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Topic Options
#615903 - 02/12/09 11:24 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
This thread WAS about things you will do for a customer but unfortunately it has now been turned into SOMETHING ELSE which is about members.

Enough of this one for me……….. :rolleyes:

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#615904 - 02/12/09 11:38 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4940
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Dan:

I have a similar complaint. This thread WAS about things you will do for a customer but unfortunately quickly also became about things you will do to a customer. I could not keep silent.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#615905 - 02/12/09 12:18 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
daniokeeper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 1080
Loc: PA
I have a two-day old story of a terrific customer putting up with me...

I tune for a very nice young lady that schedules her appointments by email. Well, this last time, I had someone else reschedule, so I could schedule her only several days later. In my reply, I meant to type (in reference to the other customer) the words:

"... who rescheduled ..."

Unfortunately, it came out differently. My careless fat fingers working at 100 mph typed out:

"... whore scheduled ..."

Instead of typing:
"...w-h-o-spacebar-r-e-s-c-h-e-d-u-l-e-d",
I typed:
"...w-h-o-r-e-spacebar-s-c-h-e-d-u-l-e-d"

Needless to say, I was horrified when I reread my response attached in her return email. Of course I apologized for my error.

Sometimes customers put up with us, too \:\)

Hang in there!
-Joe
_________________________
Joe Gumbosky
Piano Tuning & Repair
www.tinyurl.com/tunerjoe
(semi-retired)

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#615906 - 02/12/09 12:24 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
mitech Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Michigan
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Groot RPT:
Tooner,

I don't know who in the heck you think you are to "judge another" but, you have shown your true color's time and again in this piano forum for who YOU really are. A troll and a trouble maker. You left once. Time for you to leave again.. Get lost. We don't need or want trouble makers in here.

I put up with an awful lot of verbal abuse, swearing and screaming from this woman before I finally let loose. A full 15 minutes worth.

As a "part time tuner" yourself, you have had a fraction of the experience in this field that I have had in my 40 years of tuning, 35 of them, full time.

I rarely have problems with clients. There isn't a full time technician out there that HASN'T had problems at some point in time. Generally, these clients have some sort of mental issue going on but, that is no reason to take it out on another HONEST person that was called in to do their job.
And, I stand by my statement. I will not take verbal or mental abuse from a client. Nor, will I take it from some smart alack know it all like yourself.

If you don't like what I wrote. Well, TOUGH. Go troll some place else and stop starting trouble! [/b]
Bravo, Jerry! Well said...
_________________________
Mark

PTG Associate Member

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#615907 - 02/12/09 12:27 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
mitech Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 42
Loc: Michigan
 Quote:
Originally posted by UnrightTooner:
OK, I’ll spell it out. Any service professional will encounter abusive customers. Since we are all humans we will react emotionally. Sometimes we will act abusive in return. At some point we should just “walk away” as many that have shared on this topic have done. If we don’t, we should examine what we did instead and come up with a plan so that next time we just “walk away.”

Jerry bragged about how he did not walk away. He bragged about how the customer is not always right. In this case, when all was said and done, there was no customer. It really bothers me that no one else sees what happened in the way I do. An appointment to tune a piano resulted in the piano being worse off than how it started, which Jerry took delight in! It seems that Jerry might have been able to learn something from the “flake” (a demeaning term he used) that tuned it before.

Jerry also made a post trying to bully me off this forum. This type of arrogance is displayed by a few of the regular posters here, and accepted by most. I try to warn hobbyists away from here so that they will not receive this sort of abuse.

If I leave this forum again it will be for the same reason that I did last time and for the same reason I lurked for so long before first posting. I do not not like being part of this kind of arrogance. But, I have to take the good with the bad to stay here. If it gets bad enough, I will leave because I[/b] choose to not be part of it, not because anyone else does not want want me here. [/b]
Dood! You must seriously lighten up!

Have you ever heard of " If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" ?
_________________________
Mark

PTG Associate Member

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#615908 - 02/12/09 12:46 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks for your support people. I do appreciate it.

I don't understand the theory behind what Tooner is doing other than, in a few of his own postings in the past, he himself has said that he has "issues and that he shouldn't be posting." Whatever that means... Why he chooses to all of a sudden pick on me, I can't say. I haven't even talked with him since he returned again.

At any rate, we are here to help one another, to contribute valuable information not to fight.

I reported this thread to Ken Knapp because this is not the first time Tooner has done this to myself or to others in this tech forum.

