Most of you who know me, know that I am not in the habit of bashing vendors. I am always willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. That being said, I want to share my experience with Frankford Plating over the last 8 1/2 months.
I started this saga in June, when I called Jon to get a quote and he quoted me $325 a bumper. I have been using Paul’s for quite some time but had used Frankford in the past, and they did outstanding work, if a little slow. Paul’s was running about 8 weeks, so I gave Jon a call at Frankford. When he told me that he could turn them around in 4 weeks, I told him that I would ship them that day. I called after a several days to ask if they received the bumpers, and whether they needed my Credit card info and I was told yes they received the bumpers, and that Jon would contact me if he needed it.
Fast forward a couple of more weeks, and I get a letter in the mail giving me a quote of $400 per corner, and telling me that they would need a $500 deposit to get started.
I called him, but was told that he was at NCRS Nationals, and would call me when he got back.
Another week goes by and I call him back. I ask him what the deal was since he quoted me $325 per corner, and now I was getting a quote of $400 per.
He told me that he would take care of it. I reminded him that he had told me that he could turn the bumpers around in 4 weeks, and that 4 weeks had almost passed. He said that they were not waiting on my deposit and that they would turn them around very quickly.
Another 4 weeks goes by, and I called asking what the status of the bumpers was, and was told that they were just about done. And would ship in the next few days.
Another 4 weeks goes by and I am told that they are ready for shipment and will be sent that day.
Another 2 weeks goes by with no bumpers, and I am told that they are just about done, and will be shipped in a day or two! (does this sound familiar?)
Called the following week to tell them that I had not received them, and was told that
they had been shipped the previous Friday, and that I should be receiving them by Thursday.
Called Friday to tell them that I had not received them yet, and was told that he would look into it. Never heard back from him on Friday, but received the bumpers back on Monday. When I tracked the shipment, I found that they had been shipped the previous Friday, not the week before as I was told. From the amount my card was charged, it appears that they charged me $400 per and to add insult to injury, it appears that they charged me for blue label shipping to the tune of $275 after all that!
I opened the bumpers, and saw a defect, but it was a minor shadow, and figured that after all the delay, I would just live with it! The shadow was a welded patch over an old set of bumper hitch bolts. It had been almost 4 months when I was expecting 4 weeks, and I was just beat down!
I bolted all the bumpers on, and by 2 days later, the defect had grown to a patch almost 1.5 inch long and 3/4 inch wide, and had cracked through the chrome layer on 2 sides of the patch.
After him accusing me of causing the problem for somehow installing the bumper wrong, he said he would turn it around very quick.
I finally got my bumper back from Frankford Plating almost 8 weeks to the day from the time I sent it back to be re-done. Of course, this 8 week period was filled with the same old routine of me calling every couple of weeks and being told by Jon that the bumpers were either going to be shipped, or already had been. When I opened the package, you could still see the defect! I did not even bother to bolt the bumper back on, and called him back
He told me that clearly the core that I sent in was defective, and need to be replaced. I asked him to refund the coat of that one corner, and I would take it elsewhere to have it repaired. He told me that he had a core that was already in Copper and he would turn it around almost immediately.
Two weeks go by, and I call, but he is not available and does not call me within the next week. I call him again, and he tells me that the bumper is done, and is ready for shipment.
I call the end of the next week, and am told he is not available, but my bumper is being shipped that day.
Another week and a half goes by with no bumper, and I finally get through to him and he tells me that the bumper had some problem, and that he would ship it that Thursday, via blue label, and I would receive it on Monday. The following Friday I call again and was told he was not available. The following Tuesday, I finally reached him, and he told me he couldn’t figure it out as it had been shipped. When I tracked the shipment, I found that it had just been shipped the day before, and not the previous week as I was told (big surprise huh?)
Well this Monday the bumper finally shows up, almost 6 weeks to the day since he told me he would rush me another right out. The bumper looked pretty good on the outside, but the mount on the tip had had the original mount plate cut open and had a 1/2" nut welded in place of the original 7/16 size. The nut also stuck up above the mounting plate, but that was of little concern, since the bumper would not even come close to fitting on the car! The tip of this bumper was almost 3/8” too far in toward the center of the car.
I called him again this morning, but as usual, he was not available. I am going to just take the bumper to another local bumper shop and hope that they can bend the tip outward without ruining the chrome on the bumper, but it is not going back to them! If I ruin it, I will send it to Paul’s like I should have to begin with.
I hope that anyone even considering sending work to Frankford plating will consider my experience. I think that they are dishonest and dishonorable people, and they will never get another dime of my money. Not only did they charge me $300 more than Jon originally quoted, but they charged me $275 for expedited shipping after exceeding their original turnaround time several time over!
8 and 1/2 months after this ordeal started, I still have one bumper that will not fit the car, and I am out $1875 plus the blue label shipping for both times that I returned the bumper to them! I know that they have been a steady advertiser in the Driveline for years, but that does not make them a good choice to send your chrome work to!
Thanks for listening, and my rant is now over!
Regards, John McGraw
John: Stinks: I posted my response on the Valley.
geez..i heard so many good things about frankford before but i won't take a chance on them...sounds like either business is TOO good (hard to believe these days) or there soon won't be anyone on the phone to answer calls
I wouldn't call this vendor bashing. You tell all the facts and it sounds like you were more than patient with them. This thread may save someone else a lot of grief. I hope you end up with a usable bumper when you're done.
I wonder if there is a problem with the hole patch on the first bumper. Evidently the copper didn't stick to the patch. I'd ask Paul's what rod or wire they recommend for this type of repair. Then grind a concave area over the repair and overlay it with the new weld. I have seen bumpers on cars at shows where you could see the trailer hitch hole repair that was ground off too much but the chome was holding. Also have seen lots of custom cars with the bumper bolts welded in and ground smooth and plated sucessfully. It makes me wonder what is up with that patch.
Tom, it was pretty clear what the problem was, the welds on the patch did not have good penetration. you could see the edge of the weld, and that is where the cracks were. Rather than argue about it with them, I just let thm supply a new core. They have my old core back, and will fix it properly before selling it to someone else.
I got the bent bumper to fit last night. I wrapped the bumper in towels real good, and beat the snot out of it with a 10lb. sledge hammer against the concrete floor until it fit! It took a couple of passes, with checking between beatings to check for fit, but it fits pretty good now, and I did not crack the chrome or scratch the bumper.
Regards, John McGraw
I always say if at first you don't suceed get a bigger hammer.
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