Silly question, when your job is questioned by an acquaintance

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by tennis4, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. tennis4

    tennis4 Rookie

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    This is what happened over the weekend when I returned a newly strung racquet to an acquaintance, "Are you sure this is the tension I asked, it seems the tension is so much lower". ... Another person picked up the racquet and fiddled the strings, disagreed with him that in fact he felt the stringbed was quite tight. The acquaitance asked for 60 and the resulting tension was 63. I felt the acquaintance's comment was irresponsible the least.

    How would you react to it?
     
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  2. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    I'd just try and educate as best as you can and ensure that you've taken all precautions to be accurate as possible.
     
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  3. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Did you use the same type string he/she was accustomed to using. For instance a racket strung with synthetic gut compared to polyester would feel quite different wouldn't it?

    As far as how I would react, first I would do my best to understand the acquaintance and what they were trying to tell me. That will go a long way in making those you string for happy. I doubt they were trying to hurt your feelings. Also changing the string type can change the sound of the string. If the frequency goes down it could mean to your acquaintance so did the tension.

    Once you know your clients better you will be better prepared to inform them what to expect when something changes.
     
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  4. tennis4

    tennis4 Rookie

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    He gave me the string . To add more to the background, this guy was trying to make a joke or something. I would prefer he did it differently.

    I told him that he should give it a try first. Apparently I wasn't happy either. I just wonder how you guys would react when someone made a unflattering statement (lack of facts).

    btw, I didn't charge for the work.

     
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  5. ten11

    ten11 Rookie

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    There are few things I want to share.
    First of all, I do charge all my friends some fee for my job, even my closest friend. The reason is that I value my work and also it is same to all my client. Somehow it give client wrong idea if you do not charge your client a fee.
    Secondly, if someone is not happy with the job, it is a trouble for you and you need to address it. (It does not matter how he said it.) Happened to me twice, for one, I offered 50% off for next job and asked him to get the strings he wanted for future stringing job. He is happy ever after. For the other, I also offered a free restring but he need to pay for the cost of the string. Basically the message is that I did a good job on stringing. It is not my fault that you do not like it. (Either change of tension or change of string.) but I will do you a favor to make it up for you.
    Last, I will talk to the guy about string, stringing in general to help him understand better in string and stringing. If the person is nice and easy to talk to, you normally will get out easy and build a long term relationship. If not, then stay away with the trouble.
     
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  6. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    It's difficult to gauge whether or not this was an 'obvious' joke, and it's more or less irrelevant.

    There's no need to be immediately insulted. If you're a good stringer and you take pride in your work, you should know the ins and outs and WHY tension changes/differences occur from machine to machine, and stringer to stringer. It's INCREDIBLY difficult to please (picky) people properly prior (ok, alliteration ends here) to having worked with them before.

    To expand on the above, possible reasons your brand new string job COULD feel loose is: Brand new strings don't tend to dimple and (de)form to 'lock' in place as compared to well played strings. Polys do to a certain degree, but a fresh string job slips around easily (by hand) than a played with one. (fiddling with strings)

    Another reason is: Stringing machine variance. Constant pull vs. LO machine is a timeless debate, and understanding the difference -- and properly communicating the difference BEFORE stringing goes a long way.

    Finally, the fact that you said "the resulting tension" was X number suggests that you lack some understanding of some of the nuances of reference vs. actual tension. How the heck did you measure 'resulting tension'? A string meter? RacquetTune?

    My executive summary: It's OK to be offended if you did everything you could beforehand. Being dismissed is never fun, but properly developing rapport and exhibiting expertise should mitigate these issues before they occur. If it was an obvious joke, lighten up -- but I won't judge that portion of the situation, since I wasn't there.
     
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  7. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    "Are you sure this is the tension I asked, it seems the tension is so much lower"

    "You are wrong. That will be $20"
     
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  8. Imago

    Imago Semi-Pro

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    You told him well, so forget about psycho-analyzing his speech intentions.
     
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  9. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Any question my customers ask me about my work, I look at as a "teachable moment". I take that as an opportunity to educate them on the various properties of strings, tensions, and playability. Usually when i'm off my soap box, they have a better understanding about the situation.
     
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  10. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Wait until that acquaintance breaks a string with an obvious shank on his first time out with his freshly restrung racquet...
     
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  11. tennis4

    tennis4 Rookie

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    Thanks for the inputs.

    I think he was trying to teasing me, his way to say thanks. How do I know the resulting tension was 63? I measured it using Mini STT. In fact, when he requested to have the racquet strung, we (me and others) felt it was too high (60 on a 100 sq in, babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 16). Nonetheless I did what he asked.

    It was a minor thing anyway, a little discomfort yes.
     
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  12. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't 'giving it free' indicate that you're not interested in the customer's business anymore? If he took it that way, I can see where he would try to make lite of the situation.
     
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  13. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    It's more accurate to say that the string bed stiffness was X. It's a misleading result to give in terms of lbs. The Mini STT is similar in operation to the ERT 300 devices (which doesn't give results in kg/lbs, etc). It's also more of a useful tool to track tension loss rather than actual tension. AFAIK there's no truly good (and easy) tool to actually 'measure' tension. We have tools that can do a good job of estimation, but that depends on many, many variables. The most useful thing these tools do is allow one to track tension.

    All of the above aside, my point is that you shouldn't be using this tool to (dis)prove anyone's tension claim -- it's a slippery slope once you start doing so. I prefer educating customers and communicating expectations prior to stringing for them.
     
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  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I would just respond factually, for instance you could say: 'Don't you worry it is the tension you asked for'.
     
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  15. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Apologies for my spamming this thread over and over with the same message, but this is the issue, isn't it? What if the previous stringer's machine was calibrated 10 lbs too high? What if yours is 10 lbs low? You set it at 60, so you just tell your customer "tough luck"? This isn't a good excuse -- knowing reasons for tension differential and troubleshooting (if necessary) is a better way to do it. If you have calibration standards and have records on hand of calibrating against a known standard -- THEN the issue isn't on your end. My 2 cents.
     
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