Sales and Service for Your Family Heirloom Timepieces
Policies & Procedures
I want your experience with Talbot Clock Shop to be seamless and enjoyable. My goal is to restore your cherished heirloom clocks to good running order, so that you can enjoy them for years to come. Here are some of the policies and procedures I use to help achieve that goal.
I give free estimates on all repairs, upon inspection of your timepiece. However, there are times when the repair may not be obvious without a complete teardown and inspection of the mechanism. I will do my best to make sure you understand what is involved in the repair of the clock.
If upon teardown and full inspection I find significant other repair needed (exceeding 10% more than the original estimate), I will call and seek approval to proceed before going any further. If you decline, I will return the clock to you free of charge.
I do not require a deposit on scheduled work. Remember, I have your clock and that is all the collateral I need (See Lack of Communications below). However, there are rare circumstances where the cost of repairs exceeds the commercial value of the timepiece. If you wish to proceed for sentimental (or other) reasons, a deposit makes some sense. I will advise you at the time of the estimate and consent by you to proceed.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE OF TIMEPIECES
All well built clocks require regular maintenance the same as any mechanical device. Your car, for instance, requires periodic oil changes, tire rotation, etc. to keep it performing in top condition. So it is with your clock as well. I recommend re-oiling the clock every 5 years, at which time I will inspect for any additional needs and advise you about them. Just like your car, regular maintenance will prevent costly repairs or even the need for replacement of the mechanism.
DROP OFF OF TIMEPIECES
Please be aware that there are times when the shop is very busy, and due to limited storage room, I may ask you to bring the clock back at a future date. I will also give you a date at which I believe I can have all repairs completed for you to retrieve the clock. This is the date I will strive to meet in returning your clock. (See Unforeseen Circumstances below).
For floor clocks or particularly large wall clocks, I offer a home visit service at extra cost. Sometimes it is possible to affect repairs on the spot in your home, particularly if the clock has been well maintained (see Regular Maintenance above). However, many clocks will run for years, even decades with no maintenance, at which time extensive repairs or replacement may be needed. (See Regular Maintenance above).
I will warranty all repairs for a period of one-year after return to you. This means I will repair or adjust as needed to ensure your clock runs as intended. I cannot, however, warranty any kind of abuse, and my inspection will reveal that. I am fairly liberal on this point though. Since few people have exposure to mechanical timepieces these days, there may be a lack of knowledge on your part on correct procedures to successfully own and operate them. I'm always happy to instruct you and answer any questions you may have, just call.
As I've personally experienced not too long ago, sometimes life can get in the way of performance, with unintended results.
One year, a bad storm blew many shingles off the roof at the shop, causing water intrusion into the storage area. Luckily I came right over after the storm passed and was able to protect all the clocks from any damage. Last year, I had two unexpected major surgeries which set back timing for returning clocks to the owners by the promised date. But I kept everyone informed and worked diligently to bring the backlog back to normal.
Just please be aware that sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. But I will do my best to keep everyone informed of any delays.
PICKUP OF CLOCKS
I will call you when your clock is ready to be picked up (or delivered if a floor clock). It is your responsibility to make arrangements to establish a date for this. Please do not leave a clock in the shop for longer than one-month after being notified of its readiness. Storage is limited and affects my ability to bring in other customer's clocks for repair.
LACK OF COMMUNICATIONS
If you are unable to retrieve your clock in a timely manner, please let me know what's going on. I'm lenient if there is communication between us, but it makes it difficult to be so if I have no idea what's going on. Also make sure I know the best way to contact you, and that the contact information is correct. Several times the phone number I was given was off by a digit, which makes it impossible to reach the customer.
Maryland law regarding these transactions is specific (see MD Law 16-302). Any article left after notification of completion of repairs for a period of more than 90 days, may be sold in order to recoup the loss on the bill. However, if you come in after 90 days and the item is still in my shop, you can retrieve it for the amount owed. If it has been sold, I am required to return to you the difference between what was owed and what the item was sold for. After six-months, the item is considered abandoned property and I may dispose of it in any manner I choose with no recompense to the owner.
Again, I'm lenient on this IF I am kept in the loop. Just let me know you're still interested. I'm not here to make enemies, but I must make a profit on my time invested if I'm to be in business tomorrow.