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Interesting Call that came in Today

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  • Interesting Call that came in Today

    Had a call come in today for a leaking T&P. I was sleeping when he called, but I called back anyway as the demeanor over the phone implied I was dealing with someone after rock bottom.

    He called back, I gave him a low-ball price just to see if he'd take the bait. I'm heading out to work the rest of the day and thought I'd see if he'd go for it.


    I told him less than $100, and without being specific to the actual number, he told me that he had another company coming out for $6.50 less than I, and they got the job, I don't.




    Mind you, I set the bait out there to see the reaction, not so much get the call.

    The plumbing company that got this job? Huge company that has dwindled to 4 guys not even working 40 hours a week...and this company is set up to do everything....outside/inside/new construction/commercial/industrial....you name it, they have the equipment.

    To hear that $6.50 was the choice between plumbing companies is very telling of the economic weather in my area, and it does not surprise me.

    Going into a supply house and some look like beat down dogs. The company above is notorious for hard hitting customers, usually in the 100's every time work is done. I end up getting those bounceback calls and the customer appreciates it more than ever.

    Just yesterday I got a call from a customer I hadn't done work for in 5 years, heading out to rod a 2" stack to unclog a laundry tub...hole is already in the pipe. Wooooohooooooooooo!!!


    Lately for some odd reason my customer base from years ago is kicking in when I need it most, because the yellow pages is now a dead ringer and not exactly producing much at all. It has its spurts but thank goodness I have a backbone clientell that keeps the wheels turning.

    One plumbing supply house told me, "You're only one of a few smiling faces that walks through that door these days." And in return, I said, "That's because I play the lottery with my bills these days, draw once a month which one gets some money."

    That always gets a good laugh..but I'm dead damn serious! Off to work!

    It's not a matter of being better than your competition right now, it's all about how you treated your customer base even though times were good and you could charge more, and didn't. For what that guy is charging to do that task, that price would only reflect in my back yard, nothing more.

    But it lets me know that there's a company lowballing the prices to keep his employee's hands moving, and I have actually ticked my prices up a bit. I have to; everything around me costs more.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    And another disturbing Trend?

    Is being told by the owners of plumbing supply houses right now the number of plumbers working out of their network that are doing plumbing jobs dirt cheap.

    A mention of a plumber from Cleveland Ohio came down daily to rough in the plumbing for a Thornton's gas station, was unsettling.

    There's no money in those jobs to begin with. FFS!
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #3
      Re: Interesting Call that came in Today

      It's scary out there for some of these guys. I keep seeing my competition work for less and less while my prices go up. As my costs go up, my prices have to go up also.

      One of the other companies in town for a while tried to expand into another town 9 hours away from here to keep work up. The phone book ad they had listed about ten towns spread all over Nevada for a while.

      One company that had over 30 employees at one time is down to just the owner running around doing installs for Home Depot. I know I don't make a huge amount of money installing a water heater, and he does them for $300 less then I do? How long until he is out of business?

      I think it will continue to get worse and worse in my area for a while. I don't know anybody on unemployment that is not doing side work for cash under the table, and that just keeps driving down prices.

      The main reason I am doing so well today is that I have a solid base of customers to draw from. Sure, some of them think I cost to much, or forget I am around, or something along those lines, but I deal with several repeat customers every single week. Treat them right today, hopefully they will remember tomorrow.

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      • #4
        Re: Interesting Call that came in Today

        Man this thread has a negitivte tone about it, and it sure is depressing me witch I also find ofencive.

        Now who do I whin to to have this thread removed?





        I hope you know I am just kidding, but just in case you don't,


        I AM JUST KIDDING.
        9/11/01, never forget.

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        • #5
          Re: Interesting Call that came in Today

          LOL! Glad to see you back buddy!


          It was a tad skosh negative though...


          Nevada it is strange how it's unfolding in my area, with only certain companies taking a pounding.

          But you drive past any restaurant...hell I just cleared a drain for the manager of Panera Bread...guy said they are killing it and always crowded...selling deli sandwiches for almost $8 and the key? Fresh bread. Whatever they waste...donated to charity, nightly. <<< I thought that was pretty cool.
          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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          • #6
            Re: Interesting Call that came in Today

            Originally posted by DUNBAR PLUMBING View Post
            But you drive past any restaurant...hell I just cleared a drain for the manager of Panera Bread...guy said they are killing it and always crowded...selling deli sandwiches for almost $8 and the key? Fresh bread. Whatever they waste...donated to charity, nightly. <<< I thought that was pretty cool.
            Yesterday my wife wanted to go to a restaurant. I negotiated down to Panera, which was $18. McDonalds ends up being pretty darn close, but she likes Panera better. Friendly's ends up being $40. At Panera there is no tip, which helps.

            You ever try one of the Panera Bear Claws? They are, IMO, the best pasty ever.

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