2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments. Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
43 members (Ferdinand, Audio67, emnayisay, AndrewJCW, EPW, Beowulf, Belma, DavidWB, Chouca, 8 invisible), 482 guests, and 494 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Inspection ethics
#3051943 12/02/20 09:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 166
B
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 166
Yesterday I inspected a piano for a person (call him Person A) who was considering buying it. My inspection concluded that the piano was in great shape. During the inspection, the owner told me there was another person (Person B) interested in the piano and asked if Person B could call me to ask about its condition. Without thinking, I said that would be OK. Five minutes after leaving the piano, Person B called me and asked how the piano was. I told him it was a good piano and that it was in good shape.

After hanging up the phone, it dawned on me that Person B might buy the piano and Person A would then just be out the money. I called Person A and told him what had happened and that I thought I had made a mistake in telling Person B anything about the piano's condition. I told Person A that I would not bill him for the inspection unless he ended up buying the piano (presumably because Person B elected not to).

What would you do?


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3051948 12/02/20 09:53 AM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,114
E
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
E
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,114
I would have told the owner that I needed to talk to my customer first. Your professional opinion is what you are selling to your customer, you don't want to give it away to his competition.

Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3051963 12/02/20 10:13 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 591
C
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
C
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 591
Bob,
Bad news; you have broken a trust relationship.
You need to make peace.
This can follow you.
A happy customer tells two; an unhappy customer tells twenty, if they ever stop at all.
I don't see how you can now charge him for something you have already given away.

Craig


Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Chesterfield, MA
Conservative Piano Restoration
Watch us on YouTube

Whatever you need, someone, somewhere, is throwing it away.
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3051983 12/02/20 10:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,682
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,682
Person B in essence engaged in a form of industrial espionage, possibly in connection with seller. Yes, unfortunately "without thinking" (hey, we're not all lawyers) you broke the confidentiality relationship and ruined any negotiating power your client (person A) MIGHT have had.

I agree with Craig that you should not charge no matter what. You made a mistake (which you will never make again). We all make mistakes. Sometimes serious enough that we have to eat them.

Peter Grey Piano Doctor

Last edited by P W Grey; 12/02/20 10:59 AM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3051991 12/02/20 11:05 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,204
L
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,204
I am speechless.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3052001 12/02/20 11:28 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,521
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,521
I would not charge person A even if they end up buying the piano. It will show good will and honesty on your part.

Good on you to have realized your mistake and called person A. One's ability to acknowledge and admit a mistake is a quality that will serve you well.

All the best.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Inspection ethics
accordeur #3052008 12/02/20 11:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 176
N
N W Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
N
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by accordeur
I would not charge person A even if they end up buying the piano. It will show good will and honesty on your part.

Good on you to have realized your mistake and called person A. One's ability to acknowledge and admit a mistake is a quality that will serve you well.

All the best.
+1

Nick


Nick, ageing piano technician
Re: Inspection ethics
accordeur #3052137 12/02/20 05:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,275
K
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,275
thumb
You did the right thing after you did the wrong thing.
Being professional doesn't mean not making mistakes... it means knowing how to fix them.


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
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3052174 12/02/20 06:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 166
B
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
B
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 166
Person A bought the piano. All's well that ends well (usually) and I got to learn something. Now off to go make some more mistakes (er, learning opportunities). A mentor of mine said, "if you don't screw up you don't learn a damn thing."


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3052186 12/02/20 07:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,682
P
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,682
👍

Peter Grey Piano Doctor


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3052255 12/03/20 12:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
Bob, it sounds to me like you are a very honest, friendly, and sincere person/technician. You were put on the spot by the seller regarding prospect B's request, and you responded with your heart and not your head. We've all done it.

And, it sounds like you were honest again in rethinking the situation, and notifying prospect A, your paying customer/client, of the situation.

Something similar, (but different) happened to me years ago. A Baldwin L grand from the late 1980s was listed on eBay by a Church not far from my location. It had a starting bid/price of $2500, with no reserve, which was a rock-bottom price for a piano like that, despite being in a Church environment.

I called and talked to the pastor and made an appointment to go look at the Baldwin L that Sunday, after the Church services. They had moved it to the back of the Church, and had gone to all digital pianos for their music program.

