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  • #16
    Re: Do You Charge for Research?

    That is a good question SlimTim. Like you, I also spend too much time tracking down stuff. I have always felt it was my job, I just kinda feel unproductive when doing it.

    I do not charge for it but on the other hand I don't spend days looking either.
    Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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    • #17
      Re: Do You Charge for Research?

      I come from the land of NOTHING normal. We charge! The last cartridge I ordered from a company caller "Vola" cost us close to $200 from Ferguson(who wanted nothing to do with finding the right part). I did the home work. I found the part numbers and someone else made a boatload on the order.
      Mike

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      • #18
        Re: Do You Charge for Research?

        i for one would not want to pay some one for doing Research because whats to say it took one person 5hr to do it but some one that was better in there field only took 1hr

        if you work in my house i can see how much work you got done in the time you were there but if you tell me it took you time in your office to look up the things you needed for my house and want to charge me for that time i would have a problem with that ,unless i knew you were looking for something odd

        just my thoughts
        Charlie

        My seek the peek fundraiser page
        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

        new work pictures 12/09
        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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        • #19
          Re: Do You Charge for Research?

          No, I don't charge for learning stuff I don't know.
          Neither do I mark my parts up.
          Or charge extra cause I have a nifty tool no other plumber in town has.

          I feel like all that is part of being a plumber and we charge enough as it is.
          I can not bill my customers for my ignorance. Nor will I bill them because I indulged and got the best pipe bursting system on the market.

          Me and my helper got into a discussion about this. Well, it was along the lines of capitalism and communism and all that.

          Long story short, the BETTER plumber has no need to charge more for every little thing. He stays in business because he is GOOD and does everything he can to stay ahead of the competition. Not charging his customer cause he got new letters on his van.

          Do the research for free, or don't, it's part of the job.

          Edited this in after reading Bob's post.
          He makes a good point. All the personal research you do on the forums for whatever reasons, you do for free. I could post a question on here, and you guys are such good people that you would dispense knowledge, or research it for free. I know this, I see it all the time.

          Then I see these posts of "We charge for everything" and I kinda scratch my head..
          Last edited by spoonleg; 11-21-2010, 10:55 AM.

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          • #20
            Re: Do You Charge for Research?

            Continuing education should apply to all fields. We should all consider setting aside time for education (or skill/knowledge updates) whether it be a week long course or a few day courses throughout the year or even time reading up on the new procedures/parts/systems in your given field. This should be part of your business model and thereby part of your rate.
            As professionals we should be able to identify that the parts needed for the repair are obscure/rare at the time of inspection and if the customer does not wish to update to a more current part then you should outline your extra charges at that time, if you find out after the quote for repair is given then it is on your dime but you should also be covered by your business model

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            • #21
              Re: Do You Charge for Research?

              My current billing model is the same as an Attorney so I do charge for research. However, when I was doing regular plumbing I did not charge extra to learn what I did not already know. I always was glad for the opportunity to learn more.

              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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              • #22
                Re: Do You Charge for Research?

                mark i would pay you do do research because you are looking up things like an Attorney .because you cant know all the laws
                Charlie

                My seek the peek fundraiser page
                http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                new work pictures 12/09
                http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Do You Charge for Research?

                  Originally posted by HVAC HAWK View Post
                  i for one would not want to pay some one for doing Research because whats to say it took one person 5hr to do it but some one that was better in there field only took 1hr

                  if you work in my house i can see how much work you got done in the time you were there but if you tell me it took you time in your office to look up the things you needed for my house and want to charge me for that time i would have a problem with that ,unless i knew you were looking for something odd

                  just my thoughts

                  Well, that's the point, isn't it? Looking for something odd. If you have a $1500.00 faucet that needs a cartridge from France and you don't have the TIME or KNOWLEDGE of where to start looking and I do, then wouldn't that qualify for maybe, I don't know, something like, being paid for what I know and accomplish?

                  Work is work. Play is play. I enjoy this forum and if I toss up a question about a faucet I sure as hell won't charge for that. But If I spend a couple of hours on the phone and internet tracking down and acquiring parts and schematics then that is WORK.

                  Which reminds me. I had a customer call last week about how to program her sprinkler controller. I was on vacation and I didn't receive her call till the next day. Of course, this is something I frequently do over the phone, gratis.
                  When she couldn't reach me she called Rainbird (manufacturer of her controller). She received a recorded message which said to please have her credit card ready because customer service regarding programming over the phone would cost $15.00.
                  "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                  • #24
                    Re: Do You Charge for Research?

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    My current billing model is the same as an Attorney so I do charge for research. However, when I was doing regular plumbing I did not charge extra to learn what I did not already know. I always was glad for the opportunity to learn more.

                    Mark
                    Why the change? Aren't you still learning something you don't already know? Are you not still glad to have the opportunity to learn more?

                    But, I agree with you. And I guess I wasn't clear enough in my original post. If I'm researching something, for instance, the best way to connect a storage tank to a tankless water heater, even if it's something a customer inquired about, I won't charge for that. It increases my "how to" knowledge.
                    If the customer's eclectic brand tankless water heater breaks down, and I have to spend mucho business time tracking down and acquiring the part, then I do charge for that.
                    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                    • #25
                      Re: Do You Charge for Research?

                      Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                      Why the change? Aren't you still learning something you don't already know? Are you not still glad to have the opportunity to learn more?

                      But, I agree with you. And I guess I wasn't clear enough in my original post. If I'm researching something, for instance, the best way to connect a storage tank to a tankless water heater, even if it's something a customer inquired about, I won't charge for that. It increases my "how to" knowledge.
                      If the customer's eclectic brand tankless water heater breaks down, and I have to spend mucho business time tracking down and acquiring the part, then I do charge for that.
                      I'm doing a different type of research now and it is often on a much larger scale. I finished a project in 09 which required over 750-hours of research and documentation across a 4-year period.

                      Hunting for oddball parts should be on the customer as long as they know up front. Then they can decide if a replacement might make more sense than a repair. We did a restoration once where we had to have a machinist make new stems. As it turns out the customer could have bought a bunch of new valves for the cost of the stems but they were still happy.

                      Mark
                      Last edited by ToUtahNow; 11-22-2010, 08:45 AM.
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                      Comment

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