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  • Referral fees

    I get job referrals from plumbers and other drain cleaning companies, some I send the bill to them, on others I send it to the customer. For those I send to the referring co. I give a discount so they can make some money on, but those I send to the customer they don't have that option, all I can do is if I run into something that needs a plumber I refer the customer back to them. How do you handle referrals do you pay a referral fee? What percent? I refer my customers to plumbers that I know do the best job. So I figure that evens out but some plumbers I find I cant recommend because of poor work so those don't get anything out of recommending me. Also I have two drillers who cant get the drain at there own home open and they call me to open it.Should I charge them or do it out of professional courtesy and not charge on plumbers who refer me a lot I don't charge. What is your take on this I want to be fair.

  • #2
    Re: Referral fees

    I never paid a referral fee but I would refer work back to them when we were too busy.

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

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

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    • #3
      Re: Referral fees

      I run a incentive programme with referring plumbers I send them a voucher at the local bar/hotel to get a meal or a few drinks.
      cheers

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      • #4
        Re: Referral fees

        I take them case by case. I would surely consider a good break on work done and even a freebie on minor jobs.It is still a business! Advice is always free!

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        • #5
          Re: Referral fees

          I believe in returning the favor(referral) back when we are busy. Our rates differ from contractor who uses us vs. the public. The company who gives us the most referrals that week or month is who we will refer. We are both happy and never leave cards or try to take the client.

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          • #6
            Re: Referral fees

            i don't pay and i don't recieve.

            it's a referral both ways. they bill and they keep the money'

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: Referral fees

              I've got 4 carpet cleaning/restoration companies in the area I can think of off the top of my head. I don't have a lot to choose between them in terms of quality of work and service, which is what I'd make my decision on in terms of referring them. Two have offered me referral fees. I kind of feel weird, not encouraged, about recommending them as a result. It kind of feels like if thy can cut me that fee, then they are bilking my customer for it and then some, and I'm not comfortable with that. If you do good work at a fair price with decent service, you are who I will recommend regardless of who is offering bounties.

              The trend in resto-biz seems to be more and more in the direction of butt covering. Used to be they'ed replace the pad, scub, disinfect, and dry the carpet, and done. Now its seems to be rip out any drywall and cabinets that got damp, all carpet and pad than got wet, etc etc etc. Turns what to me is a no big deal kind of thing into 5 figures in some cases. This pisses me off, as I really can't come out and say 'you don't need that,' but I darn well know if that was my house I sure wouldn't need it. I've seen 3 of the 4 engage in this. I tend to recommend the fourth, who incidentally are the ones who saved my butt in a certain situation involving white carpet a few years ago, so I feel extra good about them.
              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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              • #8
                Re: Referral fees

                In the area that I operate in there is not much room to turn work away, with that in mind I have the skills and experience/tools to solve just about any plumbing problem that arises, From the tank inlet/city connection into the house, and from the well head/meter into the house.

                Referals are a tricky business, if you refer a job away the customer doesn't remember that you referred the work, they remember that somebody else solved the problem, and then you also have to be certain that the individual you refer is doing work up to your standards.

                I know an excavator, electrician, and pumper, those are about the only ones I will refer.There are no fees though, professional courtesy.
                Last edited by U&I Plumber; 02-01-2009, 10:57 AM.
                sigpic
                www.uandiplumbing.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Referral fees

                  Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                  I've got 4 carpet cleaning/restoration companies in the area I can think of off the top of my head. I don't have a lot to choose between them in terms of quality of work and service, which is what I'd make my decision on in terms of referring them. Two have offered me referral fees. I kind of feel weird, not encouraged, about recommending them as a result. It kind of feels like if thy can cut me that fee, then they are bilking my customer for it and then some, and I'm not comfortable with that. If you do good work at a fair price with decent service, you are who I will recommend regardless of who is offering bounties.

                  The trend in resto-biz seems to be more and more in the direction of butt covering. Used to be they'ed replace the pad, scub, disinfect, and dry the carpet, and done. Now its seems to be rip out any drywall and cabinets that got damp, all carpet and pad than got wet, etc etc etc. Turns what to me is a no big deal kind of thing into 5 figures in some cases. This pisses me off, as I really can't come out and say 'you don't need that,' but I darn well know if that was my house I sure wouldn't need it. I've seen 3 of the 4 engage in this. I tend to recommend the fourth, who incidentally are the ones who saved my butt in a certain situation involving white carpet a few years ago, so I feel extra good about them.
                  Ace they are just following the IIRC guidelines,and insurance company protocols as far as black water loss.Any porous surfaces that comes in contact with sewage must be ripped out and replaced.My neighbor worked for a pretty big fire and water restoration company and some of the price tags on the clean ups are huge.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Referral fees

                    I don't know what IIRC is. I'm aware they are following someone's guidelines, but personally I question the guidelines, although professionally I cannot, and of course neither can they.

