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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think so.

The customers I dread the most are ones that claim to know it all and try to tell you how to do your job.

Also the ones who name drop at every opportunity they have and rave on about other repairers whose work you don't particularly rate.

Then there are the ones who think they shouldn't have to pay for any work you do as you should feel honoured to be working on their instrument for bugger all as if it's a priviledge they're there in the first place and you owe it to them.

And then there are the ones who go on about they can get the work done much cheaper somewhere else - or bargain c***s as I call them.

Then there are the ones who can't play for toffee and expect you to work miracles so they can get the high or low notes when in actual fact the instrument is in perfect working order, or in such a poor state that there's not much that can be done unless it's a total rebuild which they don't want to pay out for.

The list goes on - feel free to add your experiences and how you deal with these people.

I'm glad to see the back of them or just won't deal with them if I know they're going to prove difficult, but know it'll not be long before some other poor sod will have to put up with them.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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How about customers with annoying accents? Should you avoid them too? Maybe customers under 6 feet tall? It's your business. A businessman with thin skin can sink much deeper than a customer with thin skin.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2017
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Might as well add people with hats to the list...You have described 50% of a techs income opportunity unless you do ( ::gasp:: ) band instruments for a school...

:)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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(I work in the '****r business. I can exactly tell if and when a new issue of a computer periodical has been published. No field with so many experts and name-droppers like there)

Anyhow, the easy solution is to publish your tariff:

Ordinary repairs ................... $50/hr
Customer wants to watch ............ $80/hr
Customer wants to help ............ $200/hr

:mrgreen:
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member
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Think Chris is having a bad day... watch out for 'man goes postal with baritone sax in Sussex' headline....!
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not having a bad day as things are all falling nicely into place and definitely won't be weilding my bari in anger as I'd never want to harm it - I was only reflecting (after reading the opinionated repairers thread) on the times before I set up on my own when anyone would come walking in (the "Oh no! Not them AGAIN!" scenario) and give it all that and I just wanted them to eff right off. The worst ones were the ones with money that weren't willing to part with it.
 

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I owned and operated a retail business for about 30 years. Some customers were a pain, most were not. Regardless of the irritants, the door has to remain open and bills have to be paid. A customer would have to have been extremely rude or bothersome for me to toss him/her out.

Running a business is hard. Pleasing customers or potential customers can be a chore at times. No matter - you still have to keep them to maintain your livelihood and income stream. One thing I learned - bad news travels at the speed of light. Treat one customer poorly and lose a few more.
 

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I'm getting the feeling that the instrument repair industry -- a service industry where techs once offered to fix, improve, and perform requested work on people's horns for a fee -- has somehow morphed into a sort of gift industry, where techs do customers a favor by agreeing to work on people's horns for money if they feel like it. It's a risky business model, but if you guys can make it work, then more power to you. I'll just stick with my tech, who appreciates my business and always strives to make me (the customer) happy. Maybe it's this business philosophy of his that makes him successful, because he always does make me happy (and he happens to be a damn good tech, too, who takes pride in the quality of his work, whatever the job may be).
 

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Maybe stick a sign up ala Ronnie Scott.." If I want your opinion I'll give it you"

I'm happy to say me and my repairman are still going strong at least 20 years down the line. I don't feel happy until he's laid his healing hands on my instruments.. he's not perfect but who is? He's 99.5% perfect though and a great player on top.
 

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I'm extrememly lucky in that I found a saint. This guy knows and does excellent work. I pays him what he tells me lol. Because I know that what he tells me and how the instruments have come back to me are right as rain. Al Asmus in St Cloud MN.

Harv
 

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I have one customer who is highly agreeable, and I've kept him on.

All other customers who approach me I tell them to get to ****. That's not true -- there are two customers who I humour, but I give them no return date for their instruments. It's anywhere from two weeks to three months. They'll get it when they get it, and be glad that they've had the honor of my services.

I make about $200 a week and live in the basement of my mother's house, when not at the shop.

Actually, none of this is true. I don't repair instruments and i don't treat customers like dirt. But I know a couple of techs that do.....
 

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I always say a prayer for the poor bastard that has to work on one of my horns.
 

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I wish all of you had only perfect customers.
I know I can be really picky about the way my horns feel, and I let my tech know this right up front.
You know how easily I voice my opinions. Being my tech isn't easy.
Thankfully for them I don't let my instruments get to the point where extensive work is required, and they only have to deal with me once a year. :)
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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I'm not having a bad day as things are all falling nicely into place and definitely won't be weilding my bari in anger as I'd never want to harm it - I was only reflecting (after reading the opinionated repairers thread) on the times before I set up on my own when anyone would come walking in (the "Oh no! Not them AGAIN!" scenario) and give it all that and I just wanted them to eff right off. The worst ones were the ones with money that weren't willing to part with it.
oh I get those - turn up in a Porche Cayenne and complain at 2 hours labour for £25!

The situation that always winds me up is when the customer comes in and says "But my teacher said Ive got a leak on the Eb iots an easy fix and itll only take 5 mins to repair and will cost no more than five quid"
when in fact the bell has taken a knock and everything below Eb is out of whack.

Sometimes in this situation I ask the customer "why didint the teacher repair it for you if it was such an esy fiox"?
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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I wish all of you had only perfect customers.
I know I can be really picky about the way my horns feel, and I let my tech know this right up front.
You know how easily I voice my opinions. Being my tech isn't easy.
Thankfully for them I don't let my instruments get to the point where extensive work is required, and they only have to deal with me once a year. :)
I dont mind customers being picky, in fact I encourage the customer to put aside an hour to test play the instrument in the shop.Then I can make any final adjustments that suit them best. That way The customer gets what they want and sometimes I can learn what the customer is likely to want in the future
 

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I think so.

The customers I dread the most are ones that claim to know it all and try to tell you how to do your job.

Also the ones who name drop at every opportunity they have and rave on about other repairers whose work you don't particularly rate.

Then there are the ones who think they shouldn't have to pay for any work you do as you should feel honoured to be working on their instrument for bugger all as if it's a priviledge they're there in the first place and you owe it to them.

And then there are the ones who go on about they can get the work done much cheaper somewhere else - or bargain c***s as I call them.

Then there are the ones who can't play for toffee and expect you to work miracles so they can get the high or low notes when in actual fact the instrument is in perfect working order, or in such a poor state that there's not much that can be done unless it's a total rebuild which they don't want to pay out for.

The list goes on - feel free to add your experiences and how you deal with these people.

I'm glad to see the back of them or just won't deal with them if I know they're going to prove difficult, but know it'll not be long before some other poor sod will have to put up with them.
Maybe you should remember who your customers are and show them some respect rather than whinging on about how bad this type is or what that one did, after all without them you wouldent be in business would you? At the end of the day their the ones who put a roof over your head and steam on your table, just get over it and like any other business learn to take the rough with the smooth.....
 

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Distinguished SOTW Technician
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I can empathise with Chris & Griff---we're talking here about a particular type of customer --maybe a particularly "English species"---"they walk the walk and talk the talk"go from teacher to teacher, repairer to repairer. They expect to be able to master the horn --like some guy on telly--flavour of the month--in 5 minutes. "Chops" are what they have for dinner. To them, only fools and retards bother to read music competently or even play a proper tune in time.
This thread is NOT a whinge--it happens.
 
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