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What would you like to see from a tech service?

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Hi all... I've been working on friends guns now for a while... Fixing, upgrading, prepping for sale, diagnosing, painting and making parts. I've earned some decent money and I'm at a point where I should really be looking at registering a business.

 

So... What would you like to see in a tech service? So far, it's looking something like this...

 

- Servicing packages

- Upgrades

- Repairs

- Hydro dipping

- Machining (cnc parts and suchlike)

- Used sales

- Parts sales

- Random interesting sales

 

So somewhere you could, if you wanted to... Send a completely boneyard M4, have it stripped, durable, reliable, r-hopped, multicam'd, locked to semi and firing at long range... Exactly what you wanted in a single place... Plus buy a rifle for a mate, pick up a set of Master Chief armour and a hand stitched molle plate for a special application...

 

So what would you really like to see in a tech service? What's missing in your Airsoft life?

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^^^ That

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I was quoted £34 to have a spring cut down, ridiculous. What i'm saying is reasonable prices.

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Yeah... I was planning on supplying customers with a document showing the stages, what's been done, photos included. Both as proof of work and for the customers resale value.

 

The servicing I've already partitioned into distinct blocks... All fixed price. And yeah... You need to be realistic on needs. Not only on knowing what someone actually needs... But knowing what they don't.

 

Keep it coming, peeps!

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I'd say some sort of warranty although it's a bit unrealistic. If I got someone to fix my gun and it broke within the next couple of games I'd be a bit pissed off. At the same time though a tech could just say it's not his problem anymore.

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I'd say some sort of warranty although it's a bit unrealistic. If I got someone to fix my gun and it broke within the next couple of games I'd be a bit pissed off. At the same time though a tech could just say it's not his problem anymore.

 

You're right. If a service has been performed then the work itself if not the parts should be of at least a minimum standard and basic expectations should be met. Preferably not with "it was fine when it left here" either.

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if it's that ridiculous... do it yourself!

 

Not everyone has the tools/ability/confidence to do the work themselves.

 

Granted very little is actually all that complex but some of it is very easy to screw up if you're a bit hamfisted!

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Consistency with pricing is probably the main point I'd want, also actual timescales of when something will be done by rather than be fobbed off with the old "I've got a lot of other orders" excuse. Be nice to have a rough estimate rather than waiting for weeks on end with no change.

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I was quoted £34 to have a spring cut down, ridiculous. What i'm saying is reasonable prices.

 

This bugs me... But not for the reason you think... It's a reasonable price... Kind of...

 

Call it an hours labour to strip your rifle down, get your gearbox out, open it, take your spring out, put it back in, close it, put the mech box in the gun, and put your rifle together. That's all the admin taken care of... Which leaves the spring itself.

 

There's 4 ways to do that job...

What you should actually do.

The Proper way

The "proper" way

And the way your tech would do it...

 

The way your tech would most likely do it is just lop off some coils. Done. This creates inconsistencies in the spring due to lack of finishing. Plus how many do you remove? That's mainly guesswork... It's a full bodge.

 

The "proper" way is to remove coils, heat your spring, flatten the bottom coil, and sand it flat.

 

The Proper way would be to do the above, but then you would need to heat treat the spring again... Because without that, all you've done is weaken the spring and increased the onset of fatigue damage.

 

All of the above are irreversible... Which brings you to "what you should do" which is explain that cutting the spring is a bodge, and what you should do is just put in a new spring. Which realistically... Would cost very little more, and give you your spare spring to reverse the operation. Plus the work is much easier to track, more durable, better and just simpler... You can then, as an optional extra, have that spring shimmed to tune it, should you really want that magic number... But you shouldn't unless there's a technical reason.

 

I'd say some sort of warranty although it's a bit unrealistic. If I got someone to fix my gun and it broke within the next couple of games I'd be a bit pissed off. At the same time though a tech could just say it's not his problem anymore.

Warrenty is a funny one... The issue is, you can't guarantee previous work or damage... You also can't stop someone taking a newly fixed gun, then running it on a 11.1 for a 5 minute burst, then denying all knowledge. Any reasonable person would offer to fix a caused issue, but trying to explain how your piston stripping has nothing to do with your hop breaking (or whatever) gets tricky... But your right... People need assurances.

 

The other way is to offer insurance policies... A small fee to guarantee any work for a set period... Worth it for your £800 gun...

 

It's well worth proper thought, to make sure people are happy... I think just backing yourself up is all you need... Yeah, one in 100 customers might cause you an issue, but good will in some cases is worth more than gold... What's 3 hours of your life to help someone salvage a good game day... Or keep a recommendation.

 

Not everyone has the tools/ability/confidence to do the work themselves.

 

Granted very little is actually all that complex but some of it is very easy to screw up if you're a bit hamfisted!

