Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping

Posted by: glentek

Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 09:05 AM

I recently had a piano shipped from east to west coast by what I thought was a reputable piano mover. The piano arrived with damage to the finish in some large areas. The affected areas have the pattern of the shipping blankets 'rubbed out' of the satin finish, probably due to vibration during transport. I sent pictures to the piano mover who replied that this is normal during piano transport, and then gave me instructions on how to fix the problem myself using steel wool. This seems outrageous to me. What do you guys think?
Posted by: BB Player

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 09:13 AM

If they're reputable, the piano was insured during the move (usually with a deductible). Tell them the piano is damaged and you want to file a claim. Note that depending on the extent of the damage, the repair might well fall under the deductible in which case you'd have to pay it out of pocket.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 09:27 AM

I agree with BB Player. Also, steel wool and some flattening paste may indeed be all you need. A good touch-up artist could likely fix it in under an hour.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 10:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Steve Cohen
I agree with BB Player. Also, steel wool and some flattening paste may indeed be all you need. A good touch-up artist could likely fix it in under an hour.


I have a BB and agree with Steve who agrees with BB who has a BB. But as he implies, don't try to do this yourself. Hire a touch up artist(look for a good one). IMHO this is not something one should try yourself even if given "instructions".

My satin ebony BB had some minor scratches on it after delivery. The dealer sent a good touch up guy at no charge and he made them disappear.
Posted by: Rod Verhnjak

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 12:09 PM

I agree with pianoloverus who agrees with BB who agrees with
Steve.

It's normal to have some marks.

My new pianos often come with some marks on the satin finish.
Call a Steinway dealer in your area and see who they recommend.
They are very use to this issue smile
Posted by: pianobroker

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 12:47 PM

I agree with Rod who agrees with Steve who agrees with BB who agrees with pianoloverus. Though it is not a rocket science,the goal is to make the rub out stridations perfectly straight. The large areas such as the lid are easier said than done. wink
Posted by: David-G

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 02:20 PM

Pianobroker and Rod and Steve and BB and pianoloverus, is this really "normal during piano transport"? This sort of problem may be common, but surely it should be possible to move a piano without such damage happening?
Posted by: glentek

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 09:10 PM

BTW. The piano in question is a BB.
Posted by: CTPianotech

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/21/09 09:59 PM

Due to its excellent rubbing characteristics, hand-rubbed satin finishes are most commonly done in lacquer. (at least the top-coats anyway) However, the very characteristics that make lacquer ideal for rubbing, also make it more prone to unwanted blemishes, such as occurred on your piano.

That there are some marks from a moving blanket, after a 3,000+ mile trip (over 4,800 kilometers for david smile ) is not surprising. Still, it seems as though this is something that could/should have been discussed with you before prior to the move. That would have allowed you and the mover to determine what the game plan is (who to call, who pays for what, etc.) if there were some blemishes.

Since this wasn't discussed ahead of time, and there is obviously no mention of such marks on the piano prior to shipment, it seems clear that it is the moving company's obligation to bring the piano back to the condition it was before the move. (i suppose this means i essentially agree with pianobroker, who agrees with rod, who agrees with pianolovers who has a BB, who agrees with BB who also has a BB)




I suppose it's also worth noting that there are some additional things that can contribute to these marks showing up after a move. One would be if the finish itself was particularly fresh...for instance if it was very recently rebuilt, and the finish was less than a month or 2 old. We once moved a piano to an event in Rochester, NY with a finish less than a week old. Not surprisingly, there were a few blanket marks, but fortunately we came prepared... Some months later, when the same piano was delivered to it's owner, (through a difficult move, also in NY) there wasn't a blemish to be found afterward. Another would be if the piano had some sort of polish/furniture cream rubbed into it. In that case, the moving blankets aren't actually 'scuffing' the finish, they are absorbing the polish. This situation can make matching the lid to the rest of the piano somewhat more complicated, but still do-able.

