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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000216.txt from 2004/08

From: "Christy Erickson" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Clarinet repair
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2004 08:07:25 -0400

Rose said,

"And I haven't ever received any
> kind
> of written communication from the tech as to what was done, or any of =
> things that I have heard mentioned on the list. Does anybody else have
> this
> kind of problem? Or is this something I have because I am not =
> with a college/symphony?"

Gee Rose, I didn't know you lived in my town! I teach clarinet and play
with our local symphony, civic band and a woodwind quintet. The man who
owns our music store has seen me quite a few times and treats me as =
though I
have never seen a clarinet before. He has no idea that I also teach =
and I wouldn't bother to tell him, since he wouldn't remember anyway.
Imagine his shock when I gave him some "feedback" about the A clarinet =
supposedly overhauled for our local high school.
I have a friend who is an excellent violinist who has had the same =
of experiences with this man and she simply won't set foot in that store
anymore. The last time she did, her violin bow was restrung incorrectly =
she had to take it to another shop to have it redone.
Although I knew it's definitely not true of all music stores, I =
some have been getting away with cheating their customers for years and
years, simply due to the fact that their customers probably really =
have known the difference. We now have internet access and people have =
information available to them than they ever have had in the past. I =
think this is true only of the music retailer businesses either. One =
needs to consider the complaints people have had against auto repair =
that take advantage of their customers lack of knowledge. =20
It seems it would be very good business practice to itemize the =
and adjustments that a repair tech has completed on your instrument and =
think I would tell them I wouldn't pay the bill until you can speak to
someone about it. You have a right to know what was done with your
instrument when you pick it up.
I guess this is an example of the service and communication that is
lacking in most music stores I've been in, but I have been in several =
have excellent customer service and are honest. These are the most
successful ones. They complain they can't compete with internet musical
instrument sales but I think the key is the service they can provide =
internet retailers cannot. I believe that people who teach music will
strongly support them in their efforts, since we get tired of having
students show up with instruments that have been neglected and abused =
strongly encourage and sometimes demand that they take them in for =
I have never felt comfortable doing repairs or adjustments on my =
instruments and I always send them to the music store. The music store =
they are going to have to keep the instrument for a week (or more) for
simple repairs like a pad or cork replacement and if the student has a
concert coming up, the parent will simply delay taking the instrument =
As long as the kid can still play on the instrument and get any kind of
sound, the parent will often decide the repair or adjustment wasn't
necessary anyway and the kid keeps playing his or her badly adjusted
instrument. =20
Unfortunately, I can't rely on my local music stores and I'm going =
start learning to do some repairs myself with a few older instruments I =
sitting around to practice on and I know that this is the route many are
taking. We live in an "instant" world of fast food, drive up =
banks, etc... but when we to take a musical instrument in for a simple
repair it often takes a week or more to get it back. Even the auto =
shops make appointments with their customers for service and repairs and =
at least know exactly when we can have the car back. Some dealers will =
provide a loaner car if necessary. Christy =20

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