                    I see it as this spiral that drives up costs; someone establishes guidelines, and they are conservative because the establishers are a prof org for resto biz and it is in their interest to create work, and it is in their interest to be conservative for liability reasons. Now these guidelines are out there, and whatever the legitimacy level of the group that established them if someone says 'you don't need that' then they have a liability consideration, so they don't say it, so it all gets billed to insurance and drives up costs for everyone.

                    I had one where the house had a slo/plugged toilet on the first floor. There was no poop or pee in the bowl. Somehow while the ho was asleep upstairs the flapper hung open or something and the toilet ran all night. flooded the bathroom, adjacent carpet, ran thru floor down to crawlspace and onto heat ducts. This was clean clear water that had been in a toilet bowl. Wouldn't want to drink it but real real hard for me to get very worried about it. Rip out the carpet, rip out drywall 6-12" up, STERILIZE DUCTING for god's sake. Just plain silly and NO WAY ON THE PLANET it would get done if insurance wasn't paying for it.

                    But, to get back on topic, my point was I don't want to refer you because you give me a kickback. I want to refer you because I am impressed with your work and feel I can send my customer to you. And I don't want you to refer me because I give you a kickback, I want you to refer me because you feel the same way about my work and your customers.
                    Last edited by Ace Sewer; 02-01-2009, 01:15 AM.
                    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Referral fees

                      Quick Question ...

                      When a regular customer Calls you out and you Must refer ... Do You Charge for the Original call ... If the Refered Compny gived you a referal Fee ?


                      "It's in the main Call the jetter Guy" Then I hang out with the Jetter Guy Should I charge for that Time ? Jetter Guy got $600.00 to Run 200' in a 6" Clay line ...

                      Dave

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                      • #12
                        Re: Referral fees

                        Originally posted by NoeEttica View Post
                        Quick Question ...

                        When a regular customer Calls you out and you Must refer ... Do You Charge for the Original call ... If the Refered Compny gived you a referal Fee ?


                        "It's in the main Call the jetter Guy" Then I hang out with the Jetter Guy Should I charge for that Time ? Jetter Guy got $600.00 to Run 200' in a 6" Clay line ...

                        Dave
                        Maybe I do things a bit different, but if I don't solve the problem I don't collect the paycheck so I work real hard to solve it, and invest in tools that I can get the most out of and that compliment my abilities.
                        Last edited by U&I Plumber; 02-01-2009, 11:07 AM.
                        sigpic
                        www.uandiplumbing.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Referral fees

                          Originally posted by U&I Plumber View Post
                          Maybe I do things a bit different, but if I don't solve the problem I don't collect the paycheck so I work real hard to solve it, and invest in tools that I can get the most out of and that compliment my abilities.

                          To me thats a fine line. If you rod a main for 1.5 hours, pull out tons of roots, then you determine the line has to be dug up. You then refer they guy with the backhoe. Do you still charge for your time?

                          I dont pay for referrals or take money for them...this IMO can create bad blood.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Referral fees

                            Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                            To me thats a fine line. If you rod a main for 1.5 hours, pull out tons of roots, then you determine the line has to be dug up. You then refer they guy with the backhoe. Do you still charge for your time?

                            I dont pay for referrals or take money for them...this IMO can create bad blood.
                            If I don't solve it I don't charge, and being an owner/operator I can afford to do business that way, reputation and word of mouth will get you more than enough business to offset the loss. Typically if I have to call in a digger it depends on my schedual as to weather I do the re-pipe or not, if I'm to busy I let the excavator do it, with that in mind I have only ran into 3 or 4 lines that I chewed through the orange burg and had to dig to replace, out of those I only gave away 1, most of the time a smaller bit will get the job done and then we discuss a re-pipe.
                            sigpic
                            www.uandiplumbing.com

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                            • #15
                              Re: Referral fees

                              I do sewer and drain cleaning, jetting, video inspections, small repairs as it applies to the job I'm doing.

                              I refer out for under slab, water lines (I don't even carry solder gear), water heaters, faucet repairs, you name it. I am a licensed master plumber, I just prefer to specialize in one area of plumbing.

                              I have three plumbers who refer drain work to me and in turn I send them work, and looking for others if you're reading this!

                              No referral fees, but I have done free drain work for one of them on their personal property, and will do it for the others. I insisted on not charging, after he offered. Compared to how much drain work they give me, this is nothing.

                              They recommend me, I invoice their customers directly, and vice versa.
                              Last edited by HebertDrainCare; 02-01-2009, 11:29 PM.

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