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  • #16
    Re: Over-Charged?

    supposedly this water heater will hook up to a phone line so it can be diagnosed county of los angeles is the only place in the country requiring them...feed back???



    The power co. here will give you a new dryer to use as long as you keep it hooked up to an internet connection so they can moniter the power usage of new products

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    • #17
      Re: Over-Charged?

      Welcome to the US guys. This country has become hyper-capitalist. The theory is that the "market" will balance the inequities. Why do you think Ridgid distributes Chinese built tools under their name? Because they can make money. Those who disagree be damned. Ethics have little to nothing to do with life in America.

      I think it's sad, but what do I know?
      the dog

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      • #18
        Re: Over-Charged?

        Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
        What other things were done to the water heater? was it a straight change out? in and out, 2 water flex and a heater? did it have code violations? watts 210 installed? water heater inside? 2 man installation?? smitty pan?? expansion tank? drip leg on the gas? new B vent?? new shed? all things to take into consideration. everyone is aware water heaters are going up another $150.00 in cost because of the new regs on lo-nox, supposedly this water heater will hook up to a phone line so it can be diagnosed county of los angeles is the only place in the country requiring them...feed back??? if the plumbers keep getting raped by the city, county, state, material cost, outrageous insurance {because of so many jacka## lawsuits}, our labor needs to take it in the shorts??

        First as a little history on my son, he worked for me as a plumber for a couple of years before he enlisted in the Air Force as a Crash Unit Firefighter. After 6-years in the Air Force he came home and worked as a plumber for the guy I sold my shop to. Not being able to get on as a Firefighter in Los Angeles he switched careers and became a Police Officer for the City of Los Angeles. In other words he is not currently a Plumber looking at a competitors work.

        The homeowner is a friend of my son who he flies helicopters with as a side job/hobby. The homeowner asked my son to come over and look at the problem with the shower pan after the repair the plumber recommended had not worked. While reviewing the bill from the plumbing call my son noticed the other prices.

        As far as what was required of the water heater replacement my understanding is it was a simple change out. This makes sense since the house and recently closed Escrow and the water heater was only replaced at the plumber’s suggestion. As freddy pointed out yesterday the price is right out of the Plumber’s Pricing Manual. Well almost, the PPM shows a 50-gallon AO Smith GVR-50 at $1,827.97 installed which includes 2-brass nipples and 2-die-electric unions. I don’t know what your shop is paying for a 50-gallon water heater but that is a nice profit and then some.

        When you talk about cost going up because of “so many jacka## lawsuits” I would have to counter with there are now so many lawsuits because of jacka** plumbers who are not qualified to do the work. In the last 19-years I have been the Plumbing Expert on thousands of plumbing lawsuits. The quality of plumbing work being done today is not the quality I was taught 35-years ago. When I am representing the plumber it is usually more about damage control then arguing nothing is wrong. I would say on the plumbers I have defended over the years less than 1% did nothing wrong. Some cheated on materials, some cheated on labor and some just did not have a clue about what they were doing. The problem never seems to be as bad as the Plaintiff says it is but rarely are they jacka## lawsuits with nothing wrong.

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 06-01-2007, 11:07 PM.
        "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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        • #19
          Re: Over-Charged?

          And the moral of the story is.... "caveat emptor". Comparison shopping is a good way to find a reputable pro and to learn a little something in the process. Problem is, too many consumers have no interest in how anything at home works. They just want to write a check to make the problem go away.

          Toutahnow...what is a plumbers pricing manual?
          there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Over-Charged?

            When you talk about cost going up because of “so many jacka## lawsuits” I would have to counter with there are now so many lawsuits because of jacka** plumbers who are not qualified to do the work. In the last 19-years I have been the Plumbing Expert on thousands of plumbing lawsuits. The quality of plumbing work being done today is not the quality I was taught 35-years ago. When I am representing the plumber it is usually more about damage control then arguing nothing is wrong. I would say on the plumbers I have defended over the years less than 1% did nothing wrong. Some cheated on materials, some cheated on labor and some just did not have a clue about what they were doing. The problem never seems to be as bad as the Plaintiff says it is but rarely are they jacka## lawsuits with nothing wrong.

            I don't think there's a person alive that could not be sue any day of the week and be with out some claim of negligence. There are lawyers who will find something to claim as not up to standards. One plumber against another. Just like on here. 1 million dollar insurance don't go far in today's world.

