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MMD > Archives > October 1997 > 1997.10.19 > 12Prev  Next

Piano Technicians Work a Tough Job!
By Jon Miller

> The toughest part is usually the customer! The problems
> of being a tuner-player technician are endless. ( I fully
> agree with others who tell the same story: Do a good job,
> and get blamed for everything under the sun! )

I assure you that this is not something that is unique to tuner-player
technicians - it is something that *all* people who are in the repair
business must face - whether it be repairing/tuning pianos or
repairing/tuning up a car.  I'm in the business of  repairing/restoring
musical instruments of the woodwind, brass, and percussion types.  There
simply is no possible way to keep all customers happy - and no matter what
you do *someone* will tell other people that you don't know what you are
doing or that you "ruined" their perfectly good instrument.  After 25 years
years in this business, I've finally had to simply realize that, accept it
as fact, and get on with my life.  It will do no good to complain about it.
 We *all* could go on and on with horror stories of how customers have
harmed us.  What does this accomplish? Not much.  It is also not necessary
to "redo" something at no charge when you are 100% positive it had nothing
to do with your original repair.  Perhaps you warranty needed to be written
differently, including a statement saying that the warranty only applies to
the work done, and does not cover misuse, neglect, etc, of which you are
the sole judge.  If the customer understands that in advance, there would
be no reason to do repairs caused by someone shooting water into a tracker
bar.  After all, whether you do the repair "under warranty" or not, the
customer is still going to badmouth you.

> In regard to John W. Miller's not being in a position to pay for
> a full restoration, and feeling deprived of luxury, I once was in the
> same position. I got books on players, talked with those in the
> profession of restoration, and did the work myself.

Perhaps you can find it for me, but I do not believe that I ever said I
felt "deprived of luxury" in relationship to not being able to spend
$10,000 to restore a piano.  This is really stretching what I have said.

On the other hand - I have "all the books" - I have several sources for
advice (including MMD), but there are then those who would discourage me
from attempting a rebuild because I might "do something wrong".  Of course,
that might be good, because it will give people in future MMDs a chance to
complain about "some hobbyist who ruined his player piano".  :)

John W. Miller
Saint Paul MN

(Message sent Mon 20 Oct 1997, 00:18:13 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Job, Piano, Technicians, Tough, Work

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