Go there if you DO care about your artwork (and your budget).
After recommending Providence Picture Frame to a friend (which I often do), she told me about this “scathing review on CitySearch.” Now that I’ve read it, I have to say that it sounds suspiciously slanderous (maybe a competitor or at least someone with an agenda). I will admit that the previous owner (Mr. Gallo, I think?), could be a bit gruff, but the rest of it just sounds fabricated. Here’s what I know about Providence Picture Frame:
1) As both a collector of antique block prints and as a bit of a sports fanatic, I have brought several highly collectable and valuable pieces to them since I moved here about 20 years ago. I’ve also had several degrees/certificates and family photos framed as well. –I think this covers a fairly wide spectrum of framing needs.
Over all of that time, I can think of only one time where I was not completely happy with the job they had done –and that was only because I chose to go with a frame that the salesperson did not recommend. After expressing my displeasure, and expecting to pay for a new frame, they told me that would change it for free! –because, as the salesperson explained, “It’s their policy to make me happy with every purchase.”
So, if the other reviewer was that displeased, I would have expected them to have said something –but this was suspiciously absent from the review. However, if they had… then I’m certain it would have been corrected, free of charge.
2) A friend of mine took a framing class though RISD, held at Providence Picture Frame which was taught by the new owner Geoff (sp?) Gaunt. Having worked in a frame shop in the past, he was impressed by the fact that all of their materials are acid free –even for less expensive framing. Geoff said it costs more to buy and store a 2nd set of lower quality materials, than just to buy a single line of acid free materials –and frame everything right every time.
Again, the review appears suspect, considering that they claimed to have used “cardboard backing” when they apparently don’t even carry that product.
3) Framing is expensive. I’m ashamed to admit it, but at one point I was lured into Michael’s with one of their 60% off coupons. Even with the coupon, they were still more expensive than Providence Picture Frame. But…even if they had been less expensive, the person behind the counter at Michael’s did not make me feel confident (I don’t think he was out of high school yet). So, if you are going to pay for custom framing, you will get the most for your money at Providence Picture Frame.
Finally, they have “Elvis” an adorable gray dog (Wiemeraner, I think) who appears to love everyone that comes in the door!
DON'T GO HERE IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR ARTWORK. One of the worst experiences I've ever had. I took a piece of expensive original artwork to be framed here and sorely regret it. First, the women at the front counter all seemed to have an attitude and dismissed my framing and matt suggestions. Second, I could hear the owner yelling at and demeaning his employees. Third, they charged me an outrageous amount for a simple frame and matt job. Finally, and worst of all, they lie about their services. I specifically requested conservation glass and acid-free backing and was repeatedly assured that it was their policy to use those materials. Well, several months after I got my artwork home, it faded. I had a local framer take the frame apart and found regular cardboard had been used for backing and the glass was just ordinary glass. The back of the artwork also showed some mishandling. Never again. Providence Picture Frame may be the biggest game in town but it may also be the worst..
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