I had an appointment the other day to tune a piano at a customer's home. When I arrived, I found there were several issues with the piano. It was an old upright, probably close to 100 years old. I have a saying when it comes to old uprights. Many people believe they have an "antique" piano. I usually say "There are no antique upright pianos, unless Haydn composed his concertos on it." While that's not always true, most old upright pianos are simply "old pianos."
This piano had several problems in the action of the piano which would have required 3 to 4 hours of work in the shop. As well, I tested the tuning pins across the piano and they were very loose....probably tunable but barely. While I quoted a price to fix the problems and tune the piano, my recommendation to the customer was this....don't spend any money on this piano.
I already checked...it wasn't a family heirloom or of any personal value to the customer....it was given to them from the neighbor across the street.
It is important that whomever you choose to work on your piano...or you car....or your house....or anything else for that matter, that they be honest enough to let you know you are spending good money on something that is not of that same value. In this case, my customer could have easily spent $400 or more for work on a piano that would have been worth, even after the repairs, less than $200.
I told my customer to not spend anything on that piano and that I would help her find an inexpensive piano for her children to learn on. She asked me what she owed me for coming to her home. I was on my way home myself and didn't charge her anything. I know that this sort of honesty in working with my customers will return to me a hundred new customers in the future.
Don't spend good money after bad! Find good technicians and service personnel whom you can trust...who won't simply charge you for the sake of service and without your interest in mind.