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Utterly Frustrated With Colin Dipper


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Hi all

 

A hell of a topic for a first mail to the forum, but tt's been a truly grinding frustration to read the starry-eyed reports of concertinas delivered by Colin Dipper over the years.

 

Many of these orders were placed long, long after mine. In retrospect, the only thing fast, timely and dependable about the order I placed with him almost 10 years ago have been his excuses.

 

Has anyone else had a hard time getting a concrete, dependable committment (let alone an instrument) out of him? I badly need to share my misery, my anger and my frustration...

 

Oddball.

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As I understand it, it depends a lot on how different to the norm your order is. Special orders tend to slip, although 10 years does sound a long time. I've gone the Carroll route as these seem to be quality, top line instruments and still only 15 months waiting

 

Edited for typos

Edited by Paul Read
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I am not going to comment on this specific case, but it seems to me that if this were a normal business transaction:

An order would be placed,with a deposit if necessary

A reply should be received with confirmation of reciept of your deposit and an expected delivery date as to completion.

If this delivery date is not met then you are entitled to your money back under the agreement and you can place your order elswhere.

If you enter apon a transaction even with a friend and you do not follow these rules then you only have yourself to blame.Your only comeback is to put it properly in writing,keep a copy and send one to a solicitor for future action if you have no satisfactory response.

In the Dog Showing World this friendly no paperwork agreement deals are done all the time and many a serious complaint and friendship break up is the result.All transactions,even between friends should be treated as serious, or friends will no longer be friends, if one forgets ,or did not understand the other.

Al

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Hi

 

I am wondering if "Bazza" and "Oddball" have gotten to the point in the waiting process when Mr. Dipper has asked for the particulars of the instrument that you would like made for you. I understand that is what happens at some point in the queue when your turn is coming up.?

 

Thanks,

 

Richard

Edited by richard
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I don't want to comment on anything Colin may have said to anyone, since I don't have all the story. All that I will say is that every time I have called to see the Dippers (and that is probably more often than most since I live so close to them) they are always working on something to do with making or repairing concertinas. I know they work most evenings and weekends, except when they are off attending some concertina-related event, and of course they frequently have Robin Scard working withen them, and occasionally their son John too. It is difficult to see how they could get more done than they do in the time.

 

Not a justification, just a comment on the reality of their situation.

 

I can also vouch for the fact that living close by doesn't give you a leg up the queue...

 

Chris

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.. if this were a normal business transaction...

 

Bingo. The crux of the matter.

 

A couple of quotations direct (email) from the horses mouth. Try :

 

"[...this year....] I have no after hours craft time for making specials".

"I cannot offer fixed deadlines at the moment."

 

Is this normal business? Well, a hint at transparency, even if way overdue... What should I read out of this? In the light of experience (my words) "the instument I have year for year encouraged you to expect in the next <production run / spring / early summer / year> will not, after all, arrive in the contracted form, nor will it arrive until sometime in the far distant future".

 

Hopes diced. Numb, Dead. My thanks, therefore, for good advice :

:

"An order would be placed, with a deposit" - ok, seem to have been on the ball here.

:

"a reply should be received" :-))

:

"confirmation of reciept of your deposit" :-)) :-)))

:

"expected delivery date" :-)) :-))) :-)))

:

"entitled to your money back" - After a decade of inflation? Depo on a 2nd hand Stagi..

:

"you can place your order elsewhere" - Oh dear, seem to have blown this one. But then where is the ideal break-off point? 3 years? 5? 7? 10 or more? And then to a waiting list of how many years? Was 40 when I ordered, will be 50 this year.... What if I get Dippered again....?

 

What is the concertina anyway? Sound fetishism? Pot-bellied balding myth? Smelly nostalgia, sado-patience-masochism, gushing, starry-eyed one-up-man-owner-ship? Other than the few meagre scratchings of a shared human aspiration, my own experience of it can be summed up in two words :"largely pointless"

 

Nevertheless, I've invested many years of my life in it, and I have not the slightest intention of giving up. What really pisses me off is having someone thwarting my aspirations under the pretext of helping me to achieve them. I expect honesty, transparency and committment in such dealings, and so far all have been missing.

 

No, it certainly is not a normal business transaction.

 

Oddball

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I am not going to comment on this specific case, but it seems to me that if this were a normal business transaction:

An order would be placed,with a deposit if necessary...

The trouble is, it's not "a normal business transaction". If it were, the "normal" advice would be, "If you're not satisfied, take your business elsewhere." There are other makers, but my guess is that if Mr. Ball (:)) felt that were an acceptable option for him, he already would have done so.

 

It's not Colin's fault that he has far more requests/demands for his work than he can possibly accomodate. And it makes sense to me that even an "urgent" job might be displaced by one yet more urgent. I'm sure he doesn't keep a simple first-in, first-out "queue", nor is he required to. Given the demands on his time, he is the only person who can set priorities. Ten years is a long time, but if Colin's judgement doesn't agree with yours -- or mine, for that matter, -- that's his right.

 

I'm told that when you "order" an instrument from Colin, he doesn't take any money and he doesn't promise you a specific delivery date --- not even a specific year -- and that only when (you might say "if") he is ready to begin work on "your" instrument will he ask you for a deposit. My understanding is that he doesn't promise anything, though he may say "I'll try". Oddball, has your case really been different?

 

I do believe that by his own standards (possibly even by mine), Colin is conscientious. A couple of years ago there was someone in Poland whose name did "come to the top of the queue" (I have no idea how long he was on Colin's list), but his contact information was no longer valid. Colin didn't just throw the name away, but went to some trouble trying to locate the man, and when he heard that I had contacts in Poland, Colin asked my help in locating him. Luckily for all concerned, I succeeded.

