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  • #31
    Re: DIY call

    Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
    Charles, I do up front prices over the phone, but others don't.

    When I give a price, I stipulate that it's not a guarantee...there's no way to tell what more may be involved without seeing it.
    Ironically, I know of at least one member here right now who does charge $59 to go out, he won't quote over the phone either...thats not something to expect as a rule of thumb.
    I have also given consideration to a service charge to go out.
    I don't mind a minimum or service charge. I just wanted to know what it was going to start out costing me, because $59 would have gotten him to ring the doorbell, and in this case it was clear that a plunger wasn't going to cut it.

    For what it's worth, I'd suggest reciprocating by using them in the future, that was a VERY nice thing they did.
    I would reciprocate, but there are two things stopping that. (1) I've found found another plumber that I really like. (2) If that is their policy and they don't change/bend it, I don't want to be in the situation where I pay $59 to find out cabling the drain is going to cost me $500.

    For the AC side of things I don't mind, because the $79 they charge includes the diagnostics and they aren't going to try to sell me something I don't need, and I'll definitely use them for AC again. The first time they were out, a fuse was blown so it was a straight $79 in and out; great value. The second time, the fuse kept blowing, and he tracked it down to a short in the wire from the compressor to the attic air handler. After looking up a price of $797 in his flat rate book, I told him that it was too rich for my blood. He said thats OK and even drew up a wiring diagram for me to do it myself. After a trip to the HD, and 20 minutes of snaking a new thermostat wire and I was back in business. Again, great bang for my buck.

    Edit: I would use them for any boiler related thing not covered by my service contract w/ the oil company.
    Last edited by cpw; 08-09-2008, 01:28 AM.

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    • #32
      Re: DIY call

      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
      Pro's and cons to both sides.
      I will readily agree with you about being painted into a corner with customer expectations, they ALWAYS expect the more convenient answer.
      I think the difference is that as a sole proprietor, you have the ability and control necessary to talk yourself out of situations.

      In my operation, by the time I get a hold of it, the poop has hit the fan, four people are involved, six different versions of the same story has evolved, and all I can say is, "Mam, we will not be satisfied until you are happy. What can I do to make this right?"

      If I was by myself again, I would have the same opinion. Wow, now there's a big surprise
      spodelee

      Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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      • #33
        Re: DIY call

        This is personal opinion and spodlee and andy might disagree with me. Putting the manifold on is the last thing I do when I have no other way. If I'm servicing a unit, just cleaning it and so forth, Iwon't put my gauges on, You can get a really good feel of the efficency with the delta t between return and supply. Not exact but close. By putting on your gauges for no reason, you can effect the charge. Maybe not much but what if the guy before you did the same and someone else before him? You can have a unit that needs refrigerant without having a leak.

        cpw-when he checked your charge, did he use a something besides his manifold gauge? Or did he have a digital manifold?
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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        • #34
          Re: DIY call

          Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
          I deal with soooo much of it daily.

          I guess thats why I stuck my nose in to that other thread... I'm pretty anti DIY though it is job security for me...

          I have even told folks that don't have the money that I will help plan, make the materials list, show them how to primer and glue and will inspect before they close it in just to prevent bad work... Free of charge.
          4 people in the last year have taken me up on the offer.
          I agree with you about helping people out with that are lacking funds and appreciate the fact that you are concerned and want to prevent bad work from happening
          I absolutly agree with you about DIY work being poorly done
          But in my experience I get a lot of work from people who have tried doing the job themselves and botched it up so bad that I end up getting the job anyways and usually they are more than happy to have me over as now they have bigger problems than they had before they started
          As for giving free advice to customers I do it all the time but it seems like you are taking it one step further by taking the time to make up their material list, teaching them how to do the work, and then inspecting. I help people out but doing it free of charge for them means that you are spending a considerable amount of time and energy for a customer that will more than likely expect you to do the same thing the next time they have a problem. Unless they are a close friend or family member I would suggest avoiding this practice.
          If I may suggest you should charge them something for your time even if its just a minimum fee that they can make payments on. This will prevent you from doing a lot of work and spending a lot of time doing something for nothing.
          I remember when me and my brother first started our business seems like I spent all my time doing stuff for family and friends not making a cent while having to turn away paying jobs because I had allready commited my time to doing a favor for someone when an unexpect job came up
          Once I started charging friends and family a minimum fee my time freed up quite a bit and they still called me when they had a problem but stopped wasting my time for every trivial thing that came up
          Sorry if I sound long winded I just dont want to see people take advantage of you

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          • #35
            Re: DIY call

            Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
            cpw-when he checked your charge, did he use a something besides his manifold gauge? Or did he have a digital manifold?
            He put an analog gauge that had two readings on the lines at the compressor, with blue, red and yellow hoses. I think he only used one set of the hoses (blue IIRC).

            Bryan told me there were two good methods of checking the charge: superheat or subcool. What are those methods?

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            • #36
              Re: DIY call

              Good advice Ridgidpipe The first month was family work...lol

              I will say that I do not make this offer to just anyone... I have a hard time not helping folks who try, It's the ones that don't that pi$$ ya off...

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              • #37
                Re: DIY call

                Originally posted by cpw View Post
                He put an analog gauge that had two readings on the lines at the compressor, with blue, red and yellow hoses. I think he only used one set of the hoses (blue IIRC).

                Bryan told me there were two good methods of checking the charge: superheat or subcool. What are those methods?
                That was basically half of eithure method. In addition to taking pressures, measure temperature of condenser outlet for subcool, or temperature of evaporator outlet for superheat.
                spodelee

                Until lions have their own storytellers, stories of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter

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