As pianobroker mentioned, rubbing out lid, can be fairly tricky, so do be sure to have a professional do the work. Best luck, smile
Posted by: glentek

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 10:46 AM

I am trying to attach a couple photos of the damage using 'Post Options - File Manager'. I'll see if this works. Otherwise I'll upload the photos to the Internet somewhere and provide a link.

My opinion is that the damage to the finish is quite severe. It is more than just a few marks. The finish of my piano looks 'reptilian'.

I verified that this piano mover is used by M&H and Steinway, and they told me the piano move was insured. I was shocked that the piano mover suggested I make the repairs myself, and tried to give me instructions on how to do it.
Posted by: SeilerFan

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: glentek
I was shocked that the piano mover suggested I make the repairs myself, and tried to give me instructions on how to do it.


Movers usually don't know much about pianos even though they pretend they do. Advising an owner to do the rubbing himself is just sheer ignorance. I've had my fair share of frustration with piano movers, too.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 11:58 AM

Originally Posted By: glentek
I am trying to attach a couple photos of the damage using 'Post Options - File Manager'. I'll see if this works. Otherwise I'll upload the photos to the Internet somewhere and provide a link.

My opinion is that the damage to the finish is quite severe. It is more than just a few marks. The finish of my piano looks 'reptilian'.

I verified that this piano mover is used by M&H and Steinway, and they told me the piano move was insured. I was shocked that the piano mover suggested I make the repairs myself, and tried to give me instructions on how to do it.



I think the movers suggesting you make the repairs yourself is a bad sign. I would take pictures(I guess you have) and contact the dealer and the moving company. If the pictures are good, posting them here will help others more knowledgale than me to evaluate the problem. You may want to have a good independent touch up artist evaluate the problem, solution and cost.

Is this a new Mason BB? If so, I think the satin finish is clear lacquer over poly.

Whether the scratches(?) are minor or major or even they were there before the move, the movers and/or dealer should make it look basically perfect. I would say that even if the piano was inexpensive, which a Mason BB is not. If necessary, contact the M&H company.
Posted by: John Chan

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 01:07 PM

More to the point, posting here will make / break the reputation of the piano mover. It is their choice whether they want to make it right for you, or suffer the consequences.
Posted by: David-G

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: glentek
I am trying to attach a couple photos of the damage using 'Post Options - File Manager'. I'll see if this works. Otherwise I'll upload the photos to the Internet somewhere and provide a link.

Your photos didn't appear. Try using the form on this link .
Posted by: Kieran Wells

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 05:02 PM

Nice finish, but if you even look at a traditional satin lacquer finish the wrong way, you get a scratch. I used to have to prep the BB's satin finish out of the box, then maybe once or twice in the store, then post delivery. The same goes for Steinways I have had in here. But I can be fastidious. So your experience is not surprising and it may be less of an issue than you think. Lacquer is more delicate but less difficult to work with.

Where are you on the west coast? I am sure PW people would be happy to point you to a good cabinet guy.

-Kieran
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 10/23/09 05:44 PM

double
Posted by: glentek

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 12/03/12 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: David-G
Originally Posted By: glentek
I am trying to attach a couple photos of the damage using 'Post Options - File Manager'. I'll see if this works. Otherwise I'll upload the photos to the Internet somewhere and provide a link.

Your photos didn't appear. Try using the form on this link .


I noticed that I did not reply to this, so here's my reply.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/PA060152_1.jpg
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/PA060155_1.jpg
Posted by: Jeff Clef

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 12/03/12 07:27 PM

"...by what I thought was a reputable piano mover..."

I just had to look back to assure myself that you said 'piano mover,' not 'furniture mover.' I am wondering, on what basis did you believe that they were a good outfit? There are really great piano movers; indeed, pianos are shipped halfway around the world every day without being damaged.

"...The piano arrived with damage to the finish..."

Right, it can happen. These things can be fixed up.

"...I sent pictures to the piano mover who replied that this is normal during piano transport..."

Now you have lost me--- the shipper cannot just blow this off. Most companies find this method of handling customer service way too expensive.

"...and then gave me instructions on how to fix the problem myself using steel wool."

