Pricing, warranty, storage, ETC.
Zits Partnership, Distributed by King Features Syndicate; licensed to Robert Fleischer, DBA Fleischer Electronics Service
We reserve the right to make special agreed-upon arrangements with anyone, regarding pricing, hourly rates, and most anything else. We reserve the right to reduce listed labor charges/rates for any reason, at any time. Our published prices are to comply with official requirements. NOTE that we almost never charge as much as our published prices. We are happy to give estimates, but a detailed and usually more accurate estimate will cost you an estimate charge, due to the time spent on analyzing, testing, using test gear, etc., your repair job. Oftentimes the biggest portion of a repair job is spent determining what the problems are, and how to go about fixing those problems. Having these policies has greatly reduced 'waste of our time', in analyzing such as garage sale items; and, sometimes time is wasted because the customer has not fully informed us of problems, etc.
No checks, except with well-established prior customers, AND, agreed-upon. NO credit cards. NO debit cards.
Items with deliberately defaced/illegible or missing serial numbers may not be worked on.
Our Warranty applies to work WE did, and begins the day the customer picks up the item. Standard industry warranty is 90 days. We may offer a longer warranty.
NOT responsible for problems customer did not complain about; nor, customer abuse by such as wrong amplifier speaker output loading or any problems due to customer removing safety grounding connections. Parts are invoiced at 2nd LOWEST of the 5 levels established by Narda Sperry-Tech. This does not apply to some items, such as vacuum tubes, where the pricing always depends on our actual costs, which are constantly varying, but usually priced at the very lowest of the Narda Sperry-Tech levels.
We have a limited area for storage. Items not picked up promptly have created so many problems that I have had to create storage fees and procedures, for use IF NEEDED. Storage fees $5.00 per day begin 20 days after being notified three times that the item is ready for pickup, ....unless agreed upon otherwise IN ADVANCE. Being notified includes leaving messages on customer's telephone or answering machine; or, 10 business days after mailing such a notice of storage fees to customer's as-provided mailing address. If no response to all these attempts to contact customer again by telephone, e-mail and/or other method, then, 30 days afterwards, item may be offered for sale to the public. If an unrepaired item, it may be taken/sent to the town dump. Small Claims action may be instituted, at our choice. IN ANY SITUATION WHERE STORAGE FEES HAVE TO BE CHARGED, ONLY CASH WILL BE ACCEPTABLE FOR PAYMENT....THAT MEANS NO PERSONAL NOR BUSINESS CHECKS, NO BANK CHECKS, NO CREDIT CARDS, ETC. Cash only. Customer will be placed on a list of similar. So far, we've NOT had to institute storage charges!
Engineering; teaching/training (one-on-one), explaining diagnostics step by step while you watch and/or help.....and other such: by negotiation, ahead of time. Usually basic shop labor rate; or less. Often, the advice is FREE! Groups: by negotiation.
Basic shop labor rate: $80 MAXIMUM per actual FIRST hour spent on an item's actual repairs. Jobs that go beyond ONE hour, are charged at $40 MAXIMUM per hour. Some types of simple diagnostics and check-outs are often no-charge, or very minimal charge.
Service calls: $100 Flat Fee, which includes up to one hour at customer's site. Basic $80/hr after the first hour at site. If over 40 miles round trip, will be an extra charge of $0.80/mile each way. ***We are presently NOT doing service calls***
Diagnostic/Analysis/Estimate/Minimum Fees: Analysis/estimate fees, often known as a Minimum Fee, or Initial Diagnostic Fee, etc., are normally included instead of being on top-of final repair invoicing. There are very rare instances in which we do a minimum fee or analysis/estimate, and the customer declines to repair the unit at that time, and, considerable disassembly>>reassembly or other labor was involved. Should the customer later decide to have the repairs done, and brings back the unit for such, in most but not all instances, the job is re-quoted at no charge for the quote.
The maximum amount of time assigned to the analysis/estimate/minimum fee is usually one hour. In many instances I spend a lot more time, but don't charge for it.
The following categories are for minimum fee and/or diagnostic testing fee, by type. If the item is approved for repairs, a quotation may apply.
Tips are accepted for diagnostics...and repairs!
Cheap or free LOOK-SEE's may or may not be available. Depends on how much time I will spend; and, frankly, how I am feeling that day!
Type 1: Small and simple items, in general: Many small items are checked out for only a small charge. Cheap or free LOOK-SEE's may or may not be available.
Type 2: Basic 2 channel receivers up to ~90 watts per channel (see Type 4); SOME simpler Boom Boxes; separate tuners; most table-top radios; many antique radios; single (and some dual deck) cassette players; 'separate' CD players up to 6 discs; up to 6 channel (no speaker amp) mixers. Many (not all) bookshelf separates systems. $39 basic, $65 complex.
