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Pete Howlett
11-24-2014, 10:51 AM
Just to make you laugh - I have just been asked if I could fit a pickup to a ukulele - something I have done to three instruments today. The inquirer asked if I was 'insured'! Sheesh... I even know the guy and he knows I am a bespoke builder of quality stuff! Needless to say someone other than me will be doing the work :)

Inksplosive AL
11-24-2014, 11:47 AM
Silly kids and their expectations today.

~AL~

Tigershark
11-24-2014, 12:20 PM
As someone who has had instruments carelessly damaged in the hands of several different respected repair shops over the years, it is a very reasonable question.

Even in the event of fire or theft, it is better to ask before there is a problem than after.

Pete Howlett
11-24-2014, 12:33 PM
Anyone who even hints at being a professional is a fraud if they are not fully insured - I know this guy and he plays budget ukulele. It's not as if I am working on a rare and vintage 5K!

Ramart
11-24-2014, 12:50 PM
Anyone who even hints at being a professional is a fraud if they are not fully insured - I know this guy and he plays budget ukulele. It's not as if I am working on a rare and vintage 5K!

So his asking about insurance made you suspect he'd file a spurious claim?

Pete Howlett
11-24-2014, 01:13 PM
There is a huge amount of well earned trust in this community. I guess some people just don't get it. What I found irksome about this is he is local to me, knows my work and standards. I also have 40 years building experience and an International reputation. Should give you a clue as to how safe your instrument will be in my hands don't you think?

Freeda
11-24-2014, 01:17 PM
All my siblings are attorneys.

An E & O policy is cheap peace of mind.

Tigershark
11-24-2014, 02:30 PM
Since you actually have insurance, I guess you could also say "yes, I have insurance and will take good care of your instrument."

VegasGeorge
11-24-2014, 02:51 PM
Gee, I never heard of anyone being insulted by being asked if they were insured. In the first place, there is no "insurance" that would cover sloppy work. So, the mere suggestion that the question maligns the quality of one's work is ridiculous. But genuine accidental damage, fire, theft, vandalism can be covered, and it is a perfectly reasonable question with those concerns in mind. I agree that every professional instrument repair business should have insurance, and be proud of it. Unfortunately, I suspect that a lot of perfectly competent individual repair persons just haven't bothered to get insurance. That's unfortunate. But it's nothing to get defensive about when asked.

Philstix
11-24-2014, 03:56 PM
To misquote Tina Turner, "What's insurance got to do with it?" Unless the uke is worth thousands and you totally destroy it, it would never pay to file a claim. The question seems insulting to me and I don't even have a local reputation to protect. If you don't trust Pete to do this, why even ask?

Kekani
11-24-2014, 05:08 PM
Pete, for what its worth, your intent in this post worked. Thanks for that!

sukie
11-24-2014, 05:50 PM
It would never occur to me to ask.
Especially someone of your reputation. I can see why you felt insulted.

Allen
11-24-2014, 08:49 PM
I'm with you on this Pete. That's goes way way beyond insulting.

I've been in business for 36 years now, and when anyone comes up with a question like that I've learnt by experience that dealing with clients like this will never ever end well.

No matter what, anyone that asked me the same would get the very short shift. I'm far too busy doing the things I want to deal with people like that.

Phuufme
11-25-2014, 02:13 AM
I am a CFO of a small business. When we do business with unfamiliar companies we are often asked (and we often ask) for a certificate of insurance from our respective insurance carriers. I understand your frustration, but in my world it is good business practice. If someone has brought to you a valuable instrument (in THEIR view), then I believe it is a valid question and not an insult.

Pete Howlett
11-25-2014, 02:39 AM
This was not the case Steve. This is simply a matter of stupidity. Because he had read on the internet about ensuring repairers were insured he just had to ask! If it was a vintage or bespoke uke the answer is always the same - "No" or "Go back to the maker". I am not in commerce, don't trade on the stock exchange or have an army of specialists working for me. It's a simple one man operation that works on trust. I understand completely the customers viewpoint but I am old-fashioned enough to still believe in those I do business with - I've spent over $1600 this month with individuals in the US, China and Switzerland. No problems. I am in a fight with a totally incompetent British company who are incapable of sending me the right part!

thistle3585
11-25-2014, 08:31 AM
My understanding by your post is that you are not insured, so my question is how would you handle claims against you? I'm not insured as a builder either but I also don't take on repair work. My homeowners policy covers my instruments. I have a friend who does repair work and he carries a large liability policy because at any one time he may have a million dollars worth of instruments in his shop in various states of repair. I guess my concern taking an instrument to a repair shop that isn't insured isn't about the repair person damaging it but the loss associated with theft, fire, flood etc. In 2008, we had a flood and I got about 16" of water in my basement and the water heater floated enough to fall over and break the incoming water main. It ended up pumping 8' of water in to my basement and completely submerging my shop in about 6 hours.

