I try to offer a very good repair service and in the past, I rarely charged for repairing my instruments, unless they had been mishandled or otherwise abused by their owners. However, after more than 30 years of making and with upward of 1,000 recorders in circulation, I do find that repairs are taking more and more of my working time every year.
The main problem with repairs is often not the repairing, but the organising. I must receive around 50 recorders a year to repair and in the majority of cases, the repairs are very minor involving a small adjustment to the voicing or tuning. The difficulty and time spent lies in fetching the parcel from the post office, re-packing the instrument after making the repair, e-mails to organise and explain the repair, and queuing at the post office. It’s easy to see that if I multiply the time spent doing these tasks by 50 per year, I can often spend hours on this each week. So I have now started charging a standard fee for repairs sent to me and hope that everyone will understand. If you bring the instrument to me for repair and it can be done within a small amount of time, so that you can pick it up, I will probably not charge you.
Sending an instrument back for repair
If you need to send a recorder back to me for repair, please first phone or e-mail me to let me know it is coming. I spend many weeks each year away from my workshop and if I do not know a package is coming, there is always the chance of it been sent back or even lost.
Over the last few years I have noticed a deterioration in national post services, which seem to be due in large measure to their privatisation. For example: parcels sent via the post office in Germany, currently arrive with a private courier firm in the Netherlands, who seem to be far less concerned about delivering to the right address, than the good old PTT. I have never had a package lost yet in 25 years, but there have been a few close call recently and therefore I would like to offer some advice.
Please insure your package, or make sure your instrument insurance covers posting, because if it were to be lost, at least you might be entitled to some recompense. At the very least, the parcel should be registered, so that someone has to sign for it at the destination. The private courier firms in particular, seem to be very lax in this respect.
Pack up the instrument in it’s soft bag and then place this inside a plastic bag to stabilise the humidity. Use a stiff cardboard box with bubble wrap or crushed paper to absorb any shocks.