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Old 22nd Jul 2007, 6:44 pm   #41
thermionic
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Another incident that comes to mind was when an elderly gentleman entered my shop clutching an Hitachi front loading VCR under his arm. He casually asked if ''I can fix videos''. I replied that I did my best. ''Well this 'ere machine 'as got a tape in it's innerds'' he stumbled.
'' I will look at it this afternoon for you '' I offered, and held out my hands to receive the machine from his clutches. The VCR remained stubbornly within his grasp as he eyed me un-easily from behind thick glasses.
'' It's got a tape inside'' he repeated ''can you get it out now - I got to take it back''. Thinking that it was a rental tape, I offered to try and release the tape while he waited. This he agreed to, and I opened up the machine. It was dead, apart from the clock display and the machine had croaked with the tape fully loaded. I told him that the best way for me to remove the tape without damage was for me to trace and repair the fault so that the tape was unloaded and ejected as normal. ''Oh, right then hmm, right then, 'cause, well,it's ,see umm'' he stammered, '' 'cause it's one of they tapes, see'' he continued. The penny dropped with me , but I could just not resist not understanding! ''You know - one of they there type of tapes - you know''. His face was rather rosy red by now and I was sure that I could not hold back the laughter for much longer.
When he called back , a week or so later to collect the machine, I reported that that tape and VCR were in fine health as I had viewed the tape many times over to test that all was OK, and that the machine had suffered a 'mild heart attack' due to the nature of the tape's 'material'!!!

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Old 23rd Jul 2007, 1:30 pm   #42
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Yes - being innocent engineers we couldn't work out why some machines (which were then very expensive) were virtually destroyed when the owner "got the tape out". The penny did drop eventually, though...

I remember doing a TV repair in the owner's son's bedroom, and I was playing a tape of his to check it as there was only a poor aerial. From the back of the set I asked if the picture was OK, only to be met with a stunned silence from the mother. "So THAT'S what he gets up to in his room!" she said as I struggled to find the stop button.

Another very large couple wanted their video recorder repaired - one of those "portables" that came with a camera. He asked (well, begged) me very sincerely not to watch the tape. Looking at the pair of them, I decided I would obey his request as it might have scarred me for life....

Glyn
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Old 24th Jul 2007, 4:06 am   #43
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Perhaps the best of them all for me that is goes like this:

It was a sunny afternoon in May when a young lady phoned and asked me how much it would cost to call out to repair her Matsui TV in which the picture intermittently faded out, and how long it would take to repair. She also asked if I had any secondhand TV's for sale. I told her that it would take about 20 mins to hour. She then told me that they worked in the area but not lived there so could I come quite quickly. So I loaded up the car and off I went.

On arrival, the door was opened by a young asian lady and I was led through to the lounge where the lady who booked the call was sitting on the sofa wearing a very sexy little number!

I demonstrated the TV sets and whilst doing so her phone was constantly going. She was rather coy on the phone though. Then the doorbell rang and a man in a pin stripped suit appeared. He went upstairs with the white girl and two minites later he was off!

"Michael, you might have noticed that this is a massage parlour" said the white girl.

"Well I gathered something was going on, look you can do what you want, I'm quite broadminded so it really doesn't bother me."

At this point the girl decided she was too hot and took off her dress and walked around in her bra and panties.

The phone kept ringing and now she was more brazen about what she did, she described herself as 21, she looked more like 41!

After demonstrating the sets, I looked at her Matsui portable, off with the back, locate dry joint in heater circuit, resoldered, tested and refitted the back, total time taken about 5 minutes.

"I thought you said it would take 20 mins or so to fix" said the girl

"Well some jobs are easy and quick to do and some take a little longer, -------------- A bit like your game!"

She had no answer for that! She was chraging the same for going with someone as I was for fixing her TV.

"My parting question was: "Do you get much business doing this?"

"My record is 26 in a day!" she proudly boasted and with that I was off with a big beaming smile!
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Old 24th Jul 2007, 6:42 am   #44
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

That's about the same as the number of field calls we were sometimes expected to do at BRW.

Never did any calls at "massage parlours" but we used to rent four Baird 600 series sets at Risley Jail! That was quite an interesting place to go to; an all-pervading smell of boiled cabbage and disinfectant.

