Please note that I do NOT normally use Royal Mail post for anything other than letters and small items. The carrier I use will NOT deliver to a BFPO address - nor to an address outside mainland UK. Therefore you *MUST* provide a UK mainland delivery address AND the daytime phone number there. Failure to label your receiver with these details will prevent its return to you.
Please do NOT send me something for repair without my prior consent.
Please do NOT send me something for repair then go on holiday (I charge £1 per day storage charge if I am unable to return items as soon as they are ready). Equipment still in my possession after one month, through no fault of mine, will be sold to offset storage and repair costs (after attempts have been made to notify the owner). The owner will be entitled to any profit made after expenses are deducted.
WHAT HAPPENS TO PARCELS
These notes are important so please take the time to read and understand them. Most people have no appreciation of what happens to a parcel in transit and, as a result, I occasionally receive a box with a lot of pieces rattling inside which, unfortunately, I have to refuse or return unrepaired, with an invoice for carriage.
Imagine that your parcel is going to be thrown (not placed, THROWN) into a lorry. A hundred more parcels may then be thrown on top of it. Your parcel is now sitting beneath two hundredweight of other parcels, being joggled, bounced and squeezed as the lorry accelerates, decelerates and hits potholes, kerbs and anything else that gets in the way. You can write "fragile" in BIG letters but unfortunately, neither the lorry nor those other parcels can read! On arrival at the central depot the parcels are THROWN into a storage warehouse to be sorted for their various destinations. They undergo a lot more handling before finally being thrown onto another lorry to be transported to your local depot where they will be transferred to a delivery van. Oh, yes, and it's *always* raining.
To be fair, most delivery drivers take good care of your property, but they are always in a hurry and parcels can get dropped. One parcel even fell out of a moving van onto the pavement and was delivered to my customer three days later by an honest passer-by who just happened to find it. Of course I'm painting the worst case scenario, but this is what you should bear in mind when packing your receiver.
The mains power connection at the wall socket should be removed *before* you touch any connections and, when you get your receiver back, the mains power at the wall should be the *last* connection you make, otherwise damage may be caused.
Be especially careful that the inner and outer wires in the coaxial cable 'F' screw connector can not short together!
The RF plug is often very tight. Pull it straight. DO NOT wiggle it!
If it is not easy to remove, you can use a pair of needle-nose pliers to lever it off or you can leave it connected and I'll deal with it. When the Aerial-In plug and RF-Out plug are disconnected from your Digibox, CONNECT THEM TOGETHER. That way, you don't lose your ordinary TV and Video pictures and you won't be confused when you have to reconnect your receiver. Be sure to LABEL other connections - especially Scart plugs.
Tape your name, address, telephone numbers and comprehensive fault report to the *underside* of the unit - preferably on a label which won't peel off. If you want me to do any additional work (such as fitting a fan or supplying a surge-protector "Master Cube") then do write it on the label! Don't simply refer to a phone conversation or email - I won't remember! Don't put tape or labels over the screws or joints which I will need to dismantle. Don't obscure the serial number. Seal the unit inside a polythene bag - this keeps packing material out of the ventilation slots and also keeps it dry if the package is left out in the rain! Make sure that the receiver is screwed together - don't leave the screws out - damage results!
Also write an alternative *daytime* delivery address on the receiver if you can not guarantee that somebody will be at home to sign for it in about 4 - 7 days. The carrier will not leave it without signature so it's often better to give me your office address or the address of a local shop or business that will accept it on your behalf.
Do NOT send any accessories unless I (or the repairer) have requested them. NO detachable mains cord, telephone cord, Sky card, handset or manuals! I have handsets for most models.
If the receiver has been "looked at" please tell me the history *before* you send it. If I suspect that somebody has already attempted a repair and caused damage, I may return the receiver untouched, with an invoice for carriage and workshop time. For this reason, and also because I need to test it in order to diagnose the fault cause, please make sure that the screws are tight and nothing rattles. DO NOT REMOVE ANY SCREWS. This does NOT help me and it increases the risk of damage in transit.
PLEASE make sure the receiver is faulty before you send it. People sometimes send receivers that are NOT FAULTY. (For a Sky Digibox, make sure in the service menu that LNB POWER is ON and 22kHz TONE is ON). The only way to be sure that your dish, cable and LNB installation is NOT at fault is to test it with another receiver and SEE THE PICTURES. Alternatively, test your receiver on a known good dish installation. I recommend that you don't believe a man with a meter that "says the signal is OK". He's probably right but I've known "experts" who misinterpreted the meter readings so the only real test is to SEE THE PICTURES. If your receiver shows no fault when I test it on arrival, I'll simply return it with a bill for carriage and my time.
A word of warning: most receivers eventually fail when they are unplugged for a while then powered up again - just like old light bulbs. Before you unplug a friend's receiver to test yours, be sure to warn him/her that unplugging it can show up a fault that he didn't know it had! Make sure your friend unplugs and disconnects his or her own receiver and reconnects it. That way you can't be blamed (much).
