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  • rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

    if i knew how to use smilies i would. rant on.
    and before i go any futher i'd like to say yes it is DEAD. and yes i have CABIN FEVER.

    ok here goes.
    last year turned into a good year after 6 months of being slow in the middle of the year. since Christmas it has been slow. then the week of the pumper show i was slammed 12 hours a day for thee days. even up till the last 15 min before i had to make a 4 hour drive to the airport wednesday night for a redeye.
    i came home and for mon and tues. i was very busy. then it trickeld into nothing. and it still is. or shall i say. things are bothering me more then the usual right now.
    cut rates etc.
    other co. dropping there rates. who is that helping? i tell you no one. not one person. for the moment it helps them out. but eventually it is unsustainable and you will be a dodo bird. but in the mean time it hurts everyone else. and makes you look like a crook in the eyes of other potential customers. this probubly erks me more then anything else!!!
    the phone has been ringing. everone who has called me in the last week is a price shopper! (we are not in a depressed area). so as the calls come in people are calling eveyone in the phone book asking for the cheapest rate. yeaterday $60 for a mainline is what i heard from a customer. she asked if i was lower. i said no. i was $$$. she said i'd have the job if i'd do it for $50. my svc call alone to her area was $75. so now you know how it has been.
    there have also been a lot more people mainly plumbers that when things are slow have bought a snake trying to do drains for next to nothing. 2 weeks ago i had a customer that the guy said he called his plumbing friend and he came over for $50 and snaked his drain with no cutters on the end. it clogged a week latter. he called him back and he won't answer the phone. i guess he got his $ and ran. i did the call the guy was impressed found roots.
    the phone book:
    we have advertised for 17 years in the phone book. we skipped the last 5 years for drain cleaning. the new book came out last month. so it has been out a month. in years past for drains no one really price shopped me. this time everyone so far. i'm spending big $$,$$$ this yr. too. i should have listened to my gut feeling. one thing that i should have paid attention too was the $99 guys with video. these kind of guys were not in the book last time. position plays on that as well. 5 years ago i was on page 3 in both main books. now in one book i'm on page 7 and another page 9. lost positining from not being in there for the last 5 years.

    i think i have it all out now..... i'm feeling a little better now.
    Last edited by Jerad; 03-11-2010, 04:34 PM.
    the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

  • #2
    Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

    Gotta love RidgidForum therapy! Does wonders for the soul.


    It's a tough time for a lot of people right now.



    Personally, I hate the phone books. don't even get me started.....

    As for the smilies, they pop up right next to the reply box, but you have to click reply and not just use the "quick reply" box at the bottom of the thread page.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

      Originally posted by Jerad View Post
      if i knew how to use smilies i would. rant on.
      and before i go any futher i'd like to say yes it is DEAD. and yes i have CABIN FEVER.

      ok here goes.
      last year turned into a good year after 6 months of being slow in the middle of the year. since Christmas it has been slow. then the week of the pumper show i was slammed 12 hours a day for thee days. even up till the last 15 min before i had to make a 4 hour drive to the airport wednesday night for a redeye.
      i came home and for mon and tues. i was very busy. then it trickeld into nothing. and it still is. or shall i say. things are bothering me more then the usual right now.
      cut rates etc.
      other co. dropping there rates. who is that helping? i tell you no one. not one person. for the moment it helps them out. but eventually it is unsustainable and you will be a dodo bird. but in the mean time it hurts everyone else. and makes you look like a crook in the eyes of other potential customers. this probubly erks me more then anything else!!!
      the phone has been ringing. everone who has called me in the last week is a price shopper! (we are not in a depressed area). so as the calls come in people are calling eveyone in the phone book asking for the cheapest rate. yeaterday $60 for a mainline is what i heard from a customer. she asked if i was lower. i said no. i was $$$. she said i'd have the job if i'd do it for $50. my svc call alone to her area was $75. so now you know how it has been.
      there have also been a lot more people mainly plumbers that when things are slow have bought a snake trying to do drains for next to nothing. 2 weeks ago i had a customer that the guy said he called his plumbing friend and he came over for $50 and snaked his drain with no cutters on the end. it clogged a week latter. he called him back and he won't answer the phone. i guess he got his $ and ran. i did the call the guy was impressed found roots.
      the phone book:
      we have advertised for 17 years in the phone book. we skipped the last 5 years for drain cleaning. the new book came out last month. so it has been out a month. in years past for drains no one really price shopped me. this time everyone so far. i'm spending big $$,$$$ this yr. too. i should have listened to my gut feeling. one thing that i should have paid attention too was the $99 guys with video. these kind of guys were not in the book last time. position plays on that as well. 5 years ago i was on page 3 in both main books. now in one book i'm on page 7 and another page 9. lost positining from not being in there for the last 5 years.

