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Old 09-24-2016, 08:19 AM   #1
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Default Free estimate Satruday

I got pissed off at a customer Friday., and its not over yet..

.. they had a moaning sound in their home that just started up all of a sudden... I told them its probably a toilet or a PRV valve over the phone and we could come out and find the problem and replace it....

Dan goes out there at 4.pm and cant figure out where its coming from, no prv valve, and maybe its the water softener...... anyway the lady expected us to figure out what the problem was but we said we would probably have to come back to get into it much deeper....

He told her it would be a minimum of 200 to get us both back out and tear into the problem.......then she had the nerve to say to him ......OH I thought you guys gave free estimates. We just wanted to know what the problem was for now......

It was nearby home so it was no great loss of time at the end of the day to look at . At this time she honestly thinks I am spending my Satruday diagnosing her problems so her hubby can tackle it after I leave.
I Told her to be around on Satruday and wait for us and we would call......

I guess I could come over and fold her laundry and do the dishes for her too while I am giving that "free estimate".



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Old 09-24-2016, 10:13 AM   #2
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just tell her its a hungry raccoon in the basement...and to feed it....
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #3
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Troubleshooting is a whole different service than estimating.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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my free estimate is a guestamate I make over the phone for small stuff and anything of decent size ill take a look, if I have to use any tools or open or touch anything its a service call fee and a price to repair, usually I will tell them if they use me for the job, ill deduct the service call fee off the bill so in the end it was a free estimate.....if they dont like it that way, then they were just window shopping...anything for insurance or for the people to make a claim, I charge a flat fee depending on job size and again the fee will come right off the work if I do it..our time is valuable,,ever deal with lawyers..they bill you for any second they can, phone calls, emails anything they spend time on you get billed...
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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I tell customers plumbers are like lawyers. You never wanna see one till ya need one.

"Off the top" estimates don't fly out here, a customer will just skip over you. What I always do is tell them upfront "If everthing goes good, this is the price. If we open this up and we have to keep chasing it could be as much as this." Generally people understand X-ray vision glasses and a crystal ball aren't everyday tools, and for those customers that don't understand that we just price high and charge the same either way.

But when it comes to trouble shooting it's by the hour, one hour minimum.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenSights View Post
I tell customers plumbers are like lawyers. You never wanna see one till ya need one.

"Off the top" estimates don't fly out here, a customer will just skip over you. What I always do is tell them upfront "If everthing goes good, this is the price. If we open this up and we have to keep chasing it could be as much as this." Generally people understand X-ray vision glasses and a crystal ball aren't everyday tools, and for those customers that don't understand that we just price high and charge the same either way.

But when it comes to trouble shooting it's by the hour, one hour minimum.

That was my mistake on this call....it was at the end of the day and on the way home..so no big deal... ...
but diagnosing something is different from just giving an estimate...... and should always be done for the minimum service call........

Its pushing 4 here in town, I expect to be hearing from them probably closer to 5 wondering if I am still coming back out today....
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:15 PM   #7
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Been there done that without thinking. Sometimes ya just get in that mode of knocking jobs out and bam..

Any call back yet?
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:19 PM   #8
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Been there done that without thinking. Sometimes ya just get in that mode of knocking jobs out and bam..

Any call back yet?

Someone did call me sat afternoon at about 5 pm and I did not answer it...and I had no desire to either......

maybe it went to voice mail ... I have not checked it yet..

sometimes they take the hint and sometimes they dont.......
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:08 PM   #9
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It seems like you have been burned a few times in similar situations, why not charge a trip fee? I started doing it recently and wish I had done it sooner.

I would have also told her there is no way to be sure, we can only rule items out one by one.


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