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Trip Charge?

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  • Trip Charge?

    I don't want to get into another debate about how we all charge so let's try and keep it on topic.

    Just curious how many of you charge a "Trip Charge" for service work?

    If you do, how do you do it? Do you add the charge to your labor and materials? Or do you waive it if the job is done on the spot.

    I'll go first. We haven't collected a trip charge in the past, always gave free in-home estimates but that has to change because of increasing costs. (health care, etc.) In the past we most always got the jobs but now days we're finding more "window shoppers" and we're finding more and more that they will use our company for an in-home quote and then shop it. Or they will use us for advice and then do it themselves.

    I'm thinking of collecting a trip charge fee of $39.00 for a trip charge. In most cases we'll have about a half hour of time into it.

    So, who does what out there? How is it working for you?

  • #2
    Re: Trip Charge?

    Service work then yes a trip charge is fine as long as it is deducted on the invoice if the job is won.
    I bid larger jobs and do not charge for bids and some don't work out and some do so for me the gas etc is just part of the jobs we do get.
    Seattle Drain Service

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    • #3
      Re: Trip Charge?

      Portal to portal

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      • #4
        Re: Trip Charge?

        I don't do any thing for free

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        • #5
          Re: Trip Charge?

          Originally posted by DELCASE View Post
          I don't do any thing for free

          After going through old threads and researching this I'm finding out I definitely need to charge a trip charge to get rid of the tire kickers. I'm coming up with a $59.00 trip charge and it will be waived if the work is done at that time. Of course the actual travel time will be included in the proposal. Thanks for your answers. No more Mr. Nice guy! Like you said Delcase, I'm also not doing anything for free, starting tomorrow.

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          • #6
            Re: Trip Charge?

            If I'm coming to a customers house I'm coming to work...not give a price. If the sole intention is a bid for the work, then I pass on the job.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Trip Charge?

              Tankless heaters and tanks or other big jobs get a phone interview, I then give a price range. If they're ok with that, then I go out to check out job.

              I do have a higher first hour cost then regular hourly. T & M!

              I've gotten pretty good at weeding out flakes but they do slip by occasionally. My customers are all referal so that is a huge help.

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              • #8
                Re: Trip Charge?

                That's the nice thing about not advertising. They found me, I didn't find them. Like ben said, they call, I talk to them and schedule a time to come and do the job. Sure there's exceptions, and I do some estimates, but 95% of the estimates I write, I do.

                Rick.
                phoebe it is

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                • #9
                  Re: Trip Charge?

                  I'm from a different line of work but we would charge a flat fee for the service call and a minimum 1/2 hour of labor. If the job whose small like just loose fiting I would just give them a couple of buisnace cards and ask them to pass them out.

                  I try to put my self in the place of the customer and try to leave them happy. In hopes of getting referrals even if it cost some fuel still cheaper then advertising. We only would give out estimates over the phone. That might not work in your line of work.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Trip Charge?

                    $85.00 Service Call. If we can fix the problem in a half hour or so, we just charge the SC and materials. If it turns out to be $1000.00 or more, the SC is deducted from the final bill.

                    You can't go out and tell someone what the problem is for free, because a lot of them will attempt to fix it themselves, call a neighbor or go shopping.
                    Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Trip Charge?

                      I will give a rough estimate over the phone, if I'm pulling up in their driveway I'm getting paid to do the job.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Trip Charge?

                        Originally posted by AssTyme View Post
                        I will give a rough estimate over the phone, if I'm pulling up in their driveway I'm getting paid to do the job.

                        Well that's the way it normally works but there is always that "someone" who thinks we're too high or just wants an estimate. Had one recently that called, went to his home and all he wanted was a price and then he started talking about the other companies that he called. It looked like I got the job but needed to come back the next day with fixtures I didn't have at the time. He called last night and asked if I would give him an extra 10% off off the job, he said that the "other" company would do that. I cancelled the job and told him to use the other company.. I was pissed. I don't want customers like that and if I do get them occasionally I want at least a trip charge when I'm first there.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Trip Charge?

                          Originally posted by ironranger View Post
                          Well that's the way it normally works but there is always that "someone" who thinks we're too high or just wants an estimate. Had one recently that called, went to his home and all he wanted was a price and then he started talking about the other companies that he called. It looked like I got the job but needed to come back the next day with fixtures I didn't have at the time. He called last night and asked if I would give him an extra 10% off off the job, he said that the "other" company would do that. I cancelled the job and told him to use the other company.. I was pissed. I don't want customers like that and if I do get them occasionally I want at least a trip charge when I'm first there.


                          There's always going to be the "other guy" who works for peanuts, doesn't charge extra for after hours, holidays, etc.....

                          I don't let it bother me anymore. Do a good job for a fair price and you will stay busy.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Trip Charge?

                            I dont charge a trip fee as an extra. I charge only the one way drive time, the time onsite, and materials. If there is a return call for a repair then only the time onsite and parts. There is the usual 1.5 and 2 X overtime rates.
                            ~~

                            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

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                            • #15
                              Re: Trip Charge?

                              Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                              I dont charge a trip fee as an extra. I charge only the one way drive time, the time onsite, and materials. If there is a return call for a repair then only the time onsite and parts. There is the usual 1.5 and 2 X overtime rates.
                              I've been self employed for around 26 years and have never charged for estimates etc. It's just starting to bother me that occasionally I'm being used for in house estimates just so they can compare prices or just get free advice. What do you do on the chance that you get called out and they say "oh I can't do that right now or oh it's too much? I used to just say oh well, on to the next one. I think it would be better to (as some have said) do a little question and answer on the phone and then tell them there will be a service charge but it will be waived if we do the work on the spot. I think it would get rid of the tire kickers. Maybe I'm seeing it now because I'm in a larger city instead of small town America.

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