Skip to content

Well, wasn't that a big mistake! Why on earth did the UK leave the EU? It's made life for small businesses like Plasma Music Limited, quite a bit more difficult.  Anyway, we all need to get on with, I guess.

Okay, so now VAT is NOT applicable on sales to the EU but EU customers may have to pay import duty.

VAT is a standard percentage of the selling price; 20% here in the UK, 19% in Germany, 22% in Italy and four rates in France, for example.

Import duty however, is in my experience, considerably more unpredictable and I'm afraid I simply am unable to estimate charges for different countries. It also should be noted that couriers often charge a 'processing' fee when charging import duty. Hmm... of course they do!

When customers send me equipment to be repaired, I request that they select 'Export for Repair' on the customs declaration. This avoids me paying customs duty when I receive the item.

When returning equipment that has been repaired, I select 'Return After Repair' on the customs declaration. This means that if import duty is charged, the customer will only pay for the work I have done (the price on my invoice) and will exclude the value of the item that was sent to me.

The short answer is no, I don't offer a fast-track service.

All repairs are done chronologically and while some techs do charge a little extra for a fast-track service, in my mind, that doesn't really compensate customers who might be in front of you in the que.

Having said that... I know that sometimes stuff comes up and often, things just go wrong when you really don't need them to. Appreciating that life isn't perfect, I'm only too happy to help so please just talk to me. If your equipment can be repaired quickly and I don't have to wait for parts, I'll always do what I can.

Occasionally the cost of a repair can approach or potentially even exceed the financial value of the item being repaired. If I feel that this will happen, I will contact you to discuss how we may proceed.

Some items may hold a special sentimental value that can't be expressed in financial terms. I'm quite sensitive to that and will do everything I can to help and keep costs realistic.

I'm sorry but normally, I don't repair HiFi.

HiFi is rarely repaired down to the level (component level) that I'm used to and that the EMI (electronic musical instrument) market expects. Normally of modular design, HiFi repairs often involve whole subsystems being swapped out. Unfortunately, manufacturers and distributors of consumer electronics, don't keep spare parts in stock for too long, as they used to. Hence, procuring parts is usually a nightmare.

At 60 GBP plus VAT per hour, it's too expensive for me to fix HiFi systems down to component level.

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS... My valve experience often tempts owners of high-end valve equipment to contact me. Manufacturers and distributors of high-end HiFi, tend to stand by their products and acquiring technical literature for example, is much easier then trying to do the same with manufacturers and distributors of more popular consumer electronics. At the end of the day, if I'm able to get appropriate support on a product, I'm usually to at least have a look at it.

The whole process can take half a day but I don't think it's appropriate to charge for all of that. My charge for a straight-forward clean is just for two to three hours of my time; between 120 and 180 GBP plus VAT, assuming that no parts are required, of course.

Okay, so I never fix 'one' key, as a single key going down, is indicative of an excessive accumulation of dust and other airborne contaminants on the key-bed. I therefore, always service the entire keyboard.

Stripping a keyboard, cleaning the keyboard contact PCB, cleaning the keyboard contact PCB carbon contacts and cleaning the carbon nipples inside the rubber bubble strips is extremely time consuming. For a 61-note keyboard, the process can take between two to three hours. Then, the keyboard needs to be dried out and reassembled.

The process is less involved on keyboards that use copper spring contacts but in other ways, they're a lot more fussy, requiring precision alignment, for example.

Honest... it's worth it in the long run. If not done properly, then you're only going to be back in a few months because another key has died!

I'm afraid not.

I feel it important to maintain standards and with respect, I have no idea of the technical abilities or the equipment, customers might have. Health and safety is also a concern and I feel a responsibility to keep people safe.

Plasma Music Limited sounds bigger than it is! The reality however, is that it's just me and I don't have the infrastructure to offer technical support to those who might want to self-build.

Despite the fact that most of my products are accompanied by a fully illustrated and detailed installation manual, I appreciate that things might not always be clear, especially if English isn't the customer's first language. I'm therefore always happy to help but giving technical support for self-builds is a totally different thing.

Occasionally this happens. Perhaps I'm unable to acquire appropriate technical literature. Perhaps I'm unable to procure parts or perhaps the repair isn't cost-effective. In such circumstances, I'll contact you and advise accordingly.

I may however, still charge between 30 GBP and 60 GBP plus VAT for the time it's taken to provide you with that information.

The reason that my 'non-repair' charge isn't a fixed figure, is that some machines simply take longer to open up and fault-find than others.