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yet another long-winded flatrate debate

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  • yet another long-winded flatrate debate

    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
    2nd call- Quoted $350 to cleared a main sewer. New customer happily agrees to the price. Cleared it in under 45 minutes with K60. Now she says price was too high for 45 minutes of work
    I find it intersting, there are so many flat rate companies on this forum now, that it isn't an issue. But less than two years ago at the ridgid forum, Mark, Rick and others would have called you a "flat-rapist" when they read your post. Personally when I read their old posts condmening flat-rate "over-charging" plumbers, I just

    Look for yourself at this old thread:
    http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...ight=flat+rape
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

  • #2
    Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

    p.s. I don't want to hijack this thread with yet another long-winded flatrate debate. I was simply making an observation about the change in attitude at this forum. Maybe a moderator could remove my last lost and start a separate thread. I just now realized how off-topic this thread could get now!
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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    • #3
      Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

      Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
      I find it intersting, there are so many flat rate companies on this forum now, that it isn't an issue. But less than two years ago at the ridgid forum, Mark, Rick and others would have called you a "flat-rapist" when they read your post. Personally when I read their old posts condmening flat-rate "over-charging" plumbers, I just

      Look for yourself at this old thread:
      http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/sho...ight=flat+rape
      ACK!...don't make me read that thread again!

      Carl, I'm still T&M

      We have flat rate prices for main sewer stoppages, camera work, and disposals. And even those are given with time limitations. All other work is done T&M or under contract. At my last company, that would have been a $100 job but they are circling the drain and about to go under

      It's all my fault really. I should have spent more time working the cable in and out. Cleaning her sewage up that's been laying on the floor for 3 days before she decided to call someone about it. If I had spent 2 hour on it she wouldn't have complained. It was a day before a holiday, I was tired and in a bad mood. She tried to renegociate our agreement after the work was done and that set me off. If she happens to call us back out, I won't go. She will probably tell her neighbors that we were a Hit-n-Run company anyways.

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      • #4
        Re: Your Work Day---Details of your Work

        I know what you are saying. Same thing when you go to the Doctor's office. He thumps your chest, takes your temperature, listens to your heart and checks your blood pressure. It's all about the massage that makes you feel like you got your money's worth. You have to make people feel good about what they are paying you. You can charge anything you want if they think you've earned it and they will pay gladly. If they don't feel that way, you couldn't do it for free and make them happy.
        Last edited by killavolt; 01-01-2009, 05:21 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

          Yep, what a shame. Folks quickly change their tune when things go in YOUR favor.

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          • #6
            Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

            As I have posted before there is good and bad in both systems depending on the user. I have however seen a lot more abuse in flat rating than I have seen in T&M. I still don't see how flat rate protects the customer but I do see how it protect the plumber.

            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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            • #7
              Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

              From what little I know and can tell by observation it doesn't matter whether it's time and materials or flat rate in any type of repair/replacement/installation.

              There's always fixed costs up front regardless of the size of the job. Most times the money is always made on multiple smaller jobs rather than bigger, time consuming jobs which have more grey area for pricing mistakes/material waste/etc.

              What matters is the salesman/installer ability to do the job while making a profit.

              There will always be whiners/cheapskates who figure nobody but them should make any money.

              Let them swim in sh!t next time.............
              I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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              • #8
                Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                You need flatrate pricing sometimes...water heaters, faucets, sumps, ejector pumps. Customers just dont like a blank check. Unless you can give estimates blindly (guess that would be a flat rate one). The way I see it.

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                • #9
                  Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                  If I were by myself I would, without a doubt, be time and material. With employees, flat rate is absolutely necessary. I am hoping in the future to compensate for the inadequacies of time and material with remote access technology. When I find the right system, I will go back to time and material.
                  spodelee

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

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                  • #10
                    Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                    Originally posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
                    You need flatrate pricing sometimes...water heaters, faucets, sumps, ejector pumps. Customers just dont like a blank check. Unless you can give estimates blindly (guess that would be a flat rate one). The way I see it.
                    I'm not sure I know any T&M shops who don't have a shop bid price for those items. The difference is when a flat rate company is charging for each individual item like it was installed in a vacuum the price becomes ridiculously inflated. Flat rate companies who know their costs are capable of giving an honest price to a client.

