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#1877066 - 04/10/12 09:03 PM rip off?  
Joined: Aug 2011
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zzzxxx Offline
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zzzxxx  Offline
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perth WA
Is it usual to charge more to tune a grand?

I just had a new tuner tune my piano, quoted me $150.00.
When he had finished he charged me $200.00 saying a grand piano costs more to tune and he had assumed and quoted me for an upright.

It was the regular 6 month tune. I paid, but wondered how tuning an upright was different from a grand, is it more time consuming?

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#1877073 - 04/10/12 09:10 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Eric Gloo Offline
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Richfield Springs, New York
If he was going to charge you more, he should have informed you BEFORE he tuned the piano. How long did it take him?


Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York
#1877075 - 04/10/12 09:11 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
It might be that it's a matter of opinion or different tastes, but I like tuning grands more than uprights, so I think that's kind of crazy. FWIW, I charge the same for both.

Plus, what Eric said. If I give a quote with no prior qualifications, I stick with my quote, as a rule.

Last edited by OperaTenor; 04/10/12 09:12 PM.

Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1877076 - 04/10/12 09:11 PM Re: rip off? [Re: Eric Gloo]  
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zzzxxx Offline
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zzzxxx  Offline
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perth WA
about an hour.

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#1877078 - 04/10/12 09:13 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Sparky McBiff Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
As a customer I've had both grands and uprights tuned many times by many different tuners but I've never been quoted a higher price for either.
And I thought grands were generally easier to tune anyways.
I could understand charging more for a spinet maybe.

#1877083 - 04/10/12 09:16 PM Re: rip off? [Re: Sparky McBiff]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted by Sparky McBiff
I could understand charging more for a spinet maybe.


If we only could!!! wink



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1877087 - 04/10/12 09:17 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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OperaTenor Offline
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Sandy Eggo, California
I have a sneaking suspicion the tech in question has a philosophy of grand = more $$$, therefore he charges more.



Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind
#1877090 - 04/10/12 09:19 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Gene Nelson Offline
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Old Hangtown California
I have a bit more difficulty with uprights
He should have informed you of the price change before tuning


RPT
PTG Member
#1877094 - 04/10/12 09:24 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Different technicians will have different pricing regimes, there is no rule about it. Many techs charge a bit more (but not 33%!) for tuning a grand. It is their (our) prerogative to set the pricing policy, but it makes good business sense not to aggravate clients, especially new ones, with opaque business practices. A little advance notice is nice, too...

Better to collect a more modest tuning fee regularly for years to come, than a one-time bonanza....

#1877097 - 04/10/12 09:29 PM Re: rip off? [Re: Supply]  
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Roy Rodgers Offline
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Ranger, Texas
The one question I ask is if it is a player piano and if it still works. That can make the rate go up a little with me depending on the player action.

Grands and uprights are charged the same rate. If there is anything unusual I talk with the client before I do anything.


Tuning and repairing pianos since 1981 in Ranger, Tx. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roys-Piano-Service/173273022711505
#1877110 - 04/10/12 09:39 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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That Guy Offline
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Lincoln, NE
Sure sounds fishy to me. I charge the same for uprights and grands and I agree that, generally speaking, the grands are easier to tune. If he charges more for grands then he wouldn't "assume" that you had an upright, he would have asked when you called him. Besides, when he walked into you house didn't he see that it was a grand? If he would have said something before he started tuning, that might be okay, but to wait until he's done and tell you it's 50 bucks more?! Very deceptive and poor business practice.


Scott Kerns
"That Tuning Guy"
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
#1877111 - 04/10/12 09:41 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Same price for either or here too.


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

We love to play BF2.
#1877129 - 04/10/12 10:06 PM Re: rip off? [Re: That Guy]  
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zzzxxx Offline
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perth WA
I thought it strange at the time,but also thought, fair enough, it costs more to tune a grand, what do I know? and forgot about it.

However over the last two weeks this guy has done nothing but phone me and leave messages telling me the piano needs tuning again, he only tuned it 2 months ago, I've told him it is too soon, I've always had it tuned every 6 months, but he still rings me urging me to book him in. He actually came to my house yesterday saying he'd come to book me in for a tune! I have to say I don't like be pestered like this. So judging by most peoples replies it would seem that I was ripped off and the guy sees me as an easy buck, time to find another tuner.

