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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a call today. stopped up kitchen line. typical question how much do you charge. I tell him 90 dollars first hr. 75 every hour after that broken down into quarter hr increments. He says ok come on out. I get there open up the clog. It was a real easy one. Make up the bill and hand it to him.(127.50 ) He looks at it and says "but you were only here for 30 minutes.) I explain to him about travel time and fuel cost to and from the job. He says to me "so thats how you rip people off". :censored: freaking jerks.
 

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Had a call today. stopped up kitchen line. typical question how much do you charge. I tell him 90 dollars first hr. 75 every hour after that broken down into quarter hr increments. He says ok come on out. I get there open up the clog. It was a real easy one. Make up the bill and hand it to him.(127.50 ) He looks at it and says "but you were only here for 30 minutes.) I explain to him about travel time and fuel cost to and from the job. He says to me "so thats how you rip people off". :censored: freaking jerks.
I started asking the H.O. zipcode before i would give a price per Hr and include the travel time into the hourly rate. A zipcode tells me alot around here as to what to expect also when i get to a job. Some zipcodes I expect grinder pumps and in another zipcode you find alot of lead drain pipe,etc,etc. Alot of times I know whats wrong based on what the customer has told me and the part of town they live in. I'm not sure i would have paid you all the money if i was your customer either. he asked how much you charged and you left the part out about the gas and the travel time. When a customer calls on the phone and asks hourly rates and how you charge...all that should be explained to avoid conflict. I like to get the zipcode of the repair and then give an hourly rate...and then a total estimate of what the typical job like that costs in that part of town based on age of the houses and what is typically found installed in this area. It works well for me. keeps the sticker shock to a minimum.
 

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Had one yesterday, water heater replacement. i'm at the supply when I get the call from the HO tells me WH has sprung a leak, so I give him a price to replace and he asks me "isn't that expensive?". I say that's how much it is and then he asks how much is just the WH. I tell him the price and he then asks where I get my WH from and wouldn't be cheaper just to go to HD...

I explain about getting what you pay for, not being able to give him a garentee because it's a POS...

He then asks if he were willing to take the chance on a HD WH would I be willing to put it in? I agree. But he doesn't have a HD close by and wants me to pick it up and not charge him for that time!

Says $85.00 an hour for driving is crazy.

So, I told him I am a plumber and I charge $85.00 an hour for my time whether I'm driving,cleaning windows, taking out the trash, or replacing a WH.

He ended up gong with the WH from the original quote:thumbup:
 

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AKA house plumber
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You told him 90 an hour for the first hour. 75 and hour after that but broken into quarters. That's pretty much self explanitory. It's not your fault he's an idiot and can't add. That's why I won't do service cuz of the bull sh*t like that. I'm happy with new construction, thank you.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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You told him 90 an hour for the first hour. 75 and hour after that but broken into quarters. That's pretty much self explanitory. It's not your fault he's an idiot and can't add. That's why I won't do service cuz of the bull sh*t like that. I'm happy with new construction, thank you.
Its not self-explanatory that he charges for travel time. Some plumbers do, some don't, but either way it is only fair to say so on the phone if you do.
 

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You told him 90 an hour for the first hour. 75 and hour after that but broken into quarters. That's pretty much self explanitory. It's not your fault he's an idiot and can't add. That's why I won't do service cuz of the bull sh*t like that. I'm happy with new construction, thank you.
Not try to start anything but if I asked someone how much they charged and then told me 90 for the 1st hr and then 75 hr after that to unclogg my k-sink....and then the phone went silent......I would think that 1st hr would include the trip and thats why it costs more. I just think if someone asks you how much you charge the answer should be detailed and not leaving things out. It causes problems just like this one.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Not try to start anything but if I asked someone how much they charged and then told me 90 for the 1st hr and then 75 hr after that to unclogg my k-sink....and then the phone went silent......I would think that 1st hr would include the trip and thats why it costs more. I just think if someone asks you how much you charge the answer should be detailed and not leaving things out. It causes problems just like this one.
Exactly. Very poor business practice by not telling the customer beforehand about travel time. This is why I don't currently do T&M. You have to be VERY clear about when the clock "starts".
 

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You told him 90 an hour for the first hour. 75 and hour after that but broken into quarters. That's pretty much self explanitory. It's not your fault he's an idiot and can't add. That's why I won't do service cuz of the bull sh*t like that. I'm happy with new construction, thank you.
I agree with you that service plumbing is totally different and can be a pain in the butt too. When a repair guy does new construction he has a long list of complaints also. I dont do new construction because it puts me out in the weather all day everyday and contractors who like to negotiate after I'm done just because he didn't make as much money as he thought or says he cant pay me because the H.O hasn't paid them etc,etc. Bottom line is any business is a pain in the butt if you care about it.
 

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Sorry, but I'm sitting here laughing and shaking my head reading this thread!:laughing:

I'm not laughing at anyone, just the situation. I had the same troubles years ago too. If you charge t&m for service work, fuel, driving time, blah blah blah you will always run into these problems. I don't care who you are or what part of the country you're in. In my opinion it's not worth the hassle. But then some don't mind, more power to them. If it works for them great!:thumbup:

I agree with Service Guy, I also no longer charge t&m for these exact reasons.:thumbsup:

I also never quote a price over the phone and I've never had anyone say they don't want me to come out then. When I'm there I diagnose the problem, write it up, have them sign it and go to work. It just doesn't get any simpler and they have no grounds for any argument.

Arguing with customers about a mile or two or 15 minutes would give me a freaking headache!
 

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AKA house plumber
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well I guess since I don't do service I don't know how the billing goes so i shouldn't have said anything. It just made sense to me. Sorry guys.
 

