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Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sent a 1950's-60's vintage Pan American/Martin tenor in to a "reputable" tech for a complete repad. There were specific requests for thin sheep skin pads, plastic resos, springs and felts where needed, and key height adjustment. When the sax came back it was wearing synthetic medium thickness pads, NO resos, no springs, felts, or height adjustments. (When it went in it had its ORIGINAL thin pads and plastic resonators.) When I called the tech to inquire as to why he did this, I was told that he kept the horns vintage 1930's Conn set up. Evidentally there were no resonators in the 30's. When I very kindly told him that the horn was in all actuality a Martin made in the late 50's to 60's and did indeed have resos when it went in, he started using VERY vulgar language. That was the end of that conversation. Now I've got a botched repad. The horn was basicaly playable when it went in and now sorry to say is not. My butt's still burning. I did have to pay the entire cost of the repad for his un professional behavior. Any advice on the next step would be VERY welcomed.
 

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File a police report?
 

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No police report . . . no crime. This is a civil matter.

I'd take plenty of photos (and I hope you have some before-shots), then send him a demand letter for a refund, and a promise to file a suit in small claims court for the cost of the work. DAVE
 

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There's a few remedies you have. The first is to call him back and ask if he'll make it right. If not, you can inform him that you'll have to explore other paths for remediation. These can range from the Better Business Bureau to posting a review of the transaction here. If you make it clear that your experiences are being written about in a public forum, it may make him change his tune.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the repad set you back? Was there an agreed-upon fee before service based on your specific requests? Were they communicated to the tech directly or through an intermediary? All of this is ammo to get the situation resolved.
 

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I haven't had a lot of luck with the Better Business Bureau. If you've even mentioned legal action to the business, they won't process your complaint. If they think the complaint has no basis, they toss it out, even if they do not understand the problem and especially if the business is a member.

You are unlikely to find anyone in the BBB who understands the difference between pads with resos and those without, etc.

"The customer asked for and got new pads on the sax. What's the problem?" Case closed.

In my experience, which is several years old, the mission of the Better Business Bureau is to make things better for businesses.

Document your claim thoroughly, including if possible the testimony of an unbiased expert, and take the guy to small claims court.

You didn't say how well the sax plays after the overhaul. If it plays well, maybe you should just cut your losses and use it.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member and Columnist, Forum Con
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Small claims court has a $15 filing fee in Washington state. Usually you won't get everything back but you'll get something. Sometimes you get a full refund. The judges usually have little respect for bozo merchants and service people.
 

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Dave Dolson said:
No police report . . . no crime. This is a civil matter.

I'd take plenty of photos (and I hope you have some before-shots), then send him a demand letter for a refund, and a promise to file a suit in small claims court for the cost of the work. DAVE
I'm not a licensed attorney, so I just act like I know what I'm talking about concerning law, but I agree with Dave. Serve him with a letter explaining why you feel you are due a refund. Also offer him a chance to correct the problem. If not satisfied, threaten to sue in small claims. the BBB and Attorney General's office are also options.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Bass Sax Boss
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Was the repairman a local merchant? I always advise avoiding mail-order or internet repairs. Some of them are great, and others are not. whatever happens, it is difficult to deal with a repairman long-distance.
 

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The guy thinks synthetic pads are 1930's vintage? Did you possibly pay with a credit card? If so, you may have recourse there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll try to answer all of your questions in one reply. After the verbal abuse and beligerent attitude on the phone, my sax WILL NOT GO BACK. The guy had never met me and had nards enough to call me a nasty old "B". The instructions regarding the work done was handled by an intermediary. The quote given was a FIRM amount of $325. This was because I didn't want any polishing or dent removal. I thought this to be a reasonable amount for all new pads and putting the horn in GPC.
I have before photos, but none showing the resos. They were taken only to confirm that the horn was in fact a Martin and not a Conn.(Beveled/soldered tone holes, not drawn/rolled)
I paid with a personal check. I have an error in my original thread. I didn't have to pay full price. The young lady that wrote up the work order discounted the bill by $25 to try to make up for the name calling.
I was given the techs first name only, but if any of you live in the Grand Rapids Michigan area DON'T take anything to Rit Music and have Wendal do the repairs.
As far as independant 'expert' testimony goes,, I did have another sax player look at it before I decided to go ahead and put the money into it. I have no idea if he would remember seeing the resos or not. He did think that this was a decent vintage and well worth the repad.
The sax was just playable top to bottom before it went in. Like I mentioned before, Original pads,,,LEAKY. Now it's barely playable on top only. Not much going on below G. D and A are stuffy. If the horn played I wouldn't have been quite as P*[email protected]#.
I'm guessing my next step will be to take it to a couple other techs for estimates on making it right. Then go from there.
If all my personal info show up below my 'name' you can see that I'm not new to the world of saxes or woodwinds in general.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was remiss in mentioning that the tech did offer to put the plastic resos on for an ADDITIONAL $50. It was after I reminded him that they were requested in the work order that he started in with the bad behaviour.
 

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SOTW Interviews/Editor, Distinguished SOTW Member,
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PM sent, although I sent it before your last two posts
 
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Has the check cleared ? If not, stop payment on it. I know this can be
viewed as illegal in most, if not all states. But if you live outside his jurisdiction ,
it will make it very difficult to pursue any action against you.
It will at least, get their attention .
 

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bandmommy said:
I was remiss in mentioning that the tech did offer to put the plastic resos on for an ADDITIONAL $50. It was after I reminded him that they were requested in the work order that he started in with the bad behaviour.
I suppose he would glue the resos to the pad leather on the face of the pad. I don't think that is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm trying to keep things honest. I take pride in treating everyone with respect. Even those who seem undeserving. This guy may think that I'm a nasty old B, but I refuse to prove him right!
 

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Does the tech own the store? If not, I'd go up the food chain to the owner first and give him/her a chance to make it right. If he or she doesn't want to pony up for fixing it, then you can take other actions.

In any case, it's a good idea to take it to another tech for a written evaluation/estimate so that you have a basis for your demands of getting the horn made right.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Gordon, You're probably right. Another reason why this guy isn't going to touch my sax again.
 
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bandmommy said:
I'm trying to keep things honest. I take pride in treating everyone with respect. Even those who seem undeserving. This guy may think that I'm a nasty old B, but I refuse to prove him right!
I'm not saying to go down the dark side, but, if I wanted a new set of tires for my car and they gave me retreads, I would try to recover the funds that were paid . By taking the action mentioned, it puts you back in the position to dictate a resolution. Right now, you have no leverage.
It's either act now, or forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Man, I didn't think I was going to get so many replies. I's amazing what turns up when you stir the 'Poo Poo Pot' a little. Do you think this guy would have done a more professional job if I had been a guy? I don't want to put repair techs' in the same catagory as Car Salesmen, but I have found through prior dealings that some believe that if you have "indoor plumbing" you don't know what your talking about.
 
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