Need some help--ABOVE-1st Love print

UPS got you down? eBay making you cry? Need to rant? Do it here.
Sorry if you read this before....I am just posting to get the word out....NOTHING AGAINST THE ARTIST

I recently bought a print from ABOVE for V-day for the GF....print shipped in a great tube....wrapped well...thought there would be no issues....open the package up and see some edgewear more than normal right under the middle of the print....nothing that will not frame out....annoyed but not a deal breaker...then looking at the print closer I see some scratching in the background....shot the artist a little email and this is what I get back....not too happy about the way they came back at me.....looking for what others think about this as well as letting everyone know what they MIGHT encounter....hope to hear some suggestions....GF LOVES the print and doesnt want to send it back...would rather have a damaged one than nothing she says....anyway just seeing what others think....THANKS IN ADVANCE


In a message dated 1/30/2010 11:43:32 A.M. Central Standard Time,@gmail.com writes:
Dear Mr Stella,
I noticed your recent purchase of the FIRST LOVE print. However because I am away on business in Europe I am unable to send your print to you in Illinois until I return on the 8th of February. For some reason if this is a problem of timing email me back and I will gladly refund your payment. We appreciate your support and hope your understand.
-Karen.

On Sun, Jan 31, 2010 at 5:12 AM, > wrote:
Karen,
No problem on the delayed shipment. I just have 1 question....how long does it usually take to get from you to me?? Reason why I ask is that this print was going to be for Valentines Day. I still want the print would just like to have something else planned in case I do not receive the print until after. Thanks in advance.
Mike Stella

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 8:32 AM, Karen Golden (ABOVE art info) <@gmail.com> wrote:
I will return from Europe on the 8th and send it out on the 9th. Your in Illinois and our office is currently based in Portland Oregon. It takes 2 days so expect it on the 11th or 12 at latest. You can at least give it to your valentine, but maybe not framed. Thank you for your understanding and support
-Karen.

Sent: 2/10/2010 5:10:27 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Re: Out of the office until Feb 8th
Dear Mike,
Today I sent out your print. It should arrive to you in Illinois in 2-3 days so Friday or Saturday at latest. We appreciate your support and patience.
-Karen.

On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 6:43 AM, Stella, Michael < > wrote:
Karen,
I have received the print (1st Love) this past weekend (Saturday). After I opened the tube with no damage, I saw how well you had packaged the print and thought that everything was fine. After carefully unwrapping the print I noticed some edge wear on the bottom of the print under the ABOVE embossing near the girls feet along with some scratch marks across the background between the girl and the boy in the blue. I still do want this print but would like to know what we can do to ensure a mint copy. This was to be a gift for Valentine’s Day but since I received it later that normal I wasn’t able to have my framer frame the print especially with this slight damage and had to go another route. Please let me know as soon as possible. If it is easier to call me to discuss please feel free 630-xxx-xxxx. Thanks in advance!!

Mike Stella

From: K G (ABOVE art info) [mailto:@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:16 AM
To:, Michael
Subject: Re: Out of the office until Feb 8th
Dear Mike,
I am glad to know the print made it safe to your home in Illinois. I believe I was very informative of the delay in shipment as I was in Europe during your purchase. I kindly told you I would return on the 9th and send it the following day as I did. It seems as if this came as a surprise to you for some reason?
We talked about even refunding your order in the situation where time was an issue. You replied saying it was fine just as long as you got the print before Valentines day. I'm also confused by your concerns of the quality of the print? Above personally looks over each and every print prior to edition-ing, and signing, to ensure that each and every print is up to his standards. Due to the fact that each and every layer was hand pulled and done personally by Above as well as the nature of screen printing it's impossible to have a flawless print. Having said that we have already set up a disclaimer for certain people that might feel that a print they purchased is "lower in value" or flawed due to 1/25 of an inch mis registration or pin hole dot that is only visible looking at the print 6 inches away. Here is a link to our disclaimer if you have not seen it. http://goabove.com/main/?page_id=533

Since opening our shop in 2008 we have had a 100% flawless record and have never once had any one complain about a damaged/missing or print that has been sent out. We don't run our business like this and for sure Above being the meticulous kinda guy he is would never sell or push a print on the market that he personally was not proud about.

I'm curious what you would like to do Mike? In the mean time could you promptly send close up photos of these "flaws" so I can forward them to Above.
Are you not still planning on giving the print as a present? Is the receiver of your print as concerned as you are about these "flaws"?

