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  • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&M

    Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
    ADD> And again.....my toilet leaks on the floor when its flushed and its not coming from the tank...flat-rate me on the phone.
    No need to play the "gotcha" game...

    Up North "common sense" is used...contractors will ball park a price for work that's unseen. Business 101

    Boxing myself into a corner without knowing what's causing the issue would be plain stupid.

    Comment


    • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&M

      Originally posted by Big Jim View Post
      That so-called "free" diagnosis
      is costing you. And it is the nature of business that costs must be
      absorbed by the consumer. Otherwise you will lose money and ultimate
      fail in business.
      My father started this business 40 years ago, and never charged a "diagnosis" fee. That term or sales pitch wasn't around 40 years ago in the Plumbing trade.

      Nothing wrong with doing a diagnosis fee, but we find that term irritates people.

      For example.." Yea I called ABC Plumbing out to give me and estimate, and his price was so high I politely declined, so he told me about his diagnosis fee, and I had to pay it just to throw him out of the house". <---- I hear that story over and over and over again.

      By the time we get the phone call, they ask up front if there is a charge to give them a price on a job.

      What works for some...doesn't work for others.

      Comment


      • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

        I've never charged a diagnostic fee and I never will. My service area is smaller than most and I don't mind at all giving free estimates because I get most all of the jobs I quote anyway. It's all about getting in the door, if you're good you don't need to charge a diagnostic fee.
        If you're losing jobs because you can't sell or articulate properly, the problem isn't the diagnostic fee or lack of one.

        Comment


        • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

          Originally posted by ironranger View Post
          I've never charged a diagnostic fee and I never will. My service area is smaller than most and I don't mind at all giving free estimates because I get most all of the jobs I quote anyway. It's all about getting in the door, if you're good you don't need to charge a diagnostic fee.
          If you're losing jobs because you can't sell or articulate properly, the problem isn't the diagnostic fee or lack of one.
          The way I look at it is...

          With the internet being such a powerful tool, and "reviews" galore on every business available at the finger tips, it's not worth it for me to take those risks over an $85.00 (or whatever it is) diagnostic fee. All it takes is 1 customer who has a bad taste in their mouth, to slander me on the internet because of that fee. If 20 people in my area didn't call me because of that bad review, that potential 20 could of blossomed into something more.

          I'd rather hold onto a customer then being one and done with them, as our company can easily absorb diagnostic fees.

          But I totally understand and grasp the whole concept when it pertains to the elements of business. IMO...some of those practices just are not practical for our company.

          Comment


          • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

            Originally posted by Flux View Post
            No need to play the "gotcha" game...

            Up North "common sense" is used...contractors will ball park a price for work that's unseen. Business 101

            Boxing myself into a corner without knowing what's causing the issue would be plain stupid.
            But thats the game that random customers play wether its intentional or not....the gotcha game.

            Now since you have "common sense" up north use some of it and throw me a price to repair my toilet that leaks on the floor when its flushed but not from the tank.........Whats so tricky about answering,I thought you did this for a living.....I get calls like that multiple times a day and I provide an answer.....whats yours?

            Comment


            • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

              Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
              But thats the game that random customers play wether its intentional or not....the gotcha game.

              Now since you have "common sense" up north use some of it and throw me a price to repair my toilet that leaks on the floor when its flushed but not from the tank.........Whats so tricky about answering,I thought you did this for a living.....I get calls like that multiple times a day and I provide an answer.....whats yours?
              Master - for you wanting a price means you want to nail me on something. I've seen too many of your posts to know how you roll.

              I'll answer your question like this...since we live up North and the cost is higher..I would be more expensive than the price you have in your head.

              That's my answer.

              Comment


              • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                Originally posted by Flux View Post
                Master - for you wanting a price means you want to nail me on something. I've seen too many of your posts to know how you roll.

                I'll answer your question like this...since we live up North and the cost is higher..I would be more expensive than the price you have in your head.

                That's my answer.
                Your in business and work for the general public and your scared to answer a simple question because you think I'm trying to nail ya.....well I am just like some customers do.. Ok by me but this is pretend....In the big bad world its not pretend and thats when it matters. Good day!

                See I will give an answer and there is no way I can lose.....its by the hour.

                Comment


                • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                  Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                  But thats the game that random customers play wether its intentional or not....the gotcha game.

                  Now since you have "common sense" up north use some of it and throw me a price to repair my toilet that leaks on the floor when its flushed but not from the tank.........Whats so tricky about answering,I thought you did this for a living.....I get calls like that multiple times a day and I provide an answer.....whats yours?
                  I will generally give them a range of causes and associated costs. If it ends up to have a cracked flange and they don't want to pay to repair it, I charge to reset the WC and write on the invoice it will continue to leak but the owner does not want to repair it.

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

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

                  Comment


                  • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    I will generally give them a range of causes and associated costs. If it ends up to have a cracked flange and they don't want to pay to repair it, I charge to reset the WC and write on the invoice it will continue to leak but the owner does not want to repair it.

                    Mark
                    Thats typically how I work it but I always throw my hourly rate for service into the mix with a good faith estimate over the phone of typical costs but ultimately its the hourly charge + the material that will dictate the final bill.

                    I was going to burn him when he jumped to the conclusion its a typical floor setting toilet......I had a wall hanging american standard waiting on him......and NO I will not pay more...you gave me a price on the phone

                    Charging by the hour is the easiest way for me to do business and never lose and to weed out looking at jobs for people without any money or with no intention of using me and just checking to see if the guy they will use has given them a fair price...or one close to mine.

