A Christmas story: a book, a frame, my wife and a courier

shallow focus photography of tree on road

My wife loves books. She loves Agatha Christie. And she loves pictures on the wall. So what could be better than to combine then all?

A company named Spineless Classics sells a number of prints that are made up of the words from classic books. Seeing they had A Murder on the Orient Express, I thought it would make the ideal present.

But things did not go smoothly.

They sell the print on its own or framed. The latter is pretty pricey for what I wanted, so decided to go down the DIY route – buy the print and match it with a cheaper frame that I got myself. I did this on the 29th November. The print was sent by 2nd class post, untracked. Unfortunately, this was during the recent postal strike.

The frame was from Amazon and turned up promptly – I kept it in its box and put it to one side until I had the print. Unfortunately, the print didn’t arrive.

On the 6th December, a week after it was despatched, I emailed Spineless Classics. I heard back same day to say, essentially, “I know it will arrive soon”.

On the 12th I emailed again but, impatient after not getting a reply, I rang them on the 13th. We had a long conversation about it but they agreed to send out a replacement. They said that when Royal Mail items get mislaid they often never turn up – quite a difference to what they said in email to me a week earlier.

They emailed me later to say they were sending it via FedEx and would send me a tracking number later. They didn’t but, next day, it turned up.

Getting the print out of the packaging tube, I noticed 2 problems…

  1. It was the wrong size – it was larger than the advertised size and wouldn’t fit the frame
  2. It had been damaged. The tube had been pierced at some point and FedEx had put some of their tape over it to cover it up. I removed the tape and took a picture..

But, to add to my woes, I also unpacked the frame and found that was damaged too…

I contacted the seller on Amazon about this. When offered between a replacement or a refund I took the latter because, well, who knows if I need the same size now!

I emailed Spineless Classics about the damaged print and heard… nothing. Over the next couple of days I tried ringing too but got no response.

On the 17th, the postman delivered another cardboard tube – the original print, now 18 days since it was sent on a 48 hour delivery! It was not only in perfect condition but the correct size this time. I ordered a new frame from Amazon but it wasn’t due until after Christmas.

My plan – wrap up the tube and give that to my wife for Christmas, with a promise of the full thing a few days later.

However, on December 22nd, the frame arrived. I put both together and, finally, had what I needed…

It’s now Christmas Day and I never heard back from Spineless Classics.


After 2 months of silence they’ve suddenly decided to get in touch – they tried ringing me (I didn’t recognise the number so didn’t pick up), have texted and emailed me, to say they want to speak to me. I’ve not replied as I really don’t want to expend any more time on them.


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