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  1. #1
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    People remember repairmen for a long time

    Way back when they actually still sold them I had a few customers that used an IBM Quietwriter. It was an amazing idea at the time and for a couple years an amazing typewriter. It used a thermal print head and a special ribbon when typing or in very very special cases printing computer word processing files. Good idea but sort of lacking in durability like the IBM Selectric had. Print heads could be very difficult or a piece of cake to replace. Don't really know I only tried three or four and gave up because of the cost at the time to buy them. We never did put any under contract. Anyway I was at the Goodwill store looking for a cheap pc component. A lady walked up and tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was the guy that used to work on the nine typewriters at a certain lawyer's office. She wanted to know if I could recommend a typewriter shop since she wanted something a lot more reliable for home use than the current portables available in the office supply stores. But she definitely wanted something that was less expensive to buy supplies for than her old Quietwriter. Ribbons which cost over forty dollars and definitely not the, as she remembered, 90 dollars plus labor to replace the print head. I gave her the name of a friend still running his own shop. Now the fun part of the story. This lady was actually a secretary in a law office where I actually repaired their IBM typebar typewriters, thirty plus years ago. We dropped them as a customer when they bought Quietwriters. I decided to not try anymore repairs on those machines. There were a lot of alignment problems and ribbon feed and ribbons breaking. Selectrics averaged one call every three years with proper lubing and oiling. These machines averaged a call every three to five weeks. Admittedly minor problems unless it was a print head alignment problem or ribbon feed.


  2. #2
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    People remember repairmen for a long time


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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    Most businesses want to forget the repairman that hands them a bill every time they see them


  3. #3
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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    Quote Originally Posted by copyman View Post
    Most businesses want to forget the repairman that hands them a bill every time they see them
    They also remember repairmen that actually fix their older machines. Which for those old typebar typewrites in the early 80's was rare. Not too many independent office machine companies actually were trained on them since they quit being manufactured by IBM in the mid 70's.


  4. #4
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    People remember repairmen for a long time


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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    I'm with you about repairing the old equipment. Been repairing all brands of copiers / printers since late 70's.

    I'm definitely from the typewriter era but never really got into them. I remember a lot of typewriter companies back then. Most of them went out of business in the 90's, some turned into copier companies. I remember one Indy like myself that had a decent business servicing typewriters. I used to buy the selectric "ball" typewriters from him. He use to dip the whole "guts" into a Branson cleaning machine and they would be good as new! All metal case, built like a tank!

    The good ole days.......


  5. #5
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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    Quote Originally Posted by copyman View Post
    I'm with you about repairing the old equipment. Been repairing all brands of copiers / printers since late 70's.

    I'm definitely from the typewriter era but never really got into them. I remember a lot of typewriter companies back then. Most of them went out of business in the 90's, some turned into copier companies. I remember one Indy like myself that had a decent business servicing typewriters. I used to buy the selectric "ball" typewriters from him. He use to dip the whole "guts" into a Branson cleaning machine and they would be good as new! All metal case, built like a tank!

    The good ole days.......
    Ah yes the fun good old days. I have one correcting selectric with the installation sticker on the bottom cover still. That one is from 1976. Then there is the manual typewriter I have from 1892 (last patent date on the back of the machine) and it still works. But the real real fun machine I know of is a Sholes and Glidden typewriter from the 1860's. That belongs to the owner of a company that has been in business and owned by the same family since 1902.

    I almost got started working on copiers back in the mid 70's when working for IBM. IBM actually sold copiers back then and that was the next step in the progression for IBM customer service techs.


  6. #6
    ALIEN OVERLORD 2,500+ Posts fixthecopier's Avatar
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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    If customers from a long time ago remember and talk to you, it is a testament to you being a good tech. If you see a repairman that did a crappy job on some job you paid him for, odds are you won't talk to him. I take it as a compliment when old customers see me and make the effort to speak.

    Democracy is still the worst form of government, except for all the rest of them.

  7. #7
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    Re: People remember repairmen for a long time

    Quote Originally Posted by fixthecopier View Post
    If customers from a long time ago remember and talk to you, it is a testament to you being a good tech. If you see a repairman that did a crappy job on some job you paid him for, odds are you won't talk to him. I take it as a compliment when old customers see me and make the effort to speak.
    I really enjoy it too. Sometimes though they get rather vocal when I tell them I no longer work on copiers or typewriters. And there are also the ones who would get ticked off and upset because you might not say good morning or hello in the right tone of voice. Had a customer that actually complained that all I did was fix the machine and ask them to "sign here please" And then two years later called and complained when I commented on how nice a day it was and "talked too much to the receptionist" Of course most of what I actually talked about was what kind of problems thay were having.


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