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Hello Oddball, et.al.,

 

I wish to say that the situation described is quite consistent with my own which I find very satisfying.

 

That your instrument is a "special" (as Colin describes them) e.g., not the typical Anglo, clearly puts you and me and anyone else who wishes to have a "Special" Dipper - as if each one isn't - at a great disadvantage.

 

Colin has consistently been very forthright in his comments to me over the years that "specials" are not a priority for him and they will only come extremely few and very far between - if ever. Accordingly, he has accepted nothing from me but my name to put on a list. Each time I have spoken to him, he has been consistent in his message and professional and congenial in it's delivery. And I respect him greatly!

 

I grant you that a Dipper is truly a concertina to behold and to cherish - and perhaps like no other to some. I think there are others equally satisfying with and without the mystique. That there are others does not diminish my desire for one of Colin's and Rosalie's (spelling-?), however.

 

That said, I think there is something to be said for keeping one instrument in perspective and not allowing my lust for it to diminish my joy from the many other exceptional isntruments that are available. And there are others - in my opinion.

 

Oddball, I appreciate - on some level - you comment, "I badly need to share my misery, my anger and my frustration..." but, frankly, the richness and joy in life and music is greater than this.

 

So, put it in perspective and decide if it's worth the wait - even if you never receive one ('cause there can be joy just in the waiting/anticipation) OR that you've had enough and it's time to move on and focus on a concertina you can enjoy. If it helps, I'll buy you out of any deposit you have with Colin (if you ordered at a time when he accepted deposits). That will double my own odds at getting my "special" someday! (I am serious about buying you out. Even ten years at a couple of percent annual earnings isn't that much. Just contact me directly.)

 

Be Well,

 

Dan

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Oddball,

 

I am not addressing or judging the few facts of the case you have put forward, I'd want to hear Colin Dipper first; but would you mind putting a name to your posts? It seems reasonable when you have complained about someone else and named them...

 

Chris Ghent

Edited by Chris Ghent
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What is the concertina anyway? Sound fetishism? Pot-bellied balding myth? Smelly nostalgia, sado-patience-masochism, gushing, starry-eyed one-up-man-owner-ship? Other than the few meagre scratchings of a shared human aspiration, my own experience of it can be summed up in two words :"largely pointless"

Speak for yourself ! :angry:

 

Just what is so special about the instrument you have ordered anyway, that a "standard model" or an already-made concertina won't do for you ?

 

If you simply want a concertna to play, there are lots of them available, if you want a "one-off" created specially for you by a master craftsman, you have to be prepared to wait indefinitely. Colin Dipper isn't a machine !

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If you simply want a concertna to play, there are lots of them available, if you want a "one-off" created specially for you by a master craftsman, you have to be prepared to wait indefinitely. Colin Dipper isn't a machine !

Aside from worrying me a little as to what a concertna might be, Stephen has, for me, hit the nail on the head.

 

I am now very much in the realm of opinion here, but I think that Colin and Rosalie, given the time constraints I tried to describe above, prioritise at least to some extent by perceived need. For example, a good few years ago, before Anne and I were about to make our first recording, I contacted Colin and asked him if he had a baritone C/G that he could lend me for the recording. As it happened he had a Lachenal and it proved invaluable, it really suited what I was doing on song accompaniment. After the recording I put in an order for my own baritone. Colin told me that the baritone he had lent me had been left with him for repair some 13 years earlier. he had done all the required repairs, but the owner had never returned to collect it (it seems that he didn't have the money to hand so he was quite content to leave the instrument with Colin. Colin, needless to say, would much rather have had his money than yet another concertina sitting under his workbench). Under the circumstances Colin offered to lend me the baritone (on condition I insured it) rather than let it moulder away unplayed in a corner of the workshop, until the one I ordered was ready.

 

5 years passed. I personally believe that in Colin's mind I was OK, since I had a baritone and there were other people with more pressing needs. The the owner suddenly came out of the woodwork and claimed his baritone back (he was apparently very disappointed that Colin wanted more than the amount quoted for the repair 18 years before...). What was worrying for me was that we were due to go to the US on a performing tour te following month. Well, Colin and Rosalie pulled out all the stops and my baritone was ready with just over a week to spare, and it is a truly wonderful instrument.

 

Now I've had a G/D on order for, I'm not sure, but I would think about 6 years. I look forward a lot to getting it, but I am under no illusions that I need it, since in the meantime I bought a superb Jeffries G/D when the chance came my way. Colin knows I have it, and I suspect that that puts me down the priority order a bit. Nevertheless I am sure it will come someday, I'm just not holding my breath.

 

For a good few years I have been offering the following advice to anyone who wants to listen: order your Dipper, then forget about it (except as a particularly good daydream). When it does arrive you'll feel like a lottery winner. But don't put off buying anything else against the time your Dipper arrives - at the very least if you've bought a $6000 dollar Jeffries you can sell it again to pay for the Dipper.

 

Chris

 

PS the story about the baritone illustrates the problems that a small business man can have with customers, the problems aren't all one way.

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For a good few years I have been offering the following advice to anyone who wants to listen: order your Dipper, then forget about it (except as a particularly good daydream).

 

That is precisely what I am doing. I also have a special on order, but until it percolates up to the top of his list, I'm not going to worry about it.

 

When it does arrive you'll feel like a lottery winner.

 

Depending on what the dollar does against the pound, I may need to be a lottery winner before it arrives.

 

Regards,

--Dave

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Aside from worrying me a little as to what a concertna might be ...

"Concert'na" is what comes out when you try to say "concertina" with your mouth full, or was it a typo. ? :rolleyes:

Type O? Not type AB? Bl**dy mistakes! :o

Yes, those too Jim. :(

 

I shall have to stop posting while I am eating my dinner ! :P

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