Type 3: Larger home speakers, or speakers requiring speaker unit removal to gain internal access to crossover, etc. (We no longer work on most large and very heavy powered speakers). Magazine type CD/DVD players that are part of an item, often called a bookshelf system, containing an AM/FM radio and cassette deck and/or phonograph. CD players OVER 6 discs. Super-compact cassette OR CD players, of the walkman style or similar. 3 to SOME 7 channel receivers including home theatre types, med-sized musicians mixers or amps; 'compact' musician's amps with difficult circuit board access. Pro and semi-pro turntables with complicated electronics. Boom Boxes with lengthy disassembly requirements. SOME complex dual-cassette decks. Receivers >90 w/ch to 130 w/ch. $68 typically.
Type 4: Large, heavy, musicians 'combos' such as Fender Twin Reverb; many quite heavy amplifiers; SOME high powered amplifiers with Class D circuitry. Many high-complexity 8 to 12 channel mixers or powered mixers. Any CD player holding over 10 discs. Large antique radios (generally, pre-1965). NOTE that very large and heavy stereo receivers or amplifiers, such as the Pioneer SX1050, SX1250, Sansui 22000 and 33000, Marantz 2500, 2600, big old Crown amps, Kenwood KR9600, etc. can be Type 4 OR Type 5; and, I may decline to work on them at all due to their high weight, etc. SOME high complexity 7 to 9 channel AVR receivers. Console radios with phonographs, when I have room available to work on them, are likely to be put into this Type 4 category. Many Type 4 items will have QUOTED minimum fees before acceptance for diagnostic work. Generally, Type 4 category minimum fee is $105. See Type 5.
|NOTE!....How we handle complicated hard-to-work-on units, such as 7.2 ch Home Theatre receivers, etc:
Yes, we work on home theatre units. Your problem may be simple, or it may be complex.
I can often do an initial-quickie-look-see at no charge, while you are here. This may involve some simple diagnostics, & a look-see at the difficulty of working on your unit...we almost always remove the cover for this inspection.
These are often quite complicated receivers, and are often built so that full diagnostic testing is difficult. Usually there is no bottom access plate, making them especially nasty to work on. If the unit is left at my shop for a full diagnostic, there is an out-front minimum/diagnostic fee involved. That fee is either $68 or $105, depending on the no-charge initial-look-see. Now and then, they are too expensive to repair.
Type 5: This Category is generally for Triple Lead Marshall (JCM 2000 TSL122), which are highly complex and/or very heavy and CAN BE quite difficult to work on; and, may take a fair amount of time just to remove/replace the chassis. I usually discuss category 4 and 5 items in-depth with the customer before accepting such an item for diagnosis or repair, to be sure the customer and I are in agreement as to what is to be done. I sometimes see items I will place in this Category that have previously been wrongly/poorly worked-on, have multiple problems, sometimes prior work caused problems. Sometimes there is extensive circuit work that is needed...and, I may need to do quite extensive Internet work to find Service Literature, etc. Included in this category Type 5 are large mixing boards of 12 or more channels, which I may decline to work on at all; and, many amplifiers over 200 w/ch. Our MINIMUM FEE WITH DIAGNOSTIC TESTING is typically $135; some few may run more.
TYPE 6: This category is for many things not elsewhere's mentioned. We usually quote a minimum/diagnostic fee once we see the unit, and obtain the full complaint from you. There are some items we MAY no longer work on, such as as big and heavy Open Reel (Reel-to-Reel) tape units, that may or may not contain an 8 track and/or cassette player besides the open reel mechanism. We are going to eventually stop working on the biggest Egnaters and triple lead Marshalls, ETC.
TYPE 7: In general, old table model radios from the Forties, Fifties and Sixties, with 5 tubes, are NOT expensive to fix, and labor costs can often be less than an hour.
TYPE 8: I am sometimes asked about the cost to 'repair' an antique radio of the CONSOLE TYPE to operating condition. To ME, an antique console radio is a radio that was manufactured before the 1970's; but mostly these were built before the sixties. Such radios are vacuum tube operated, NOT transistorized. I've done quite a bit of work on these over the years. It is very difficult to quote a price, because in many instances the radio is not operational at all when you brought it to us, and considerable work may be required to get it operating just up to a diagnosis condition. Over my many years of experience; and, similar experience by others doing similar work, many of us seem to have come up with what seems like a strange Rule-of-Thumb way of estimating probable billing. It is $25 PER VACUUM TUBE, at a minimum. This covers labor, which can be extensive on such things as dial drives, etc.....and will cover some small parts such as coupling capacitors. It does not include major electrolytic capacitors and vacuum tubes ...nor does it cover any cabinet work. Labor seem to run from that amount to three times (or even more if the work is being done by a technician in expensive-to-live-and-work-cities, such as San Francisco). A lot of labor and cost is involved in obtaining technical repair literature (this applies to a LOT of repairs, not just consoles!). There is often a fair amount of labor involved in just removing the main chassis, .....and usually the speaker assembly must also be removed in order to operate the radio chassis on the workbench (permanent magnet speakers with only two wires were very uncommon in the early antique era).