We really strive to run and make a great business and clientele so we hope you can understand our position and we can be happy with this transaction.
Keep in touch,
-Karen.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 8:59 AM, Stella, Michael < > wrote:
Karen,
Let’s start over….I am NOT looking for a refund. I understand the work that goes into a print and the process involved (especially being hand pulled), I am not saying that ABOVE is slacking or anything of the sort. I have been a collector for quite a while and have purchased many prints from the artists directly or from the secondary market and have never had any problems. The only thing I am looking for is a mint print. Not slamming the way you run your shop at all and not blaming you for the issues and I have no issue with past shipping info (as in the 100 percent satisfied). I would just like to get the issue resolved. The shipping issue isn’t my beef at all…I knew I would be cutting it close…not a problem, but as I said this print was a gift. It’s not that the person no longer wants the print, but rather would you give someone a sweater or shirt with a stain on it? Like I said not looking for a refund just a mint print. As for the pics, I have tried to take a few to detail the damage but my camera isn’t the best and the damage won’t show with the pics I took. Again it’s not like there are black smudges all over the print, but rather scratch like lines in the blue….if you are looking at the print from within 10 feet you could see them….2 others that didn’t know of the damage saw the scratches without being told of them. If you would like to call me to discuss again please feel free….Thanks again for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Thanks again,
Mike Stella

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 7:02 PM, K G (ABOVE art info) <@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Michael,
Please send the print back and we will kindly refund your money for the print. It seems like this situation is too troublesome for you so as long as you gently wrap the print up and as long as we receive the print in the condition we sent it we will gladly refund you the money. It seems that your looking for a print that Above didn't make, meaning something that is "100% immaculate." Above and I both stand behind his prints and like I mentioned before we don't sell artworks that are "damaged." Above is a human and the nature of screen printing is a messy production as we mentioned in our disclaimer. Minuscule marks are normal and most people we talk with seem to think it is a happy error or makes their print unique. This is the nature of printmaking.
We have never once had to refund anyone money or return a print as I mentioned so I suppose you will be our first. It's a waste of our time to debate what is acceptable with you because it seems that we are just not meeting up on the same level. So please repackage the print in the same/better than we did to ensure safe delivery. Once we get the print and review the condition we will kindly refund your money.
I'm sorry for this situation Mike. We can only offer what we have and that doesn't seem to be good enough for you or your friend who will have this hanging on their wall.
Please ship only with USPS and PUT TRACKING ON IT so both of us can ensure and see it has arrived. We don't run a shady business so I want you to see we accepted the tube. I'm sorry again for this situation. We were trying to keep this 100% flawless record as long as we could and it seems like it's now broken.
Keep in touch and send us the tracking number.
sincerely,
-Karen.

From: K G(ABOVE art info) [mailto:@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:30 PM
To: Stella, Michael

Subject: Re: Out of the office until Feb 8th
Dear Michael,
Were you able to safely wrap and ship the print back to us? I didn't get a tracking number for the tube yet? Keep in touch about the status of this and we are sorry that you are un-satisfied with Above's artwork.
Sincerely,
-Karen.

On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 6:33 AM, Stella, Michael <@> wrote:
Karen,
I will be in the Pac NW for work in the coming weeks and was wondering if we could make the trade in person…let me know.
Mike


Dear Mike,
I am sorry but this will not be possible. My schedule is busy with my other job as well so if you would like to return the print we will welcome it as long as it's postmarked before FRIDAY FEB, 26th. We can't be dragging out this situation as we are being generous as it is. We have in our disclaimer that clearly states our policies yet we are making an exception with you trying to be nice. As I mentioned prior we are not exchanging your print with another. You are simply returning the print you have for your money back.
Keep in touch and please respect our time frame and postmark the tube no later than Friday the 26th and if we receive the print in the same condition we sent it in we will gladly return your money.
Sorry this situation was not up to your standards. We hope you understand and re-consider your concerns.
-Karen.
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Pics?
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Gigantico
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I have a garbage-like older camera and when I took the pics the damage isnt very clear even on macro mode....the scratches look like pencil/pen marks in the blue background between the girl and boy....tried with the GFs a bit less garbage-like camera and got the same results
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Post some pics.

It seems like Above's crew made a good bit of extra effort. I don't balme them for not wanting to ship out a print for the thirdtime and risk another one damaged (be it UPS/Fedex or not meeting your expectations).

Even without seeing the pics or what gets said in this thread, you have two choices 1) enjoy what you have in your hands or 2) take the refund and look for something else.
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do you have one of those smooth cloths that are used for cleaning eyeglass lenses? from what you describe, sounds like your print is scuffed. a light run over with a fine cloth (a silky one, NOT microfiber) should get rid of your scuffs.

karen's comments and tone are right in line with every other post i've seen her make ;)
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It sounds like there needs to be a third person working in the Above business. They need a guest services person. Karen does not come across well in her e-mails (or even in her posts here on this site). She states facts well but seems to lack the personal touch. Not trying to flame her, just saying my impression of reading the above (no pun intended) e-mail chain.

