Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Flat Rate vs Whatever

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by ToUtahNow
    ESC,

    You are a funny fellow and I don't believe you will ever get it. I don’t really care what you charge but don’t try to justify it with quasi math. At least be honest like Brazil and say if they’re dumb enough to pay you your rate you will take their money.

    As for the non-approved flange I would like for you to explain which internal compression closet flange you are using which you say is an approved fitting. All I need is the manufacture name and the model number and we will see what type of plumber you are. If it is as you say then I owe you an apology.

    I can tell by the things you say in your post that you probably believe you are doing a good job for your customer and that you are a competent plumber. I can also tell by your post that you have a long way to go before you get there.

    At one time or another I have had as many as 400 employees across several different businesses. All of the business had something to do with construction trades or services for multi-family residential. In all of those years I only had to take a client to court for non-payment one time. As a matter of fact when that client explained to the judge the only reason he didn't pay me was because I wouldn't lie to his insurance company about his loss the client almost went to jail as well. Hopefully if you are as good as you claim you are and you are worth what you claim to be worth you will go 25-plus years with the same results.

    Mark
    I would have imported a picture but I don't know how and don't have time to learn right now. The flange I used can be viewed at www.PlumBest.com.
    It's on page E3, model C47-43P, it's at the very bottom of the page.

    Because I know that I don't know everything, and being concerned, after your criticism, that maybe I had made a mistake, I refered back to the 2003 International Plumbing Code. I do not have every code book for the last 20 years memorized, as apparantly you do, so I thought it would be best to check the 2003 International Code since that is the code observed by the municipality in which this job was done. I will confess up front that I did not search every page of the code, but instead I searched what I believed would be the most likely place to find prohibitions on sanitary drainage fittings. Section 707.1 lists several prohibitions. No. 4 (and I am paraphrasing) says that pipes of different diameters must not be sealed by means of a "rolling" elastomeric "o-ring". I do not know if this is what you had in mind, perhaps it was something completely different and if so you should certainly share with the class whatever the code prohibition is that you think makes this flange illegal. In any event, since the flange in question does not have an "o-ring" rolling or otherwise, this prohibition clearly does not apply to this flange. However, I did not stop there. I spoke with 3 different local plumbing inspectors. One was the inspector for the fastest growing county in Alabama, one was the code official for the municipality in which the work was done, and for the last I deliberately chose the code official of another municipality which has the local reputation of near insanity in it's very stringent interpretation and often disregard (in the more restrictive sense) of the plumbing code. All three of these code officials operate from the same 2003 International Plumbing Code. I did not know before hand what any of these officials might say. All 3 of them approved the fitting with only one of them adding the obvious caviat that it could not be (nor was it) used inside a 3" pipe as this would create a sub-minimum inside pipe diameter with respect to the discharge of a water closet. So, having confirmed the validity of my previous statement with the proper research, I will restate the fact that this is a perfectly legal fitting which was properly installed and will be serving it's purpose, leak free, long after my client is dust. The only other thing I can think of is that I believe I refered to this fitting as a compression flange, since that is the only thing I've ever heard it called. However, I noticed that the manufacturer refers to it as a "plastic two finger flange". If I have failed to speak the universal language regarding this fitting then it is certainly my error for which I am sorry. If you have some other reason for regarding this fitting as illegal then let us receive the benefit of your superior knowledge and experience, if not then the best apologies are concise, contrite, and without addenda, and will be accepted (or given should you in fact be able to demonstrate via the code why this fitting is illegal) with appreciation, reconciliation, and grace. In your apology, if you want to include anything about being an arrogant, condescending, unpleasant person in your attempt to demean my technical competence as well as my character, that will be ok too.

    Comment


    • #17
      I don't understand the animosity towards ECS and flat rate pricing in the plumbing industry.

      I am a 2nd generation plumber...my dad used both T&M and a "flat rate" pricing system. I also offer T&M or "flat rate" pricing...some customers prefer to have a "ceiling price" to work with. Others like time and materials.

      I offer the customer to choose either, before the job starts. Sometimes T&M is better for me, sometimes its better for the customer...same with flat rate.

      IMO, there is no right or wrong on this issue, as long as the customer is satisfied when we are done doing our job.

      BTW: I have received monetary tips from customers on both T&M jobs and Flat rate jobs.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by tnoisaw
        WOW! Who started this anyway? I was going to ask this question but after reading the 180 degree differences I don’t think I could get a good answer without people getting heated up. Good thing this is in cyber space otherwise we may have the medics called.

