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What a mess,Please advise me?!

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi all,
Hope you are all well.I have not been on as you know due to looking after my Mum,well,she passed away 3 weeks ago and what I have to say does not help matters.

As some of you know,I wanted to have a website selling quality vintage musical instruments,I am now thinking,perhaps this was a bad idea.I am today aside myself here.I send one Alto to a Namir tech,when it returned,it did not play,returned it,and back again,didn't play,third time unlucky,So I sent it to my usual tech and he was horrified to say the least,the repairer in question was obviously clueless on Vintage saxophones.So My regular has been kind to me and only charged me £50.00 to straighten those two bent tone holes,reseat a few pads and regulate it properly.

I have just had yet another Alto back from yet another NAMIR registered tech,this time,it has gone overboard,I received it,did not play,it looked awful,it was bad,I mean really bad.I had,had enough of having to keep returning them due to the errors of these tech's,so I decided to send this one,to yet another repairer-though He has a very good reputation.

This morning he has called me to review the sax I sent him,his honest opinion was-the worst he had ever seen,keys falling off,where are all the corks and felts he said? the top stack is not even working,others were sticking and this was just what he could see just looking at it!

I wrote to the previous (Large & Flash) Company and advised that under the circumstances,I shall send them the bill for the cost's to put it right.Now apart from the response which was not only intimidating but this particular repairer has even gone further to say that I should have some more lessons because it was so good,that I obviously cannot play-or words to this effect.

Complete refusal to even amicably agree to settle the matter,even advising that I was the one whom was rude and that they do not wish anything more to do with me.

Now Guys and Girls,the two tech's whom are putting them right,have been doing it a long time,over half my age,surely they Do know what they are talking about.The other two whom have failed miserably and very new and green in comparison.

What is it coming to when I receive this:"Might I suggest that you take 3 years to train as an instrument repairer, then another 5 to gain some more experience and maybe even some more saxophone lessons!Good luck in your quest to find someone who is willing to work with you as it will not be us!"

So I have been completely and utterly robbed,£300.00 this time,£240.00 plus £80.00 in couriers the last time because the work was terrible.Now I have these two alto's which are not going to sell for anywhere near what they owe me,but it is ok because I obviously do not matter in the equation!

How can they do it,you know,set up and call themselves professionals,repairers and teachers alike.Unfortunately it seems to me that some of the later Namir Techs coming out of Newark are simply not good enough-But they shall tell you otherwise.

Please,what would all of you do under the circumstances?I really am incredibly down at the moment,and to have all of this as well is just incomprehensible.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Hi Melissa.

Sounds like a really bad experience, especially if said people are in any way "professionally qualified" and speak and behave in that manner. I know very little of the tech side of things other than have a really good one here in South Wales (also sax teacher and player). If a sax does not play afterwards I would imagine that as being some sort of failure. Do they not "test drive" their work to see whether it is up to standard before sending it out?

Really sorry to hear about your mother, and appreciate the frustration of your current situation. I would certainly contact NAMIR and make a complaint, and possibly consult Citizen's Advice or similar - to see what the Code of Ethics is, if any, and enlist the support of the Organisation (NAMIR) concerned. It may be that they have breached professional standards and might be subject to some sort of disciplinary procedure. For me, I would look to aim to engage the highest authority - Director of Namir (currently Chairman Gale Lawson - who was in the Coldstream Guards Band for 27 years, and I imagine would not tolerate any nonsense!) etc. and not bother with the poor workmen blaming their tools. To be NAMIR registered must bring with it some degree of professional responsibility and some sort of disciplinary procedure. As you have the experience of mre experienced techs who could provide evidence I would get on to NAMIR asap.

I hope this helps
Kind regards
Tom
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Melissa

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,026
Hi Melissa.

Sounds like a really bad experience, especially if said people are in any way "professionally qualified" and speak and behave in that manner. I know very little of the tech side of things other than have a really good one here in South Wales (also sax teacher and player). If a sax does not play afterwards I would imagine that as being some sort of failure. Do they not "test drive" their work to see whether it is up to standard before sending it out?

Really sorry to hear about your mother, and appreciate the frustration of your current situation. I would certainly contact NAMIR and make a complaint, and possibly consult Citizen's Advice or similar - to see what the Code of Ethics is, if any, and enlist the support of the Organisation (NAMIR) concerned. It may be that they have breached professional standards and might be subject to some sort of disciplinary procedure. For me, I would look to aim to engage the highest authority - Director of Namir (currently Chairman Gale Lawson - who was in the Coldstream Guards Band for 27 years, and I imagine would not tolerate any nonsense!) etc. and not bother with the poor workmen blaming their tools. To be NAMIR registered must bring with it some degree of professional responsibility and some sort of disciplinary procedure. As you have the experience of mre experienced techs who could provide evidence I would get on to NAMIR asap.

