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  • #16
    Re: When to camera?

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    Adam,

    You are a good friend but you let the little things bother you too much. I have used that mini on hundreds of inspections while you only used it on a few. Nothing you did caused the camera to stop working and it is on the way to get repaired as I type. Yes this equipment is expensive and that is why we need to charge to cover for the cost to repair or replace it. I have always felt the camera is there to help the property owner make an informed decision. If they would rather not pay for the camera and roll the dice instead then that is on them.

    Mark
    Thank you Mark,
    Unfortunately I feel the seamingly uncontrolable need to pay attention to the small stuff by reason that I see so many not just so they can sustain the level of self serving gluttony.
    Last edited by drtyhands; 05-31-2009, 03:57 PM. Reason: added a y :d

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    • #17
      Re: When to camera?

      This is an interesting discussion.

      do you guys that don't charge for the camera build it in the the cleaning price?

      I ask as someone who doesn't have a camera but would like to someday.

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      • #18
        Re: When to camera?

        Originally posted by lmpg View Post
        This is an interesting discussion.

        do you guys that don't charge for the camera build it in the the cleaning price?

        I ask as someone who doesn't have a camera but would like to someday.
        I guess you can say we build it into our price since we are a T&M shop. So there is some labor being charged for my service but I wave the camera charge when I did the rodding and felt it needs to be televised. Now if I am asked to televise the sewer then we charge the camera charge.
        Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
        A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
        Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
        Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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        • #19
          Re: When to camera?

          For instance if I charge $200 for a side sewer snake out I offer them a combo price of $300 for snake and a quick look with the camera to find out the condition, no DVD no commentery.
          Seattle Drain Service

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          • #20
            Re: When to camera?

            I charge extra for the camera but at a discounted rate if we are doing a cleaning at the same time. My selling point is no warranty with out the camera. And the reason i charge is so it pays for itself on the work it does not the work im trying to sell.
            Mike
            Clark County Plumbing And Drain
            www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

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            • #21
              impg

              if we don't charge separately it can be factored in or more likely not. if not it comes right out checking account, because some of what taken in is paying for it. depreciation is not only figured on our taxes but all so on everything including our bodies. every thing wears out. if i don't recoup the purchase price + enough to replace as required + some profit. well, i think you get the drift. work is not my hobby. i work to make money. i had a customer ask me if i give anything away. my answer was that your getting a hard time and i'm on the clock. when i'm off the clock i'm gone. i spend my money on my grand kids. 1 other question, does the owner know that the techs are giving the product away? not tying to poke anyone in eye, just curious. breid

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              • #22
                Re: When to camera?

                I have an additional charge for use of the camera. I don't camera every line, and I don't apply the charge for every use of the camera.

                If I feel a line needs to be video inspected, I do so. It's my camera and my time and I'm using it to buy my peace of mind that I've done the job I want to. If I just see the inside of a clean pipe, I usually don't charge.

                If the use of the camera was necessary to do a good job, or saved time that they are now not getting charged for because it let my locate a better access or something, then I charge.

                If I find something in need of attention, concerns about camera charge usually disappear. The camera generates information. If it's use generated valuable information, then I feel a charge is justified.
                This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                • #23
                  Re: When to camera?

                  I try to sell the camera with every job but it's more for my benefit then anything else. A camera is used to tell the plumber(me) that his job is complete and a warranty, under reasonable timeframes, can be given. I'm right about where Cuda is.

                  Would you tell a chef to cook something but he can't taste it before it's served? A mechanic to fix the car but don't use any diagnostic tools? An engineer not to use a laser transit? An HVAC tech not to use a thermometer to get the superheat?

                  My point is that the answer is no to each of these questions because the consumer doesn't tell the professional how to do their job. If I need a camera for verification that the stoppage is removed, then that's my decision.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #24
                    Re: When to camera?

                    Jetting is $ 297 for the first hr, camera is $198. I went to a job on Sunday, jetted the line, thought it wasnt in good shape - too much sand coming out, tried to sell the camera to him but he was sure the sand came from the laundry washing his beach clothes. Anyway he calls back 5 days later, drain blocked up again. Had to do the sell over the phone, @$297 to jet + $198 to camera it. Found 6" EW terracotta drains collapsed in , lots of sand reason for. Now quoted $1000 to dig up and replace, started straight away.[only have to replace 2mtr section] But really its now cost him.

                    Surveying the drain = easier sell for dig-up and replacement. Where would we be without it.

