Finding a Reputable Clock Repairman
I would very much like to say I can repair all clocks. Truth be told, I cannot repair everything; mainly due to geographical constraints and time constraints. Currently I repair clocks from Canada, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, The District of Columbia and many from Military personnel stationed abroad. I do house calls for clocks in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. We have clocks shipped to us for repair from all over the United States as well as from Military and D.O.D. workers worldwide.
As I am unable to be everywhere I want to express my views and educate my readers on what a quality clock repairman is and what they should be looking for when entrusting their cherished horological item for repair. A respectable clock repairman should possess several if not all of the following attributes:
1) Member in good standing of one or more reputable organizations dealing with clocks, clock repair, and horoligical services. Membership in these professional organizations shows a dedication to their trade and willingness to expand their knowledge and professional expertise. As well as a responsible attitude towards their reputation and the trade.
2) Willing to provide customer references for all types of repairs. Remember no one will have a 100% success rate. The repairman you choose should be willing to let you know their achievements as well as their not so stellar times.
3) Estimates should be free of charge unless a teardown of the movement it required. If teardown is required a nominal fee should be incurred to compensate the repairman for their time.
4) The repairman should be knowledgeable of the clock you are bringing in for repair. A qualified repairman will be well versed in nearly all clock types and manufacturing firms. A good repairman will constantly be expanding their knowledge of manufacturers and clocks.
5) A schedule of repair costs should be available as requested. This schedule should include costs for commonly replaced spare parts.
6) A warranty should be included for all repairs. A minimum of One year should be included on cleaning and oiling. Mainsprings, suspensions, and other expendable repair parts typically have no warranty included.
7) Prepayment of repair should never be required, unless special or customer order parts are required to complete the repair.
As you are talking with your repairman a rapport should be established between the repairman and potential customer. This should not be a one sided conversation. Both the repairman and customer need to engage each other in conversation to ensure both understand the scope of the repair and what will occur as well as what is expected.
Finally, if during the conversation (or interview process) of the repairman, you feel you are not getting full disclosure or are ill at ease, walk away. If the repairman is making statements about being an expert in a certain field but has no reference to back up their claim, walk away. If you just feel that things are not flowing the way you are comfortable with, walk away. A good repairman will understand if you are not ready for the repair, a tinkerer will attempt to get you leave you clock at all costs just so they can win.