Firstly, if you use polystyrene chips, shredded paper or similar PLEASE put them into a number of small, separate plastic bags or dustbin liners and seal them so that the chips don't fill my workshop. The common practice of simply pouring chips around the receiver is not acceptable because it takes ages to empty the stuff out into another container and then put it back again. I will charge you extra if you cause me problems like this.
Individual receivers are strongest at corners so this is where the packing should rest. The forces involved can be very high so that ordinary low-density "foam rubber" is totally inadequate. High density is better.
What you have to achieve is this: You need a soft but resilient material wadded tightly at the corners and held there so it can't move. The manufacturer's original polystyrene packing pieces are ideal. If these are no longer available you can use balls of tightly crumpled newspaper.
Tip: Plastic milk bottles (rinsed!) with the tops screwed on tightly make useful, lightweight packing pieces.
Don't pack straw or polystyrene tightly against plastic panels or thin metal covers since the packing can transmit knocks which will crack plastic and dent metal.
Pack the box inside a larger box using a similar method - rolled up balls of newspaper will do. Yes, you'll need a BIG box.
IMPORTANT! If you use *only* the manufacturer's box by itself you risk transit damage. If damage is apparent I will not accept delivery. Put the box in an outer box as described above. Ask at your local supermarket or TV repair shop for a BIG box. If your packing is damaged or inadequate then I will charge extra for *my* packing and time.
IMPORTANT! If a mains plug is fitted, make sure it's in the corner of the outer box with pins facing out. We have seen many cases of damage caused by mains plugs which have been smashed through panels.
DON'T use more adhesive tape than necessary. Remember that I have to be able to re-use your packing. (If it can't be re-used, or if I have to add more, I may charge extra for new packaging). If you have to use lots of tape, draw indelible lines to show me where to cut.
Send by post or Carrier Service. If you can't send within a few days of contacting me by e-mail then contact me again before sending. We may be on holiday!
I recommend NOT using Parcelforce but, if you do, ask for "Compensation Fee Parcel Post." For a few pennies extra this gives you up to £500 worth of insurance. You can send about 4kg in weight for a little over £5 this way. Typical delivery is 2 to 3 working days but sometimes up to a week. If you use a next day service such as DataPost it could cost £15!
A carrier service such as "ANC", "Securicor Omega", "City Link" is usually better but make sure that the package will be insured. I accept no responsibility for damage in transit in your packaging.
OK, now please contact me to discuss your repair. Please make the fault symptoms and history of the fault crystal clear.
All repaired units are tested before packing and return. I test for the fault symptoms that you describe. Repairs that I carry out are guaranteed for 3 months. Parts and labour are covered. Subsequent fault symptoms are not covered. For example, if you describe the symptoms as "no picture" and a different, unrelated fault appears some time after repair (eg. "crackling sound on audio") then that is not covered by warranty. In all such cases, commonsense and honesty will prevail. If you return the unit to me and the problem is obviously my fault, then I won't charge you for putting it right. However, if it's a different, unrelated fault which occurred through no fault of mine then I will charge for the repair and carriage.
Please test your unit on return. If it feels cold, LEAVE IT in a warm room for several hours before connecting power. Cold units attract moisture which can condense inside and cause short circuits. Make sure all connections are correctly made before switching on the 230v power at the wall socket. (DO NOT use the little plug at the back of the Digibox for connecting / disconnecting power as this can cause arcing which is dangerous and can damage the Digibox). I can not be held responsible for faults which you cause.
Please copy, paste and print this out and tick each line when done.
* You have made sure that I will accept your equipment for repair and have set a specific date for delivery to me. * You have checked to make sure the receiver is screwed tightly together, no missing screws, no card left in the slot, no handset, booklet or telephone cord attached unless by prior arrangement.
* You have put a label on the underside of the receiver (not obscuring the serial number)
On the label you have printed clearly and legibly the following information:
* Your name and surname
* Your address including postcode and daytime telephone numbers
* Your UK mainland delivery address, if different, including postcode and daytime phone numbers
* Your e-mail address
* What you expect me to do (eg. repair possible tuner fault, fit internal fan)
You have taped a letter to the top of the receiver which includes:
* All of the above information
* The history of the fault (if it might help me locate the fault cause)
* Any repair history, tests or swaps carried out
In addition you have
* Put the receiver in a plastic bag or bin liner and have sealed it to keep water and packing bits out
* Packed it tightly in the original box (or a small box with 25mm of packing all round)
* Left the mains power plug and cord *outside* this small box
* Written your name on this small box
* Packed this small box inside a larger box with more packing all round (75mm is ideal)
* Wedged the 13Amp mains plug firmly in the corner of the larger box with pins facing out
* Written your name once only (small) on this outer box
* Taped the outer box shut in such a way that I can see where to cut it (or mark it with a black pen)
* Printed my address ONCE ONLY on the outer box.
Doing all of this makes it easier and quicker for me to carry out your repair. This is in your own interest since I handle the easy ones first. The others can often wait a few days.