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            • #21
              Re: Over-Charged?

              freddy,

              I'm not talking differences in opinions I am talking about installing your p-traps on a 45 because your rough-ins to tubs are off. I had one where the County had been trying to find the source of sewer gas in a track of homes for years. They've hydro-jetted all of the lines in the street and changed all of the manhole lids and nothing helped. What I found was a track full of homes where the primary condensates to the A/C were tied into the lav trap arms instead of the lav tail pieces. This stuff is so obvious you know the plumber had no business on the job. What makes it worst is when I talk to their bosses many times they are no better.

              Mark

              BTW: I truely feel if you are a plumber on this site you are here because you care about the trades and not part of the problem.
              Last edited by ToUtahNow; 06-02-2007, 11:58 AM.
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Over-Charged?

                Originally posted by freddy View Post
                When you talk about cost going up because of “so many jacka## lawsuits” I would have to counter with there are now so many lawsuits because of jacka** plumbers who are not qualified to do the work. In the last 19-years I have been the Plumbing Expert on thousands of plumbing lawsuits. The quality of plumbing work being done today is not the quality I was taught 35-years ago. When I am representing the plumber it is usually more about damage control then arguing nothing is wrong. I would say on the plumbers I have defended over the years less than 1% did nothing wrong. Some cheated on materials, some cheated on labor and some just did not have a clue about what they were doing. The problem never seems to be as bad as the Plaintiff says it is but rarely are they jacka## lawsuits with nothing wrong.

                I don't think there's a person alive that could not be sue any day of the week and be with out some claim of negligence. There are lawyers who will find something to claim as not up to standards. One plumber against another. Just like on here. 1 million dollar insurance don't go far in today's world.
                As long as there is even a one percent chance that some large company made some small mistake, there is a dirty lawyer out there to use his high priced education and a few law books to grease his hand. I personally have never been sued, never been involved in a lawsuit, but I have heard many horror stories from fellow contractors and also from greedy lawyers bragging about what they can do for "you," these lawsuits for 10 million dollars in damages? come on, anyone who has time to research what I am talking about will find that lawyers are behind most of this, all you have to do is take an idea to a lawyer and ask " what do you think this is worth?" Lets talk ethics for a second...is it fair a lawyer charges $250.00 for a 5 minute phone conversation?? Maybe 1800 for a 50 gallon water heater is a bit steep, but take a few minutes and think about whats behind that charge.....the cost of the water heater, the drive time, the knowledge to install it, the van to bring it over, the tools to install it, the fact that it took the guy out of the field for approx 2-4 hrs depending on the complete package, etc. I personally am always continuing my education to better my trade and my skills, I have invested over 30,000 in tools, not including my van, many hours of education, wasted time by customers, wasted time in traffic, remember, you get what you pay for, if you want a cheap job, go find an unlicensed plumber or handyman to do the job, if you think the price is high, go get another bid, Don't look at through tunnel vision. Look at the whole picture, from the vendor who sells the material, to the signature on the completed invoice! I take alot of pride in my trade and I am expected by my customers to have the knowledge and the right " up to date tools" to complete the job. For this, I am able to charge enough to cover my expences, feed my family, and make a profit.
                Last edited by westcoastplumber; 06-02-2007, 08:57 PM.
                sigpic

                Robert

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                • #23
                  Re: Over-Charged?

                  I agree with what you say westcoastplumber. But on this board your going to find alot of friction to price books manuals.
                  The T&M guy think your are a rip off con man, if you use a price book, for what your bussiness cost to run, and make a profit for your company. I feel T&M shops are doing more damage to the trade than any bussiness that uses a price book. They bring there price down so low, that they stay busy, and think that makes them sucsessful. And throw stones, at people who use a price book. And call them rip off company because they charged more for a job than they would have.
                  The busy shop Basicly is charging handy man wages and making it look like any one that charges more is a rip off. T&M shops don't get mad becauce
                  another company makes more money on a job than you. ready aim fire

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                  • #24
                    Re: Over-Charged?

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    I don't want to make this a flat-rate debate because I feel that debate has been done to death.

                    Mark
                    And just when you think the Flat Rate fire has been put out; it flares back up again

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Over-Charged?

