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"Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

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  • "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

    Did a little "tennis elbow" plumbing Standatd toilet tank "guts" Customer winced and thought we have gone up in price ... I assured her we had not ... but

    Any body charging like "a half call " for the Quick and easy stuff ?

    I am using an S-10 and a minimum of tools for these small calls and Leaving the "Big trucks" at the Shop ....

    Dave

  • #2
    Re: "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

    nope, a service call is a service call, you have to charge for your time. also, Check out the price books for doing that repair on flat rate.
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

      i've always charged a minimum fee when it's a small/ simple call. as long as i don't have to drive too far, i fit it in and charge a 1/2 call.

      i've been know to say, catch you later.

      last week i had a customer give me an ice cream drum stick.
      she remembered she owed me one from months earlier when i didn't charge her.

      remember that i do this for a living, but at the same time i give away approx. 10% of my time to people who deserve it. goodwill will get you more referrals than any money spent on advertising.

      sure i get checks for over a $100. daily, but i also get checks for well under a hundred dollars and it's not unusual to make weekly deposits of $20.- $50. dollars.

      is it possible that because i do this, my phone rings 7 days a week without advertising

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
        ................................
        is it possible that because i do this, my phone rings 7 days a week without advertising
        I'll take honest and fair over greedy and self-centered any day of the week. I'll also bet that your repeat business is very close to 100%.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

          Something small, under 10 minutes, on my way somewhere, I've discounted.

          I've also made hundreds in less than 1 hour. Not thousands yet....

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "Regular Customer" feeling Pinched

            I've got a few customers that I've caught on the nod for "next time" that haven't called me in months/years.

            I'd say, I'm the fool. Close by jobs that I should of charged for my time.

            And when the time does come to collect, "I don't remember that" <<<< you know that's coming. Might as well increase your rates to cover the time.


            I just got a customer that committed to a main drain call tomorrow just by how informative I was over the phone.


            BAM!

            Drain call and RootX application. I'm ready to be the ROOT DESTROYER tomorrow at 11 am.
            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

              i don't want my phone to ring 7 days a week from people that "deserve it". i do this for the money. there are somethings i will do for free , but work ain't one them. i get very few bottom feeders anymore. i tell them what a service call is up front. one price for everyone. except for some women that i'm fond of. there no plumbers here that are up for free work. to bad i would send them there. now i just send them to the other plumber. breid............
              Last edited by breid1903; 11-09-2009, 08:00 PM. Reason: poor spelling habit among other things

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                Originally posted by breid1903 View Post
                i don't want my phone to ring 7 days a week from people that "deserve it". i do this for the money. there are somethings i will do for free , but work ain't one them. i get very few bottom feeders anymore. i tell them what a service call is up front. one price for everyone. except for some women that i'm found of. there no plumbers here that are up for free work. to bad i would send them there. now i just send them to the other plumber. breid............
                My last 3 bad experiences were when a service charge wasn't quoted beforehand....got to fix that stat. $69.50 from now on.

                My prices aren't that high; they are either competitive or lower. But they aren't cheap and they do insure quality work.
                (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                  Originally posted by plumbings83
                  in my case, i think when you're just starting in this business, it's good to establish credibility first before demanding money... how can your client willingly pay hundreds of dollars and yet you still don't have the skill to back it up right? is no exception... fast money comes and goes and it's good while it lasts but then we have to consider how long are we gonna be in this business..
                  Sure...thats how I started. Free work, then the money will come.
                  Last edited by ToUtahNow; 11-11-2009, 04:33 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                    Originally posted by plumbings83
                    how can your client willingly pay hundreds of dollars and yet you still don't have the skill to back it up right?
                    I would hope some one would be a skilled and knowledgeable person with experience and trained, before starting there own business,

                    Most areas require a given time (hours) to earn a license, and to meet the states requirements to be a plumber or contractor who can pull permits to do the job with in the laws and rules of the state one is in.
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                    attributed to Samuel Johnson
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                      I looked over the website and there was no mention of a plumbing license. Here in Ca. you are required to have your Lic# on all printed material. Posting a link to your website on every post is not necessary, you won't be getting any work on this forum. If you want to talk plumbing, then this is the place to do it.
                      The Other Rick

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                        Life is short.
                        Before you know it you are a very old plumber , you and most of your customers will not remember all of the discounts that were given so beware of Father Time.Time and tide waits for no one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                          My favourite are customers who say when you are in the area just stop by. Where I live, unless you live 5 min from my house or shop I will not be in your area, it always takes longer than "just a quick stop". The time it takes to travel to the job, look at it, bring your equipment in, clean up, and do the paper work, it is worth the service call. Even if it is a very simple and quick call, we have to remember the time getting there, doing the job and going to the next job. If you have a few of these a week, you will find you are losing billable time at the end of the week. Saying that, I have on many occasions, too many in fact, charged way less than a service call for a quick call. I all to often, think after the fact, why did I do that. We can use our judgement on our charge out rates for quick calls, but keep in the back of your mind the actual costs for running the business and make sure they are covered for your time. I know my truck doesn't run on love, it takes gas which costs money.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                            I believe the real question here is, What is fair?

                            To me, our labor rate is upfront. If you would like us to do the work, this is what we charge.

                            To a homeowner that sees a 10 minute fix, fair is doing it for free. No knowing that it took years to learn how to diagnose and perform that task in ten minutes instead of two hours.

                            I have also done 10 minutes fixes, charged the standard labor rate and received a tip. This type of homeowner is experienced and knowledgeable and just appreciates a person showing up clean, with a van not dripping oil on their driveway, not tracking mud in their house and showing up on time, and fix's the problem competently.

                            When you start discounting things is when you become NOT fair. What is the standard? Is their a magical work time that discounted. Is their a magical distance that gets a discount? How do those play into each other?

                            We don't "give the special" to anyone, we just do honest work, for honest pay.

                            Maybe because I work in service I have a different attitude. I appreciate good service and recognize the effort with a generous tip. I never feel like I am owed or should receive a discount. I just really appreciate the service they provide and understand that their is more going on than what I directly see.
                            Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: &quot;Regular Customer&quot; feeling Pinched

                              I used to do a lot of "call me back when you have some real plumbing: and "I won't charge for this because it only took a few minutes." Then I began to realize that I had entire days where I had spun my wheels all day long and came home with nothing.

                              So I instituted a $40 minimum charge for any job, no matter how small. (I was $75/hr at the time.) That seemed to help the bottom line considerably.

                              Now that I'm flat rate, I have a $38 fee to show up. That's my cost for getting to the door. Then I have a minimum tech service fee and a tech service fee - the first for minor fixes that don't require tools, such as adjusting a toilet, and the second for bringing in the tool box and taking things apart.

                              One thing about flat rate dividing the show up part of the job from the work part of the job - it shows you that it costs you to get there as well as to perform work. If you want to estimate jobs for free, that's fine, but you'd better make it up somewhere else. You're going to spend a lot of the day behind the windshield.

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