Good luck in getting that replacement print. The run doesn't look to be sold out yet. Have a friend buy another one and return the one you have.
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thanks for the comments.....I really dont think his crew made any extra effort...I even asked if I could meet up with them in Portland in the next few weeks and they said no...the GF loves the print and wants to keep it...she will enjoy it and I will to a lesser extent....its something that you just have to see one time and everytime you look at the print that the 1st thing you see....the edgewear was just an added bonus...but once framed and matted you never see it....thanks for the cloth advice...I will try it....like I said before love Above's work....I just wwish he would get someone else to handle the business end of things
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gpt104 wrote:It seems like Above's crew made a good bit of extra effort.


Maybe we are not reading the same email exchange. I don't see any extra effort going into this. Is it the "I will ship the print when I return from Europe" part? Or is it the "Ship it back to use for a refund. That's it" part? Cause both of those seem like the minimum amount of effort they could put in.
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maden wrote:
gpt104 wrote:It seems like Above's crew made a good bit of extra effort.


Maybe we are not reading the same email exchange. I don't see any extra effort going into this. Is it the "I will ship the print when I return from Europe" part? Or is it the "Ship it back to use for a refund. That's it" part? Cause both of those seem like the minimum amount of effort they could put in.

yeah, i think gpt104 must have read a different email exchange than the both of us because there's nothing from Above that shows any sign of effort let alone a good bit of extra effort.
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maden wrote:
gpt104 wrote:It seems like Above's crew made a good bit of extra effort.


Maybe we are not reading the same email exchange. I don't see any extra effort going into this. Is it the "I will ship the print when I return from Europe" part? Or is it the "Ship it back to use for a refund. That's it" part? Cause both of those seem like the minimum amount of effort they could put in.


Minimum effort would have been to only offer a refund the first time and not send another print at their expense.

I'm not suggesting they should be applauded for going above and beyond what some other galleries do, but they did try to resolve it and not say screw you. "A bit of extra" may have been the wrong words to use.

Perhaps I tend to view things from the business side. What other options is there fribhey or maden if pics can't show any damage, the artist/gallery claims to inspect each one before it leaves and there is a noted disclaimer?

And if they have extra unsold prints, I don't think they likely would have sent a "damaged" one on the second shipping. What purpose would that serve and how would they benefit?

In the end, it sounds like they are unable to give this buyer something he wants. His expectations (normal or too high) are beyond their capabilities.
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GPT:
Minimum effort would have been to only offer a refund the first time and not send another print at their expense.

This is what happened...only sent 1 print ....it was damaged....asked for another print and she said how bout a refund and no new print
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gpt104 wrote:
maden wrote:
gpt104 wrote:It seems like Above's crew made a good bit of extra effort.


Maybe we are not reading the same email exchange. I don't see any extra effort going into this. Is it the "I will ship the print when I return from Europe" part? Or is it the "Ship it back to use for a refund. That's it" part? Cause both of those seem like the minimum amount of effort they could put in.


Minimum effort would have been to only offer a refund the first time and not send another print at their expense.

I'm not suggesting they should be applauded for going above and beyond what some other galleries do, but they did try to resolve it and not say screw you. "A bit of extra" may have been the wrong words to use.

Perhaps I tend to view things from the business side. What other options is there fribhey or maden if pics can't show any damage, the artist/gallery claims to inspect each one before it leaves and there is a noted disclaimer?

And if they have extra unsold prints, I don't think they likely would have sent a "damaged" one on the second shipping. What purpose would that serve and how would they benefit?

In the end, it sounds like they are unable to give this buyer something he wants. His expectations (normal or too high) are beyond their capabilities.

you need to go back and re-read that email exchange because at no point did Karen ever just say to send it back and they would replace it. that's all she needs to do and this would have been over already but she won't.
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Pains me to say this :wink: , but I can admit I guess I did read that wrong. From the intro, I thought the email exchange was regarding the replacement and not the first print. My bad

Agree now that they should have offered a replacement, especially if they have unsold ones.
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how did the lens cloth work out? this may very well be a case of a large area of dark matte ink that got scuffed by the print edges when rolled up.
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the store I went to only had the microfiber one ...hitting up the eye doctor in my building today to see if he will kick me down a silky one....thanks for the advise again...will let you know as soon as I get it
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So why wouldn't they send you a different print(an exchange) after they received and checked the 1st print? This seems really weird to me if they have the inventory, instead of a refund.

Its comments like this that are very unprofessional "We were trying to keep this 100% flawless record as long as we could and it seems like it's now broken.'' Karen seems to take things personally and it comes across in her correspondents with you. I would of just sent it back and gotten a refund they shouldn't treat you as if your harassing them or her specifically.

When Karen posted in the Above thread she didn't do her self any favor's, she took things very personal and got some heat from some of the other forum members.

good luck on that...
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Bummer on this. I agree that how Karen comes across isn't exactly in a customer service mentality. This very fact has made me hesitant to pull the trigger on purchases (once I got past the price issue). Reading this only confirms that not purchasing was the right choice.
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Can we start a 'Fire Karen' thread, and try to do some damage control for Above!!
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