I hope this helps
Kind regards
Tom
Hi Tom,
Thank you very much for your input,it is very much appreciated.
regards testing them she said:

"Many thanks for your email, your saxophone was in perfect working order has had every pad and cork replaced was fully regulated nothing was missing on it and it was fully set up and played before shipping.
I am a fully qualified instrument repairer a member of NAMIR and I most certainly know exactly what I am doing when it comes to instruments, we have never had one returned to us and we repair instruments from all over the world!
I find it odd that you say you find yourself in another similar situation with a member of the NAMIR may I ask who that was? In order to be a professional member of the NAMIR you have to be fully qualified of which I am and received a Distinction. We will not pay for any form of repair on any saxophone by anyone else, your first option would be to contact us and for us to have a look at it.Unfortunately if you have taken the instrument to someone else then any guarantee from us will be void, you have also not informed us that there was anything wrong with the instrument and you have had it for over a week.

To be honest Tom,
When it arrived,I took it out of the packaging and just left it-as had to rush out,I did attempt to play it when I arrived home,because of the previous failure,I decided,I am not going to return this one,what would be the point and when does one stop paying for courier returns when it is not really down to me.

So like I said,I sent it to someone else and he is going to write me a detailed report of everything which was wrong,and it is going to be lengthy,admittedly,all he could do over the phone was laugh hysterically,he said he would never put another Mamir tech down,but this is awful,he really was so surprised it could even play.

Yes I am taking it to the committee as I am also a Namir member though am only an associate at this time.I just cannot believe the response to a sax which just does not play.I tried it for 15 minutes,put it back in the box and packed it up again-ready to send out again. What an absolute nightmare.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,657
Hi Melissa, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I'm afraid that I can't offer any more advice that Tom hasn't already given you, but I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my heart felt condolences on your sad loss.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
Sorry to hear about your Mum. Re the repairs I would report it to Trading Standards and also ask them if they can advise you how you can get your money back? Good luck. :)
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
In addition to the above I have made an email enquiry to NAMIR asking about Codes of Ethics/Complaints Procedures
and simply mentioned that I was concerned about professional standards/shoddy workmanship. I have asked them to outline the procedure involved in making a Formal Complaint (no names referred to).

I'll pass on any details that I receive.
Tom
 

oldblower

Member
Messages
99
I know little about sax repair but with all things regardless of qualifications go on recommendation when looking for instrument repairers, a piece of paper will only tell you what they did, recommendation and samples of work will tell you hopefully what they do.
I am really sorry to hear of your loss and offer my sympathy, i lost my father not long ago and hope you have people near to support yo at this time.
steve
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I've little to add, except support what the others have said. Doesn't really matter what job we're talking about, there are good and bad in all of them, qualified or otherwise. All I can add is that word of mouth recommendatoins can save an awful amount of trouble.

Condolences also on your recent loss. I really hope you've got a close friend or two to help you through this!
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,940
Sorry to hear this. Good advice given thus far. Follow the official complaint route first. If all else fails, get a detailed report from an established/reputable tech and go to the small claims court.
 

trimmy

One day i will...
Messages
10,268
A little bit different with my advice Melissa, with what you have gone through with losing your mother is it worth all the hassle at this moment in time ? might it not be better to put it to bed for the time being, then when you feel better in yourself tackle the situation full on.
Just my twopenneth worth :)
Condolences over the loss of your mum
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,960
My condolences as well, I'm very sorry to hear about your mum.

I get the feeling it is going to be a hard slog taking anything up with namir, my experience is such organisations "close ranks" and will see nothing, even when there's a dirty great elephant sitting in the room. I also think you may find the "large and Flash" company is going to blame the second repairer, saying it was fine when they sent it to you and you will have a very difficult job proving otherwise, one tech's word against another. Once tech 2 has done the slightest bit of repairing, then Large and Flash will of course attempt to wriggle out of any warrantee (as they have suggested).

However, you have in your favour their very rude written response, which IMO is totally unprofessional, and by itself is good grounds for a complaint to namir.

Something similar happened to me, I sent a tenor for relacquering to a ell known lacquerer. Within a week , the lacquer started to flake and fall off. I took it to my tech, who had recommended this guy and he was horrified and very embarrassed, but could do nothing.

I took the horn back to the lacquerer, who looked at it on his doorstep without even asking me in, and then blamed me saying I had probably used hairspray and it had got on the horn.

Anyway I wish the best of luck getting some compensation, as I said I doubt it will be easy. I also wish you luck with what is probably your best future path: learn to do it yourself. Sometimes the best way to get a job done properly.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,890
As Tenorviol has said get a detailed report and take it to the small claims court, but make sure no work is done on it so you can show it to the court.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,659
My heartelt condolences at your loss. I think that Pete is probably right in his assessment. I think it probably is good to do the complaint as it is then on file, but dont expect anything to come of it.
 

navarro

Senior Member
Messages
863
Hi all,
Hope you are all well.I have not been on as you know due to looking after my Mum,well,she passed away 3 weeks ago and what I have to say does not help matters.