Enough already Jeff.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, on the positive side of things?

I had a customer that we contacted last week, she has a nice Yamaha grand that hasn't been tuned in 3 or 4 years now because she is in dire need financially. So, what did I do for my customer that used to tune it yearly? Just for her, I dropped my price by $55 just to help her out. I'm not positive but, it sounded like she was about to cry!

She said, I have so badly wanted to get my piano tuned but, just could not afford it. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I said, well, you're welcome!

I don't do this very often but, hey, we help when we can help right?
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615909 - 02/12/09 02:19 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Les Koltvedt Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 3195
Loc: Canton, MI
Jerry...
_________________________
Les Koltvedt
LK Piano
Servicing the S. Eastern Michigan Area
PTG Associate

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#615910 - 02/12/09 02:40 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
b3groover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Lansing, MI
Too bad this thread turned ugly. Too bad this forum software doesn't have an "ignore" function. Jeff's mantra seems to be "do as I say, not as I do." Turn the other cheek, eh?

Anyway, on the positive side of things and kind of relating to Jerry's story immediately above, I got a call to come tune a piano I just tuned in October for a young, newly married couple. (Maybe I'm a softie for the woman because she reminds me of my little sister.)

I was a bit curious to hear the piano since, like I said, I was just there in October. Maybe I didn't set the pins right? I'm always frightened perhaps I'm doing something wrong since I still consider myself a "newbie" at tuning.

So I get there and she says, "Well, it's really only a couple of notes here and there." She plays one of the high C#s and I can tell immediately that one of the unisons is out, by at least a half-step. Obviously not normal. Most of the real bad offenders were in the upper treble. "The rest of the piano sounds great," she said.

Sure, enough, the outside right unison was out. The bottom pins of the offending notes were incredibly loose. They didn't feel that bad in October, but Michigan had just recently went though a real warm-spell (it was 50+ degress that day after being in the teens the previous week). I gently tapped the offending pins a bit and suggested that we might want to do a CA treatment on the piano sometime in the future. I tuned the notes, even fixed a keytop that was coming off, and said, "Thanks for calling. I'll call you in six months to see how it's doing and possibly schedule another tuning".

"What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. I'll see you in the spring."

She was thrilled, because she really didn't have the money for a tuning, but just couldn't live with those few unisons being so far out. I even showed her how to tune them herself since she had a tuning hammer and mute from the previous owner of the piano. She agreed to do a CA treatment in the spring, so that will be great.

\:\)
_________________________
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jim Alfredson
Musician / Tuner
www.organissimo.org

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#615911 - 02/12/09 07:31 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ah, I knew it!! Just got off the phone with a fellow who thinks “it just needs a tuning"…..When was your piano last tuned sir……don’t remember.

Can you play middle C over the phone for me?

Thanks, this is not middle C anymore this is now B flat below….. Can you tell me what kind of piano it is…..this should be on the front board above the keys…..

Oh yes, it says Whitney………..

Ron, Jerry, anyone, are you busy at all???Need a long distance customer??……help me doctor….help me…..into the Abyss…….

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#615912 - 02/12/09 07:50 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Ah Yes!!!! The wonerful Whitney. My sympathies Dan!!!! This week for me been a week of Wurlitzers and a Kimball grand. Here in the Lowlands of the Low-end PianoLand, I just dont think I can take a Whitney, especially one I have to travel to.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#615913 - 02/12/09 08:10 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4190
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Ha ha ….… A week of Wurly’s out does one Whitney by a long shot Ron. Good on you for slugging it out in the trenches there…….

I’m just doing the “do I have to tune this one” grumble that’s all……. And then the explanation about low pitch and all the rest of it….tried to do this on the phone but the fellow was not getting it. Hopefully he will understand more when we are in front of the instrument…….

The things we do for customers………

Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#615914 - 02/12/09 08:59 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2234
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Quote:
Originally posted by UnrightTooner:
Jerry:

Thanks for explaining again what you are really like. [/b]
Jeff,

I was going to PM you but saw you have them disabled.

I have a feeling that this topic might have taken a different tone had your response been something like

"Jerry, I can't say I would have handled it that way. When that has happened to me I've.."

or

"I've been in similar situations and done this..."

Saying "Thanks for explaining again what you are really like" just doesn't come off as sounding kind.

I guess whatever the case, it would be hard for any of to know for sure how we'd respond if we were in the same situation Jerry faced.

