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April 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm #49012
Had a quartz wall clock come in a few days ago. He told me he built the clock off of plans for a mechanical clock. Well to make a long story short he could and I couldn’t find a quartz pendulum clock that the pendulum hung far enough back not to hit the case. Inside it had a bar screwed and glued which would allow the pendulum to hang straight down. If he had put a mechanical movement in the pendulum would have cleared easily. So I ordered one of these to mount on the back. http://www.ronellclock.com/Large-Heavy-Duty-Pendulum-Drive-Mechanism-MPD-80.htm
Well it came in a week ago Monday and I installed it last Friday afternoon. It would not run. I was miffed because I didn’t want to wait another 6 or 7 days to get the new one. So I was going to call them on Monday and request a new one. Well last Saturday I just couldn’t stand it so went out, pulled out my trusty voltmeter and applied my 45 yrs of electronic experience. Sure enough after some meter readings and a careful look see I found a bad soldered connection. Removed the old solder and resoldered. It has been running fine since. Problem is how do I charge the customer? I spent probably 45 minutes from start to finish. Oh well guess I should have sent it back.
Happy it is working and had some shop time because tomorrow my right eye gets done. Hope it turns out as good as my left. I can read the newspaper and work on the computer now with no glasses. Clock work is like wow I can actually see.April 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm #57393
Hey Bernie, first of all good job on fixing the issue What I have found is dealing with the quartz clocks is they are more time consuming than a mechanical clock, but thats just me and my tiny brain 🙄 . Also not sure how guys out there charge but I like to give a estimate or quote and make sure I emphasize plus parts.. Today I went out to pick up a late 1800s German grandfather clock movement, the gentleman’s son was there and who said he had taken a clock into another repair shop 80 some miles from here. I asked him if he would tell me what his expected range of cost would be and his response was, “I dont know” Not sure I would trust a repair shop of any sort to charge me whatever they decide. I dont mind once in awhile to let something slide as far as time and accomplishing the task (it can be good P.R.) BUT I have to be alright with it. What I dont like is when someone is purposely trying to take advantage of me, which has happened and it was my fault for letting it happen. I am sure, and I say this from experience, that if you mentioned it to him and discussed it you would both be happy in the end, you get a little for your time and he gets back his clock sooner than later with nicely soldered wires. We know who should shoulder the cost, that is the cheapo manufacturing plant that doesnt practice quality control. Sorry, I am a bit miffed about customer service right now, In the area a brand new Menard’s is up and running, I never felt so much like herded cattle before in my life, shuffling thru the line with no face to face contact with any human being, the checkout lady had her back to me as I trudged thru the cattle herding corridor, product is slide thru the reader and conveyor belted down the line waiting there for me to pay and bag up myself, zero interaction with a checkout person, so when I forced the the issue with my smiley face I got a snappy rude reaction like I was a cow who had made a pile in the wrong spot. If thats how they are going to conduct business then I have no problem in saying that I will never go there again……..so long story short, we have the opportunity to give good service and sometimes go over the top without worrying about the dollar keeping in mind that this is our living. personal, honest, upfront and serving I think is good business….. William
P.S. I will send all the quartz clock to you Bernie 😆April 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm #57394
Thanks William. If I had decent mail service I would have called and had a new one sent. I used to get parts from them in 3 to 4 days including parts from California. Now most times it is between 7 to 8 days. The USPS in there infinite wisdom decided to change things up and try to save costs. So if I mail my electric bill that goes to the city here in town with the check it goes to North Platte, Neb where it is sorted, stamped and sent back to Goodland. They used to get the bill the next day now it is 3 days. My son is 2 hr and 15 mins from us and used to get things we mailed to him in 1 to 2 days. If I mail him something I have to do it 6 or 7 days earlier than I used to. A letter to him goes from here to North Platte, Neb then to Wichita, Ks, to Amarilo, Tx then to him. I don’t see how they are saving any money at all. Just drives me nuts. Ok that is my rant for the day. 😆
I am just going to eat the time. I figure I may lose $5 so no big deal. He is a happy camper with 4 more clocks he wants done this fall so it will work out. I called him to discuss it and before I could bring it up he said he had 4 mechanical clocks his wife wants working so they can give them to the kids for Christmas. So I didn’t say a word. I will make my money back. It just miffed me that I had to repair a brand new item.April 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm #57395
@Bernie Weishapl wrote:
It just miffed me that I had to repair a brand new item.
