do you ever call yourself Henry Bill???
 
How do they target businesses? Are they sitting in Nigeria with a Carson City yellow pages?

There was a grumbler a while back who sells cameras that was targeted. That's what set off alarms when Val mentioned the voice relay.
 
Originally posted by Maryann:
[QB] How do they target businesses? Are they sitting in Nigeria with a Carson City yellow pages?

-------------------------------------------------

Yes. The internet.
 
After Maryann's warning this morning, I e-mailed Mr. Williamsdavidson and told him I had been advised to halt communications with him., that if he wouldn't tell me, by e-mail, where he was located and answer my previous e-mail questions, I wouldn't give a quote of any kind. Said DO NOT CALL ME AT WORK. No phone relay calls today, no faxes, no e-mails. Silence. Maryann, I think you hit the nail on the head. I spoke with the attorney next door and he worked up a list of authorities that I will contact first thing in the morning,as well as the local newspaper, with copies of the faxes and e-mails. He didn't get me, but maybe I can keep some other unsuspecting soul from being "got". I'm sure glad I mentioned it here and got the warning. I never heard of such a thing! But then, I'm not very internet savvy either. Boy, am I learning fast! Saved again by The Grumble!! Thanks Maryann.
 
I spoke too soon. got another e-mail tonight. Check this out...what do you think? This is just too weird, I have copied and pasted:

Hello Valorie Morgan,

How are you doing today, basically l live off caron city am in Las Vegas, current am off the state now that simply means l will be able to come to your pick , l will be with sometimes in nearest time.
This are answers for your various questions;
first and foremost, i have called my client related to this order , she said she want a frame with quality silver metal frame, fully assembled with glass and backing. 22 in. x 28 in. frame has Plexiglas, all other sizes have glass. Sizes up to 16 in. x 20 in. include bevel cut 4-ply mat. Hang vertically or horizontally.
Yes she will installed herself .
for the metal The Cirrus frame is a shallow (1/2 in. deep) shadowbox frame. The aluminum molding is 1 3/16 in. deep with a 1/4 in. wide face in satin black finish. It comes completely ready to use, with a warm white, 3/16 in. archival foam-core backing, clear glass that has had the sharp edges ground smooth, and removable, acid-free, 1/4 in. thick mounting tabs. Smaller sizes include an easel for table top use. This as been my request l want you to work ON it and give the quotation as soon as possible.

Trully,
Davidson Williams.

The original request for quote was for twenty 4"x6" wood ("look like waterfall") frames and 12 black metal 16x20 frames. I really need your thoughts on this everyone. Thanks.
 
Still stinks to me... If he is a reseller, ask for business license, tax ID etc. and they have to fill out a credit application. If he is the ultimate consumer then he will have to come in to choose what he wants. I mean, how do you describe a COLOR via telephone?
 
Re the Nigerian scams.

They used to use the scattergun approach, e-mail everyone they could with "we'd like to buy your products and pay in full before shipping with credit card. Please e-mail us your catalogue and prices".

Yeah, right.

Now they actually are going to websites, doing a little research, and doing the same trick, but actually specifying items.
Usually they are going after easily sold consumer goods (phones, laptops, electrical etc).

Have a bit of fun one night and google 419 scam, some very amusing scam 'baiting' sites out there, where they actually lead the scammers on a merry chase, and waste a lot of their time, keep them from time to scamming the gullible, and sometimes the scammers are getting scammed themselves !
 
Oh, a little twist to this is that they offer to pay by swift transfer direct to your bank account, usually for a large order, and if such payments go through they are fully safe (unlike taking a stolen cc !).

But after they advise the transfer has been made, you get an official looking government e-mail or fax (Nigerian or other) stating you are committing an unlawful act, trying to extract a large amount without paying some sort of tax / duty / payment. Which of course they ask you to pay before the huge payment is released.

Sort of like the old advance fee fraud that is common from Nigeria.

Hands up who hasn't had one of those !! : )
 
Val,

If the sender of the e-mail is out of the country and is not clever enough to hide his domain, you might try clicking on a domain locater e.g. http://www.professional.org/domain.html

It’s a long shot, but you might be able to find out in what part of the world (including the mythical kingdom of Las Vegas) he is located.
 
Val:

Maybe this guy is not well educated or slept during English classes. Which is no big deal.

But: It strikes me that what was written is machine-translated! You know, like those manuals from japan, Korea, etc.

This would make me suspicious.
 
Originally posted by Val:
...l live off caron city am in Las Vegas, current am off the state now that simply means l will be able to come to your pick , l will be with sometimes in nearest time.
This are answers for your various questions...

The broken English is too much of a give away. I really really wouldn't have a good feeling about this.

Just stop, do not reply to the e-mail. If they call again through the translator, tell them that you don't give an estimate for that many pieces over the phone.

The whole thing will stop.
 