#1877135 - 04/10/12 10:21 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Georgia, USA
A couple of technicians I've spoken to have mentioned it's more physically tiring to tune an upright than a grand (in a generic sense). Have not experienced a different price for either type, though.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
#1877153 - 04/10/12 11:07 PM Re: rip off? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Chuck Behm, CPT-E Offline
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Boone, Iowa, USA
I've always been the same, no matter if the piano is a spinet, upright or grand. I do charge $10 more for a player with an player action that needs to be removed and put back in, plus I charge extra for a pitch-up, but my basic charge is always the same.

If there is any extra work involving a charge, I clear it with the customer before the work is done. Think how you would feel if you took your car in for a new set of tires, only to have the shop tell you "By the way, you needed a new muffler so we installed that also for an extra $99.99" Would you go back? I wouldn't. Chuck Behm


Tuner/Technician/Rebuilder/Technical Writer
www.pianopromoproductions.com
515-212-9220

"The act of destruction is infinitely easier than the act of creation" - Arthur C. Clarke
#1877158 - 04/10/12 11:21 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Cinnamonbear Offline
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Rockford, IL
Tell him he is welcomed to come back to tune, but you charge a $400 bench fee for him to sit while he works.


I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.
#1877168 - 04/10/12 11:45 PM Re: rip off? [Re: Roy Rodgers]  
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kpembrook Offline
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Michigan
Originally Posted by Roy Rodgers
The one question I ask is if it is a player piano and if it still works. That can make the rate go up a little with me depending on the player action.

Grands and uprights are charged the same rate. If there is anything unusual I talk with the client before I do anything.


Yup, I "may" charge more for players. I "do" charge more for squares. I'm up front with that, too. When I make a quote I stick to it.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
#1877191 - 04/11/12 12:28 AM Re: rip off? [Re: Cinnamonbear]  
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zzzxxx Offline
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zzzxxx  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
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perth WA
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Tell him he is welcomed to come back to tune, but you charge a $400 bench fee for him to sit while he works.


Ha Ha!! I'll give that a try!!

But on a serious note it's a shame & also his loss. My 40 students and I all had the same tuner until recently when he moved out of the area, we are all looking for a new tuner, and there seems to be a lack of good tuners around. This guy certainly could do his job but after his pestering and apparent over charging, I will not have him again and will not recommend him to my students, so he has missed out on the regular tuning of at least 40 pianos, also the tuning of the 9 pianos we have at school that I am responsible for.
So the guy has missed out on a lot of work.Shame

#1877208 - 04/11/12 01:03 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Supply Offline
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Supply  Offline
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Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Egggszactly what I said. Shortsightedness on his part....

#1877228 - 04/11/12 01:28 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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beethoven986  Offline
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Grands are generally considered easier to tune. You also merely have to remove the music desk, as opposed to cabinet parts and screws (as in a spinet). $200 also seems really, really expensive for a regular tuning outside a major metro area unless there was a distance surcharge or something.

#1877232 - 04/11/12 01:33 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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Originally Posted by zzzxxx

However over the last two weeks this guy has done nothing but phone me and leave messages telling me the piano needs tuning again, he only tuned it 2 months ago, I've told him it is too soon, I've always had it tuned every 6 months, but he still rings me urging me to book him in. He actually came to my house yesterday saying he'd come to book me in for a tune! I have to say I don't like be pestered like this. So judging by most peoples replies it would seem that I was ripped off and the guy sees me as an easy buck, time to find another tuner.


Well, pianos in professional settings usually need to be tuned monthly, if not weekly or daily. However, pestering you and coming to your house like that is very unprofessional, and kind of shady.

#1877248 - 04/11/12 02:23 AM Re: rip off? [Re: beethoven986]  
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zzzxxx Offline
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zzzxxx  Offline
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perth WA
Well I would have just rang this guy when the 6 month time came, but his constant begging to tune my piano rather put me off and got me thinking about his charges last time.

Out of interest I did some research today and the price of $150-$200 seems to be the going rate for a basic tune in my area

#1877254 - 04/11/12 02:54 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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beethoven986 Offline
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beethoven986  Offline
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Originally Posted by zzzxxx
Well I would have just rang this guy when the 6 month time came, but his constant begging to tune my piano rather put me off and got me thinking about his charges last time.


Can't say I blame you. I've experienced similar pestering from other industries and didn't much care for it!