 

This is exactly it... Not everyone can, or wants to fix their own car either.

 

Consistency with pricing is probably the main point I'd want, also actual timescales of when something will be done by rather than be fobbed off with the old "I've got a lot of other orders" excuse. Be nice to have a rough estimate rather than waiting for weeks on end with no change.

Yeah, this is a given really. I think the key is to be realistic and not make promises you can't keep... And remember that your paying for a service that includes ACTUAL service, and not just work done.

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Not everyone has the tools/ability/confidence to do the work themselves.

 

Granted very little is actually all that complex but some of it is very easy to screw up if you're a bit hamfisted!

 

Ahh but THAT's what you're paying for!

 

If it were just the cost of the spring it'd be cheap, £10 ish... but there's half an hour taking it to bits and putting it back together again, then the time to chrono, package it up and send it back. All of that's before the cost of those tools, as I'm sure you're aware good tools aren't cheap, the cost of the chrono etc.

 

For a straight up spring change £30 ish I'd say is reasonable, £34 including return postage is actually kinda cheap.

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Warrenty is a funny one... The issue is, you can't guarantee previous work or damage... You also can't stop someone taking a newly fixed gun, then running it on a 11.1 for a 5 minute burst, then denying all knowledge. Any reasonable person would offer to fix a caused issue, but trying to explain how your piston stripping has nothing to do with your hop breaking (or whatever) gets tricky... But your right... People need assurances.

 

The other way is to offer insurance policies... A small fee to guarantee any work for a set period... Worth it for your £800 gun...

 

It's well worth proper thought, to make sure people are happy... I think just backing yourself up is all you need... Yeah, one in 100 customers might cause you an issue, but good will in some cases is worth more than gold... What's 3 hours of your life to help someone salvage a good game day... Or keep a recommendation.

 

 

I agree with most of what you've said, but this bit causes me some concern. While you cannot account for previous work by others or for damage caused by the user you CAN and SHOULD be prepared to warranty your own work. If you open up a gun and can see that there's been some previous bodgery that would likely affect the performance of the work you've been asked to do then I for one would expect to be contacted at that point BEFORE you carry out any further work and informed of the potential issue and asked if I wanted to continue with the work asked for. At that point I would then think it perfectly reasonable for you to turn to me and say "look, I've warned you that the parts/work previously done may cause an issue so while I stand by my own work it may still fail due to the previously mentioned problems". If I wasn't warned about it prior to getting the gun back and indeed paying for it then I'd be pretty pissed off if it broke and then got the standard "yeah well...it's them other bits what someone else fitted innit" response.

 

Unfortunately the latter case of the idiot customer that deliberately abuses the gun and then tries to pin it on your work is all too common. If there's an obvious pointer to user based issues (in the software engineering world we call it a PEBKAC issue - Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) the you could justifiably point to that evidence and say sorry, not my fault but I'll fix it for you at my standard rates. Of course if no such evidence exists even if you KNOW deep down in your heart of hearts that there is no way this could possibly have been caused by anything OTHER than a fuckwit being let loose with a shiny toy then I'm afraid you just have to swallow your professional pride and fix it anyway or tell him to get lost and risk the internet based wrath of a pissed of customer. Who is ALWAYS right, like it or not.

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Friend of mine just got a new AK that's shooting 420. He needed it to be <360 for our field. Took it into our local shop. £12 for the lot. That's new spring and having it changed.

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Ahh but THAT's what you're paying for!

 

If it were just the cost of the spring it'd be cheap, £10 ish... but there's half an hour taking it to bits and putting it back together again, then the time to chrono, package it up and send it back. All of that's before the cost of those tools, as I'm sure you're aware good tools aren't cheap, the cost of the chrono etc.

 

For a straight up spring change £30 ish I'd say is reasonable, £34 including return postage is actually kinda cheap.

 

Ha haa! If I had a pound for everyone that told me "well it's just a bit of software" I'd be buying a GHK M4!

 

Personally I don't think £30ish is unreasonable for a job like that. At all. My personal experience was getting repeatedly charged for labour to fix an issue caused by the initial simple job. Which led to me then thinking "fuck that for a game of soldiers" and learning how to do it myself.

 

Of course, you need to work out a reasonable hourly rate then charge accordingly but nobody should have to pay for longer than it actually takes to do a job just because you were a bit slack that day and took 3 hours to change a flash hider. In my sideline of custom painting I get this kind of thing all the time. People see American Chopper and think that Nub actually paints the tins for a whole bike in an hour which is patently bollocks. Of course there's also the "but my mate'll do it for X" which was always met by me with "so let him do it then". People are twats far more often than we would like to believe but that's no excuse for overcharging.

