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  • #31
    Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

    I am in kinda the same boat. I do construction but get calls for service occasionally and am not really sure what to charge. I also do not want to cut the throat of the service plumbers, espessialy sense it has been happening in the construction side BAD. Is there a good flat rate book to buy? I also do not try to do service work I am not qualified for (drain cleaning, concealed leak detection/ tracing mold damge, anything too ugly). Sometimes I have to say "I am not that knid of plumber!"

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

      The theory behind flat rate books is usually that you first must know what it costs you per hour to operate. Then you base the book price on that. So, buying a book may not be the answer.

      And knowing what it costs you to operate per hour in construction is not much of a guide as to how much it costs you to operate as a service tech. When I read in Ellen Rohr's book that you can only get three billable hours per day in a one-man shop, I thought Hot Rod must take a lot of espresso breaks or something. But then I went over my previous year's hours as best I could and found that she was exactly right.

      Running a service business in a large company can mean that there are a number of paychecks that must be paid for each man who goes out in a truck. That guy in the truck has to generate quite a bit of capital every day.

      And I think it averages about the same, whether one-man or multiple worker shops - three billable hours should cover it, even though there is some synergy in a larger company. (For example, it doesn't take much longer to order ten cases of faucets than a single faucet.)

      So you have to crunch the numbers. If you have to guess some of it, as many of us do, then you have to keep fine-tuning the flat rate.

      If the flat rate seller suggests a certain price, will the customers in your area be shocked or will it be something they will tolerate? It's different everywhere. You can put yourself out of business very quickly, or, if you're lucky, you can make a bundle.

      The verdict is in: people like flat rate pricing. But they can often sense a rip-off, especially if you're embarrassed by your own prices.

      As I recall, there's a number cruncher type calculator at the upfrontprice.com site that you can use for free on the FAQ page, and they also have a trial price book that you can download for free. When I downloaded one, there were several different levels of prices that you could get in PDF format.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

        Originally posted by ColoradoMaster View Post
        Typical New Construction plumber, thinks they know everything. You'll have a rude awakening coming to the service side where you gotta know how drunk the idiot 7-3:30 factory worker plumber screwed the thing up. Yeah you might be a dang good "factory" plumber, but the service world is where the real pros are at! A service plumber has to know a lot more than plumbing a building! Done that! Then I became a real plumber and the school of 2:00am 20 feet deep sewer repairs, rotten under slab sewer lines, cross connections and other never seen before problems educated me real fast. 21 years a a plumber and I still learn something new on every service call! But your know it all "factory" plumbing experience will surely make you a mint!



        You had better go to school and figure out that T&M is old school and not profitable for a true master of the trade! A quality flat rate system will ensure your customer is charged the same amount for the same repair regardless of your skill level! If you plan on being a one man band then go for your T&M. But be ready to let your customers talk to each other about why you charged them more for the same repair that you did for someone else!

        You just gotta love a "factory" plumber that knows everything there is to know about plumbing! Make sure your crack is in plain view!

        A PROFESSIONAL charges for their time! Flat Rate Systems cover your "Trip Charge" as it covers your overall overhead as well.
        I would like to Welcome you to the Forum!! I'm sure with your vast knowledge of service plumbing you will be a great et to this site and will be a good source of information that us "factory" plumbers and real plumbers like yourself can turn to in our time of need. I just hope that one day I myself can make it to the ranks of a "real plumber" as you have. Anyways welcome to the Ridgid forum
        ________
        Critical Illness Insurance Advice
        Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:18 PM.
        Mike

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

          Originally posted by TOPDAWG View Post
          I would like to Welcome to the Forum!! I'm sure with your vast knowledge of service plumbing you will be a great et to this site and will be a good source of information that us "factory" plumbers and real plumbers like yourself can turn to in our time of need. I just hope that one day I myself can make it to the ranks of a "real plumber" as you have. Anyways welcome to the Ridgid forum

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

            Somebody lock this thread quick...


            gonna get out of hand
            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

              Originally posted by MPMGinAL View Post
              Im just glad to see another installer that couldn't bear teh economy "slow-down" try and jump into the service field and get a piece of the pie that us service guys have worked years to get. If you don't know how to price it you probably can't fix it. Stick to hanging pipe.
              And I'll be joining you too pal.
              Pretty tough words.
              I'm sorry I didn't catch you when you posted this.I would have loved to rip in to it with you.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                Originally posted by ColoradoMaster View Post
                Typical New Construction plumber, thinks they know everything. You'll have a rude awakening coming to the service side where you gotta know how drunk the idiot 7-3:30 factory worker plumber screwed the thing up. Yeah you might be a dang good "factory" plumber, but the service world is where the real pros are at! A service plumber has to know a lot more than plumbing a building! Done that! Then I became a real plumber and the school of 2:00am 20 feet deep sewer repairs, rotten under slab sewer lines, cross connections and other never seen before problems educated me real fast. 21 years a a plumber and I still learn something new on every service call! But your know it all "factory" plumbing experience will surely make you a mint!



                You had better go to school and figure out that T&M is old school and not profitable for a true master of the trade! A quality flat rate system will ensure your customer is charged the same amount for the same repair regardless of your skill level! If you plan on being a one man band then go for your T&M. But be ready to let your customers talk to each other about why you charged them more for the same repair that you did for someone else!

                You just gotta love a "factory" plumber that knows everything there is to know about plumbing! Make sure your crack is in plain view!