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                    • #25
                      Re: When to camera?

                      gear. let me get this straight, when you go to mcDonald's or outback steak house, you expect to find a little bite of your food gone from your sandwich or steak? .....................................last time i looked my mechanic had upwards of $10,000,00 in diagnostic equipment and they get $125.00 to hook up your car. if you know one that doesn't please forward their address....................................every engineer that i've worked with has always factored in the cost of their equipment..............................hvac techs thermometers are $15.00 give or take. when we use our reclamation equipment, do we do that for free?............................ food for though. i do what i want in life. i don't justify what i do.( most of the time. i'm married). i am the most expensive plumber here. i tell my customers what they need. if they say no, i tell them to call else where. i'm not rude. a large minority call back and have me do the job. a friend of mine who owns a tool rental business, they figure the rental price at 10% of cost to buy a tool. i figure mine on 100% on down to 25%. if i've never had a call, it's 100%. i have tools i have only used once. don't like to rent. i never assume the customer doesn't have any more money than i do. i'm not beating anybody up here, but i we don't make enough with are tools to buy new ones when we need them, we will be out of business. how will that help out anyone? like i said food for though. breid

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                      • #26
                        Re: When to camera?

                        I don't get the burger thing.

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                        • #27
                          Re: When to camera?

                          Originally posted by breid1903 View Post
                          gear. let me get this straight, when you go to mcDonald's or outback steak house, you expect to find a little bite of your food gone from your sandwich or steak?Not at mcdonalds but higher end resturants all do taste the food before it goes out. Not each plate but let's say the stock used to make the sauces. Do you really think grandma doesn't taste the apple pie mix before the pie goes in the oven? .....................................last time i looked my mechanic had upwards of $10,000,00 in diagnostic equipment and they get $125.00 to hook up your car.if you know one that doesn't please forward their address....................................every engineer that i've worked with has always factored in the cost of their equipment..............................hvac techs thermometers are $15.00 give or take. when we use our reclamation equipment, do we do that for free?............................ food for though. i do what i want in life. i don't justify what i do.( most of the time. i'm married). i am the most expensive plumber here. i tell my customers what they need. if they say no, i tell them to call else where. i'm not rude. a large minority call back and have me do the job. a friend of mine who owns a tool rental business, they figure the rental price at 10% of cost to buy a tool. i figure mine on 100% on down to 25%. if i've never had a call, it's 100%. i have tools i have only used once. don't like to rent. i never assume the customer doesn't have any more money than i do. i'm not beating anybody up here, but i we don't make enough with are tools to buy new ones when we need them, we will be out of business. how will that help out anyone? like i said food for though. breid
                          I think we're both saying the same thing but I don't understand most of the message.
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                          • #28
                            Re: When to camera?

                            yes

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                            • #29
                              Re: When to camera?

                              I do flat rate and/or hourly depending on what I'm doing.

                              In this area video inspections are $300 to $350 flat on the high end and $200 to $250 on the low end. I charge $250 for video only and extra for cleaning if necessary for visual.

                              Its expensive equipment with expensive repair costs so warrants an extra charge.

                              If I clean a line and experience problems like roots, cant get cable all the way through, cable gets stuck, mud, etc., I recommend a video inspection. I let them know what the benefits are, but also I tell them that the line is unstopped and they can take a wait and see approach. I hate high pressure salespeople so I strive to not be one. People seem to like this approach and if they have problems again they ask for the camera.

                              If I have no trouble with the line I dont even mention the camera unless they say this is a reoccurring problem.

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                              • #30
                                Re: When to camera?

                                Hey guys, been MIA for the weekend but glad to see all the info from this thread.

                                First of all Bried, an HVAC techs superheat meters are more like 215.00 not 15.00.

                                Second, I like to camera every job because I get to see exactly what kind of job I did and if I did it properly, I like to think I have gotten an accelerated class in sewer lines because of the use of the camera. Also the camera gives the customer a chance to see what is causing the problem and that I am really accomplishing something. It also sets me apart from other plumbers, and it is hard to tell how bad someones line is if you don't camera it.

                                Scenario: Customers line is blocked, I unstop it but dont camera, charge the customer 140 dollars and go on my way. 2 months later customer calls back and line is stopped up again, go back and clear the line and offer the camera and find that the top of the pipe has collapsed and dirt is just falling in. Give price to repair sewer line but now the customer wants the 140 dollars refunded because it was the same problem from 2 months ago.
                                I of course cannot refund the money because I wont make my profit on the sewer repair. Now I have a mad customer who thinks I am trying to screw them when I am really not.

                                My point through all of that is that if I use the camera the first time and find the problem, the customer is happy because I found the root of there problem and I am happy because I get to make a repair and not just my hourly rate.

                                Does that make any sense?

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