Ken
_________________________
Ken

Piano Organ Depot
http://www.pianoorgandepot.com
Hammond Organ Technician
http://www.tonewheeltech.com
Vice President - MITA, International
http://www.mitatechs.org
http://www.facebook.com/MITATechs

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#615915 - 02/12/09 10:31 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
OK,

This just happened today. I did a service call in East Chicago, Indiana for a termite inspection on the sale of a house. When I got there, and after a few pleasant moments with the homeowner, I proceeded to the basement to start my inspection. Much to my suprise, tucked away in the corner, with lots of junk stored on top and around it was a upright piano. A Steinway piano. It was in poor condition.. check that... terrible condition. I asked the homeowner how long the piano had been in the basement because I am looking for a piano to practice tuning, etc. on. The answer was since Granny died... 31 years ago. OH! That hurt.

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#615916 - 02/12/09 10:39 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Keith Roberts Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1984
Loc: Murphys, Ca
Bravo Ken. I felt Unright's post was a direct shot at Jerry and had nothing to do with pointing out abuse. It was fairly obvious and why so many people objected. Then when called on it we get the "oh I was this and that... and the rest of the arguements to try and make the claim valid after the fact....

And Unright, you should get it out of your head that anyone has tried to bully you off this forum. There is no such thing. It can't happen. Get in touch with reality. You may have been challenged as to whether or not you are considered a tuner/tech but I was too and probably so is everyone else who posts here regularly. I'm not against you. I have read some of your posts with interest because it helps with my tuning skills. I even tried to add something useful to a recent post.

Namaste
_________________________
Keith Roberts
Associate, PTG
Keith's Piano Service
Hathaway Pines,Ca

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#615917 - 02/12/09 10:41 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Go fetch that outta the basement. Because, I once went to Long Island to drag a Steinway upright home here to Michigan for one of my daughters, and we drove (not kidding) past a funnel cloud, and through a hurricane that was rockin' the coast...and I've GOT to believe that was a good idea, given the value of old Steinways.

...well, sorta...;-)

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#615918 - 02/12/09 10:48 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Thanks Ken. I hope that puts an end to it.

Wayne, you didn't manage to convince them to GIVE you the piano??? ;\)
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615919 - 02/12/09 10:52 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Yes Wayne I agree it warrants further investigation. I found an old Steinway vertical in a barn a few miles from where I live about 4 or 5 years ago. I took the time to haul the old piano home. It was free, and had sat out in the elements for 8 years or so. I gave restoration a good try, but all the wood was dry rotted. The action was filled with rust, needed everything. It was just too much of a stretch and I gave it up.

The things people do to old pianos!!!

Maybe you can get this one, and save it from the heap.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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#615920 - 02/13/09 06:31 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
I seriously don't think it is worth the effort to drag it out of the basement. The basement had flooded a couple of times, (water stains on the concrete foundation) and honestly, it was in reeeeaaaaallll bad repair. I did have a customer who was going to give me a Beckstein 6 something grand, and that was beautiful, but at the last minute her grand daughter decided that she wanted it. That would have been very much appreciated.

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#615921 - 02/13/09 07:19 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4940
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Ken:

I do not allow PMs because of the gossip. I do allow Emails from Administrators and Moderators.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#615922 - 02/13/09 11:23 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4940
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Keith:

The more I get to know you the more I realize how precious, pure in heart, you are. Don’t ever change. AFA
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#615923 - 02/15/09 11:31 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Mocheol Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 527
Loc: Dublin, Ireland
I know a Barman who if he felt he was being abused by customers would disappear behind a screen and spit in the customers glass before filling it. If the abuse was particularly bad he would shake a few drops of urine into the customers glass.
The customer would never know because the amounts of offensive material used were insufficient to materially alter the taste but probably sufficient to make the drink taste a little bit off.
Moral of this story is dont P..S off your barman.

On this matter if a customer abuses a piano tuner he /she could always leave the piano just off enough to create doubt but not enough to create certainty.
_________________________
vcz

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#615924 - 02/15/09 11:38 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Wow. That is something I would never do. Morals come into the picture here. But, a lady such as the one I described obviously had something else going on in her life. In my case, I simply chose to leave for the sake of leaving rather than taking any more chances on something else going wrong and being sued later for something or another that I never did. Not to mention the abuse factor.

