FastFrame Los Altos
371 State St, Los Altos, CA 94022
Price Range : Above Average
Bike Parking: Yes
Specialties: Certificates, Degrees, Needlework, Puzzles, Licenses, Maps, Tapestries, Collectibles & Memorabilia, Mementos, Awards, Keepsakes, Sports Memorabilia, Mirrors, Coins, Paper, Photos & Portraits, Money, Artwork, Needlepoint, Pictures, Stitchery, Diplomas, Photographs, Documents, Sports Collectibles, Flags, Canvas, Prints & Posters
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Fast Frame does an excellent job --- most of the time. Make sure you understand what their quote includes and the plan for your artwork. Not inexpensive!!
08/14/2011Provided by Citysearch -
THE GOOD: High quality materials and workmanship. Pleasant village setting.
THE BAD: Overbearing, tone-deaf design assistance & very high prices when compared to a nearby comparably skilled frame shop (I say this from unscientific but thoughtful research).
I have now worked with Fastframe Los Altos on three different projects and will not be returning. Before writing this review, I also compared service style, workmanship and pricing with another privately owned neighborhood frame store and discovered that, indeed, Fastframe Los Altos deserves a low rating because far better personal service at a more reasonable price is available nearby.
Custom framing is always an expensive investment, so skilled, responsible framing service is worth it to reduce risk to your precious items and artwork. I have no doubt that Fastframe provides expert framing workmanship. My problem is with design assistance and price. The only workmanship issue that has come up for me on a completed project with Fastframe Los Altos is in reference to an antique label I entrusted to them with information on the artwork I was to have framed. They emphatically promised to reattach the irreplaceable label on the completed framed artwork, but they lost the label. They didn't even remember that they were supposed to attach the label. I had to ask them about it, and there was no recourse because the label was never found. That was a huge disappointment but I wrote it off as isolated human error. I was finally inspired to write this detailed review after my third and most recent design experience.
The salesperson I have worked with (one of the owners) is overbearing (aka bossy) with her vision for your custom frame when patience and helpfulness would be more effective. She prefers to make the choice for you even if you want to look around on your own as well. When I tried to walk the store to choose frame styles that looked good to me, she watched my every move and critiqued instead of allowing me freedom to think. The owner also brought me frame styles diametrically opposed to the style of my art and home decor. When I said, ""oh, this isn't what we had in mind at all,"" the owner answered that despite what I had told her about style, color and decor, she thought this other style better complimented the artwork (think Baroque gold excess versus modern simplicity). When her suggestions were rejected, she seemed put off. She groused a bit and mumbled that she still thought her choice was better suited. I eventually had to ignore her reactions to facilitate the process since I was about to pay up to a thousand dollars for a frame that would be on my wall for the rest of my life.
On the last two framing projects I've done with this business, I managed to get what I needed by choosing a style I spotted on my own while the owner's back was turned on the phone or with another customer. I literally rushed around and looked so by the time the owner turned her attention back to me, I had time to evaluate my choice. The owner is by no means intentionally unhelpful. Quite the opposite. However, because she hears only what she wants to hear, she worked against me rather than with me a great deal of the time. On the owner's behalf, I believe this is a matter of personal habit and disposition. But the owner also seems to have lost sight of how her reactions and exasperation might come across to a customer.
Choosing a custom frame should be your fun creative experience with the guiding hand of a thoughtful salesperson. While the owner at Fastframe Los Altos is knowledgeable, she is also profoundly opinionated to the point where she can't nuance her service to fit circumstances.