Don't touch the piano with steel wool! You are not a refinisher; the way you describe it, it sounds like they are trying to void the insurance claim before it is ever made. If what you have told us is accurate (you'll admit it's scanty as to details), it is truly terrible.

You should be dealing with (1) the seller and (2) the shipper's insurer (and also, with the boss), then with (3) an (actually) reputable fine furniture refinish guy, perhaps one recommended by a local dealer of good reputation.
Posted by: Mark R.

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 12/04/12 08:03 AM

Originally Posted By: glentek


OK, so more than three years down the line, I would think it's safe to presume that you've actually taken some action. What was the outcome?
Posted by: glentek

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 12/12/12 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark R.
Originally Posted By: glentek


OK, so more than three years down the line, I would think it's safe to presume that you've actually taken some action. What was the outcome?


Well...... things were a bit topsy turvy the past three years. So the short answer is nothing has been done. I have been more interested in playing piano than taking up another hassle, so that is my "excuse" for not pursuing the finish issue. However, I think I will send this discussion to the piano mover. They are well-known, and might reconsider their position if they see where this information is being discussed. I have not revealed the piano mover's identity here yet, but that could change. The photos I posted here are the same photos I sent to them 3 years ago.
Posted by: glentek

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 04:44 PM

Update. Shortly after I made the previous post I sent emails and left voice mail messages with the mover, and received no replies. The mover was Walter Transport. There you go...
Posted by: BDB

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 05:21 PM

After three years, you have probably passed the statute of limitations for any action, so you are on your own.
Posted by: Carbonblob

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 06:04 PM

Hey Glentek,

I just sent you an email but that was before I got to see all the excellent responses here. I'm in the warranty field myself as a specialist/consultant to several Fortune 200 companies. I mention all of that because I want to qualify this statement; please do not repair the piano yourself. This is a warranty issue for the "mover" to address and a fix for the pros to complete.


Please accept my apologies if I sound like I'm nagging or lecturing but since you posted, I would advise finding a specialist/piano pro who's recommended by your dealer or tech and NOT accept a repairman or his credentials from the mover, he's already lost my vote.

I'm in the biz, have a piano and still, I wouldn't attempt a repair, ever! Many have already posted great advice, the best being; you don't get do-overs on a lacquer finish. This is just a guess but I would think this is a fairly straight ahead and standard repair, for a piano pro. Good luck.....blob
Posted by: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 09:43 PM

I am sorry to inform you that in my opinion your complaint about "pad marks" on the finish surface is not a valid claim against the mover. If the piano was moved during the summer, and it got over 90 degrees, all lacquer finishes on the side of a grand being shipped would end up with some marks. A touch-up person can remove them in an hour or so. The moving company can not control the weather. This issue would fall under the "acts of God" insurance coverage exemption.

Complaining about Walter Piano Transport to me about this issue will not stop me from recommending them. I have used them many times and you can find no better mover than them. Good luck and enjoy your wonderful piano.
Posted by: Rich Galassini

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 10:36 PM

Originally Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT
I am sorry to inform you that in my opinion your complaint about "pad marks" on the finish surface is not a valid claim against the mover. If the piano was moved during the summer, and it got over 90 degrees, all lacquer finishes on the side of a grand being shipped would end up with some marks. A touch-up person can remove them in an hour or so. The moving company can not control the weather. This issue would fall under the "acts of God" insurance coverage exemption.


One other thought - if a piano has been very recently completed the finish can be dry but not totally cured. If this was the case with the piano in question then there is no way that any mover could have prevented it.

Occasionally my company receives a piano directly from a manufacturer in a shipping crate that has this problem when it is uncrated. It is easy to fix, but it happens.
Posted by: Nash. Piano Rescue

Re: Satin Finish Messed Up During Shipping - 05/15/13 10:50 PM

Satin finishes usually are a headache for long distance carriers. Most will have climate controlled trailers for the black pianos and the polyester finishes. Sounds to be like the pads on the piano were too loose or they used shrink wrap over the pads which is a no-no.

Un-cured finishes or heat can cause pad ghosting.