        I am going to branch out on my own and have been contemplating this very subject. I have worked for companies who have done it each way. What I noticed is that the time and material companies are usually struggling the most and pay me less than I was worth. Which is why I went to a flat rate company. The T&M one was a union company but I was not getting union pay. Something about being a service plumber. Needless to say, I am not a fan of unions. Not now or before. Now that I’ve made a few enemies, I’ll continue.

        The flat rate company that I worked for did not rip people off. One company in town did but they were the exception and not the rule. What I have noticed in my decade of being a service plumber is pretty simple. Be friendly, courteous and do an exceptional job with out callbacks and they will call you back. I have people request me all the time. I’ve turned complaints of “I’ll never use your company again!” to a twenty dollar tip when I left. My highest tip was fifty dollars and I was giving this after another plumber from our shop failed to fix the problem twice before, which I did fix. Maybe he felt sorry for me because I was covered from head to toe with grease after repairing the above ground grease trap under the woks.

        I have had very few people on either side of the flat rate/ time material argument ever complain about their bill. The one’s that did would have complained over anything. I have been accused of price fixing with the other plumbers in town. This man was still thinking we should be charging 1940 prices. Some people you can never please.

        Personally, I am leaning toward the flat rate. Everywhere we go we are charged flat rates. Why not in plumbing? Oh, as in the past, if I am asked what our flat rate hourly rate is based on I will tell them. To do otherwise is to put up red flags for the homeowner. It is not that much higher than anyone else. Besides, why be embarrassed about charging more for better service? I learned this from my father who owned a janitorial business. He charged much more than the average but was always busy with the same people because he went above and beyond everyone else... and he did windows too.
        My brother-in-law is a cosmetic dentist. He is one of the best in the country not by my standards but his piers. He makes very good money and charges much more than average. But he has media personalities, politicians, pro ball players and average working folks going to him and much of his work is not covered by insurance. He can do this because he is very good at what he does. He demands excellence upon himself self and his employees. Why can’t plumbers be like this?

        I’ll end this now and wait for the cyber fists to fly.

        The answer to your original question (who started this?) was me. I was hoping it would not turn into this, so I am sorry I did.

        I work in the construction industry, and really don't understand the controversy. I was hoping I could get a handle on the anger, but I now see that it is a losing battle. The riff is so strong that you cannot get a straight answer. It will always degenerate into personal attacks and defensive moves.
        I'm just glad I don't have to deal with it.
        the dog

        Comment


        • #19
          Umm

          Hey plumbdog10,

          Don’t sweet it. Surprisingly, this can be a very passionate issue. I think the biggest thing that some have against flat rate pricing are the contractors who have abused it and have charged exorbitant prices. There was one of those in the city I worked. They were a Benjamin Franklin Company. They had a hard time keeping plumbers. Even though they charged at least twenty to fifty percent more than everyone else they paid their plumbers that percentage less than the average plumber. I know, I had interviewed with them. They even wanted me to pay for materials such as pipe dope and teflon tape. That way , “It would keep cost and waste down”. They were full of that stuff we clear from sewers.

          You can look at this in a positive way. Many contractors expressing their negative opinions seem to be doing so because of their high ethics. They don’t want anybody to get ripped off. Kudos for them! As I stated above, the bad apples seem to make all the good apples appear rotten also.

          I don’t think you’ll find much of a neutral response to this.
          One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

          Comment


          • #20
            Tnoisaw.... What did you mean when you referred to "a Benjamin Franklin Company"? I ask because one has sprung up in my county and it turns out to be affilated with a plumber who has a reputation for overcharging .( While on a business trip, the old house boiler failed to fire on a Sunday in January. My wife called this guy and he charged her $600 for a Sunday call to replace a thermocoupling and a perfectly good 2 month old thermostat. To prove the replaced thermostat was good, I removed the unit he installed and replaced it with the "defective" unit. The "defective" unit has been performing flawlessly for 5 years) . Just curious about the BF name.
            there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

            Comment


            • #21
              Ben Franklin Plumbing

              Here is the link to Ben Franklin Plumbing. http://www.benfranklinplumbing.com/

              They seem to be one of the companies giving flat rate a bad reputation. I have talked to customers who had called them and some have kicked them out of their homes. I bid on a job once to repair the main drain coming into the house. My bid was around $300.00 dollars which was a pretty good estimate because I ended up doing the job and things went as planned. It was an easy job. Ben Franklin had bid around 900.00. I did this job in about two hours which included driving into the country side. Material was maybe fifty bucks if that.