                      Originally posted by freddy View Post
                      I agree with what you say westcoastplumber. But on this board your going to find alot of friction to price books manuals.
                      The T&M guy think your are a rip off con man, if you use a price book, for what your bussiness cost to run, and make a profit for your company. I feel T&M shops are doing more damage to the trade than any bussiness that uses a price book. They bring there price down so low, that they stay busy, and think that makes them sucsessful. And throw stones, at people who use a price book. And call them rip off company because they charged more for a job than they would have.
                      The busy shop Basicly is charging handy man wages and making it look like any one that charges more is a rip off. T&M shops don't get mad becauce
                      another company makes more money on a job than you. ready aim fire
                      well, we won't get into that whole t&m flat rate cost mess. I guess what I am saying is if you feel you were ripped off, look at the "whole picture" If I started a t&m shop 15 or so years ago and made my money, and have a large customer base, then I would be happy with t&m also, but to cover cost now a days t&m won't cut it. Thanks for the discussion guy's
                      sigpic

                      Robert

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                      • #26
                        Re: Over-Charged?

                        I find some of the comments very telling. I did not start my plumbing business 15-years ago I started it 27-years ago and yes I made my money and yes I was a T&M shop. Things were no different then they are now except for maybe the long gas lines we had to wait in to buy gas for our trucks. Back then our labor-rate was $27.50 per hour and as our expenses increased so did our hourly rate.

                        I used the same business model I have used in every business I have been in. It was not about instant-gratification it was about working hard for 5-years until I had a customer base to support the business. That is why my shop is still in business today with many of the original customers. Perhaps one difference is I never needed to spend thousands of dollars per month on a couple of full page ads in the Yellow Pages to get work.

                        I have said before I am not against flat-rating as long as it is done fairly. As far as pricing books go I have had a Trade Services book on my desk since before they were Trade Services. When I started with them they were still Modern Services. I also had a Reeves Journal Pricing binder in the old days because neither book had all of the manufacturers listed.

                        I have seen where many flat-rate shop have a few real plumbers then a bunch of kids who they call plumbers. Interestingly enough they base their hourly rate on the ability of the best plumber but base their man hours on the ability of their least qualified “plumber”.

                        I am working on several projects out of State right now which have caused a feeding frenzy of plumbers to try and get the work. There is so much of this work plumbers are coming from the opposite coast and setting up shops just to get the work. Many of those shops are national franchise shops which are known for flat-rating. These are bidded projects so everyone is using competitive pricing if they want the work. The flat-rate shops are so out classed by the T&M shops it is almost embarrassing. Not only do the T&M shops complete the job in fewer hours they do a much better job. The big difference between the shops is not their pricing manuals it is their employees. This is pretty much what I have seen in service work as well. In flat-rating it is about bodies not skill. Too many of their employees are put into trucks before they are ready to be on their own.

                        The automotive industry is where flat-rate pricing started. I don’t care for it there either but at least automotive shops post their hourly rate and will tell you how many man-hours they are charging you. I have never seen a flat-rate plumbing shop do the same. Service work is not supposed to be about smoke and mirrors.

                        Recently a plumber here was talking about the merits of flat-rating. I think he left the site after a flat-rate debate which is too bad because I think he could have been an asset to the forum. However, one comment he made which explains he had to be somewhat conflicted with flat-rating was his commercial and property management customers remained at T&M. If flat-rating is a fair way to bill why not bill everyone the same?

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Over-Charged?

                          Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post
                          well, we won't get into that whole t&m flat rate cost mess. I guess what I am saying is if you feel you were ripped off, look at the "whole picture" If I started a t&m shop 15 or so years ago and made my money, and have a large customer base, then I would be happy with t&m also, but to cover cost now a days t&m won't cut it. Thanks for the discussion guy's

                          robert, why do you feel that you need to get rich quick?

                          nothing happens overnight, unless you win the lottery.

                          how is it that "t&m won't cut it today"

                          what percentage of the jobs you flat rate actually accept the price?

                          how many actually question how you derived at that price?

                          how many have told you to take a hike

                          just because us old timers have worked hard to start a business and build it up. afford to purchase our own shop, equipment and build up our customer base without spending more than the cost of a business card, tells me we're doing something right. from $3.00 an hour in 1975, to $80.00 an hour in 2007, is not getting rich overnight.

                          pricing a job and hoping the customer does not have a clue is not plumbing. it's selling and then some

                          the way you make it sound, it's like you're new and you got to ketch up with the rest of the pack.

                          i take it that all of your work is service and repair. no new construction or contract work. no competitive bidding.