From what I could tell, the piano was in very good condition. I decided I would bid on the piano, and bid $4000, (if my memory serves me correctly). There were only two bidders on the piano, me and an eBayer from Germany. I was outbid and the guy from Germany won the auction at $4100.

About a week later, the pastor of the Church calls me and asked if I would be interested in buying the piano if the bidder from Germany backed out of the sale. I told him, yes, I would. Next, the pastor said the high bidder from Germany asked if I would be willing to email him and tell him what I thought about the condition of the Baldwin L, because the Pastor told him I had come to look at it. I told the Pastor I would, because, like you, it is my first inclination to be helpful to others when I can. So, although I am not a practicing piano tech, (except on my own pianos) I did email the bidder in Germany and told him what I thought about the condition of the piano.

After a couple more weeks, and me getting my hopes up that I could still get the Baldwin L for $4100, the high bidder in Germany finally paid the Church for the piano, and made arrangements to have it crated up and shipped to Germany from Fayetteville Ga.

Again, not the same situation you experienced, but similar, I suppose, since we both just wanted to be helpful to someone.

By-the-way, the buyer in Germany never mentioned it, but I'll bet it cost him a lot to have that Baldwin L crated up and shipped to Germany. He said there were not many Baldwin grand pianos available in Germany.

Sorry for the long story, but thought it related to an extent.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Inspection ethics
Rickster #3052260 12/03/20 12:32 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,521
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,521
Originally Posted by Rickster
Bob, it sounds to me like you are a very honest, friendly, and sincere person/technician. You were put on the spot by the seller regarding prospect B's request, and you responded with your heart and not your head. We've all done it.

And, it sounds like you were honest again in rethinking the situation, and notifying prospect A, your paying customer/client, of the situation.

Something similar, (but different) happened to me years ago. A Baldwin L grand from the late 1980s was listed on eBay by a Church not far from my location. It had a starting bid/price of $2500, with no reserve, which was a rock-bottom price for a piano like that, despite being in a Church environment.

I called and talked to the pastor and made an appointment to go look at the Baldwin L that Sunday, after the Church services. They had moved it to the back of the Church, and had gone to all digital pianos for their music program.

From what I could tell, the piano was in very good condition. I decided I would bid on the piano, and bid $4000, (if my memory serves me correctly). There were only two bidders on the piano, me and an eBayer from Germany. I was outbid and the guy from Germany won the auction at $4100.

About a week later, the pastor of the Church calls me and asked if I would be interested in buying the piano if the bidder from Germany backed out of the sale. I told him, yes, I would. Next, the pastor said the high bidder from Germany asked if I would be willing to email him and tell him what I thought about the condition of the Baldwin L, because the Pastor told him I had come to look at it. I told the Pastor I would, because, like you, it is my first inclination to be helpful to others when I can. So, although I am not a practicing piano tech, (except on my own pianos) I did email the bidder in Germany and told him what I thought about the condition of the piano.

After a couple more weeks, and me getting my hopes up that I could still get the Baldwin L for $4100, the high bidder in Germany finally paid the Church for the piano, and made arrangements to have it crated up and shipped to Germany from Fayetteville Ga.

Again, not the same situation you experienced, but similar, I suppose, since we both just wanted to be helpful to someone.

By-the-way, the buyer in Germany never mentioned it, but I'll bet it cost him a lot to have that Baldwin L crated up and shipped to Germany. He said there were not many Baldwin grand pianos available in Germany.

Sorry for the long story, but thought it related to an extent.

Rick

That is a cool story Rickster and similar to one of mine that happened some 35 years ago.

I was hired to evaluate a potential piano for a client. I showed at the location and met my client. We went inside the house and I started to open up this old upright. No mouse nests but almost.

There were two other people there. I (stupidly) took for granted that "they" were the owners of the piano.

This is not a good time to vocalize your thoughts about the state of the piano....

You can guess the rest of the story.


Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca
Re: Inspection ethics
accordeur #3052407 12/03/20 11:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,761
Originally Posted by accordeur
Originally Posted by Rickster
Bob, it sounds to me like you are a very honest, friendly, and sincere person/technician. You were put on the spot by the seller regarding prospect B's request, and you responded with your heart and not your head. We've all done it.

And, it sounds like you were honest again in rethinking the situation, and notifying prospect A, your paying customer/client, of the situation.

