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Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? #2567232
08/29/16 10:15 PM
08/29/16 10:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Offline OP
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newbert  Offline OP
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Upstate New York, USA
My new piano is scheduled for its first tuning (included in the price of the piano) tomorrow. Along with the tuning, I've asked the tech to check the tone on one key in particular (which sounds a bit "thin" to me) and also look at the "let-off" (I believe that's the correct terminology) as I sometimes cannot get a key to repeat as quickly/nimbly as I would like.

Since I'm not paying for the work (as it's included with the purchase price of the piano), is it customary to tip the tuner? If so, what would be the suggested amount?

Thanks!


Bert
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Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567250
08/29/16 11:09 PM
08/29/16 11:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,905
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
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Seattle, WA USA
No, it is not the custom to tip the piano tuner. I have gotten a few when I took an emergency appointment and had to reschedule existing customers. Some customers fix me lunch if I am there at lunchtime.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567267
08/30/16 01:45 AM
08/30/16 01:45 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,195
Olympia, WA
rysowers Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,195
Olympia, WA
No - not customary.

In a situation where you are asking for work beyond what the store is willing to pay you could negotiate a fee for the additional work. Then its not really a "tip" - you are just paying for extra work beyond the warranty tuning.

There are certainly grey areas between what is a warranty issue an what is "custom work". I would consider voicing custom work, because you purchased the piano with the tone "as is". Its the same with refined regulation. All those types of things should be negotiated before the sale.

When a local college bought a brand new Steinway D several years ago, we negotiated abut 20 hours worth of prep work since there was a lot of improving to do to get it concert ready. So even very expensive pianos are not often at their optimum when they are sitting on the showroom floor.


Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567297
08/30/16 06:36 AM
08/30/16 06:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,901
Northern VA, U.S.
ClsscLib Offline

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Joined: Mar 2008
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Northern VA, U.S.
I always do. I appreciate these guys so much. They have a hard job, train hard for it, and travel some distance to my home. I'm grateful.


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Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567311
08/30/16 08:16 AM
08/30/16 08:16 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
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Ed Foote Offline
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Ed Foote  Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,810
Tennessee
Greetings,
Years ago, (many years), I asked a much older tuner if people ever tipped him, and he said, "If they tip you, you are not charging enough".

After 40 years, there are two people in my clientele who pay more than I charge. The rest have the attitude that though I am expensive, they are willing to pay for the work. I doubt that tipping ever crossed their mind! I will never know, but Ithink I have come out better in the long run.
Regards,

Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567460
08/30/16 07:25 PM
08/30/16 07:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,787
USA
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Bob Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 4,787
USA
If you are comfortable with the technician's work, a $5 or $10 tip is appreciated. The Store tech works at a discounted rate in hopes of building or maintaining his business. Unless the extra work is substantial, he likely won't charge the store extra for it.




Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567479
08/30/16 08:05 PM
08/30/16 08:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,713
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Oakland
Ordinarily it is not necessary to tip, but you might for a store tuning. I always accept tips, because it is impolite to argue about with them. Sometimes there is extra on the check, which I do not notice until I get home. I declare that on my taxes.


Semipro Tech
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2567484
08/30/16 08:37 PM
08/30/16 08:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 311
Austin, Texas USA
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Blues beater Offline
Full Member
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 311
Austin, Texas USA
I tip my tuner. He helps me out with my DIY efforts, he used his pro status to order a couple of Dampp Chaser kits, (shh...don't tell anybody!) he gave me a good deal on a used tuning hammer. So I typically round his check up to the nearest $20.00 increment.

Happy to do it.

Dpm


Don, playing the blues in Austin, Texas on a 48" family heirloom Steinway upright, 100 year old 54" Weber upright, unknown make turn of the century 54" upright -- says "Whittier NY" on the plate, Starr, ca. 100 years old full size upright.
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2569756
09/09/16 05:40 AM
09/09/16 05:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 13
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foxpianotuning Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 13
It depends on what you charge. I get a lot of tips here in Ireland but I believe its because I don't charge a round number and most people are happy to round it up up. I've gotten some incredible tips over the years but it generally is when i've gone very out of my way for a customer and hadn't quoted them enough as i underestimated the work in the first place and they recognise such.

Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2570143
09/10/16 10:35 AM
09/10/16 10:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 701
Lincoln, NE
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That Guy Offline
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Lincoln, NE
So, what did you end up doing?


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2570288
09/10/16 10:42 PM
09/10/16 10:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,681
Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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Kuwait
I always tip him, and give him coffee, even sometimrs luncheon.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: newbert] #2570302
09/10/16 11:54 PM
09/10/16 11:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
Gadzar Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Gadzar  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,758
Mexico City
There are no rules, some people give a tip, some do not. A few months ago I was paid 67% more than my tuning fee at the time and my client told me "never accept less, you make a great job". So I increased my fee by 30%. In my following tuning I was asked why I was so expensive, nevertheless I charged my full new tuning fee. But I always give clients a plus for their money. It may be some little voicing or easing some sticking keys, or some lost motion regulation and if everything is allright some cleaning of the piano. They seem to really appreciate this kind of bonuses.


Rafael Melo
Piano Technician
rafaelmelo@afinacionpianos.com.mx

Serving Mexico City and suburbs.

http://www.afinacionpianos.com.mx
Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? [Re: That Guy] #2570785
09/12/16 09:03 PM
09/12/16 09:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
Upstate New York, USA
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newbert Offline OP
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newbert  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
Upstate New York, USA
Originally Posted by That Guy
So, what did you end up doing?


Well -- Since a) the tuning cost was included in the purchase price of the piano, and b) I had already given him a nice remuneration for getting me a substantial discount on the purchase of the piano, I didn't tip him this time.

FWIW, he didn't seem to be expecting one either.

P.S.: It turned out that no extra work was necessary, other than tuning. Regarding the "Let-off", that was left as-is. (I just needed to adjust to the action a bit more - and it really is fine for me now). And the tuning itself seemed to take care of the one "thin-sounding" note.

Last edited by newbert; 09/12/16 09:08 PM.

Bert
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