I do my best to keep my prices low.... well below my State's requirement for a 'published' labor rate. WE have and use some few types of specialized test tools that wear out. Usage will usually be billed as a 'parts or test gear usage'. Certain test equipment items have limited lifetimes due to wear with age and/or usage, such as "factory-standard" test tapes for frequency range & performance, wow & flutter, ETC. Most of these items are no longer available from the original manufacturers; or, are only available at VERY high cost. If/when these fail due to normal or other wear, we have to spend a considerable amount of time/money obtaining (or, making) new ones...IF WE EVEN CAN, or have specialists make them for us. Therefore: Usage fees may apply to certain such items, including FACTORY test tapes & FACTORY tape torque meters; or similar specialty tools. 10-1/2" Open Reel test tapes (any tape width): $15.00. ALL other tape types and sizes, including specialized tape type torque gauge units to measure tape take-up, or FF/RWD torques, or braking torques, for any and all types of tape machines...this includes small open reel types, 8 track cartridge types; and micro, mini, and standard cassette types; all inclusive 1 to 8 tracks: $2 minimum, $8.00 maximum. We DO NOT usually charge for use of some of our standardized CD/DVD discs and cassettes, because we can make most of those easily....just not all.
Vacuum tube basic testing, basic gain matching: $5.00 equipment fee PLUS 70 cents per tube. For specialized testing, such as for noise, gas, etc., it is $15 equipment fee PLUS $2.00 per tube. For certain kinds of specific power output or other testing, the cost can be higher. Bounced checks:
We may require a cash deposit before any work is done on ANYTHING. We tend to only ask for cash deposits wherein the item may not be worth fixing, from an initial look-see. This method is also used to separate out those who have purchased things for very little money at garage sales, and may, otherwise, try to get me to check them out for free.
Note: We are beginning to decline work on SMC-built items....that means lead-less components (Surface Mounted Components), as I have sold my special soldering equipment for such PIA work, and these units are typically difficult to work on anyway, particularly without service manuals. We are no longer stocking SMC parts.
Test item usage fees:
In 48 years at Lake Tahoe ...and now 4 years at Carson City, ...we have had only 5 bad (bounced) checks, and we collected, and kept the customer for repeat business, for all but 1. I consider this to be exceptionally good! But, we need to have a written policy. If your check bounces, it must be paid for in cash (only) within 10 days of our good attempts at notification. Payment MUST include 100% of what is due AND OUR ACTUAL bank fees costs ....PLUS $30.00 to cover our time spent to correct ledgers, correct our sales tax filings (if needed), etc. Some time after such mentioned good attempts at notification, without favorable response, we WILL AUTOMATICALLY FILE A FORMAL WRITTEN COMPLAINT with the appropriate Authorities (typically the District Attorney), and any costs involved will be added-to any existing charges. Our intention is to let the local District Attorney contact you; as applicable.
Pricing and policies changes are effective 1 March, 2024.
WE have and use some few types of specialized test tools that wear out. Usage will usually be billed as a 'parts or test gear usage'.
Certain test equipment items have limited lifetimes due to wear with age and/or usage, such as "factory-standard" test tapes for frequency range & performance, wow & flutter, ETC. Most of these items are no longer available from the original manufacturers; or, are only available at VERY high cost. If/when these fail due to normal or other wear, we have to spend a considerable amount of time/money obtaining (or, making) new ones...IF WE EVEN CAN, or have specialists make them for us. Therefore: Usage fees may apply to certain such items, including FACTORY test tapes & FACTORY tape torque meters; or similar specialty tools. 10-1/2" Open Reel test tapes (any tape width): $15.00. ALL other tape types and sizes, including specialized tape type torque gauge units to measure tape take-up, or FF/RWD torques, or braking torques, for any and all types of tape machines...this includes small open reel types, 8 track cartridge types; and micro, mini, and standard cassette types; all inclusive 1 to 8 tracks: $2 minimum, $8.00 maximum. We DO NOT usually charge for use of some of our standardized CD/DVD discs and cassettes, because we can make most of those easily....just not all.
Vacuum tube basic testing, basic gain matching: $5.00 equipment fee PLUS 70 cents per tube. For specialized testing, such as for noise, gas, etc., it is $15 equipment fee PLUS $2.00 per tube. For certain kinds of specific power output or other testing, the cost can be higher.