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Re: Customers Who Don't Pick Up Repairs

8/1/2000 7:48 PM
Richie{~}==::: Re: Customers Who Don't Pick Up Repairs
I've only had 2 that i can remember. One was a blackface super that had been in a basement for like 30 years.. and was a total mess.. paper caps ,speakers rotted screw heads rusted so bad there were nothing to get them out with.It needed everything. And then go out of your way to help someone by just charging most of the parts at cost.  
Well told him what it needed. then after his ok.. got it all and repaired the amp. I was out all my money and time. Waited 3 months.. sent a regestered letter saying he had 10 days to pay up. or it was to be sold for repair costs. He was there the next day.The other was over a bench fee. after i found out what was wrong with the amp and told how much it would cost to fix it. He wanted me to tell him what it was and he would fix it himself.And didn't want to pay me for the time it took to find the problem..and bench fee. He thought if i didn't fix it he didn't have to pay..!!! Most all the other people i deal with I have never had any problems. One reason is there is no one else in my area that fixes tube amps. Well maybe a one that says they do. I usually get these after they work on them.. So if its been a year.. its been way too long. I think the legal point is try and send the regestered letter and give like 10 days.. and if they don't come up with the money..Its yours.  
Remember the grocer, or car repair place don't let you have your stuff till its paid for. And you don't pull up to the gas pump and fill up and tell them you'll pay them in 3 months..maybe.  
You had to buy the parts.. spend your time..  
they should pay for what was done.Oh >--> GW i have 5 amps to bring ya.. along with the 5 take as hostages till they are paid for..!! You'd be callin in one day.. all amps fixed no cost .. just come get these kids..LOL..  
just kidding ya..  
8/1/2000 7:26 PM
"Just make sure the policy is printed on the drop off ticket so they can't say they didn't know. You'll have to check your particular state laws to cover your ass as well."
There's a way around that as well. Print on your invoices words to the effect that the invoice represents a contract between the customer and you, and that by leaving their equipment with you, they agree that the equipment belongs to you if the repairs are not paid in full and the equipment picked up within X days of being notified of repairs finished. Make them sign.  
Usually state law will not invalidate such a service contract between two parties. There are some possibilities for exceptions, but one $50 consultation with a lawyer should sort that out. The fuzzy situations are only in states with standing laws about mechanics' liens, I think. Anyway, ask a lawyer - it shouldn't be that expensive, and one paid up repair will more than cover the lawyer.
8/1/2000 7:43 PM

Are there any well known lists of stolen music gear on the net? If you can find such a thing, I'd check the serial number against it. I can't see any legit owner dropping off their amp and walking away. Other than the amp being hot, what reason could there possibly be for someone to just give the thing up? They just forgot?  
8/1/2000 9:13 PM

"Other than the amp being hot, what reason could there possibly be for someone to just give the thing up? They just forgot?"
Maybe his/her grandmother died, or maybe he/she was in a car accident and laid up in a hospital, unable to contact the repairman. :(  
There's lotsa stuff in life that can make picking up an amp at the repair shop a non-trivial process. Not that that helps the guy who invested his time and parts in a repair to pay his bills. I guess a grain of understanding is in order until you know otherwise.... Like Patrick Swayze said in "Roadhouse"--"Be nice, until it's time not to be nice."  
Of course, some people are just stupid, dishonest, or whatever, too. :D  
I guess it takes all types....  
C ya,  
8/3/2000 4:22 AM
Steve A.

The one here that's been popping up is some guy wants some particular exact part that needs to be scrounged up. I find it then he thinks the price is too high and doesn't want to pay for it.  
    I'd suggest payment in advance for any special order parts that can't be easily returned without a restocking charge. (I handle HVAC parts orders over the counter and if it is something that I can get during my normal parts runs, I won't insist on pre-payment since I can just return it later if the customer flakes out on me. If the part has to be shipped in, it is a real hassle to get an RA and pay to have it shipped back... plus eat a restock charge... :(   )  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. As for customers who do not pick up their amp for a year...  
... maybe he is not that crazy about the amp because he got another one that he likes better.  
... maybe he decided that he really doesn't like playing guitar.  
... (touring bands were already mentioned)  
P.P.S. You mentioned charging $2 a day for storage after 30 days. Does that include the initial 30 days (like $62 due after the 31st day)? I don't see how you can "own it" after 90 days... wouldn't that just be $120 (or $180) in storage fees plus the price for the repairs? At least in California I believe that you could sell it after 90 days (if your policy was posted properly), but that you would need to hold on to any money leftover after subtracting charges for storage and repairs for at least 6 months in case the customer did come back looking for his amp...  
    Of course you really don't want to have to hassle with selling the amp, you just want the guy to come in pay for the repairs! As you say you gotta act like a tough guy or the customers will walk all over you.
8/3/2000 5:17 AM
Carl Z

Maybe the language in the post was a bit harsh. Own is kind of a strong word. Yes it works almost exactly the way you said. Actually, i don't want the person's amp. All that is wanted is to be paid, unless of course somebody brings in a cherry 5F6A or some such. Come to think of it, there is a guy that brings a mint condition super in for maintenance every 8 or 9 months. He even had a custom flight case built for the thing. It's a damn museum piece. Nice thing is that it does get played regularly. Oh dear, wicked, unscrupulous thoughts are racing through my mind now! Just kidding ;)  
The storage charge starts on day 31. Then after 60 days it gets sold. I've only had to actually go all the way with it once so far. Out here it's actually pretty complicated. You need to file with the county as it being unclaimed merchandise and then post a notice that it's being sold for repairs and service charges on a specific date. If there's no response then the mechandise gets liquidated.  
Most people are pretty good about it and I'm pretty casual about sitting on stuff. Just tell me up front. I've got a Boogie 400+ here now that I've been sitting on for a while. The guy came right out and told me that he was going to have trouble scrounging the money for replacement tubes and if I minded sitting on it for a while. Stuff like that doesn't bother me. It's not crying for bread and the guy is tight on cash, no big deal to me if it sits in the shop for a day or a year. Well, OK, after a year i'd start bitching.  
8/2/2000 2:58 PM

You could have "REQUIRED DEPOSIT ON ALL REPAIRS" posted or noted at time of dropoff if estimate is OK'D. (customer has ONE more reason to return to pickup, besides having his/her amp back!) Deposit could cover cost of parts involved in repair. Your covered for parts AND you may end up with a repaired amp for sale if they don't pickup after a reasonable time--after contact!  
My 2cents

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