We had one customer who always seemed to be quite scantily clad at any time of the day; FSEs clamoured for a chance to go there!
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Old 24th Jul 2007, 9:47 pm   #45
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Hmm...
I remember being called to someone's house, so I turned up around 9.30 in the morning as arranged. The young lady answered the door in a nightie that didn't leave much to the imagination (and I've got a good imagination!). I mentioned the TV, which was in her bedroom (of course). It was a Pye S/S mono TV (368?) with a line fault (you see how romantic I am? I remember the TV!). I turned round to find her lying on the bed in a seductive pose while mentioning her boyfriend was away all week, and whether we could come to an arrangement over the repair cost.
Panicking, I grabbed the TV, muttered something about the workshop and ran down the three flights of stairs to the car.
When I took it back her boyfriend was there and, looking at the size and strength of him, I decided I'd made the right decision.....
Glyn
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Old 13th Sep 2007, 9:32 am   #46
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Default Humourus storys.....

The recent threads about L L Johns etc has reminded me of some of the customers I had dealings with during my time running a T.V. shop, surely anyone dealing with the general public has a few to tell!?
We had a customer, we will call her Mrs Cherry, ( only the fruit has been changed to protect... etc) A large imposing lady with a very loud voice complete with large hairdo, small weedy husband with little round glasses, always wore a suit.
One day in they came she marched up to the counter and shouted "shop" he struggled in carrying a 19" ultra 8500. its gone off... nothing.. estimate! She barked.
O.K. I will have a look and let you know, let me just take some details, to which she tutted and said "no need I will come back this afternoon," before I had chance to reply she was gone, Mr Cherry in her wake.
I thought it best to do the set as soon as possible fearing her wrath if she returned before I had had a look.
The fault was the tripler and having tried one in it the set worked quite well for a what was then a fairly old set.
I prepared what I thought was a fair estimate and put the set to one side awaiting her return, as I could not contact her as no details were left.
She returned mid afternoon and I gave her the news and cost, she tutted made some sarcastic comment about robbers and masks and started to take the cash from her handbag, I said no need to pay now, pay when its repaired and you collect, "you mean its not done!" "No, you wanted an estimate," she turned to her husband and shouted "they haven't done it George!"
"well you did ask for an estimate dear..." "Shut up! I'm dealing with this"! she turned to me "how long!?" pop back in an hour. "tut!" turned to George "come on".
Later she collected the set, paid and drove off in her old Volvo.
A year or more passed and then one day George returned to but a new set, Jeans, t shirt, smiling and looking years younger, with a pretty blonde girl I assumed was his daughter.
As I put the set in the back of a new Volvo I couldn't help wondering what had caused such a transformation, "Hows Mrs Cherry" I asked "Oh" said George, still smiling, "I'm afraid she died, heart attack, very sudden" "Oh sorry to hear that I said," (thinking heat attack!? she had one then!?) George shrugged and introduced me to the new Mrs Cherry!
No wonder he was smiling!
Rich.
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Old 22nd Sep 2007, 9:10 pm   #47
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

One story I will always remember was the old enginner in British relay who did the wireless sets. He had been working on this old Pilot all morning and could not get the frequency changer to work. During lunch a couple of the apprentices put a transistor set behind the the speaker cloth tuned to the home service. They wrpped up the mains cable of the Pilot and went away. The old guy couldnt understand what was going on (for about 2 mins) but by gd did they get it!
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:38 pm   #48
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Default Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

Hi there must be a good stories about funny or best experiences in doing repairs in peoples homes kind regards Bob
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:54 pm   #49
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Default Re: Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

A Hitachi 22” CTV with bad purity. Checked the degaussing coil and changed the thermistor - perfect picture. Put it back into the customer’s TV unit and the purity fault returned. Much head scratching ensued until I opened the drawer in the TV unit - massive speaker magnet smashed off on old speaker in there. Bad words were used and the bill reflected my wasted time!
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 8:13 pm   #50
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Default Re: Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

In a galaxy far far away I once found myself in a rural living room in my early years. I became aware of a gentle rumbling noise and found a hen, fast asleep in a cardboard box by the fire.
An Engineer I worked with told me a possibly apocryphal tale of coming out of a flat and tripping. The typical wooden coffin of a cabinet opened up and the chassis rolled out. No, I didn't believe it either!
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 8:18 pm   #51
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Default Re: Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

What about you, Bob? You must have a tale or two to share

For amusing trade anecdotes, look no further than the columns by Les Lawry-Johns and Donald Bullock in Tv Mag.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 8:25 pm   #52
bobhowe
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Default Re: Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

