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Implemented in your bill?

We charge a $6 per invoice surcharge.
 

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About 6 weeks ago we started adding a $5.00 fuel surcharge. We considered raising our rates; however, with gas fluctuating so fast we felt it best to show the gas separate. If we increased our hourly rate, too many people would complain. HO actually believe we make our hourly rate!

No one has complained.
 

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About 6 weeks ago we started adding a $5.00 fuel surcharge. We considered raising our rates; however, with gas fluctuating so fast we felt it best to show the gas separate. If we increased our hourly rate, too many people would complain. HO actually believe we make our hourly rate!

No one has complained.
I hear you on that one. HOs dont realize that a fraction of the hourly rate actully goes to the company the rest is overhead
 

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Yesterday a customer compared our service rate with her daughters pay of $35/hr. (she has two degrees & saves lives for a living) and hoped our plumber had more than a high school education since he makes $90.00/hr. Give me a break! I guesss I work for free, rent is free, insurance is free. Yadda, yadda, yadda... Some HO have absolutely NO CLUE!
 

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I simply explain that wages are only one factor in running a business. One person argued with me that everything I got was wages, but that was long ago. The overhead of a plumbing and/or drain cleaning shop these days is very intensive. When I first started in 1966, I was sent out by my company at three times my wages, which was at that time considered to be the correct ratio. These days, the ratio is usually much higher, one in six, perhaps, or one in eight.

When I read in Ellen Rohr's book that a one-man plumbing shop will average 3 hours per day I refused to believe it. (In your case, the number of people includes you as well as your husband and other employees. A wife who helps run the business should be an employee, too, and be treated and paid as such.)

And it was true - if one man is answering the phone, doing the accounting, taking care of the vehicles and so on, he'll be spending one hour on the job and two to three more in driving, answering, and all the tasks necessary. For those whose wife stays home all day and takes calls but isn't getting a paycheck, you're probably headed for trouble. Heads up!

In the early years of my own business, my wife volunteered to take care of the books and take the calls and so on, but it wasn't long before she was going off during the day with friends and then getting a job of her own, and eventually opening a business or two of her own. (One was painting, in which she did well, and the other, years later, was a restaurant.)
 

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The first year, we drew very little. All monies were put back into the business. We both draw salaries now.

Our plumbers in service trucks average 5 - 6 hours per day of billable time.
 

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Yesterday a customer compared our service rate with her daughters pay of $35/hr. (she has two degrees & saves lives for a living) and hoped our plumber had more than a high school education since he makes $90.00/hr. Give me a break! I guesss I work for free, rent is free, insurance is free. Yadda, yadda, yadda... Some HO have absolutely NO CLUE!
I get outright sick and tired of hearing myself explain the costs of doing business to people who don't care.
I have just gotten to the point of realising that when a homeowner wants cheap, there's no explanation that will change their mind.
I simply price them to get them off the phone as fast as possible.

I bet money you have been burnt more than a few times by booking cheap work, all to have to turn away other work because your hubby is too busy doing the cheap job.
My wife still gets irritated with me when she listens in on me telling a customer I won't do a job at their price...I wish she could finally understand why I can't just take a $100 cut on my regular water heater rate.
 

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I get outright sick and tired of hearing myself explain the costs of doing business to people who don't care.
I have just gotten to the point of realising that when a homeowner wants cheap, there's no explanation that will change their mind.
I simply price them to get them off the phone as fast as possible.

I bet money you have been burnt more than a few times by booking cheap work, all to have to turn away other work because your hubby is too busy doing the cheap job.
My wife still gets irritated with me when she listens in on me telling a customer I won't do a job at their price...I wish she could finally understand why I can't just take a $100 cut on my regular water heater rate.
I have had customers who wanted to name their price. They told me that they would rather pay someone cheaper and do a half way job than pay me what we charge. I tell them to go ahead and they will be paying full price when I come back to fix their hack job, plus a little extra for my waste of time.
 

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At only $90/hour I'd have to charge for drivetime both ways.

Like I said earlier, one thing I like about flat-rate is that all that overhead is built into the price. So there is no need to have a 'fuel charge' 'materials charge' time charge' etc... the price is the price, all included, I don't give my customer's a breakdown.
I agree with Grumpy, if someone doesn't want to understand the cost of business, and they want to argue, I don't work for them. Good bye.
 

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service guy said:
So there is no need to have a 'fuel charge' 'materials charge' time charge' etc... the price is the price, all included
But you do add for mileage, don't you? I don't charge mileage as long as it's within a few miles of town, but after that I have to add a charge. It's not fair to charge the customer next door more than the customer who's a 40-mile round trip. Just as you charge for access or obstructions, you need to charge for miles.
 

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I get outright sick and tired of hearing myself explain the costs of doing business to people who don't care.
I have just gotten to the point of realising that when a homeowner wants cheap, there's no explanation that will change their mind.
I simply price them to get them off the phone as fast as possible.

I bet money you have been burnt more than a few times by booking cheap work, all to have to turn away other work because your hubby is too busy doing the cheap job.
My wife still gets irritated with me when she listens in on me telling a customer I won't do a job at their price...I wish she could finally understand why I can't just take a $100 cut on my regular water heater rate.
We have been burnt taking on longer duration jobs at slow times for less, only to be hit with an onslaught of calls. We have several plumbers, so the work gets done. Rather work smarter, not harder. Precisely why we are getting away from T & M.
 
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