                A PROFESSIONAL charges for their time! Flat Rate Systems cover your "Trip Charge" as it covers your overall overhead as well.
                I'm Very seriously looking forward to you saying this in person in June.I'm also hoping you'll stick around so I can learn more about you.
                I know TopDawg personaly.He is a good man.
                I don't know you.

                Thank you for the advice.
                No thank you for the tone.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                  Our service call is $40 to $150.00 due to our wide geographic area of work. The fee helps "weed out" those who really want us to hire us over those whom simply want us to explain the problem and attempt to do it themselves. Sure helps with the cost of fuel.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                    My Company is Houston and I avoid trip fees and just give basic est over the phone, I dont have time to play with shoppers and a 45.00 trip fee for nothing. I start all bids at 125.00 in my mind to cover the to and from trip. If you have enouph experence ,you know about how long your going to be there if you ask the right questions .I charge by the half hour after that with is 125.00 + 62.50 and they get up to 30 mins work. The only time I dont use this plan is when dealing with underground leaks ,trouble shooting hot water heaters and sewars/clogs.The point is when I'm done with the phone est ,I know I'm making 185.00 per job
                    Last edited by abdaddyjay; 10-19-2010, 10:14 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                      Originally posted by TOPDAWG View Post
                      Boy let me tell you, I've been in this trade since you've been about 4 and your trying to tell me to stick to hanging pipes. Do you as a service plumber have a clue on how to plumb anything? or are you a replacement plumber? If you can take it out you can put it back in? you should thank us Pipe Hangers for giving you something to repair as if it were not for us you would be working at McDonald's flipping burgers. You have to remember one thing, we were the bakers of that PIE.
                      I've seen lots of "pie" I didn't think looked very good. (Not that this is a reflection on you of course)
                      Last edited by geno gardner; 10-19-2010, 11:14 PM.
                      Time flies like an arrow.

                      Fruit flies like a banana.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                        Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
                        I've seen lots of "pie" I didn't think looked very good.
                        Funny...I haven't seen one

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                          When someone calls me and says they have no heat. I tell them its 75 bucks for the service call. If I can fix it in twenty mins or so thats what it cost. (most calls only take 20 mins) If its going to take longer I tell them what it will cost to fix. It dont matter if Im there an hour or half a day they know the price before I start.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                            I service retail stores in CT, I was recently told my rates are to high if I want the companies work.
                            I charge $55 per hour with a minimum of an hour, and a 1 hr travel or trip charge. So if I'm on site for 5 min, I charge $110 even if o drove an hour and a half to get there and have a hour and a half drive back. I charge $75 hr for emergency rate per man.
                            My hydro jetting rates up to 200 feet are $175 first and $125 after that. Includes the equipment charge and operator.
                            I recently had a call on Sunday, I charged $650 for the hydro jetting with two men on site for 2 hours and hydrojetted 200 feet, drove a total of 4 hours from where I was to the shop, got the equipment trailer and get to site then back home. Covered I graph. What does anyone think of my rates, and the Sunday charge? I ended up reducing the charge to $500 anyway.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                              I typically charge 125 for the first hour and 45 for every half hour thereafter. I charge in 30 min increments. Although I find it better to say 45 for every 1/2 hour thereafter rather than 90 for each additional hour (the whole marketing thing). I used to do a 35.00 trip charge instead but now RR has and advertisement that says "NO TRIP CHARGE!" even though they charge more than anyone else 175.00 p/hr. Most service calls are flat rate. Most renovations are bid with a clause stating that the price may change due to unforeseen circumstances that present themselves after demolition. Which typically happens.

                              Gotta say though there was no need to rip Topdawg like that. The economy is the way it is (thank you Federal Reserve), deal with it. I started my company in the middle of this sh*t and we are killing it and not by undercutting our competitors. What I am sick and tire of people doing is complaining about competition. I <3 capitalism and competition. My competitors make me better, they make me have to be smarter, faster, etc. My clients know we are not the cheapest but they also know that no one else tries as hard as we do to satisfy them. 90% of our business is repeat customers.
                              Last edited by mpm; 11-14-2011, 02:48 AM.
                              Ray

                              “Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.”— Francisco d'Anconia
                              Atlas Shrugged (Part 2, Chapter 2, Page 411)

                              www.mauiplumbinginc.com

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                                I will break down all 3 classifications of plumbing, described in this thread, in my own experiences.
                                #1- commercial- make hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of dollars, if you can deal with the unions, (not bashing the union either, just sayin it wasn't for me),& you have deep pockets, & (if) you get paid. (1 job doesn't pay,or a few big draws don't come through, & your bankrupt.)
                                #2- New const.- Plumb 40 houses a month, for about $500 profit on each, & hope you get paid in 6mos, if ever. (or you will get paid as soon as builder gets back off his yacht, cuz the secretary can't sign checks, ect...) Better yet, maybe you get paid after builder sells house, & uses your money, for his/her venture.(zero% interest, is much cheaper than bank).
                                #3- Service work- Make hundreds most days, a thousand maybe on a great day, but walk out the door, with payment in full, everyday. (no debt, & much higher percentage of profit, with many less sleepless nights)

                                I charge $65 per hr, with $35 service call. Biggest change I have seen with service work, over the last decade or two, is customers buy their own fixtures most of the time, so we can't add costs onto fixtures, that we need to, to keep our companies profitable. So the hourly rates, can't be hidden any longer. I still make a descent markup on supplies, & water heaters, but toilets, sinks, faucets, & similar items, are harder to make a worthwhile profit on, cuz of internet, & box stores. Its also harder to keep much of that kind of stuff on hand, cuz there are so many to choose from. Its almost like trying to pick out ceramic tile for someone. JMO.

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