Hi, all. Hope everyone's busy on their benches. I've had an email exchange with someone I suspect is going to be one of those customers who's impossible to satisfy. What's a polite way to say I don't want to take on the job?

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I'm too busy to take on any more work at this time.

Or if you don't want to lie, you could just say you don't think you can satisfy his expectations.

In any number of situations, not just this one, telling someone "No" works much better when you can provide an alternative. "I cannot help you, but (Name) has the talent to do this work. Here is her contact information." 

I have in the past, given them the phone number of a repair shop a 10 hour drive away. I tell them I am swamped and can not help. It is their problem. Just as an aside, I have had nightmare customers a few times. I will never work for them again under any circumstance, and I let everyone who is in my instrument repair circle  know about them too. It's a great way to keep Folks that you like safe.There is something  definetly  to be said about screening new customers. I have turned several away over the years. 

I find that the ones that  I think will be easy to deal with are the hardest and the ones I think will be impossible are are the easy ones  And if they say I am in no hurry they need it right now and the ones that are in a hurry dont come back for days !!

Go figure!!

I have one customer thaT TIPS ME EVERY TIME I WORK FER HER!!!!!


I’d take on the job, do your best wok possible, maybe the person will be elated with the work. If not, explain that there is no guarantee on the outcome of any repair. If unhappy maybe the person will go somewhere else the next time. 

My philosophy is do your best work and forget if someone is unhappy, you will always encounter an occasional customer that is impossible to please.


Do what feels right. IMHO Passing on an uncomfortable job is 'fair practice'.

Just a follow-up.

I'll tell you what put me off: 1. He'd already returned the guitar to the store because he wasn't happy with it, received a new guitar and still wasn't happy. 2. He'd done some work on it himself. 3. He volunteered possible causes and fixes for electrical problems that didn't really make any sense. With annotated wiring diagrams. 4. The problems he described are the kind of subjective problems that maybe, possibly don't even exist..? Or, if they do, could be caused by something else in his signal chain.

Anyway, I took the job in the end. He's collected the guitar and all seems well: touch wood!


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