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The Last moron

TEACLOCKS

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How do you keep from bad mouthing the last moron that work on your customers clock ?

I try not to, But when I tell the custom that I have to fix what the last guy did, they always say it worked before,
Well it didn't.
For some reason the last clock I worked on the Chime locking plate for the self sync cam, was turned to work at the 1/2 hour, It don't work there.
Just to many guys out there that don't guess good, And should not have too guess, They should Know

What do you do :???::???::???:?:argument:
 

David S

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Most of my regulars trust me to tell them what I have before I start. For new comers I take pictures pointing out what is not original or appropriate and email to them.

I haven't had any arguments so far.

David
 

shimmystep

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I have found that explaining objectively what the previous 'repairer' should have been done, and then explaining what they actually did, tends to leave the customer being the one who chooses the words appropriate for the previous repairer.
 

coldwar

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Why enter in to the topic at all. Even if you repair well the deal could still goes sideways you might end up the next moron. :chuckling: Keep on truckin'
 

kinsler33

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"If you repair the right way there shouldn't be any come back"

In a more perfect world, that might be true. But often a clock will come back because of misfortune (a mainspring happened to break) or miscommunication (you really do have to wind it once a week) or something else that's unforseen. That's why I warranty my work.

M Kinsler
 
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bruce linde

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i can't speak to this one with any pretensions of being even remotely qualified to call myself a clock repair person, but...

it seems to me you can (should?) point out all issues to the customer so they can make an informed decision about how whether they think the clock is worth what it would take to deal with all issues and make it 'right' again... without blaming anybody. it is what it is, and needs what it needs. as a customer, i would have more faith in a repair person who spends more time explaining the issues than trashing previous work(mrs)... even if worthy of the hall of shame.

as a newer clock nut, i want to know why... kind of like a little kid wants to know why. why does the clock tick evenly except in a couple of places where it seems to hesitate (escape wheel teeth)? why is the pendulum wobbling (crutch pin, suspension spring, etc.)?

part of explaining what it needs is getting the customer interested in what's under the hood... and excited enough about having it run smoothly again that they're willing to pay for the needed repairs. it doesn't matter where the nail came from... it's all about fixing the flat.

not sure i've mixed in enough metaphors, but you get the point. :cool:

smike





 

Piisimuhkaan

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I've seen poor repair work and heard horror stories that make me wonder how some 'professionals' manage to make a living at butchering clocks. Years of experience doesn't make one competent at what they do.

I refuse to bad mouth another clock repairer in front of a customer. Sometimes I feel like it, but I never give in, since it isn't very professional.
 

R. Croswell

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Generally it is unprofessional to "bad mouth" another repairer, but I do believe the customer has a right to know what the problem with the clock is, and if that problem was caused by an improper previous repair I believe they have a right to know that as well. Quite often when I see an really botched repair the clock is in my shop because the customer had it someplace else and was unhappy with the outcome. In that case they already have formed their opinion - nothing to be gained by disparaging the previous repairer, you already have a new customer, concentrate on doing the job right so they will come back again when they have another clock to be repaired.

RC
 

R&A

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Oct 21, 2008
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I find myself defending clock repairman allot. Trying to clear up a bad job in the minds of a customer is not always an easy task. Especially when they have forked out allot of money to get something done that wasn't accomplished. I have 2 clocks in the shop right now that were not running and stopped working from what the customer told me. A short time after being repaired. Pivots not polished, mushroomed pivots. lose punched bushings. Solder to hold on shroud caps, lose clicks, main wheels lose on the arbors, lose butterfly, main wheels needing to be flipped over. I have to tell the customer all these things, because I have to fix all this. Plus on top of that, they paid good money to have their clock fixed properly, and it wasn't. The outcome of your repair will enforce, that you will have a return customer. And honesty is not bad mouthing. Honesty is a good policy.
 

lpbp

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The problem with not pointing out bad repair work by previous repair persons, is if it goes into another shop later, they may put the blame on you for previous bad repairs.
 

bruce linde

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The problem with not pointing out bad repair work by previous repair persons, is if it goes into another shop later, they may put the blame on you for previous bad repairs.

pointing out an issue and explaining what needs to be done to correct it is the same as saying the person who made or left it like that did a crappy job... without being anything less than totally professional. the ineptitude of those who came before is self-evident... no need to get personal.

another problem with beating up on the previous repair person(s) is that you're essentially saying to your customer "wow... you got so ripped off, and they really messed up your clock". you may be right but all you're doing is making your customer feel bad. what's the point? what do you gain?

Focus on what needs to be done and how you're going to make it all good for the customer and they will appreciate it.
 

David S

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And let's not forget the last "repair man" may not have been one at all, but rather Dad or Grandpa.

David
 

doug sinclair

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I have no qualms whatsoever, commenting on work previously done on a clock I am repairing. I DO NOT want to be held responsible for the crummy work that was done by someone else.

