• 1.  1, 1.5, 2, 3 hours

    Posted 9 days ago
    I had previosly asked about how long it takes to tune, but now I want to ask: How long is everyone here in a customer's home? Do you have standard appointment lengths like: 1 hour for tuning and dusting? Or maybe even 3 hour standard appointments for tuning, minor voicing, minor regulation, minor repairs, evaluation, more thorough cleaning than just a dusting?

    Mine is about 1.5hrs and if I have a long drive then I shorten it to 1.25hrs in a customer's home. Do you offer multiple appointment length options or just a set amount like "1.5 hours for every standard appointnent?"

    My secondary question is: how much are you able to and would you like to get done in (including Tuning 1 pass through):
    1 hour?
    1.5 hours?
    2 hours?
    3 hours
    Don't forget to include greeting, talking with customer, collecting payment, and heading out the door in all those times...these times are in-and-out of front door times.

  • 2.  RE: 1, 1.5, 2, 3 hours

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 9 days ago
    Officially I schedule 2 hour appointments, that accounts for greeting the customer, assesing the piano, cleaning inside and key tops, tuning, perhaps with a pitch raise and minor repairs and adustments.  I often go over, but I account for the missing time in my schedule.

    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA

  • 3.  RE: 1, 1.5, 2, 3 hours

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago

    I do the same as Blaine. 2 hour appointments, tuning, pitch adjustment as necessary, repairs, and any left over time goes to improving the regulation and voicing as necessary and reasonable. I think I only have one piano in my database that truly only needed a tuning and nothing else, so being done extraordinarily early really isn't an issue for me.

    For new clients, I ask them to check a box on Gazelle that says "I'm a new client" which adds half an hour to their appointment. Sometimes I don't need it, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. This helps keep me on track with the rest of the day's appointments. 

    I usually start trying to wrap it up around the one hour forty-five minute mark. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time to put things away, reassemble the piano, accept the check, schedule additional work or the next appointment, and say goodbye to the client. 

    I've been doing it this way long enough that I am usually really close to knowing exactly how long things will take and am able to be on time for my next appointment. Gulp, I can't believe I just said that out loud. Now Monday's appointments are going to be crazy….

    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (256) 947-9999

  • 4.  RE: 1, 1.5, 2, 3 hours

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 8 days ago
    I think we could do a better job answering this question if we knew what you meant by the client gives you the creeps. Could you be more specific?
    It’s not very hard to gently dismiss a client when you have a reason. I have done so for various reasons such as cigarette smoke in the house, grousing about my fee, etc.
    I’m not sure why you are bringing up the possibility of being sued? Why would somebody sue you for not taking them on as a client

    Sent from my iPad

  • 5.  RE: 1, 1.5, 2, 3 hours

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 9 days ago
    I am older (close enough that I'm considering retiring) so I don't tune as fast as you "young-uns." Plus, I do a lot of "neglected" piano work and player work (pneumatic players) so I run into time-consuming problems.  Yesterday, for example, I tuned a 1924 upright player for the first time. All I knew about it was that it had been refinished and some notes "stuck"and player still worked. To get to the action work I had to remove the player, which also meant I had to take the front of the case apart. The problem turned out to be a spacer felt that was loose and caught in the action-easy fix, but never did figure out where it came from (I suspect it had been replaced already). While the player was out I did the tuning-much easier that way. Then I had to do some player adjustments, as the take up roll was loose and misaligned. The piano was mostly 12¢ flat, so tuning was a little longer than if it had been nearer A440. And yes, the high treble was much flatter. So this was a 3 hour tuning.
    I usually allow 3 hours for a piano I've never seen before. Sometime I'm lucky and can be done in 1.5 hours, but not often. I am amazed at those who don't touch uprights and spinets, as that is probably 90% of what I get in this fairly rural area. As for driving, a half-hour is normal, some are over an hour away, and I do charge for "travel" on those, with $4.00+ gallon gas, I have to!
    David Dewey