      i think i have it all out now..... i'm feeling a little better now.
      You have to love cabin fever really helps to get the mind wondering.
      All these low ball cut rates are inexperienced business owners and will FAIL. With rates that low all they will attract is CHEAP customers. People here think I'm a rip off and I'm not the most expensive. You figure at $50 a drain how do you pay for repairs and expenses employee's? You can't.
      Even at $99 there's a catch.

      There is a company here has Main drains for $99. I charge $200. But The drain is Only $99 if you agree to a camera inspection $275 Without inspection it's $250. $99 + $275 = $374 for this service. My service is $200 camera discounted 50% added on with rooter service that makes $300 that's $74 dollars less then them. But because customers see $99 dollars all over their ads and trucks. they think their getting a better deal and I look like the rip off.
      Rod
      MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
      Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
      http://unclognh.com
      http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

      Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

        If you can get them on the phone you need to educate them about the real price.

        One of my toilet competitors tacks on fee's for everything so we have to make sure and let the customer know that our rate is what it is. Sometimes it works, others it doesn't but you have to keep trying.
        www.ClinkscalesSeptic.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

          i've tried to educate customers but most now seam to be intrested in price more then what we can give them. a call yesterday a lady wanted to know if i would fix her leaky shower and if i was lower then her hack friend at $10 per hour.
          that is another thing i forgot to mention hacks or handymen. what is this $10 to $15 stuff i keep hearing about from customers. last month i had one that i was going to reroute a dryer vent. that there handyman last year vented it into the wall with no exit. (he did the remodel). i told them the price and they said they would call the guy back and just pay the $10 per hour for him to fix it. even though it was his problem to begin with. they payed the $65 svc call. i bet the roof leaks when he is done! HACK
          the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

            My biggest competition charges $65hr. What they neglect to tell the customer is they also charge a machine fee, cleaning fee, service call and time starts from the shop etc...etc...etc...
            A simple main line clog can run $500 on a weekend once all the extras are added up, but the price shoppers only hear $65hr.


            I sold rug braiding kits on E-Bay for $5.00 a set with free shipping. Only sold 1 set a week and sometimes none.

            I changed the price to .99 with $4 for shipping and didn't hide that. I put in bold across the top and bottom of the description '$4.00 FOR SHIPPING...$4.00 FOR SHIPPING...$4.00 FOR SHIPPING'
            After that I was selling 8 sets a week and sometimes more.
            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

              They figure once they have pulled the bait and switch move. The customer gives in because they are already there.
              Hell if that's the case tomorrow $1.00 sewer service with $299.00 sewer camera inspection. I'll show them
              Last edited by UnClogNH; 03-11-2010, 06:37 PM.
              Rod
              MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
              Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
              http://unclognh.com
              http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

              Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                What makes us different from these hacks and low ballers is that we are professionals. we care about the reputation of ourselves and our companies. Most hacks that I know are either drunks, drug addicts or ex cons who don't care about nothing but themselves and where they are going to get their next bottle or their hit of meth or crack. They can charge 10 or twenty dollars because that is all a bottle of whiskey or a hit of the drug of their choice cost. If they get busted they will go to jail and get 3 hots and a cot and all the drugs they want for cigs and sex. It is hard for us to compete with some one like that. We charge higher prices because we have families to care for and bills to pay. these handy hacks work day to day with no care in the world. It is hard to build a defense against something like that. I am not talking about these legit remodeling companies that think they know what they are doing but rather these guys that ride around in a van from the 1960's with the plastic windows held with duct tape and 4 emergency spare donut tires. The only thing we can do is try to educate the customers about these people but most won't listen as long as they can save that almighty dollar.
                Two men Have died for you. One is Jesus Christ the other is the american soldier. One died for your soul The other for your freedom.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                  Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
                  My biggest competition charges $65hr. What they neglect to tell the customer is they also charge a machine fee, cleaning fee, service call and time starts from the shop etc...etc...etc...
                  A simple main line clog can run $500 on a weekend once all the extras are added up, but the price shoppers only hear $65hr.


                  I sold rug braiding kits on E-Bay for $5.00 a set with free shipping. Only sold 1 set a week and sometimes none.

                  I changed the price to .99 with $4 for shipping and didn't hide that. I put in bold across the top and bottom of the description '$4.00 FOR SHIPPING...$4.00 FOR SHIPPING...$4.00 FOR SHIPPING'
                  After that I was selling 8 sets a week and sometimes more.

                  After reading this this A.M. I realize I should change "What they neglect to tell the customer is" to "what the customer doesn't hear is" because they do mention it, but in a fine print kind of way.
                  INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                  Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                    One of my cleaner friends just told me he got a price shopper for a sewer in the bronx. What's the best he could do? He had a guy literally around the corner told her $100 cod. Extremely cheap around here. She said she'd wait the two weeks for $49.99 sewer man. I'm pretty sure 2 weeks is a health hazard! this is what we're dealing with these days.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                      Handyman the other day lets me in to the rental he is working on. Land lord said he is sick of having to paying the guy to have the tub done twice a month. Clean the line get it all done. While putting my tools in the van the handyman says I could use a camara like that. I then told him that a decent unit is like ten grand. There is a differance.

                      Show me a business that isnt full of low ballers and hacks. The good guys last the junk says theres no money in that and does something else.

                      How many basement have you been in where there is every 5 dollar drain tool under the sun down there full of rust with the main backed up.

                      I wish more people vauled their work and could run a spread sheet that way they would see what it really cost.

                      PS I feel your pain.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                        I love it when they gripe about a 250 main drain rod when there is 15 or 20 $10.00 bottles of drano lying in the yard

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                          We build value in our service and defend our price, after all we're proud of them both.
                          Regards, Bill

                          The definition of Insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result."
                          Albert Einstein

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                            well the assult continues on my end, as the yellow pages continue to bring me nothing but price shoppers. yesterday was the "can you beat the $50 guy" calls all day.

                            i was on an appliance call today and the lady told me the $99 guy ended up costing her $255. they only carry 60 ft of cable. this is what he is telling the customer. if the plug is any further they will have to dig. he couldn't get his camera more then 10 feet C.I. pipe 2 bends. she oppted to just wait and see.

                            90% off all calls here are over 100 feet. the last call i did 3 weeks ago was 150 feet.
                            what a bunch of hokey!!!!
                            the only dumb question is the one that is not asked!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: rate cuts, low ballers, cheap customers, hacks and other nonsense

                              Originally posted by NYSEWERMAN View Post
                              One of my cleaner friends just told me he got a price shopper for a sewer in the bronx. What's the best he could do? He had a guy literally around the corner told her $100 cod. Extremely cheap around here. She said she'd wait the two weeks for $49.99 sewer man. I'm pretty sure 2 weeks is a health hazard! this is what we're dealing with these days.
                              At that point I would just be happy that my s#%t still flushes down my toilet
                              SMELLS LIKE $$$$$$ TO ME

                              Comment

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