As Bill suggested, I did the domain check, it said "(US, others) Commercial and Industrial Organizations" BTW, his e-mail was in PINK! I replied that if he comes into my shop I will give a quote. Otherwise not, and no phone/e-mail/fax orders. That will be my last communication.
If this person is actually hearing impaired, it doesn't make sense that he would still need a machine to translate writing. I suggest that's not the case, and tend to believe it's what you are all suggesting...bogus.
Thanks for your input. I'm normally a trusting person and not paranoid, but this is just too weird. My curiosity wants to keep pursueing it and find out who's behind it, but frankly, I don't have time and the less I'm involved, the better. If they really want my business, as someone stated, they will come in. I'm dropping it now.
His last line made me mad. This gives me the creeps. :eek:
Are you sure this isn't really you, MARY???
 
Val -
The exact same thing happened to me. I went through the same process as you with this guy. More Campbell was the name he gave. After everything was made clear as to what he wanted he wanted to know if I would find prices for cell phones and after that he would give me a Visa # for payment. He also wanted it shipped to Nigeria. I said I wouldn't ship to Nigeria , so he asked if I would ship it to Seattle. I knew this was a scam and said no.This was during Christams and I haven't had time to report this any further.
 
Scott,this was the same guy?? I wonder how many people they actually have "success" with? Why on earth would someone ask a picture framer to find cell phones for them? Jeeze!
Did you save e-mails from him?It would be interesting to compare notes. Curious. I had no e-mails from him today.
 
We are a camera store/ framer and we had a similar thing happen in the fall. Came thru emails and the hearing impaired phone service. They wanted to buy a large amount of an odd type of film, pay by card and then their associate was going to pick it up here... but when we went to order teh film the guy we order rom said he had other stores who had been scammed for the same type of film and suggested we check into it before ordering all the film. When we asked for more info from the caller, they hung up and we herard nothing further...
 
"Your frames will come to $2500. Please pay in advance, cash only. Have a nice day!"

I also get calls from those information gathering people.
"Is this Unseen Gallery?"
"Yes it is." (I just said that when I picked up the phone)
"Are you still at 3812 Central SE?"
"Ye-e-es..."
"Who is the owner of your company?"
"That information is on the website."
"How many employees do you have?"
"That's also on the website."
"thank you *click*"
 
Originally posted by HannaFate:
"Your frames will come to $2500. Please pay in advance, cash only. Have a nice day!"
Cash is important. I had a friend advertise a couch for sale on the net for about $200. Someone from the other end of the country (or another country, it's beena while so I forget OZ comes to mind) says he wants it and will pay shipping. Gets her address and sends about $1000 worth of money orders saying to pay the shipping out that and then send the change to some third party...

Of course the money orders are fake or stolen which will eventually be discovered by the bank. But by that time, you have sent the change so you are on the hook for the chargeback...

She still has her couch and I assume the money orders... Come to think of it I should get them from her and frame them...
 
He's BAAAACK! And I'm onto him this time!

Got the call this a.m. from the Hearing Impaired Relay System (my hackles immediately went up!) First question: "Do you still carry DVD Home Theater Systems?
"No. Never have. Must have a wrong number. This is a Picture Framing Shop."
"What do you carry?
"Picture frames"
"How much is it?
"Can't say on the phone, what are your interests?"
"Please scan and send pictures of all you carry."
"Can't do that. Please e-mail me with specific information. Thank you"..click.

Riing....
Same thing.
"Listen, we've done this before and I'm not doing it again! E-mail me or don't. I will not spend any more time on the phone with you!"

I asked the phone relay operator if they get these calls much "from other countries" who aren't really hearing impaired. She said "More than we need".

BEWARE GRUMBLERS, they're back at it!! Thought I'd forgotten him since last February. NOT!!
 
Wow. That's just amazing. Thanks for the heads-up.

The worst I've had in my 6 weeks of operation was these two women that came in, wanting wire and hangers for a canvas. I thought they were talking about one canvas, and I'm happy to provide that kind of thing as a courtesy. So I come out of the back with a couple of eyelets and a length of wire, and then they tell me they have at least 15 canvases, and want me to give them or sell them a large quantity of wire and hardware. That's when I realized they were probably doing one of those canvas sales at a flea market or something, and there's no way I'm going to help someone trying to compete with me. So I refused politely and directed them to Home Depot.
 
For anyone new here, PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE THREAD, including the links that are included.

These scams are out of hand, but with our connections ( The Grumble, etc.) we can at least protect each other.

Pass it on!
 
Originally posted by PaulSF:
...The worst I've had in my 6 weeks of operation was these two women that came in, wanting wire and hangers....they have at least 15 canvases, and want me to give them or sell them a large quantity of wire and hardware. That's when I realized they were probably doing one of those canvas sales at a flea market or something, and there's no way I'm going to help someone trying to compete with me. So I refused politely and directed them to Home Depot.
Maybe we're all tempted to refuse to sell to customers like that, but why? Our refusal hurts us more than it does them. They will spend their money and get what they want somewhere else -- maybe for a lower price than they would have paid us.

I say, take some profit from those folks. Charge a fair price and thank them for the order. After all, our genuine stainless steel wire and gold-look-plated Infinity hangers add a great deal of sophistication for only $5 per frame if you do it yourself, or only $15 installed.
:D
 
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