Your student gets home from school, sets down their lunchbox, slides off their backpack, and set's down their... violin? Where's their violin?
You start asking questions: "Did you take it to school today?" "Did you stop anywhere on the way home?" "Are you sure it's not in your room somewhere?"
The dread sets in. Did someone steal it? What if you can't find it? It's a rental instrument! Don't worry. Use this handy checklist.
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Retrace your steps
You'd be surprised how many instruments get left in the band room, on the school bus, or at a friend's house. Take a moment to check in with all of the places your student may have been since they last saw it. Send some texts, make some phone calls, sort through piles around the house, and drink some water. It'll be okay.
File a police report
This one's important if the instrument can't be found anywhere, and it's important to do it as soon as you realize it's not coming back. The serial number of your rental instrument should be noted on your rental agreement, and providing this in your report can help track down the instrument at other music stores or pawn shops in your area.
If you signed up for instrument coverage when you rented (we call ours Theft, Damage, Repair Coverage) and have filed a police report, bring a copy of the report in and we'll start the process of getting you a new instrument at no cost additional cost. Accidents happen, people aren't always kind, and you prepared for this ahead of time.
Liable for full cost
Unfortunately if you opted out of instrument coverage at the time of the rental, you are likely going to be responsible for paying back the full remaining cost of the instrument rental. If paying off the cost of a lost or stolen instrument isn't feasible for you in the moment check to see if a payment plan might be available to help manage the process. In our store this often looks like continuing to pay your monthly rental payment.
Get a replacement
Replacing the instrument as soon as you can is the best way to make sure your student can get back on track in band or orchestra, and will help soften the blow of the loss or theft. We always encourage replacing the instrument rather than taking a student out of music classes altogether.
It can feel devastating, but losing an instrument (like anything) happens. Instrument coverage can help you through the process of losing an instrument with as little stress as possible, which is why we always recommend opting in for it when you start a rental.