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Flat Rate Pricing

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  • #46
    Re: Flat Rate Pricing

    Originally posted by Herk View Post
    I can't speak to what the cost of doing business is for the Florida company. I've seen articles about Florida companies and the supertrucks and so on, and yet, I have a hard time imagining any company charging that much for resetting a toilet.

    Doesn't matter if FLA or Topeka Kansas, the word "flat rate" is usually a situation that customers understand is costly, otherwise you wouldn't be so intrigued to see the dollar signs it generates.






    I suppose that's why I'm not rich - I've always been one to undersell and then give more than I bid. And when in T&M I would often knock off an hour or two from the 5 - 6 hour bill.
    Within reason and I'll get to that when I get to last few responses on this thread.



    I heard exactly those words from a Mr. Rooter guy at the counter. It only took him about three years to go bankrupt.

    Now you know why the flat raters spend the big bucks in the yellow pages; the majority don't have repeat business. Some do.....but I bet you're pulling off the numbers to keep those ties, nice and cozy.

    If the expense was too much, I would always offer the option to replace the toilet instead. But when you're sometimes dealing with toilets that are nearly a hundred years old and still have the tank screwed to the wall, the job can get hairy - and take hours. Add up hours and parts, and what does it come to? Add mileage, too, while you're at it. It's been a number of years since I read Frank Blau asking anyone charging less than a hundred an hour to show him his books and prove he was actually making money.
    Seeing a plumber with a little black book every time there's an unexpected repair dismantles the credibility of the one doing the work. It can be a situation that clearly states that no matter what the repair, it follows someone elses guidelines, not the personal wisdom of the one doing the work.




    S'cuse me, but you were the one who brought up the windshield wipers. I didn't compare myself to them, but they do use flat rate, as does McDonald's, Albertson's, Techlawn, and most turnkey businesses you'd care to name.



    Well then, do a search for Flat Rate Plumbing on Google, look at the testimonials of customers at the plumbing websites. Somebody must like it.
    So its on the internet, must be true.



    So why do all the flat rate companies I've seen start out with the dictum that you need to know what it costs you to operate? And why does the DEX phone advertising service say that plumbers are the second-worst people to collect money from? Are they all doing as well as you?
    Anyone needs to know what they charge to operate. That's basic facts found in business 101. I purposely slow pay my phone company not because I don't have money.....it's because every 4-6 months they keep raising my rates to advertise as I won't increase my advertising. So they got me coming and going, I'm a small pea in the pod to those folks and damn straight; I'll use them like a bank if I so desire. Bottom line, they always get their money.




    Yes, I'm a plumber, and I've been in for repairs when a swollen flapper ruined new floors. Please read what I write and don't claim I say things that I don't. I did not say LEAKING flapper, now, did I? I said SWOLLEN. When they swell to plug the overflow at the bottom, and they can and do, and the fill valve sticks, there's no place for the water to go but out. It wouldn't matter if you had a 15" trapway if the water couldn't get to it. Next time you see an old black rubber flapper sunken into the Douglas valve and it's gotten soft and swollen, imagine how that swollen bulb can plug the rectangular hole at the base of the tube.
    Never seen it personally as a plumber but I've worked on those toilets countless times and never seen it brought to that level of disrepair and still be operational on a daily basis.



    The reason I am here is what I stated earlier - doing research into flat rate pricing. I've been reading everything I can find on it on the internet for months and I followed a flat rate link to this forum (as well as several others.)

    If you think that a one-man shop plumber who lives in a town of 10,000 people and had a personal income around $10k last year is out to get rich writing a book, then enjoy your imaginary world. Nor am I out to destroy my business by charging rates that make my customers' eyes pop. But I do believe, unquestionably, that if I don't do something to make a wee bit more income, I'll soon be on the street corner selling pencils or worse.

    After over thirty years in business, you'll be hard-pressed to find a customer who thinks I ripped them off, or who wouldn't hire me again. This morning, I went on a call and charged a $38 deployment fee to stop a leak that the local drain cleaner couldn't find. Oh, but you should have seen the tears in that customer's eyes when I handed him the bad news.

    If you've been in business over 30 years and last year you only gain 10 grand in personal income.....that all starts with undercharging a customer, $38 when you should of ignored the feelgood attitude. No one gets a cookie for being nice and the majority of a customer base understands when the plumber arrives at the home, you have to pay the wage or flat rate....that is agreed upon before or at arrival.

    When my customers call me they already know my rate, they know my speed and efficiency and my reputation of doing it right without a second guess. If you are in business that long and not making money.....you changing gears and hammering the customer now that your broke is bad PR, along with extending your personal misgivings right at your customer base.

    How is that fair? Explain how one's misfortune guides the hand to purposely inflict additional charges at a customer. Building a good reputation as a plumber withstands all financial burdens. If you're undercutting yourself then you got only yourself to blame.
    Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 10-15-2007, 07:48 PM.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #47
      Re: Flat Rate Pricing

      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
      I am glad This forum can show the readers both sides of this highly debated issue.

