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Two recent threads really got my stomach acid churning. "How to evaluate your tech" and "Opinionated techs". There is another side to this fence that is being built and I am sure all the full time repairmen here have experienced it. How do you deal with a customer who's expectations are pie in the sky. Personally, I'm not afraid to have my work evaluated by another qualified craftsman who has an understanding of our trade. But sometimes you get a player that thinks he knows more than you do and nothing, absolutely nothing, will make them happy. This player can be a beginner that has read a little bit on the internet all the way up to a professional who earns his living playing his axe who has read a little bit about his instrument but doesn't really have an understanding of the material. It's a case of "A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing". There are so many facets to every repair job we undertake that any outside criticism or evaluation without knowing all the facts just seems silly.
Having said all this, I ALWAYS strive to work with my customers and make them happy. It is a joy for me to see them test their horns and smile!!! I only draw the line when asked to do something that will actually damage the instrument. Yes, people do request weird stuff!!!!
 

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Ya, I don't see the point of those other "posts". Some people are just a pain. I'd really question someone who is constantly coming into the shop with their stuff broken. Either their stuff is crap, or they aren't taking care of it, or they are rough on it.
 

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It can be hard pleasing some people and I find that woodwinds can vary in how their set-up works for different people. If I set things up to work for me and how I like my instruments, some players will find ways that it is a problem for them. You have to learn to bite your tongue a bit and listen to what they say when you know the horn is OK and adjust things to suit them. It isn't very easy to meet people's expectations when they often just say, 'do whatever needs doing'. I try and get customers to play their instrument before paying but that can be tricky.
People's expectations tend to be a bit off. Iv'e fixed a spring at one end of the instrument and when somethign went wrong at the other end they blame me and said I didn't sort their instrument when I never gave it a service only replacing a spring. They think you can order spare parts for old instruments with no problems. I have long waits for parts for modern instruments. I've been waiting months for ordinary flute pads. It gets ridiculous at times. Customers seem to expect you to have a stock of all materials and parts. Small repair businesses can only hold so much these days and when orders don't come in as expected it makes repairwork very frustrating.
I can understand people getting frustrated by techs. We can have a hard time with suppliers and if we refuse to do certain jobs or use certain items it can be for very good reasons. It doesn't mean the tech is bad if he says no to something. We get shafted from both ends - by customers and suppliers.
 

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Yes some people are crazy... I have been asked to do some incredible things such as 'add an extra G# key or lever for the right hand that can be removed without any trace to keep the sax original' "WHAT!?" 'and it can't cost TOO much, after all this is an old sax!'... The best is when confronted with a cost estimate, the client says "That's really too much, but it HAS to be done, hmm..." I have had to reply 'several' times, 'No, it DOESN'T 'has' to be done...' These types do make the gracious and appreciative clients very cherished 'friends'...
 

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Ya, I don't see the point of those other "posts". Some people are just a pain. I'd really question someone who is constantly coming into the shop with their stuff broken. Either their stuff is crap, or they aren't taking care of it, or they are rough on it.
Or we use them daily. My saxes travel several times a week. Sometimes by air and often get handled by roadies and baggage handlers. I see my tech every 60 days and sometimes more often. This week they go to Manilla for 4 days. They will spend much more time in transit than being played. Thanks to tapatalk that's just more time for me to post here. ;) I recently shared the stage with a Cannonball endorser. He claimed he keeps two saxes in rotation. One is always at the shop - the other on the road. Saxes seem be pretty darn delicate instruments - even very good ones. My main axe is a great selmer Paris instrument - it is not immune to the rigors of travel.
 

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Ya, I don't see the point of those other "posts". Some people are just a pain. I'd really question someone who is constantly coming into the shop with their stuff broken. Either their stuff is crap, or they aren't taking care of it, or they are rough on it.
Why complain? Hasn't ebay been the biggest boon to sax techs in the last 50 years? For a while, it felt like everytime I brought in a beat up, misrepresented, supposedly valuable horn I bought off ebay, either the customer before me or after me was doing the same thing. Before ebay, I went to a sax tech once every three or four years...once I got GAS, I was going 5 times a year (or more.)
 

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I think that any business that deals directly with the public will have to deal with the many sides the human condition. There are times when you just have to suck it up and be thankful you are not as shallow as the person who insists on great things for little money and is very upset when you expect to be paid as a skilled craftsman. I suppose it would be great for all of us if we could get ourselves to a financial position where we could choose our clients. That way, you would only have to deal with the real arses once...
 

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I am not a tech.

As with any customer service, you can't please all the customers all the time. Try doing warranty work, people always want something for nothing.

I can see how if you took the horn in, for a spring, like you mentioned. If something else goes wrong, something you didn't check for, weren't aware of,and weren't informed needed attention....you can't be blamed.

If someone said ," check the whole horn, fix whatever is neccessary." If you missed something, well that's different. People make mistakes, from the customers standpoint it should go," hey maybe you didn't notice this, could you please recheck x,y, and z. I'll pay you for added time."


If someone said," fix the height adjustment on the lower stack, everything else is fine," then they complained, that would be frustrating.Since that would be the area of needed attention.

I don't know your job. I don't have the knowledge you do.If I was like Fader, well my tech would get lot's of work, since I put my saxes through a lot.

Some peolpe are more than a pain.

If they are paying you, well that is a pain to their wallet, and a joy for your buisness.

ANY customer service, you deal with PEOPLE> It takes many types to make the world go around.

These situations have so many variables.

I am glad you guys do the work you do, and I respect the time and care you have for the instrument.

At the end of the day, my money goes towards putting food on your table. If I , hypothetically, don't take good care of my instrument, that takes good care of you, by having services brought to you.

I am bringing my sax to an expert who knows inside and out how this thing works.

Approach the situation as a learning situation for you , possibly, with a new horn you never worked on, and for the customer, to better understand their instrument.

Care and maintenance aside, if they came in with bent necks with motocross tire marks on the neck, then I would suggest they try something else. Maybe rugby.
 

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At my own peril.

I believe that the customer is right. I say this becuase they are paying me to do the job, whilst I will do my absolute best to explain the other options, I will not dictate to them, after all they are employing me.

If they could do the job themselves they would, most do, they come to me becuase I can do it better quicker and cheaper.

I too question unusual posts with hidden agenda's
 
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