Why didn’t you repair my equipment?!

Despite our focus on complex, malfunctioning, sometimes ‘unrepairable’ hi-fi equipment, we fix almost all of it.

This is significant, because:

  • Much of it is complex, older equipment requiring highly technical remedial work
  • Many pieces have visited other repairers before us who could not effect repair
  • Equipment like this generally requires a technical, component-level repair approach many don’t offer

Think about it – if repairs like this were easy, there’d be no demand for businesses like ours. We are fully booked for much of each year with no advertising, this should tell you a lot.

Naturally, there will be circumstances where repairs aren’t affordable/viable/possible. We consider the condition, faults, value and work needed to properly repair a piece of equipment. We even consider the customer.

Let’s look at some examples of where work might not proceed:

  • A customer doesn’t want to spend the money needed to properly repair their equipment
  • Mission-critical parts are no longer available
  • A repair is not worth doing due to equipment condition or value
  • A repair cannot be accommodated due to a full booking schedule
  • We refuse a repair because it is too painful due to equipment or customer issues

In cases where repair costs are likely to exceed equipment value, time available, customer budget, or customer expectation, either party may choose not to proceed.

It’s vitally important to understand that we are not responsible for equipment condition, faults, customer budget or repair viability. We cherish classic audio, but that doesn’t mean we assume responsibility for issues with equipment brought to us. No repairer does.

Example

We recently worked on a basic, old amplifier, in poor condition, with various issues. The owner had emptied what appeared to be an entire can of WD-40 into it, it had been modified without documentation, messed with by multiple people, was filthy, damaged and not well cared for.

Various people messed with it before we were contacted. In other words: it got handballed to us once it was truly knackered as we say here in Australia!

“Mike, why even bother looking at equipment like this?”

We always try to assist but I didn’t know about the insides or the customer when I reluctantly agreed to help. Unfortunately, after several hours of working through issues with the unit, I decided that further work was not viable due to a combination of problems beyond our control, because full rectification would generate a disproportionately large bill compared to the equipment value.

It’s a call we sometimes have to make, it’s just the nature of things. Note: it doesn’t mean the amplifier can’t be repaired, of course it can. 

It’s like an 85-year-old going to the doctor, wanting to be cured of arthritis. When the doctor examines the patient and determines that the required joint replacements and therapy are beyond viable, do those realities become the doctor’s fault or responsibility? Should they provide their time and expertise for free? Of course not.

We work hard and effect repairs that many others cannot, but there are no miracles. Despite doing our best to help this customer and only charging our minimum, we were ‘blamed’ for not fixing this amp and not thanked for our efforts.

Plenty of affordable gear is viable to repair, especially if it’s in good condition and hasn’t been tinkered with. Equipment may also have strong sentimental value and repair cost is less of a consideration.