              Others have told me that they wanted around two-hundred dollars to clear a toilet. Clearing did not mean pulling it and digging out kids toys. Clearing was fifteen minutes with a closet auger- and twelve of those minutes were talking to the homeowner.

              The owners of this particular franchise were once employed by someone I had worked for. The husband was a plumber and the wife a secretary. They were both fired for ripping off the company.

              In talking with plumber who had worked for them it was not a pleasant place to work. Money was the number one issue and customer service and quality work was down near the bottom. I’m lucky, I saw through them during my interview.
              One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

              Comment


              • #22
                these are the horror stories i hear when i go to a new clients home. i can't tell you the amount of times that i have snaked a main line that others wanted to replace on the spot for $7500- 10,000. their story was always the same.

                can't get through, sewer is colasped, can start right now, sign on the dotted line. have yet to need replacement on the jobs that they said were colasped. although i have found cutters left in the line to prevent an honest plumber from attempting to snake the line. even an entire snake cable.

                i see a trend of unqualified people wanting to get rich quick, at the clients expense. most of them don't employ licensed journeymen plumbers. that's why they call them tech's. i don't think they would last 1 day on a real construction site.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #23
                  Tnoisaw and Plumber Rick....Either of you gentlemen care to comment on the amount my wife was charged for the Sunday no heat call?
                  there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by FINER9998
                    Tnoisaw.... What did you mean when you referred to "a Benjamin Franklin Company"? I ask because one has sprung up in my county and it turns out to be affilated with a plumber who has a reputation for overcharging .( While on a business trip, the old house boiler failed to fire on a Sunday in January. My wife called this guy and he charged her $600 for a Sunday call to replace a thermocoupling and a perfectly good 2 month old thermostat. To prove the replaced thermostat was good, I removed the unit he installed and replaced it with the "defective" unit. The "defective" unit has been performing flawlessly for 5 years) . Just curious about the BF name.
                    not sure if the job was done 5+ years ago or january of this year. the major difference is the price of the gas valve. 5 years ago the gas valve on a water heater, (not sure if your's is a water heater or a true boiler) was approx. $45.00 and a thermocouple was $4.00. this year the price is $130.00 and $6.00. these are prices for a water heater. boilers require a different gas valve. 1 hr. labor today on a sunday would be 132.50 ($20. service call and $75.00 hr. at time and 1/2 (112.50).


                    once again the flat rate menu price is 2- 3 times higher than t&m. ps. i would have replaced the thermcoucple first before spending real money on a gas valve. on a monday it would have been $101.00 no gas valve 20. + 75. + 6.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Maybe he uses gold plated parts...?

                      My charge on a Sunday is double time. It would have cost her around 165 dollars (including thermocouple) plus tax. Dude, is this guy using gold plated parts?
                      One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        The good, the bad and the ugly

                        These horror stories are terrible to read because I put a high value on my work ethics which includes not ripping people off but still making a descent living. The sad thing is these kind of plumbers make the other flat rate guys look bad and I do belief these guys are the exception and not the rule. At least I hope so.

                        I am still in a dilemma in trying to decide which way to go.
                        One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          tnoisaw...Thanks for the reply. I thought it was a bit excessive.

                          PLUMBER RICK...All he replaced was the thermocoupling on the boiler, not to be confused with the domestic HW heater. The service was performed in January of 2001. The only thing done to the gas valve was to attach the new thermocoupling to the existing gas valve. I did think that replacing an essentially new thermostat with another new thermostat was a nice touch, though.
                          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The plumbers out there. How do you arrive at your hourly rate charges? if your a T&M shop?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by FINER9998
                              tnoisaw...Thanks for the reply. I thought it was a bit excessive.

                              PLUMBER RICK...All he replaced was the thermocoupling on the boiler, not to be confused with the domestic HW heater. The service was performed in January of 2001. The only thing done to the gas valve was to attach the new thermocoupling to the existing gas valve. I did think that replacing an essentially new thermostat with another new thermostat was a nice touch, though.
                              Which post did you think was excessive and why?
                              One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Duh on me!

                                OK, I now feel like a fool. I reread FINER9998 post and now understand what you meant. Like duh on my part.

                                You certainly made this guy have a good week financially. But only this week because I’m sure you will not call him back and the average person tells something like ten people of bad incidences such as these. This is ten possible customers that the contractors lost. Honesty is the best policy.
                                One of the best lessons I learned from my father is when he did nothing to help me. I then learned to help my self.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X