Servicing a clock question.

POWERSTROKE

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Jan 11, 2011
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Have a question more about how to treat certain clocks when they come in. Right now I work on cuckoo clocks. I am getting enough people to keep me busy. Most of the time, the clock has stopped because of lint, fur, someone fooling around with it, etc. Sometimes it is worn and needs bushings. So let’s say I get a clock that needs cleaning, and has marginal wear in the plates, not new, but not worn either, how do you approach this without running people off? Most people will pay for a cleaning If it gets them out the door with a running clock. Most clocks have been farted around with in my experience when they stopped. Some really do just need to be cleaned.I always am up front that a cleaning is not a rebuild, but it’s hard to convince someone of a rebuild
When the clock does run fine with some sort of wear. How do you approach this?
 

John P

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Sep 17, 2010
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Power, in my shop we lean towards what the clock really needs to be a good, long running piece. We wont patch and oil to save a customer a few bucks.
That kind of work will come back as a bad job and a unhappy customer who tells all his associates where not to get a clock repaired. . Favor the clock and not their wallet. Make sure they understand that an estimate is an estimate and you will need to remove the works and examine for wear and needed work. Cut no corners ever.
You reputation is out there to be shamed or praised. You will be fine by running off the cheapsters.

my 2 cents
 

Ed O'Brien

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Nov 30, 2009
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Completely agree with the response. I already see enough "...... said they fixed it but it won't run, and I do not want to go back to them so I would rather pay you to do it right".
 

shutterbug

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In my shop, the clock is always disassembled, cleaned and inspected. If they don't want that service, they don't want me. After that, any repairs done are added to the cleaning price. It's usually much easier to determine how much wear has occurred after the plates have been cleaned and pegged.
 

Altashot

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Oct 12, 2017
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I always try to be as thorough as I can upon inspection. I then give the client a quote, not an estimate, a firm quote. If I missed something during my inspection, that’s on me.

Sometimes I am asked if I can do it cheaper or not fix this or that to save them money.
I refuse and explain that everything has to be right for the clock to run properly and reliably.

I fix it all or not at all.

212A2491-94FC-4287-894B-DFEA51F95815.jpeg


M.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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I agree with others.

Lots of cuckoos have been "fixed" about 5 times before I see them!

And, I find that the 'price choking point' is around $100 to $150 on most nice looking cuckoo's. Many will need work that can be double or triple that amount.

So, I just collect for the estimates on most and send them back home.

A delapidated 60s cuckoo with a music box gets a quick (no charge) glance and a $500 ballpark estimate. I get to repair maybe one of those in a year. The customers are not offended and will continue bringing me more clocks in the future.

I often wonder just how many yard sales an old cuckoo goes through before it hits the land fill.

Willir X
 

shutterbug

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Love the Mona Lisa copy, Altashot! A nearly exact reproduction :D
 

MuseChaser

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Feb 5, 2019
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Is there any harm in offering the customer options, i.e., "Your clock shows evidence of wear and I can't guarantee how long it will run without addressing those issues, but if you'd like I can give it a thorough cleaning and adjustment and stop there. It may run for a few more months or even years, giving you time to decide if you wish to proceed further. In the long run, this will cost you more than if I fully restored the clock now, but I'd be happy to do only what is necessary to get it to run again for the present if that's what you wish." Of course, put that in writing in the repair bill, and adjust your warranty accordingly. I don't repair clocks professionally, but I DO appreciate those options when given to me by an auto shop, for instance.
 

Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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Aaaaahh,

The ole get-er-goin, or fix-what-broke, job.

That's actually a pretty good ploy, especially if it's a new customer and everyone is clear about the NO WARRANTY part. I mark these SJ (short job) or WDO (work done only).

Willie X
 

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