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#323903 - 03/10/06 09:30 AM Do you tip your piano tuner?
Soleil_nuage Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 284
Loc: Virginia
If you tip, how much are you supposed to give? What do piano tuners think? Do you expect a tip? Thanks!

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#323904 - 03/10/06 09:34 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
LJC Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1549
Loc: New York
IMO if the tuner is in business for himself then he charges what he wants and no tip is necessary. This is not my situation however. I've used this tuner about 25 years now and when he comes it is on a Saturday so that we can also have a social visit and show each other what we have been playing. I always ask what he is getting now and he always says just give me whatever you want. So I give him a C note and I think hes happy with that.

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#323905 - 03/10/06 09:37 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18893
Loc: Victoria, BC
My two previous tuners worked for the piano dealership from which I bought my piano, and the check was always made out to the dealership. Therefore, for an $85.00 tuning, I used to tip my tuners $10.00. I also gave them coffee and cookies and - if it was that time of day - offered them a light lunch.

My new tuner/tech is the owner of a piano store and rebuilding shop and - for reasons I can't really explain - I didn't think it was necessary to tip him. Perhaps this was because I was always told that you tip the hairdresser in a salon, but never the owner, even if the owner is your hairdresser. Don't ask me where I heard that one.

I think, however, that you do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#323906 - 03/10/06 09:58 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
BruceD... I heard and follow the same advice about hairdressers and piano tuners. I also provide snacks or drinks \:\) .

I did tip my tech once when we had a key spazz out the day of a performance, and he was able to do some beyond-the-call-of-duty schedule juggling and get out to fix it. He protested but I said just think of it as me buying him a nice dinner that night. That seemed to work.

I've never hired a tech that wasn't self-employed, except for the guy from the dealership who tuned it when it was new. I did tip him, and I always tip piano movers. Don't ask me why, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

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#323907 - 03/10/06 10:11 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
AndreaH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 559
Loc: Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
...the guy from the dealership who tuned it when it was new. I did tip him, and I always tip piano movers.
Can I ask how much you tipped the tuner from the dealership?

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#323908 - 03/10/06 02:54 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
TomFL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/04
Posts: 267
Loc: SW Florida
The tuner I use is also from my dealership.
It might be a bit generous, but I gave him $20.

But, remember... tip if you're pleased with the service he has given you...

otherwise...

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#323909 - 03/10/06 04:43 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I tipped him $15.

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#323910 - 03/10/06 06:13 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Soleil_nuage Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 284
Loc: Virginia
I haven't tipped in the past, nor provided snacks or drinks. I'd better start doing something!

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#323911 - 03/10/06 06:39 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Baldwinfan.718 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 48
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
I've never tipped my piano turner and don't plan on starting anytime soon.

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#323912 - 03/10/06 06:41 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
if he's good.. yep.

I think i found my tuning mate so I am generous with him and he with me...
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#323913 - 03/10/06 07:09 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
If the tuner is really good, I lend him my girlfriend for the night.

(She is full of improvement tips).

If the tuner is bad, he gets her for the whole weekend.

A
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#323914 - 03/10/06 07:17 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
jollyroger Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 849
Loc: Houston, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by AJB:
If the tuner is really good, I lend him my girlfriend for the night.

(She is full of improvement tips).

If the tuner is bad, he gets her for the whole weekend.

A [/b]
Hillarious! LMAO! ... Great one Adrian.
_________________________
Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.
Estonia 190 - Serial # 6561

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#323915 - 03/10/06 07:52 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
frida1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 199
Loc: Pacific Northwest
I must be really lucky, because my tuner won't accept a tip. In fact, last week he came and tuned and did some voicing, and wouldn't let me pay him a penny. I played two pieces for him, and he said that coming to our house is just enjoyment for him! Does that make me feel good or what!

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#323916 - 03/10/06 11:40 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2897
Loc: Florida
frida1,

I had a tuner like that many years ago. He came to my house like once a month and tuned my piano for free.

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#323917 - 03/10/06 11:52 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9799
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Dear frida1,

I understand that Bill Gates loves the mathematical precision of tuning a piano to an equal temperament and has been known to anonymously tune without charge.

Hmmmmm... ;\)
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#323918 - 03/11/06 10:03 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3458
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I certainly don't claim to speak for all technicians, but in my experience, we don't expect a tip. However like most craftsmen, we often undervalue our services, and are hesitant to raise prices for regular customers, even once a year.

Imagine what it would cost to have a mechanic come to your house with tools and parts, and tune up your car in your driveway. If you're happy with your tuner, and she or he hasn't raised prices in a year or two, you could do them a great favor by broaching the subject yourself.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org

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#323919 - 03/11/06 10:13 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
velopresto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Santa Clara, CA
I feel a bit uncomfortable taking tips, though I certainly appreciate the sentiment. I often don't know how to refuse them politely...
_________________________
Dave Stahl
Dave Stahl Piano Service
Santa Clara, CA
Serving most of the greater SF Bay Area
http://dstahlpiano.net

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#323920 - 03/11/06 03:50 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 1306
Loc: Timonium, MD
NO TIP!
_________________________
Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area

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#323921 - 03/11/06 04:07 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
RachFan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 1352
Loc: Maine, U.S.
A self-employed piano technician is a professional who sets his/her own fees to cover time, mileage, materials, and overhead. No tip should be necessary beyond that.

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#323922 - 03/11/06 04:11 PM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
The way piano techs should handle offered tips, IMHO, is accept them graciously. Perhaps say something to the effect, "thank you, I'll use it to treat my wife to a nice dinner out".

You could refuse a tip completely and say that you have a no-tipping policy, but by accepting it and saying it is not necessary, you're inadvertently making the client feel badly about offering it. Do you want your client to feel bad?

I once made the mistake of giving my mechanic a tip when I was moving out of town. I placed a $100 bill in a nice card. When I saw him later, he said that the money wasn't needed and that the card would have been fine. It made me feel bad about giving him the money and I still feel bad about it to this day.

Personally, I wouldn't feel it necessary to tip a tuner unless they do something above and beyond their normal tuning and they don't increase their fee accordingly. They're offering a service for a set fee. So I don't feel the need to tip them any more than I would tip the plumber or electrician.

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#323923 - 03/13/06 06:53 AM Re: Do you tip your piano tuner?
swingal Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 1094
Loc: England
Well, in my view it is solely down to whether self-employed or not. If the former we provide refreshments only. Otherwise a tip of about 15%.

Piano tuners in this country do not make big bucks. But if they are very good yes then tip, if not good and that means average to poor then no tip.

My comment to Bob above is that you were obviously rather hurt by this man's response. From what he said I would take that to mean " wasn't needed" as a neutral adjective! I would still believe in your original thought, as being correct so don't worry yourself.

Alan

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