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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000393.txt from 2002/02

From: Richard Bush <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Servicing of instruments
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 18:45:29 -0500


I know you have been a part of the music store business for a
long time and I agree with what you say. Allow me to add a
little more.
When I run into a situation where I find that more needs to be
done, I do my best to get in touch with the customer,
explaining what I've run into and what the additional charges
will be beyond the original quote. Sometimes they'll go for it
and sometimes not.

Also, as a repairman, it is very difficult to validate the
work done if it is not brought to playing condition.

There's a lot of PR involved, you have to be a good
salesperson, convincing the customer that you know what you're
talking about and selling them on the idea that any additional
expense are well worth it. You must also be a good sales
person to sell the customer on the idea that you are honest
and not just trying to take them to the cleaners. There have
been times when I've called people after having made an
estimate and was accused of something similar to bait and switch.

A very good way to handle it is to have a set charge to look
it over in great detail, taking off the keys and having the
time to make an accurate and exact list of all problems found.
This "up front" fee is applicable toward the repair since it
would need to be done anyway, but should the customer say NO,
then you are at least covered for the time that was spent and
they agreed to that when leaving it.

Bill Hausmann wrote:

> At 11:13 AM 2/19/2002 +0000, Tony Wakefield wrote:
>> Hi Martin,
>> Can`t better Ian Black`s advice. Just to say that Dawkes have a minimum
>> charge (for Clarinets) of £12, which I think is far too steep. Someone
>> might
>> only want one pad fitted, or one spring, or a tenon re-corked. I believe
>> they say that they do have to give the instrument a checking over
>> afterwards. This may possibly be due to the possibility of an
>> inexperienced
>> customer asking for the <wrong> repair to be carried out, thus the
>> shop will
>> be trying to avoid the tricky situation whereby the customer accuses the
>> technician of not carrying out what work was asked for in the first place?
> All too often, a customer will ask that a specific item be done (eg.,
> replace one pad), but the shop will discover other problems that prevent
> the instrument from playing properly. Do you do ONLY what was asked,
> risking a dissatisfied customer and bad word of mouth ("I took my
> clarinet to So-and-so's and when I got it back it still didn't work.")
> or do you DO the additional work to make it play properly, and risk a
> dissatisfied customer ("I took my clarinet to So-and-so's and they did a
> bunch of extra work I didn't ask for and overcharged me.")? Our tech
> prefers not to let an instrument leave the shop in a non-working condition.
> Bill Hausmann
> 451 Old Orchard Drive
> Essexville, MI 48732 ICQ UIN 4862265
> If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is TOO LOUD!
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------


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