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  • Service Call or Trip charge?

    We are trying to to get our Service Plumbing department up and running and trying to get away from all the DEAD BEAT BUILDERS that seem to think our money is their money and I was wondering how you all feel about charging a trip charge/service call? Is it better to charge more per hour and a not charge a trip charge/service call? What is the average service call in your area? I have called around my area and it seems that $50.00 is the average service charge and $60.00 per hour or they state it $110.00 for the first hour and $60.00 an hour there after. Do you break down your time in 1/2 hour increments or 15 minutes? If you use a sewer machine do you charge for machine usage? Do you think it is worth paying someone $1500.00 or more to tell you what to charge someone for a job as the flat-raters do? If it seems like I'm trying to pick your brain for pricing it's because I am. I haven't done a lot of Service Plumbing in 10 years, mostly just for customers whose houses we have plumbed and I'm surprised from what I hear and read that the labor cost has only gone up about 10% to 20% in ten years while everything else (service charge) seems to have gone up 100%+
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    Ball bearing (lexus) history
    Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 05:56 PM.
    Mike

  • #2
    Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

    Our shop has a $60 Trip, Fuel, and Diagnostic Charge. I feel this is alil high for this area, and $45 would 'fit' alil better. Then again, the company fuel bill is over $40,000 a year.

    The going rate for a T&M Plumber is around $125 an hour here.

    I hope this lil bit of information helps ya out.
    Proud To Be Union!!

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    • #3
      Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

      we charge a 50$ service call, does it cover your time, probably not but at least it help to reduce the shopper from the customer that is serious about getting a job done, one thing we do that helps take the edge of the customer, is the 50 is added into the repair not layered on top of it.

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      • #4
        Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

        last company is was at it was 46 for the service call and 81 per hour. by the half hour

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        • #5
          Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

          $60 for the first half hour than 60 per hour after that. I build my trip charge into the first 1/2 hour. The term "Trip Charge" is a turn off for some folks so I build it in without calling it anything and it has worked great...

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          • #6
            Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

            good point we call it a diagnostic charge.

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            • #7
              Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

              I call it an appointment fee. I am a professional and I am paid to drive out to your house for an appointment. I give timely appointments (1/2 hour window) and most service plumbers around here charge too.
              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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              • #8
                Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                Before we went flat rate we we're getting a buck ten an hour. If the contractors are deadbeats they probably won't pony up no matter what you charge.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                    No service call, no minimum charge, no trip or fuel charge. I figure fuel and non-billable times (including travel time) into my overhead and prorate by the minute the minute I pull in the drive. I have a 25% gross profit margin (breakeven divided by .75) on direct labor, overhead and parts.
                    The customer feels they are paying only for what I do for them (which is true).
                    That being said, if I do a minor toilet tank rebuild (ballcock, supply and flapper) in 15 or 20 minutes and the price seems way to cheap (in regards to what I think the customer thinks is reasonable) I'll up it to what I feel they are expecting. They're happy, I'm a little ahead and life is good.
                    My breakeven cannot possible be the same as your breakeven so my rates are not important in this discussion. As long as you're figuring a decent profit figured as a percentage of the selling price then it's fair.
                    Alot of the companies around here will make anonymous calls to the other plumbing companies in order to find out their hourly rate. I think that's ludicrous.
                    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                    • #11
                      Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                      4 years ago, i started to charge $20. more for the first hour. i call it a service call. it covers my drive and lost time.

                      i still charge for a portion of the first hour if it's less than 45 minutes.

                      i bill in 15 minute increments.

                      flat rate would only fly for new customers. not my exisiting customers.

                      my customers are my advertisers. what works for me, has been good.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                        Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                        good point we call it a diagnostic charge.
                        What if there is nothing to diagnose? Like a dripping faucet.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                          Originally posted by MPMGinAL View Post
                          If you don't know how to price it you probably can't fix it. Stick to hanging pipe.
                          "If you dont know how to price it you probably cant fix it"

                          That is one of the dumbest statements I ever heard.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                            We call it a dispatch fee. It's forty nine dollars. we waive that fee if repairs are made.
                            Nothing gets fixed for $49.00 just a cursory examination. Taking something apart for examination cost $$$.

                            You know, I have notice that people will talk price on this forum, but will not talk price on other forums such as the PDL. They always say not to because of price fixing laws. I wonder why that is not a problem for RIDGID.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Service Call or Trip charge?

                              We just charged whatever the travel time one way was.

                              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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