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well I guess since I don't do service I don't know how the billing goes so i shouldn't have said anything. It just made sense to me. Sorry guys.
Ahhh come on man its not like that!!! I hear what your saying loud and clear!!! I might would agree on some days. I value your opinions!
 

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I like the show up fee. A lot of t&m shops use it also. It is easy for the customer to understand even if they dont like it. Some flat rate jobs go extremely fast and Im careful to read the customer when that happens. Usually agreeing with the customer--that went fast ....yes it did....or thats expensive...yes it is, disarms a bit .
 

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I like the show up fee. A lot of t&m shops use it also. It is easy for the customer to understand even if they dont like it. Some flat rate jobs go extremely fast and Im careful to read the customer when that happens. Usually agreeing with the customer--that went fast ....yes it did....or thats expensive...yes it is, disarms a bit .

LOL, that's what I say too! They don't know what to say except when can you start! :thumbup:
 

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Customers can get you if they want to. its not good to leave customers feeling cheated wether you cheated them or not.....if they really feel they have been cheated then you could have a problem. I try to screen every customer....at the 1st sign of trouble...I'm gone! Sometimes they get you tho and theres no way around it. I will edit this post in a while.....I do not want to give anyone any ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry, but I'm sitting here laughing and shaking my head reading this thread!:laughing:

I'm not laughing at anyone, just the situation. I had the same troubles years ago too. If you charge t&m for service work, fuel, driving time, blah blah blah you will always run into these problems. I don't care who you are or what part of the country you're in. In my opinion it's not worth the hassle. But then some don't mind, more power to them. If it works for them great!:thumbup:

I agree with Service Guy, I also no longer charge t&m for these exact reasons.:thumbsup:

I also never quote a price over the phone and I've never had anyone say they don't want me to come out then. When I'm there I diagnose the problem, write it up, have them sign it and go to work. It just doesn't get any simpler and they have no grounds for any argument.

Arguing with customers about a mile or two or 15 minutes would give me a freaking headache!
So what you are saying I should have drove 30 miles to this house. went and looked at what he got,told him what it was going to cost. what if he said he would call someone else?then I just put 60 miles on my truck wasted 8 gallons of gas and an hour of my time and got nothing out of the deal.no thanks I will do my quotes over the phone. I live in a rural area most of my jobs are 25 to 50 miles away, I could never make any money that way. I tell them up front what I charge so they know what to expect. I also don't know any plumbers or any other trade or service provided in this area that does not charge travel time. On top of the travel time they even charge for fuel per mile. Also how can you tell how much a sewer stoppage is going to cost. You could be there for half and hour or you could be there all day. If you can look at a stopped sewer and tell the ho that you will have it working in 1 hr and ten minutes you are a better man than me. I am not trying to be an ass about this it just that it doesn't make sense to me. If I am wrong then so be it. I am pretty new to this. The fifth of july will mark my first year in business, so I am still learning. Another point i should probably make is that we have no plumbing code in this area so you have no idea what you are going to run into like the post I posted over the weekend where they had perimeter drains tied into the septic system. O k i'm done let me have it now.:laughing:
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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This thread went into a little different direction, so I will follow. When they say wow thats expensive, I reply most of the time with, compared to?????acting like I am really curious, which I am.
If they say that was fast, I also reply with, well, with my experience and training things come 2nd nature and you can't put a pricetag on that.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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This thread went into a little different direction, so I will follow. When they say wow thats expensive, I reply most of the time with, compared to?????acting like I am really curious, which I am.
If they say that was fast, I also reply with, well, with my experience and training things come 2nd nature and you can't put a pricetag on that.

In Christ,

Song Dog
I do too. I say sometimes that I just make it look easy--sometimes they are not humored. Or welcome to 2009, I often say Im with you I dont like to spend too much on anything..etc. Those silent moments get awkward. Just talking and being normal seems to help one skate by confrontations. I have a 100% satisfaction guarantee so I have to address any issues.
 

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So what you are saying I should have drove 30 miles to this house. went and looked at what he got,told him what it was going to cost. what if he said he would call someone else?then I just put 60 miles on my truck wasted 8 gallons of gas and an hour of my time and got nothing out of the deal.no thanks I will do my quotes over the phone. I live in a rural area most of my jobs are 25 to 50 miles away, I could never make any money that way. I tell them up front what I charge so they know what to expect. I also don't know any plumbers or any other trade or service provided in this area that does not charge travel time. On top of the travel time they even charge for fuel per mile. Also how can you tell how much a sewer stoppage is going to cost. You could be there for half and hour or you could be there all day. If you can look at a stopped sewer and tell the ho that you will have it working in 1 hr and ten minutes you are a better man than me. I am not trying to be an ass about this it just that it doesn't make sense to me. If I am wrong then so be it. I am pretty new to this. The fifth of july will mark my first year in business, so I am still learning. Another point i should probably make is that we have no plumbing code in this area so you have no idea what you are going to run into like the post I posted over the weekend where they had perimeter drains tied into the septic system. O k i'm done let me have it now.:laughing:
I'm sure not going to let you have it Al :laughing:, it's different for all of us where we live. Once again I didn't tell you what to do, just what I do. What I do won't work for everyone and what you do won't work for me. I don't drive very far so I have the option of giving free estimates.

When I show up for a main sewer stoppage I give them the quote, once again on a written proposal. It's clearly stated on the proposal the price is for a normal stoppage. Meaning running the cable out to the street. If we find out it's something more they still pay the fee quoted, the job just moves to another level with an add on to the original proposal.



And.... Happy first year and many more to come!:thumbup:
 
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