                    If those who are flat rate would like to participate in a little experiment they could keep track of their actual hours worked in one week versus their actual hours billed and share it with us.

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

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                      I didn't even click that link to probably know I was one of those who was hell raising about that flat rate system.


                      But something that I've come to understand is I was flat rating all along, just on "specific" things or when I hear "insurance job!" I always jack my 1st hour up to make it worthwhile for the phone calls of "why you wrote this or that" phone time.



                      I'm still hourly for the most part. I try and shoot for $90 for that first hour. With materials of any amount I'm trying not to pull out of the driveway making less than 3 figures for my time in that first hour, and even then, I feel like I'm robbing myself at that rate not charging enough.

                      I let my guard down a few times this week and lowered my price given the time and short distance from the shop. I could of milked them out to justify but I was too busy on the clock.


                      I have such a customer base that if I went flat rate on them right now, forced them to sign an invoice with lots of legal jibber jabber, I promise I'd lose 2/3rds of my clientell as they would wonder why I would be charging more than before.

                      I'm saying that because flat rate systems do charge more for tasks that were consumed on the hourly.

                      Is that a bad thing? That answer can only be found with the recipient of that charge. If they see you at the grocery, the post office, or church and won't even take a look in your direction, you know the score. Doesn't matter if they signed the docs or not.


                      People, most people want a fair wage for a fair amount of work. It's not their duty to decide that; it's ours.

                      To each their own and you won't get a fight out of me what system you use. I'm always going to have a job with the methods I'm running. I've raised my rates $20/hour in 6 years and the majority held with me.

                      I could go another $5/hour but I just need to think of other ways to remedy this earnings gap I see in my business practice.


                      Anywhere I go, I should be collecting $100 minimum for my time for that first hour. It just isn't worth it otherwise and I'd rather put more time in just to get that 3 figure number to keep operations correct.



                      There's always a $10 FRPT/FSG charge on all bills now to make sure I'm covering fuel, flux solder gas and full roll paper towels.
                      Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 01-01-2009, 08:23 PM.
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                      • #12
                        Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                        I'm not sure I know any T&M shops who don't have a shop bid price for those items. The difference is when a flat rate company is charging for each individual item like it was installed in a vacuum the price becomes ridiculously inflated. Flat rate companies who know their costs are capable of giving an honest price to a client.

                        If those who are flat rate would like to participate in a little experiment they could keep track of their actual hours worked in one week versus their actual hours billed and share it with us. What a good idea Mark but I doubt you will find any takers and if you do I do not believe a flat rater will show the true results for fear of looking ...... What is the word I'm looking for...

                        less than honest



                        Mark
                        Okie

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                        • #13
                          Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                          Originally posted by OkieBill View Post

                          What a good idea Mark but I doubt you will find any takers and if you do I do not believe a flat rater will show the true results for fear of looking ...... What is the word I'm looking for...

                          less than honest




                          Okie
                          Well I certainly hope you are wrong but it is what it is. I would imagine there are some considering a switch either way and a better understanding of the debate may help them. Short of turning their business into turmoil this could be our own forum experiment.

                          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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                          • #14
                            Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                            Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
                            Okie
                            I don't particularly care for flat rate because it must be watched at a fairly intellectual level in order to keep it honest. This actually causes excess overhead in my organization.

                            But on the other hand, how honest is it to charge 4 hours for a 2 hour job when the only reason it took 4 hours was because the technician can't concentrate that day because his wife is nagging on him, getting a divorce, partied too hard last night, etc...?

                            Like Mark said, there are advantages and disadvantages to both systems and either can easily result in over charge when not properly supervised.
                            Last edited by spodelee; 01-01-2009, 08:52 PM.
                            spodelee

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

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                            • #15
                              Re: yet another long-winded flatrate debate

                              Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post

                              If those who are flat rate would like to participate in a little experiment they could keep track of their actual hours worked in one week versus their actual hours billed and share it with us.

                              Mark

                              I'm assuming you mean that they put in quite a bit of hours in regards to the task at hand, instead of the other way around?


                              I've done this many times on drain cleaning years ago, but now I always give them a flat rate price that covers "up to the first hour" and then goes hourly at a low rate of $50-60 dollars an hour.

                              2 hours on a kitchen sink clog....$185 max. I should be nailing that drain in less than 20 minutes IMHO.
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