Hi Outrun UK that is a good one could have been a right head ache . You have just reminded me about repair that i done but it is car related but it is electrical .Moderators can i discuss this without been OT or in another section kind regards Bob
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 8:29 pm   #53
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Default Re: Funniest Or Best Experience In Doing Repairs In Peoples Homes

Automotive is not acceptable on this forum:

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...d.php?t=177297

Cheers

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Old 21st Jul 2021, 9:36 pm   #54
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Our workshop was run by a complete and utter tyrant, if he could not find the Sellotape dispenser, he would think nothing of lining up the whole workshop and screaming for an hour about the fact that the Sellotape lives here, I have a mortgage. At the end of this, he would retire to his office cramming dozens of pills down his throat.

One day, one of the engineers decided to play a little joke on him. He had brought in one of those kiddies toys where you press the top, and a sucker held it together for a couple of minutes, after that, it jumped into the air.

Said tech was working on a massive TV. He called the boss over telling him he could see something glowing inside the cabinet. The boss had his head buried inside the cabinet when said toy jumped into his face.

He ran to his office, and we did not see him again for two weeks.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 10:22 pm   #55
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

I have a rather dark, but true story seen from the other side of the fence.

This took place when I was a sixth former, not working, and at the time very keen on CB and Short Wave Listening. My parents' TV downstairs - a Thorn 3500, as I later found out, gave me no problems in this respect until the day it refused to turn on. The rental company were called out and since I was interested in electronics, I noticed the engineer changed the PSU which was a kind of module which dropped into the upper part of the chassis. That got the TV working.

Only later did I then find that the TV was now generating terrible, and I mean off the scale, RF interference. Since the only difference was the replacement PSU, that had to be the cause. The problem was that I couldn't see anyone being sympathetic about it. My parents were just happy to have the TV back on and the rental company wouldn't want to know anything about it as long as the TV was working.

So.. when I had the house to myself I removed the back and arranged a temporary fine wire short across one of the PSU rectifier diodes, put the back on again, and waited. Parents came in, TV went PHUT, the problem was duly reported to the rental company again. I used another window of opportunity to excise any sign of the actual cause of the problem.

The engineer came out - same one, looking suitably baffled, and changed the PSU again. This time, everything was back to normal - TV working and no significant levels of RF interference. Everyone happy, apart from the person whose job it was to work out why the 'unreliable' PSU had failed.

Not long afterwards I went on to work in a radio and TV workshop and have been a repair technician (electronics) dedicated to making broken electronic things work for more or less the whole of my working life. This was the one and only occasion on which I ever used my knowledge to intentionally break something, rather than repair it - although I suppose you could say that ultimately, I used my knowledge to force a proper repair.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 11:00 pm   #56
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr-Watts View Post

My other fave story was an old couple who's KT3 had passed away.
After fitting a new tripler the picture was awefull, all green and soft.
I gave the tube a boost and tweeked up the thing to give a very presentable picture.
When I reinstalled it they were horrified at how ** BAD ** the picture was !
I had to turn the red, blue and contrast right down there and then because they really were furious

Dave W
We had a similar one. A very nice couple who had recently moved into the area called us to report a fault on their elderly Bush CTV. We got it going, but it wanted a lot of work and the tube was seriously jiggered. It really wasn't worth doing, so we put a big estimate on it. They asked if we could recommend a 'good make' of CTV to replace it, and as we were Panasonic agents we had no hesitation in recommending one of those Quintrix sets which always impressed us.
The deal was done and the set installed and that was that...until two days later when the phone rang. It was Mrs Nice, but she wasn't impressed and neither was her husband.
I was uprooted from my cosy bench and sent out to see what the trouble was. On arrival I could see nothing at all wrong with the picture. Football was on and the lady kept saying the red shirts were 'all wrong' and no matter how hard I tried I could not convince her that all was well and that the picture was first class. In the end, I suggested I would take two new sets of different makes off display and let her see that all three pictures were more-or-less identical.
This having been done, she realised at last that they had simply grown accustomed to the ghastly colours of their old set.
She was nice as pie after that and became a reliable customer - and we picked up a number of new customers in the immediate area, so she must have been telling her neighbours about 'the nice young man who went out of his way' etc...
Happy days!