I hear yah!!!!
So as always Bernie…..it just works out , WilliamApril 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm #57396aruthaParticipant
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I think we all get those simple jobs in, that end up causing us a headache, but you know if you tried to charge the customer for the time spent they would throw a fit. Its what makes the difference between a good reputation and a bad one, I too take a hit now and again when I have had to go above and beyond but I also think it is down to pride in your work, think about the general run of clock molesters out there, they would have sent it back and made the customer wait another week or tried to charge the customer a stupid amount. I think you are doing the right thing and I agree with everything William said too.
Paul.April 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm #57397
Thanks Paul. I know what you mean. I kinda knew what I was going to do but just had to rant for a minute. Seems like we are getting more and more crap these days. It is all good.April 25, 2014 at 6:45 am #57398aruthaParticipant
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I have been getting some awful clocks in recently Bernie but if you want to put bread on the table you have to take it. Just this morning I have been out to a new customer who recently had a striking mantle clock and a cylinder carriage clock serviced by the guy who is “The” clockmaker in the town. He is getting on and if his work is anything to go by I am suprised he has been doing it for as long as he has. When I wounld the clocks it felt like he had replaced the mainsprings with barbed wire and thrown in some gravel for good measure, he has been out to visit both the clocks since he serviced them as they both had faults and the bushing I can see on the back of the carriage clock is uglier than an ugly thing that is extremely ugly. The carriage clock keeps stopping and you can hear the cylinder miss a beat every now and again. I was very suprised by the quality(or should I say lack of it) of his work but until I came along he didn’t have any competition. Word is getting around about me and I do get a fair amount of enquiries but until I am bogged down with quality clocks i will take the junk and still do it to the best of my ability.April 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm #57399
Paul I had a couple of clockmakers like those and one was certified by the AWCI but yet wouldn’t take a clock apart. He would solder brass on instead of bushing the clock. I made a awful lot of money off those two. Some were a mess but hey I explained to the customer what I had to do but that their clock would be as good as new when I was done. I only had one or two that turned down my estimate but hey it is like I told them I am not going to reverse the repair of those two and then make it right for nothing.April 26, 2014 at 7:30 am #57400
Hey Guys, thought I would chime in on this. I think a clockmakers worst critic is another clockmaker. When I work on a clock it is always in the back of my mind, if anybody else who knew about repairing clocks and looked at what I have done, what will he see and be able to criticize? I suppose that is my way of quality control and driving myself to another level even though it could be classed as some kind of psychological issue I have, it does drive me to do a better job than before.
@Bernie Weishapl wrote:
made a awful lot of money off those two
And so it is true here also, as clock repairmen techniques in this area have only gone so far in ability. alot of clocks coming in are from poor past repair. probably from a lack of know how I feel these guys have gotten caught up in “being the clock guy” and at some point decided not to take the next step in learning. I wonder how frustrating it has been for them under pressure trying to get a clock running but not really understanding what is going on? (I do have a idea)
but if you want to put bread on the table you have to take it
It can also be a opportunity to hone the skills, and work is work regardless of the previous repair treatment. I recently had a customer bring in a clock that they had been given some time ago. they really wanted it up and running in remembrance of who the received it from, It is a Montgomery Wards 30 day wall clock, Japanese? Korean? movement. these types of movements are not the best in the world and can be frustrating to work on. They had taken it to a clock repair shop in the major city nearby, I assume the repair shop didnt want to waste their time on it so they said it would cost $3000.00 to work on it. I suppose they just didnt want to do the job. The customer was thinking about it until they found out I was here. the only thing wrong with it was the crutch was bent way out. I set it up and it has been running for a week now. so what becomes more important? whether I want to do the job or not, or the happy customer with fond memories of a past relationship?
Me? personally, I dont want to hold my head up too high, I have made some dumb mistakes and have alot to learn yet and hope to continue in a upward curve of skill and knowledge (oooohhhh so much to learn). If I determine that I have arrived then I have one foot dangling over the edge and the other on a slippery slope, having put up a dividing wall between where I am and where I can go.
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