Something similar, (but different) happened to me years ago. A Baldwin L grand from the late 1980s was listed on eBay by a Church not far from my location. It had a starting bid/price of $2500, with no reserve, which was a rock-bottom price for a piano like that, despite being in a Church environment.

I called and talked to the pastor and made an appointment to go look at the Baldwin L that Sunday, after the Church services. They had moved it to the back of the Church, and had gone to all digital pianos for their music program.

From what I could tell, the piano was in very good condition. I decided I would bid on the piano, and bid $4000, (if my memory serves me correctly). There were only two bidders on the piano, me and an eBayer from Germany. I was outbid and the guy from Germany won the auction at $4100.

About a week later, the pastor of the Church calls me and asked if I would be interested in buying the piano if the bidder from Germany backed out of the sale. I told him, yes, I would. Next, the pastor said the high bidder from Germany asked if I would be willing to email him and tell him what I thought about the condition of the Baldwin L, because the Pastor told him I had come to look at it. I told the Pastor I would, because, like you, it is my first inclination to be helpful to others when I can. So, although I am not a practicing piano tech, (except on my own pianos) I did email the bidder in Germany and told him what I thought about the condition of the piano.

After a couple more weeks, and me getting my hopes up that I could still get the Baldwin L for $4100, the high bidder in Germany finally paid the Church for the piano, and made arrangements to have it crated up and shipped to Germany from Fayetteville Ga.

Again, not the same situation you experienced, but similar, I suppose, since we both just wanted to be helpful to someone.

By-the-way, the buyer in Germany never mentioned it, but I'll bet it cost him a lot to have that Baldwin L crated up and shipped to Germany. He said there were not many Baldwin grand pianos available in Germany.

Sorry for the long story, but thought it related to an extent.

Rick

That is a cool story Rickster and similar to one of mine that happened some 35 years ago.

I was hired to evaluate a potential piano for a client. I showed at the location and met my client. We went inside the house and I started to open up this old upright. No mouse nests but almost.

There were two other people there. I (stupidly) took for granted that "they" were the owners of the piano.

This is not a good time to vocalize your thoughts about the state of the piano....

You can guess the rest of the story.

Jean, not only are you a much better piano technician than I will ever be, but can say a lot more with much fewer words than I can. smile

Interesting story, by the way!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Inspection ethics
bobrunyan #3053487 12/06/20 12:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 575
W
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
W
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 575
I have heard stories about technicians hired to inspect a piano for a buyer, commenting to the seller how great the piano was, before making the report to the buyers. The seller in one story raised their price and in another, took their piano off the market. So I think of it that you represent the buyer and it’s best to keep your mouth closed and let your client make their decision based on all the information presented to them.

If I ever get called to make an evaluation again I will keep all these stories in mind.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Inspection ethics
WBLynch #3053896 12/07/20 02:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,275
K
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
Platinum Subscriber
2000 Post Club Member
K
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,275
Originally Posted by WBLynch
I have heard stories about technicians hired to inspect a piano for a buyer, commenting to the seller how great the piano was, before making the report to the buyers. The seller in one story raised their price and in another, took their piano off the market. So I think of it that you represent the buyer and it’s best to keep your mouth closed and let your client make their decision based on all the information presented to them.

If I ever get called to make an evaluation again I will keep all these stories in mind.

Several times I have been hired by a prospective buyer to look at a piano on-location at a private seller's place. Upon completing my inspection, they seller has either asked me outright or in so many words what my valuation or recommendation to the customer is. I always decline to say anything very committal and say something like I need to prepare my formal evaluation and then submit it to the buyer. As others have pointed out, it is important to keep in mind who hired you to do the work.
OTOH, if a seller has had me do work, I tell them that they can have a prospective buyer contact me if they wish to hand my name on to them.


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
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal

Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Yamaha or Rolan Or William rhapsody
by Belma - 01/15/21 11:22 PM
Kawai GX2 vs Shimmel 180
by tony3304 - 01/15/21 10:51 PM
N3X Lid Pin Sticking Out?
by tierce_de_picardie - 01/15/21 07:45 PM
Polyester finish Yammy
by bill miller - 01/15/21 07:29 PM
Stack of Thirds Temperament
by Seeker - 01/15/21 07:07 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,280
Posts3,047,136
Members100,069
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4