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Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Randy Karasik] #1278303
09/30/09 11:36 PM
09/30/09 11:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Hahahaha, that's funny!!!!! So much for spell check which I don't have and wouldn't help in that case anyway!! I guess, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades me thinks?


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
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Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Sam Casey] #1278378
10/01/09 03:21 AM
10/01/09 03:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
B
b3groover Offline
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b3groover  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 119
Lansing, MI
Originally Posted by Sam Casey

I had a deal on a Baldwin spinet I tuned a year ago. Set the appointment up with the old man, (always hazardous) came to the house and lady met me asking how much to just tune the brassy notes? I quoted my fee for tuning, AGAIN and said that was the cost. We don't just tune the "brassy ones." Can I call my husband? By all means do so. She comes back and says, I think it really sounds fine, it just a few brassy notes. By this time I had wandered over to the piano. THere were about 10 pieces of tape on different notes. One the top was tin cup with paperclips. I hit a note and lifted the cup. THis kind of brassy note? No more brassy. If you want the piano tuned, call me, says I and left. I then switched on me Blackberry and deleted the record. Never to see me darken THAT door again.


Kind of reminds me of an email I received recently. She asked how much I charge for a piano tuning, that she has an old upright that has been regularly maintained. I write back "My standard fee is $x".

She writes back "How much to tune a spinet?"

tired


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: b3groover] #1278417
10/01/09 07:26 AM
10/01/09 07:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 498
Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
Randy Karasik Offline
Full Member
Randy Karasik  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 498
Arvada, Colorado, USA, Earth
It amuses me to see how some people think the price of a tuning is outrageous, even though they only tune once every several years. On the other hand there are those customers that tune regularly and never complain about the cost.

We are a colorful and varied lot.



Registered Piano Technician
Serving Colorado Since 1978
randy@karasikpiano.com
www.karasikpiano.com
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Randy Karasik] #1278853
10/01/09 06:45 PM
10/01/09 06:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
B
Bob Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline OP
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B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
She must have one of those rare big old uprights with the spinet conversion option. Saw one of those once. It was on the wrong end of a catapult......




Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Bob] #1278995
10/01/09 10:15 PM
10/01/09 10:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Had 3 this week like that.

One lady called yesterday and insisted that I charge her X amount to tune her piano instead of my regular fee which was $40 more. I said nope. She was very persistent. To the point of becoming very annoying. So I was just as persistent. Well then, she said, I will just have to look around. OK I said, good luck finding someone that is willing to compromise quality to meet your price. It doesn't work that way. There are elcheapo tooners out there. If all you're interested in is price good luck.

Had another that asked if I would give a discount because the economy is down in Michigan. Nope.

Had yet one more that asked what my price was. After I quoted it she said "I haven't been able to find anyone that will meet MY satisfactory price for a tuning." I thought, yea, what is it $2.00? I said, and with your expectations, you won't either. I didn't get that one... grin

With each one of these, I said look, my expenses certainly are not going down, nor is my gas bill, electric, vehicle expenses or anything else. I cannot afford to give every person a discount that wants one and you really don't want me to compromise my quality to do so and I refuse to do that in any case so, no can do...

One thing is for sure, people are getting more and more gutsy.



Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1279033
10/01/09 11:02 PM
10/01/09 11:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 377
USA
J
JBE Offline
Full Member
JBE  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 377
USA
That's happening around here too. I never give in to the price shoppers either. They must think that we're desperate. Another thing that I've experienced more lately is last minute changes and cancellations. People calling the night before to say their son needs to go the doctor in the morning or whatever. I'm almost getting to the point where I'm considering a one strike and your out rule.
You can usually tell if it is a real emergency or something else.

Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: JBE] #1279048
10/01/09 11:48 PM
10/01/09 11:48 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
R
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
If you open the phone book and look for building contractors or plumbers or electricians, you will find MANY more than piano techs! Perhaps hard line negotiation works there-I don't know...but like most good techs we're booked WAYYY out into the future and we just don't need to put up with abuse.

People sometimes try, in good faith, to negotiate price...Jane takes the calls, and she's VERY up front about our pricing being consistent and fair.

I have never, ever, (not even once in 30 years!!) been happy with any client who starts the relationship on that basis. Last month I had an elderly customer tell me that, by offering to do more (very needed!) work on his much neglected piano, that I had been, in his words, "lowballing" on the phone so I could raise my rate in person. I calmly packed my tools, waived the service call and speaking kindly (he was elderly-its my upbringing!) I left. He called back a few weeks later and we arrived at an understanding and it turned out ok...I returned and did some work for him.

But, that illustrates that if you base your service on pricing alone, you really will have problems with price shoppers trying to hold you to exact numbers in a very NON exacting situation-namely, their non-maintained pianos.

But...you certainly can't blame them for trying every now and again!!..somebody reads a book on assertive business or something, and they assume that we technicians are going to leap at the chance to compete for their account...For our part here, we just decline the work and send them to somebody else. Life is just too sweet to spend it in negative relationships. Who was the famous financial teacher (?) who said "Trust me, there is some money you just don't need in your business!"

RPD



MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: RPD] #1279431
10/02/09 02:52 PM
10/02/09 02:52 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
B
Bob Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
Everytime I've settled on a fixed price prior to seeing the piano, I've been sorry. You arrive to find everything sticking, a broken pedal, and the piano is two notes flat. I give customers a price range.




Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Bob] #1279570
10/02/09 06:51 PM
10/02/09 06:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Here, we have a public school system that has or, had about 250 pianos in locations all over GR. Every year, they would send out bids to every tuner in the phone book. I never bid on them. Last I heard, they were still being tuned for something like $35 a tuning and that the school system is so demanding it's pathatic. I read the bid once for fun many years ago. It stated how a certain amount of pianos were to be tuned by such and such a date all throughout the school year. If they were not completed by that date, the bid was null and void and open to bidding again and you could only get paid upon completion of said work. HAH!

Recently, I got to view first hand a few of these pianos up close. What a fricken mess they were in. For that price, all they have been getting is tuning and nothing else. And rotten tunings at that IMO. They only tooners they could get was the worst of the bunch because nobody else would bother bidding on it. I finally sent them a letter telling them to stop wasting their paper on me.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1279609
10/02/09 08:19 PM
10/02/09 08:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
B
Bob Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
Bid:

At 1st tuning (September), only the middle strings will be tuned. Temperament strip shall remain in piano to mute left and right strings. At second tuning (January), right hand strings will be tuned to center strings (which will still be in tune from September) (haa haa) and temperament strip will be adjusted accordingly. At third and final tuning (April), Left hand strings will be tuned to complete the unison and temperament strip removed.

hee hee




Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Bob] #1279666
10/02/09 10:16 PM
10/02/09 10:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 227
N.E. Montana
Scooters Offline
Full Member
Scooters  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 227
N.E. Montana
Ya... but what about the bass unisons...?

ha



Scott
Associate Member Piano Technicians Guild
RsgPianoService
We love to play BF2
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Scooters] #1279677
10/02/09 10:35 PM
10/02/09 10:35 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Leave um, they don't count. grin


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1279714
10/03/09 12:05 AM
10/03/09 12:05 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
R
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
Jerry,

Your comment about the GR Public schools hits home...

Way back in 1989-1990, when we first moved here, I accepted a contract to tune all the pianos in the Kalamazoo school district...it was $25 each THEN! I did it for a couple years and told them I was submitting a sheet on every piano and needed repair.

They were unable (or unwilling) to spend even an additional $20 per piano, and I gave up the account...

As for bidding, I don't bid for anything anymore. I used to get bid letters from one of the local colleges, but after a couple years I realized they were just using my bid to meet their standards of getting multiple bids, and I too asked them not to bother me again LOL!

Funny...we all have the same life experiences. So guys...I'm 50 this year. Those of you who are older, how about telling me what is coming next?!

On second thought, I think I'd rather not know!

RPD


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: RPD] #1279717
10/03/09 12:13 AM
10/03/09 12:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
3 more years of the same crap??? cry wink I turned 53 this past May. Congrats on the 50th. Big bash?


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1279865
10/03/09 09:49 AM
10/03/09 09:49 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
R
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member
RPD  Offline
500 Post Club Member
R

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 961
Kalamazoo Michigan
NO bash...I snuck up on it and the year is almost past and nobody's noticed...except, now I'm in the extreme youth of old age, rather than the extreme old age of youth. ;-)

RPD


MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician
www.actionpianoservice.com
DEALER Hailun Pianos
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: RPD] #1279979
10/03/09 01:29 PM
10/03/09 01:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Jerry Groot RPT  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,828
Grand Rapids Michigan
Is there a difference? wink It's all in our heads. I've been accused of acting like a 10 year old. Gee, I can't imagine why!!!??? grin I refuse to grow up. Make me! Nope! Can't do it! Won't do it! Life is much to fun for that!


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT] #1280199
10/03/09 08:23 PM
10/03/09 08:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
B
Bob Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
Bob  Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
B

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,860
USA
A customer today had an big ole ugly/cute bull dog. The dog sat next to me for the whole tuning, slobbering and snorting the whole time. I had to crawl under the piano to adjust the sustain, and I'm putting it off, because that dog would be slobbering all over me the minute I laid on my back under the piano. Finally, the dog left the room and I took my chance, and rushed under the piano. No sooner was I there, and the dog came galloping back in the room and I had to jump up from underneath. A minute later the dog leaves again, and this time I was able to make the adjustment. Back at the keys, I realize my adjustment is a tiny bit short, so I dive underneath the piano and in gallops the dog. I jump up once again - that adjustment will have to wait till next tuning!




Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Bob] #1280207
10/03/09 08:35 PM
10/03/09 08:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,200
Marietta, GA
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Les Koltvedt  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,200
Marietta, GA
Bob, you might want to stop at the pet store and pickup one of these... set it up and work inside.. [Linked Image]


Les Koltvedt
Servicing the Greater Atlanta Area.
www.well-lovedpiano.com/atlanta-piano-technicians/
PTG Associate
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Les Koltvedt] #1280216
10/03/09 08:52 PM
10/03/09 08:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 227
N.E. Montana
Scooters Offline
Full Member
Scooters  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 227
N.E. Montana


Yes and make sure it's big enough for the Piano and you and the stool/bench. Rough!

Good one Monster! thumb



Scott
Associate Member Piano Technicians Guild
RsgPianoService
We love to play BF2
Re: When the Customer's Teacher complains.... [Re: Scooters] #1280369
10/04/09 06:36 AM
10/04/09 06:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 515
Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
W
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member
wayne walker  Offline
500 Post Club Member
W

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 515
Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
The customer see our price for tuning the piano and thinks this person is earning a lot of money for a hour or so of work. They don't take in account for gas, traveling time and most important the government taking at least a 1/3 of our tuning fee.


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
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