Pete Howlett
11-25-2014, 08:58 AM
I AM fully insured - I do this for a living and I think I made the case for paying for insurance as being part of good business practice. My last comment on the matter. Pretty tired of having to explain myself when all I was posting was some light relief...

thistle3585
11-25-2014, 09:07 AM
Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your post.

Freeda
11-25-2014, 09:17 AM
In your initial post (in fact, until your last) you didn't clearly state you were insured. I'm sure it caused many people to consider if this is a question they should be asking people who do their repairs. Finally, you act like being asked a fairly standard business question is an insult.

I must have missed the part that was light and funny? Overall I just found the whole thing confusing. Perhaps I'm one of the stupid ones. It happens. :)

bbycrts
11-25-2014, 10:28 AM
This appears to be one of those cases where the luthiers understand the post one way, the rest of us another.

I wouldn't have taken that question to be an insult - I would have figured a little paranoia on the part of the customer, but I saw it as a question like this: "Is my instrument covered in the event of fire/theft/vandalism/etc. while it is in your possession."

It appears the luthiers see the question this way: "When you make a royal cock-up of my precious instrument, are you covered for the liability so I can make you pay for your incompetence?"

The written word has no body language or inflection to go along with it - so those to whom Pete was probably addressing his story (his luthier peers) understood simply by context. The rest of us wanted to attack Pete because we didn't understand the story from his professional point of view.

PhilUSAFRet
11-25-2014, 10:55 AM
This appears to be one of those cases where the luthiers understand the post one way, the rest of us another.

I wouldn't have taken that question to be an insult - I would have figured a little paranoia on the part of the customer, but I saw it as a question like this: "Is my instrument covered in the event of fire/theft/vandalism/etc. while it is in your possession."

It appears the luthiers see the question this way: "When you make a royal cock-up of my precious instrument, are you covered for the liability so I can make you pay for your incompetence?"

The written word has no body language or inflection to go along with it - so those to whom Pete was probably addressing his story (his luthier peers) understood simply by context. The rest of us wanted to attack Pete because we didn't understand the story from his professional point of view.

Contempt?.............

Freeda
11-25-2014, 11:06 AM
Lol!

It isn't anyone's first week on the internet. If our "tone" isn't understood then it is up to us to clarify using our words, like big kids.

A simple "of course I carry insurance against flood and fire, but that doesn't cover workmanship. I would hope that my reputation as a craftsman would be reassuring to a prospective client" would have made a lot more sense to me personally.

I am guilty of being a looky loo in LL, mostly because I click "new posts" rather than go thru each subforum. Perhaps if the pro's area was under password or otherwise segregated, there would be no need to clarify matters to a lay person's level.

I can understand that it may be frustrating to break things down to that level, but those who do so earn respect, and interest in their product.

There ya go. Another two cents you didn't ask for. ;)

PhilUSAFRet
11-25-2014, 12:48 PM
No real upside to being contemptuous with prospective customers. Just my opinion. As the "Godfather" would say, "it's business, it's not personal"

Inksplosive AL
11-25-2014, 12:59 PM
^^^ Professional Tattoo Artist!

One thing I've learned in my short time here Pete and his rants are always good for a laugh.

~AL-oha~

Pete Howlett
11-25-2014, 01:31 PM
Spellins! Priceless :)

Inksplosive AL
11-25-2014, 01:49 PM
See I can make a funny too. I realized I was though.

:)

Dan Uke
11-25-2014, 02:51 PM
Talking about one's own reputation is funny to me. I can't imagine a single luthier playing a lot of custom instruments so how do you decide who is reputable? Being on UU makes you well respected? Obviously there are lots of luthiers not on UU so does the squeaky wheel dictates respect?

sukie
11-25-2014, 03:10 PM
Talking about one's own reputation is funny to me. I can't imagine a single luthier playing a lot of custom instruments so how do you decide who is reputable? Being on UU makes you well respected? Obviously there are lots of luthiers not on UU so does the squeaky wheel dictates respect?

For me? There are plenty of fine luthiers not on UU. Respect is earned, not just given.

Here? I read things here and that adds to the luthiers's reputation. How are the products they make reviewed? Have I seen pictures of their work? There are certain luthiers on UU I definitively would trust. However, a fix without shipping around the world isn't really practical. Locally? If I need work done I ask around to people I know who may have had work done. Or go to a reputable music shop for a recommendation.
Lots of people buy lovely instruments most of us really don't know a lot about. But over time, if the luthier's work holds up we will become very knowledgeable about them.
Think of the ones we don't even know about.