                          not trying to single you out, just trying to understand where your coming from.

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

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                          • #28
                            Re: Over-Charged?

                            I have not left the forum, I review post regularly. Since the debate that took place several weeks ago, I have Implemented flat rate pricing. So far I have not had any complaints. The response from my costumers has actually been very positive. I think the key is, is being honest, not whether you use t&m or flat rate. I have instructed my techs to answer any of our customers question about the new pricing. The decision for me to use flat rate was hard to come to ,however after much research & thought. I believe I came to the right decision for my company. I do still charge my commercial clients less, for several reasons such as they cost less to provide service to. As I researched flat rate. I found article after article supporting it. The only articles or surveys against it, that I found were written by plumbers not consumers or consultants. I have Sean many great plumbers, make horrible business men. I do however think your sons friend was overcharged for a basic water heater change out. Although I think we do have to keep in mind the over head of some of the larger service and repair shops. At the end of the day, I guess its really up to the consumer to decide. http://www.phccweb.org/FactsandStats...temNumber=2685
                            THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

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                            • #29
                              Re: Over-Charged?

                              At the end of the day, I guess its really up to the consumer to decide. http://www.phccweb.org/FactsandStats...temNumber=2685
                              Way to go crappy days, keep moving your company to new levels.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Over-Charged?

                                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                                robert, why do you feel that you need to get rich quick? not trying to get rich quick, just observing the options. working on starting my own company and want to be sucessful and fair as possible, without losing any profits. I have always worked at flat rate shops, I agree about fair flat rate, not gouging the customer, it's up to the plumber

                                nothing happens overnight, unless you win the lottery.

                                how is it that "t&m won't cut it today" I review my job orders, I would lose alot more money for the shop if I t&m everything. My current boss lets us decide, my sales are top, I have the most repeat customer base, more then the other plumbers.

                                what percentage of the jobs you flat rate actually accept the price? I get approx 80 percent of my estimates

                                how many actually question how you derived at that price? I do get questions, but I answer them

                                how many have told you to take a hike I do lose some, but if I do, it's because if I did the job I would lose money and possible profits somewhere else

                                just because us old timers have worked hard to start a business and build it up. afford to purchase our own shop, equipment and build up our customer base without spending more than the cost of a business card, tells me we're doing something right. from $3.00 an hour in 1975, to $80.00 an hour in 2007, is not getting rich overnight. I hope I wasn't insulting, I WASN'T TRYING TO BE TO YOU AND UTAHNOW

                                pricing a job and hoping the customer does not have a clue is not plumbing. it's selling and then some I fully explain everything to my customers, they don't feel they are getting ripped off

                                the way you make it sound, it's like you're new and you got to ketch up with the rest of the pack. I am still new to business management, and abit in the trade, I have only been in it for 10 years

                                i take it that all of your work is service and repair. no new construction or contract work. no competitive bidding. I just bid a remodel and was awarded the job. new construction, depends on the level of quality the general wants. I can bit it for 2 piece angle stops and flex, or 1 piece, I worked for a new construction company, their saying was make it last for atleast 12 months, I don't believe in that.

                                not trying to single you out, just trying to understand where your coming from.

                                rick.
                                FOR THE RECORED, I RESPECT EVERYONES VIEWS HIGHLY, I KEEP THEM ALL IN MY HEAD. I WANT TO BUILD A SUCESSFUL SHOP AND BE FAIR, AND AT THE SAME TIME, KEEP A HIGH QUALITY OF WORK. ALL THINGS THAT ARE DIFFICULT IN BUSINESS. PLEASE COMMENT GUYS, I RESPECT BOTH OF YOU VERY MUCH BEING SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNERS, I NEVER DISCARD KNOWLEDGE.
                                P.S.: I TOOK A SURVEY THE OTHER DAY AT A BBQ, I WAS IN A GROUP OF APPROX 30 PEOPLE, ASKED OPINIONS OF ABOUT 10, TOLD THEM ABOUT MY BUSINESS PLAN, THEY PERFERED THE FLAT RATE OVER THE HOURLY, FOR THE MAIN REASON, THEY WILL KNOW WHAT IT IS GOING TO COST, RATHER THEN BE SUPPRISED BY THE BILL AT THE END OF THE JOB
                                Last edited by westcoastplumber; 06-03-2007, 07:33 PM.
                                sigpic

                                Robert

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