I've got another one about Mr Birkhead who liked his films to look 'just so'. I'll save it till later.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 11:30 pm   #57
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

I went to a house to repair the TV, it was a "key under mat" job, quite a common occurrence.
When I entered the lounge I became aware of the muffled sound of a radio playing in the room, and feeing curious I went to investigate. The sound was coming from a bundle of blankets I unwrapped the tightly wrapped parcel, to reveal a small AC/DC valve radio set playing at full volume and of course red hot!
I unplugged the set before it spontaneously combusted and got on with what I was there to do.

While I was there the lady of the house returned, (a young girl in her teens with a child)
and I asked her about the radio, and she said she always left it on when she was out to deter burglars, OK I said, but why was it wrapped up in a blanket?
Oh that, the volume is faulty and it only works on full blast, it would disturb the neighbours otherwise.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 11:43 pm   #58
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Those posts about people putting up with atrocious pictures on knackered tubes has reminded me of a time as a student, when I was briefly working in an AV retail store in Germany. This would have been circa 1992.

We went to deliver a state of the art B&O set to a middle aged couple in a leafy suburb. When we arrived the wife indicated to us where to put the set. It was in the opposite corner of the living room to their old one - which the husband was glued to. Anyway, we set it up and then the complaints began. First, she didn't like the picture. We looked over at the other set (some late 70s ITT, I think) and realized that it had a rather soft tube. The new set with its FST of course was far sharper in comparison, and IIRC showed up the slightly weak aerial signal, masked by the old set. But she remained unconvinced and thought we'd brought her a dud.

Then she had some problem connecting her headphones to it. Turned out they were always fighting over what to watch, so the second set was to allow 'each to their own'; nowadays it is commonplace for people in the same room to each to be glued to a mobile screen, but I was rather shocked at how antisocial that TV setup seemed at the time.
Of course, there would have been a cacophony if both sets were playing at once, hence the need for the cans. Can't recall how we solved that one, some kind of adaptor I presume.

Bet the long evenings simply flew by in that house!
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 8:23 am   #59
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Customer came into the workshop reception and asks 'Can you do me a Quote?' Certainly Sir- “To be, or not to be? That is the question—Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them.

Simple but suprised!
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Old 22nd Jul 2021, 8:30 am   #60
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Default Re: Humour in the TV trade.

Some great stories on here.
OK, here's the story of Mr Birkhead and his Hollywood Musicals. Mr B had been with us a while and whenever we encountered him he would always tell us of his undying love of the 40's and 50's MGM musicals. As a fan myself we had numerous conversations on the subject.
He loved the luxurious, slightly over-saturated colours and the warm, golden colour balance.
One day he bobbed into the shop and announced he was treating himself to a brand new Sony TV, and chose (I think) a KV-2212. Nice telly.
He'd had it for a while when he began calling us out (always asking for me, despite knowing I was happily tied to my bench). The problem was always the same - he couldn't get the colours right - ie his Hollywood films didn't seem to have the same sumptuous look as he remembered.
'Could you twiddle the colour controls?' he would ask. Well, I was reluctant, as the pics looked fine to me and I really didn't want this to become a regular thing. Still, I obliged, and sure enough it became a bit of a habit. He was always apologetic though.
On one visit, I noticed he was taking quite an interest in my twiddlings, and subsequent events revealed the reason....
One Saturday morning, Mr B rang the office and asked for me. The boss told me 'no more twiddles for this guy, he's a time-waster!'. But when he started talking to me I realised something was up. Mr B was rather quiet and hesitant, and he explained to me that last night he had been watching one of his films and thought once again that Technicolor had got it wrong and decided to take matters into his own hands. Oh dear...
He'd removed the back (on these it was a heavy black plastic moulding) and had a tentative go on the presets he had so closely watched me adjust on my last visit. Eventually giving up, he went to put the back cover in place (You're ahead of me now aren't you?) but before he could get a screw in place, it slipped down and 'psshshshshssss...'.
Yup, Mr B had necked his tube.
'Could you come up, Andy?' I told my boss and we struggled to control our mirth.
I brought the set in and found the price of a new 22" Trinitron CRT plus the labour costs would have come to not far short of a new set!
And so Mr B ordered a new 2212 and from that moment on he kept his Technicolor dreams to himself. Every time I saw him after that he was very shame-faced.
It was a pity really, he was a nice, mild-mannered bloke and I liked him a lot.
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