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Friend of mine just got a new AK that's shooting 420. He needed it to be <360 for our field. Took it into our local shop. £12 for the lot. That's new spring and having it changed.

 

Really? That would only just cover the cost of a spring! Did he buy it from the same shop?

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Lozart...

 

I'm on my tablet, so basically, playing with large posts is quite a chore... I basically agree with everything. It's a given that you would contact someone of you find anything. And obviously, your sending back a fully functioning gun that you know to be in good order... Or you've failed as a mech.

 

I think regardless of time taken to fix something, you quote for a job, then that's the price. If you take too long to do it... That's your problem, not the customers.

 

This would be a side business, and not a main source of income... The onus would be on quality, not profit... The profit just allows me to buy more toys and fund a serious "tinkering" addiction.

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Lozart...

 

I'm on my tablet, so basically, playing with large posts is quite a chore... I basically agree with everything. It's a given that you would contact someone of you find anything. And obviously, your sending back a fully functioning gun that you know to be in good order... Or you've failed as a mech.

 

I think regardless of time taken to fix something, you quote for a job, then that's the price. If you take too long to do it... That's your problem, not the customers.

 

This would be a side business, and not a main source of income... The onus would be on quality, not profit... The profit just allows me to buy more toys and fund a serious "tinkering" addiction.

 

 

Sounds good to me then. When are you opening? :)

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Really? That would only just cover the cost of a spring! Did he buy it from the same shop?

Nope. Ordered it from gunfire.pl I believe. It is our local shop though and we see the folk out on the field every other weekend. Maybe he just likes us.

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Sounds good to me then. When are you opening? :)

I'm currently doing the last of a set of 10 guns... All 10 are going to give me reviews, and I'm doing a nice spread of guns so when I launch, I have something official to put up rather than just "I've been doing this a while, really mate... Honest, like"

 

I'm also going to machine up some nice bits and make a showcase... Nothing looks worse than pages of "under construction" or "coming soon" plus I need to make sure the site is robust and I have all my policies sorted.

 

So hopefully, fully up and running in a month.

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I'm currently doing the last of a set of 10 guns... All 10 are going to give me reviews, and I'm doing a nice spread of guns so when I launch, I have something official to put up rather than just "I've been doing this a while, really mate... Honest, like"

 

I'm also going to machine up some nice bits and make a showcase... Nothing looks worse than pages of "under construction" or "coming soon" plus I need to make sure the site is robust and I have all my policies sorted.

 

So hopefully, fully up and running in a month.

 

Cool, keep us in the loop!

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Honest straight up advice is the top priority......

 

If something is that shagged then would it be worth it for a repair, or better replace so to speak

If something wasn't worth the work involved then tell the customer straight from the start

If something is perhaps beyond your skill level - not saying it is but if it was then say so

 

With stuff like warranty n such yes you can/should offer it on all YOUR work but if you recomend

that the bearings be replaced and customer decides against it then if/when it all goes tits up what

do you do:

 

it was fine before you touched it - they say

 

but the bearings were wanked m8 i tried to tell you that but you said no

 

well your the expert you should of changed them - I'm just a noobish kid

 

 

 

Jeez - you can see the bollock ache anybody who offers their service, plus can you make my JBBG

into a DMR - ergh I might be magic but I ain't a fvcking magician m8

 

All I can say is be honest n truthful with everyone - even the ar$ehole ones, your quality of work will

eventually speak for itself and throw in some honesty/integrity and fair price n advice etc.....

 

Then you will be fine - answering emails/txts/messages but hopefully not too many spoonfeeding

answer every possible fvckwit question there is coz they are so thick or can't be ar$ed to look up

 

yup I do other stuff and is a right pain sometimes, wonder why ya bother but in general you probably

enjoy all of it and seeing something run real sweet again, and if you do everything as best as you can

than just slap it back together - then that to me is a proper level of service.

(too many people just wanna do the main bit n chuck it back together quickly)

 

best of luck

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Yeah... That's the expectations I'd have as well.

 

And if you send your gun of to someone, your asking for their expertise... You can't then tell them what to do. It's why I don't tell my mechanic what to replace.

 

The other option is... Fix stuff "on the side"... Rewire the odd deans connector. Replace some scraggy piston with one from the spares box... Not every fix has to be excellent, just better... Not bodging, but not making someone pay through the nose. I think I'd be happy if I sent a gun off and it came back with a note saying "I noticed, while servicing, your connector was bad and your tappet plate had a crack in it, as we discussed. I know you couldn't wait for a replacement because of your game this weekend... Here's your old one, but I've thrown in one from my spares drawer and resoldered the connector. You've not been charged for that, but it should help the gun. Enjoy your weekend"

 

I'd be quite chuffed... Or at least there's options close to that.

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