Originally Posted by zzzxxx
Out of interest I did some research today and the price of $150-$200 seems to be the going rate for a basic tune in my area


Huh. Maybe I should move!

#1877258 - 04/11/12 03:18 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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MakeANote Offline
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MakeANote  Offline
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NSW Australia
Hey there zzzxxx,

Here's the link for accredited piano tuners in the APPTA for Western Australia:

http://www.aptta.org.au/branches/west-australia.aspx

If the tuner you've had some issues with is in this list, I'd suggest contacting the committee and letting them know - this tuner may well be acting in breach of the code of conduct for tuners. I've never heard of a difference being made cost-wise in favour of an upright over a grand piano for a regular tuning. I trust this situation works out for you.

Ian


A.Mus, B.Mus, Dip.Mus.Ed
Pianist - Teacher - Tuner
#1877261 - 04/11/12 03:34 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Mark R. Offline
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Mark R.  Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted by zzzxxx
This guy certainly could do his job but after his pestering and apparent over charging, I will not have him again and will not recommend him to my students, so he has missed out on the regular tuning of at least 40 pianos, also the tuning of the 9 pianos we have at school that I am responsible for.
So the guy has missed out on a lot of work.Shame


I personally think it's a good thing for people to learn from their mistakes. (At least to give them an opportunity to learn.) If I were in this situation, I would actually tell this tuner exactly what you've written above: that he's lost out on a lot of potential work because of his pushy attitude. If you don't tell him, you don't even give him a chance to improve.

I'm a strong believer in customer feedback - BOTH positive and negative. But that's just me.

Either way, I hope you find a good tuner at a decent price.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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#1877285 - 04/11/12 05:09 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Weiyan Offline
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Weiyan  Offline
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Hong Kong
Its normal practice here to charge higher for grand, near double the price of an upright. Tuners here like charge according to customer's wealth. What a shameful.


Working on:\

J.S.Bach Prelude in C Min: No. 2 from Six Preludes fur Anfanger auf dem
Am Abend No. 2 from Stimmungsbilder, Op. 88
60s Swing No. 1 from Swinging Rhythms
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#1877294 - 04/11/12 05:57 AM Re: rip off? [Re: Weiyan]  
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Joined: Mar 2009
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Conway, AR USA
Whether grand or vertical, I charged the same. Of the two, the one that typically took longer to tune was the very fine quality grand. These instruments produce so much more: there is more to hear and consequently more to reconcile or to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent. I cannot speak to ETDs in this regard, but aurally, these instruments take more time to tune. Still, the fee was the same. The bottom line is unaffected, however, due to the many average pianos that (for whatever reason) took less time to tune.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#1877320 - 04/11/12 07:44 AM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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UnrightTooner Offline
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Bradford County, PA
There was a time that I charged more for grands, and even more for larger grands. My rationale was that there were more strings to tune.

Now I do a more of a "redistribution" sort of thing. One price for a tuning regardless of the piano, including [u]one[/i] pitch raise and minor action/pedal adjustments. Well, I have given 3/4 piano owners a break... Oh, and DC supplies are free and servicing if I am doing a tuning. I am dropping off some pads and solution at a church tomorrow. They insisted on paying so I told them they could mail me $5.


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
#1877466 - 04/11/12 12:12 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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rysowers Offline
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Olympia, WA
grands are usually easier and more comfortable to tune. Charging more for tuning a grand makes no sense. I'm glad you are finding another tuner.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
#1877518 - 04/11/12 01:14 PM Re: rip off? [Re: zzzxxx]  
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Sparky McBiff Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by zzzxxx
I thought it strange at the time,but also thought, fair enough, it costs more to tune a grand, what do I know? and forgot about it.

However over the last two weeks this guy has done nothing but phone me and leave messages telling me the piano needs tuning again, he only tuned it 2 months ago, I've told him it is too soon, I've always had it tuned every 6 months, but he still rings me urging me to book him in. He actually came to my house yesterday saying he'd come to book me in for a tune! I have to say I don't like be pestered like this. So judging by most peoples replies it would seem that I was ripped off and the guy sees me as an easy buck, time to find another tuner.


Wow. This guy is a rip off artist.
It was possibly questionable before but it is obvious now that he sees you as gullible and an easy mark and is trying to extract more cash out of you needlessly.

I suggest that you tell him that you will not be using him again because he overcharged you and that there is no reason for him to be harassing you this way.

And then find somebody else.


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