                    Comment


                    • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                      Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                      What happens when I throw 20lbs of fertilizer on my lawn and then water it about a 1/2" a day for the week? Changes the game doesn't it but not my price. I can double the growth of my grass like that and you hafta cut it almost twice a week.
                      well most lawn care people i know have a set amount of times they will cut the lawn in a contract time and if they have to do it more then they charge you more so what is your point if you want to put that much fertilizer and water you lawn that much they you should pay for the extra cutting
                      Charlie

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                      • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                        Originally posted by HVAC HAWK View Post
                        well most lawn care people i know have a set amount of times they will cut the lawn in a contract time and if they have to do it more then they charge you more so what is your point if you want to put that much fertilizer and water you lawn that much they you should pay for the extra cutting
                        My point is it will not be as easy to cut it once a week but it will still only be cut once a week. Price does not change or I change lawn guys.......simple as that.

                        Comment


                        • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                          Another thing I have found where initial contact is made and the people don't like the idea of hourly are probably not going to want to do any work , don't trust anyone, will just complain , may not pay etc. And back when I started this thread I thought it was because pricing was hourly I found the same to be true with a service call fee with flat rate and no longer think the way you price really maters . Now there is flat rate and then there is "book" flat rate different animals all together ! Some guys flat rate but they are still doing T&M just treating every job as an estimate however you are taking the risk . Oppose to T&M customer takes all the risk and why not it is their old plumbing you are work on right But then there is "Book" flat rate and with this I found stuff adds up very quick were if you add up the time figured you are billing for more time than really on the job if it is a cookie cutter flat rate book. This is where the initial job looks the same but then add on more work and you are leaving most T&M and plain flat rate guys in the dust on price.

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                          • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                            I guess I have never understood this whole argument. Every single business oriented seminar I have been to in the past 20 years, both plumbing and HVAC has said that flat rate is the only consistantly profitable way to run a service company. Notice that Sears and other appliance service outlets are all flat rate and have been for years. Every single consumer study ever done has come to the conclusion that customers overwelmingly prefer flat rate pricing. Furthermore if you insist on getting a credit card number before you do any work and refuse to do work for anyone that does not have a credit card you will be miles ahead in the recievables department. We don't even take cash customers because often times the cash customer won't have quite enough cash on hand to pay the bill. We have a simple policy. No credit, no service. Besides which, if you have employees you are constantly fielding phone calls questioning the amount of time he was actully on the job. In short, T&M opens a can of worms every time.
                            sigpic

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                            • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                              Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                              I guess I have never understood this whole argument. Every single business oriented seminar I have been to in the past 20 years, both plumbing and HVAC has said that flat rate is the only consistantly profitable way to run a service company. Notice that Sears and other appliance service outlets are all flat rate and have been for years. Every single consumer study ever done has come to the conclusion that customers overwelmingly prefer flat rate pricing. Furthermore if you insist on getting a credit card number before you do any work and refuse to do work for anyone that does not have a credit card you will be miles ahead in the recievables department. We don't even take cash customers because often times the cash customer won't have quite enough cash on hand to pay the bill. We have a simple policy. No credit, no service. Besides which, if you have employees you are constantly fielding phone calls questioning the amount of time he was actully on the job. In short, T&M opens a can of worms every time.
                              Isn't it amazing that I'm time and material and I dont have any of the problems you speak of...including wanting to be like Sears and I collect 90% of my residential customers cash or check at the end of the service call......with the other 10% mailing a check because their at work and left me a key...some leave a key and a blank check.

                              I find that customers above all want SERVICE and they like it when its the OWNER of the company doing the work....its all about trust and never compromising that trust with the customer.......they really dont care how they hafta pay or how much if its within reason. I dont have the problems these companies that throw a hack in a uniform and paint a van up real pretty do.

                              I have serveral commercial accounts that pay me by the week.....why do they go through the trouble? Because they like me...simple as that. They say I've given them better service than companies with 50x the amount of employees and since they write checks every week there is no reason why they cant pay me every week for the work thats completed. I fax over the invoice and a check shows up somtimes the next day in the mail. Speaking of checks I have a stack about an 1" high for the past two weeks

                              Comment


                              • Re: Starting to have doubts about T&amp;M

                                Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                                I guess I have never understood this whole argument. Every single business oriented seminar I have been to in the past 20 years, both plumbing and HVAC has said that flat rate is the only consistantly profitable way to run a service company. Notice that Sears and other appliance service outlets are all flat rate and have been for years. Every single consumer study ever done has come to the conclusion that customers overwelmingly prefer flat rate pricing. Furthermore if you insist on getting a credit card number before you do any work and refuse to do work for anyone that does not have a credit card you will be miles ahead in the recievables department. We don't even take cash customers because often times the cash customer won't have quite enough cash on hand to pay the bill. We have a simple policy. No credit, no service. Besides which, if you have employees you are constantly fielding phone calls questioning the amount of time he was actully on the job. In short, T&M opens a can of worms every time.
                                In short, T&M works very very very very well for smaller companies that have clientele that can afford their services and is based on word of mouth referral. Do work for good people and you will get paid. If you are running a service company with 10+ techs in the field + office support staff, then yes, flat rate is your best bet.

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