As some of you know,I wanted to have a website selling quality vintage musical instruments,I am now thinking,perhaps this was a bad idea.I am today aside myself here.I send one Alto to a Namir tech,when it returned,it did not play,returned it,and back again,didn't play,third time unlucky,So I sent it to my usual tech and he was horrified to say the least,the repairer in question was obviously clueless on Vintage saxophones.So My regular has been kind to me and only charged me £50.00 to straighten those two bent tone holes,reseat a few pads and regulate it properly.

I have just had yet another Alto back from yet another NAMIR registered tech,this time,it has gone overboard,I received it,did not play,it looked awful,it was bad,I mean really bad.I had,had enough of having to keep returning them due to the errors of these tech's,so I decided to send this one,to yet another repairer-though He has a very good reputation.

This morning he has called me to review the sax I sent him,his honest opinion was-the worst he had ever seen,keys falling off,where are all the corks and felts he said? the top stack is not even working,others were sticking and this was just what he could see just looking at it!

I wrote to the previous (Large & Flash) Company and advised that under the circumstances,I shall send them the bill for the cost's to put it right.Now apart from the response which was not only intimidating but this particular repairer has even gone further to say that I should have some more lessons because it was so good,that I obviously cannot play-or words to this effect.

Complete refusal to even amicably agree to settle the matter,even advising that I was the one whom was rude and that they do not wish anything more to do with me.

Now Guys and Girls,the two tech's whom are putting them right,have been doing it a long time,over half my age,surely they Do know what they are talking about.The other two whom have failed miserably and very new and green in comparison.

What is it coming to when I receive this:"Might I suggest that you take 3 years to train as an instrument repairer, then another 5 to gain some more experience and maybe even some more saxophone lessons!Good luck in your quest to find someone who is willing to work with you as it will not be us!"

So I have been completely and utterly robbed,£300.00 this time,£240.00 plus £80.00 in couriers the last time because the work was terrible.Now I have these two alto's which are not going to sell for anywhere near what they owe me,but it is ok because I obviously do not matter in the equation!

How can they do it,you know,set up and call themselves professionals,repairers and teachers alike.Unfortunately it seems to me that some of the later Namir Techs coming out of Newark are simply not good enough-But they shall tell you otherwise.

Please,what would all of you do under the circumstances?I really am incredibly down acondolencest the moment,and to have all of this as well is just incomprehensible.
Hi condolences re your Mum. Just a suggestion here Melissa and as it seems you have a collection of instruments it might be expensive. My insurance covers me on cost of repairs etc and it is possible that they do a cover for someone who is trading commercially. Regards and good luck N.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
I think what tenorviol and targa have said is right. NAMIR is fundamentally a members' trade association, and although it does claim to offer a service to arbitrate in a dispute, it is not a regulatory authority in the way that, for example, the GMC is. I have a lot of experience of regulatory organisations (I've worked in four, for over 20 years in total) and would not expect a trade association like NAMIR to have anything like the same due processes, evidence based investigation or punitive sanctions that a regulator has. I would suggest your options are either the legal route or chalk it down to experience, forget it and just work with trusted and known regular technicians from now on.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,484
First of all the condolences for the passing of your mother. You have my personal sympathy.

Very sad story indeed. First of all I am disappointed to hear from the British members that they think that the trading standards authority couldn’t do anything about this because I always thought they could and they certainly should. Perhaps worth looking into a complaint with them before dismissing this possibility.

http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/
http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/ifyouareindispute-sum9.cfm

I don’t know about NAMIR , but yes, as many times happens, unless there is the possibility of external sanctions (see trading standards authority) , professional associations are, generally speaking, very protective of their members. After all the people of the association are their peers and the associate pays the contribution which supports the association and often times, the member whom is object of the complaint is in the board him or herself or knows someone who is, so they might be tempted to defend the professional interests of a fellow member.

However this might not be the case with NAMIR.


I had a look on the site and there seems to be no mention of an arbitration procedure nor does the site mention any form of guarantee to the consumer aside the encouragement of the members to high professional standards and customer care.


very good luck, you shouldn’t let the culprit off the hook and naming and shaming should certainly be your prerogative but seek advise to do so in a way that doesn’t expose you to possible litigation
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
The objectives of NAMIR are listed in its website as

The objectives of the Association are:
• To encourage a high standard of workmanship and customer care
• To provide a means of information exchange on techniques and parts availability
• To publish a journal known as ‘The Intrepid Repairer’
• To arrange social and technical meetings
To appoint an arbitrator in the event of a dispute between member and customer
• To maintain a website
• To provide bursaries at the discretion of the committee to selected student members in the form of provision of specialist tools, equipment and/or literature.


But I don't think they are at all set up to deal with disputes, and more importantly, they do not seem to have any of the sorts of systems required for professional regulation. It is, in the end, a voluntary trade association rather than a mandatory register with the ability for members to be sanctioned or 'struck off'.

If you really want redress, the only viable avenue seems to be the small claims court. Although it is much, much easier than pursuing a case through a higher court it is still not something to be undertaken lightly.
 

jazzdoh

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,281
Sorry for your recent loss.

It sounds like you have had a really bad experience with these techs,can't add much more than the others have said but hope you get the compensation you deserve.

Brian
 
Saxholder Pro

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