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 

MartinM

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If you've got a repairer in your area whose only tools are a hammer, a punch, a butter knife and some oil, because that's the way he learned to do it in the old country and doesn't need or want your input, isn't it really better to let your customers know that said repairer is the only one who considers his repairs 'acceptable'?
 

Ticktinker

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Not ready to do time piece repairs any time soon for anyone, but,
In my experience as a home repairman for over 14 years I always had to go over the existing condition before I went to work.
This often brought in the factor of the previous repairman.
I said nothing about them because I soon found after making that mistake it was the Brother in law or husband who did the dastardly deed before I arrived.
Aside from that, as mentioned by others here discretion is the better choice of action.
 

R. Croswell

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Not ready to do time piece repairs any time soon for anyone, but,
In my experience as a home repairman for over 14 years I always had to go over the existing condition before I went to work.
I've found the same thing. Once you send that clock out you "own" all the previous repairs so I want to bring everything up to a standard I can put my name on.
PWfanatik; This often brought in the factor of the previous repairman.
I said nothing about them because I soon found after making that mistake it was the Brother in law or husband who did the dastardly deed before I arrived.
Aside from that, as mentioned by others here discretion is the better choice of action.
That's a delicate situation but it doesn't make a shoddy repair OK just because of who did it. The owner really needs to know the truth - gently - so they can keep "uncle billy" away from the clock. I had a nice clock in for repair last year that had a really bad repair job. The owner was a friend (which made it a bit easier) but the butchery was done by her father, now deceased, who ran a respected clock repair business. I carefully explained that the lovely old ST No.2 regulator really didn't need two or three of extra weights soldered onto the original weight, but just a little work on the worn verge. She was happy and since brought me several more clocks to repair. What is that old saying, "the truth shall set you free"?

When I was a little kid I had a record player (I think most of us here are old enough to know what that is) that wasn't working. So being the kind of kid that had to see what made it work, I went inside and discovered that there was a capacitor (condenser) that had spilled its insides. Not having one, I set about to make one, which to me at that time seemed a reasonable thing to do. So I got out some waxed paper and aluminum foil and rolled it all up on a thin wooden stick, attached wires to foil and taped it all up and connected it in place of the blown capacitor. Well it actually worked mostly OK until something else went wrong that was at that time beyond what a 10 year old could figure out, so my mom and I took it to this wonderful man who ran a little radio and TV shop in the next town to be fixed. He could fix anything electronic so it wasn't even a challenge for him, and he would always take time to explain what was wrong and answer a little kids many questions. When we took it in I mentioned the capacitor I had made, so when we came to pick up the repaired record player he had to say something about that capacitor and why he replaced it with a nice new one. Rather than giving me a lecture about messing with the insides of the record player, or telling my mom to keep that kid away from it, he simply said to me that he had replaced my homemade capacitor and that it would have been fine if had a little less leakage and a bit more capacity. Electronics became my main compassion as a kid and teen and I frequently went back to that shop to get parts and talk to Ed. I looked him up a few years ago, he was in his 90's and still remembered me. He passed away a short time later.

Sometimes it isn't what needs to be said but how one says it that can make the difference.

RC
 

lpbp

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pointing out an issue and explaining what needs to be done to correct it is the same as saying the person who made or left it like that did a crappy job... without being anything less than totally professional. the ineptitude of those who came before is self-evident... no need to get personal.

another problem with beating up on the previous repair person(s) is that you're essentially saying to your customer "wow... you got so ripped off, and they really messed up your clock". you may be right but all you're doing is making your customer feel bad. what's the point? what do you gain?

Focus on what needs to be done and how you're going to make it all good for the customer and they will appreciate it.
In town a few years ago was a repairman with a "great reputation", the local paper did a article on him, there was a picture of movements that had been dunked and swished, tied to a clothesline line to dry. I have gotten several movements over the years with his name on them, Rathbun bushings, srew-in bushings with brass cuttings in the movement, no way I take a chance that someone thinks that was my work
 

TEACLOCKS

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I've seen poor repair work and heard horror stories that make me wonder how some 'professionals' manage to make a living at butchering clocks. Years of experience doesn't make one competent at what they do.

I refuse to bad mouth another clock repairer in front of a customer. Sometimes I feel like it, but I never give in, since it isn't very professional.
[/QUOTE


Thank you that is what I do.
And On this forum is where I vent.
 
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shutterbug

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I don't bad mouth former repairmen, but DO make detailed notes about what I did. Things like "removed a Rathbun bushing and replaced it with a proper one" or "restored weights to factory specifications" .... things like that. If the customer wants more details I'm happy to explain.
 

Kevin W.

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I would be nice in my comments of past repair people, and would point it out to a customer. many feel taking a clock and paying lots of money to a person in a shop, means its done right. Too bad many here are just in it for the quick money they make with shoddy work.
 
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