      Adam
      Thats exactly what I been saying.
      I think we're all on the same page here with minor differences, regardless of flat rate or hourly, there are extremes...
      Plumbers who scare homeowners into doing their own horrendous plumbing because they pay 6 months savings to replace a shower valve....then there are the hacks that decide after 2 years apprenticeship they can fly below radar and lower the bar at rediculous rates.
      Sounds like comparing notes instead of bickering on this topic might help accomplish something.

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: Flat Rate Pricing

        When I go out to replace a disposal, the two part waste and tailpiece and trap are included in my charge, I check the strainer to make sure it is good, if not I replace it.

        When I quote a price to do a waste and overflow, I include the trap replacement in my est, and depending on what the santee looks like, that is included also.

        When I do a flapper replacement, I replace the fill valve and the flex, triple check the stop to make sure it is fine, if not, that gets included in the price.

        If I go out and give a price to do something, I check everything that I will touch before I start the job, if I miss something, it's on me, I NEVER GO BACK TO THE CUSTOMER TO ASK FOR MORE MONEY. It's my loss if I failed to complete my diagnosis properly. I am the professional.

        I also have a statement on my invoice mentioning the full 12 month warrenty, unless I note something on the invoice, or the customer didn't want to do work that I stated needed to be done.

        I am very honest with my customers, I charge a quality price for quality work and material.

        If you t&m guy's wanna go out and change a disposal for $70.00 for an hour plus the cost of the disposal and a 30% markup on material, go do it.

        Ripping off yourself and lowering the industry standards is just as bad as ripping off the customer.

        t&m is just as abused as flat rate, it's up to the plumber to be fair.
        sigpic

        Robert

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        • #49
          Re: Flat Rate Pricing

          Hey Westcoast, what is your price for changing a disposal?

          Just want some perspective as a thread lurker from the powertools side.
          A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

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          • #50
            Re: Flat Rate Pricing

            AAAHCHOOO!!!
            Sorry,must be sawdust or something

            Comment


            • #51
              Re: Flat Rate Pricing

              Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
              AAAHCHOOO!!!
              Sorry,must be sawdust or something
              Don't worry, I include vacuuming up all saw dust in my quote! Or for a T&M job the customer can choose broom swept, unless I have to add a carpet surcharge...
              A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                You 2 truly made me laugh out loud

                Here comes the jealous hubby--he is afraid he is missing something
                I love my plumber

                "My Hero"

                Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

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                • #53
                  Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                  Originally posted by woodenstickers View Post
                  Don't worry, I include vacuuming up all saw dust in my quote! Or for a T&M job the customer can choose broom swept, unless I have to add a carpet surcharge...
                  ...That's the spirit STICKERS

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                  • #54
                    Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                    Originally posted by MrsSeatDown View Post
                    You 2 truly made me laugh out loud

                    Here comes the jealous hubby--he is afraid he is missing something
                    SSSSHHHHHH everyone quiet!!!

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                      Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                      SSSSHHHHHH everyone quiet!!!
                      Let's all leave!

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                        Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                        SSSSHHHHHH everyone quiet!!!
                        [QUOTE=Let's all leave!

                        Mark[/QUOTE]


                        Silly boys! That only works in chat I'm still laughing!
                        I love my plumber

                        "My Hero"

                        Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          Let's all leave!

                          Mark
                          I can't sleep,I don't know how plumb with a hockey stick.Or how to get it attached to my bags.

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                          • #58
                            Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                            Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
                            I can't sleep,I don't know how plumb with a hockey stick.Or how to get it attached to my bags.
                            Think prefab Adam, when yer not in da mood to burn stuff in high tight spots.
                            Must be local slang.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                              $395.00 includes what I mentioned before, less the basket strainer, includes the cord if needed, includes the new disposal strainer also, that price is for a Pro333, the new evolution series. Done with all in 45 mins, includes the head pressure test, where I fill both sink compartments up with water and drain 3 times.

                              Includes plastic tubular, obviously brass tubular is an option, at an additional cost.

                              Someone else, list your price to do the same work...........
                              Last edited by westcoastplumber; 10-15-2007, 11:36 PM.
                              sigpic

                              Robert

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: Flat Rate Pricing

                                Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                                $395.00 includes what I mentioned before, less the basket strainer, includes the cord if needed, includes the new disposal strainer also, that price is for a Pro333, the new evolution series. Done with all in 45 mins, includes the head pressure test, where I fill both sink compartments up with water and drain 3 times.

                                Includes plastic tubular, obviously brass tubular is an option, at an additional cost.

                                Someone else, list your price to do the same work...........
                                I do the same job for $394.50 but it takes me 15 minutes including travel time. However, when I do the same job in Mahattan I have to charge $2,300 to cover the cost of my parking ticket, the cost of insurance and to make the payment on my $120,000 4X4 Jaguar

                                Sylvan

                                Mark.
                                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                                Comment

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