In most cases, I always do the best job possible. There are those times where you simply cannot hear because it is to noisy that you can't hear anything so, you just tune it and hope for the best. Otherwise, I always do my best job regardless of who the client is.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615925 - 02/15/09 08:16 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Magz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 88
Loc: Illinois
Somehow this post has taken a 180 degree turn from my original concept. Anyways, it made for some interesting reading and some "scary" revelations. I thank most of your for your interesting service stories and some of your for your interesting comments. If nothing else, I will admit that this forum is interesting and sometimes unpredictable.

Seriously, thanks for posting. It was entertaining.

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#615926 - 02/16/09 09:50 AM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 156
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
About twenty years ago a lady called me in the wintertime to tune her upright piano. She informed me as I came in the door that I was the seventh tuner she'd had tune the piano in the last few years and none of the tunings were any good. . .they hadn't held.

The piano was on an outside wall of her little single-wide 50's trailer that had about 2 inch thick walls. It was -20 degrees outside and there was about a quarter-inch of ice on the INSIDE of the window behind the piano.

I tuned it and told her she needed to put it on an inside wall.

Two weeks later she called me and asked, "You DO guarantee your work, don't you?" I went back out.

Now the piano WAS on an inside wall. The room was hot, and on the other side of THAT wall. . .a pellet stove going full bore! The wall was so hot you couldn't put your hand on it!

I told her that any extreme temperature will cause the piano to go out of tune, touched up the tuning, and went home.

The next week one of my dealers called me, asking about this situation. I explained, and they advised me they had "solved the situation". . .They had taken her piano in trade on an electronic keyboard!!!! \:D
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#615927 - 02/16/09 09:06 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Today, I tuned a Steinway M in a church of mine. A little more than about half way through the fine tuning, the choral director comes in asking if it would be okay if they placed the piano from the stage onto the floor? I said, that shouldn't be a problem, it's only one step. "I'll be right back!" He said.

Immediately, I thought, YOU MEAN NOW??? I kept tuning. A few minutes went by and in he walks with 1 old man and another fellow. I thought, oh brother....

It was on a tripod so, that was good. He said, you'll help won't you?? I hemmed and hawed saying gee, that's how I wrecked my back in the first place, moving pianos years ago but, alright...

I went to the side where I had the most control with the least bending, walking backwards down the step rather than bending down it from the front.

I easily picked up the backside and set it down one step and told them to keep it coming... The old man, turns his side of the piano as it was going down and so the piano literally BANGED onto the floor flopping off from the tripod. To heavy for him to lift. Now, I'm thinking ohhh great.. More lifting..

The other gentleman was much stronger and was able to keep his side from doing likewise.

So, he and I picked up two ends that fell from the tripod while the other two men placed the two legs back into the tripod again. Or, moved the tripod to the legs rather...

No extra charge but, a lot of heavy breathing!!!

I finished my tuning which hadn't changed and took off.

Did my good deed for the day!
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615928 - 02/16/09 09:15 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Wow, Jerry! That's quite a story. How's the back after that ordeal? PM if you wish...
_________________________
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

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#615929 - 02/16/09 09:22 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
The nightclub where I work used to have one of the spider trucks, but the stage is several levels, so I swapped it for the three-wheel dollies. If there are different levels, you need something that goes with the piano.

I arranged for the truck to be donated to the university.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#615930 - 02/16/09 09:35 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Backs okay. A little stiff but, I remembered to use my legs and not my back.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#615931 - 02/16/09 10:27 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
RPD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 961
Loc: Kalamazoo Michigan
Actually, there you have WAY more patience than I have man!! I don't let myself get hauled into a piano moving gig without big strong football players, at least four...but, on the bright side, you've now hit on a brand new technique for stabalizing a grand tuning...pick the piano up and let it fall a few inches after tuning and the notes that hold are stable! \:D

RPD
_________________________
MPT(Master Piano Technicians of America)
Member AMICA (Automated Musical Instruments Collector's Association)
(Subscriber PTG Journal)
Piano-Tuner-Rebuilder/Musician www.actionpianoservice.com

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#615932 - 02/16/09 10:38 PM Re: The things you will do for a customer
Ron Alexander Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 1292
Loc: North Carolina
Good story Jerry. Same thing happened to me last fall at a local high school. I was tuning for a performance that evening and about half way through, they told me they needed to move the piano up onto the stage from down on the floor. The choral teacher rounded up 4 large size football players and the five of us moved it up to the stage.

I dont mind helping either, if enough hands are on the piano.
_________________________
-----------------
Ron Alexander
Piano Tuner-Technician

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