I'm hoping I am not the only one doing this? We do commercial and industrial service work. Normally we get a service call and charge 1 hour travel and labor as required. (min 1 hour) Here is the question; When we get an emergency service call, where we have someone pick up their tools, apologize to that customer advising they have to respond to an emergency. Respond to the emergency service call: For this service we charge overtime (x1.5) and travel at portal to portal. We charge OT regardless of time of day. Are we the ONLY EC doing this? Does this sound inappropriate? How do you bill emergency service calls??
In my situation, it depends solely on who the customer is, that needs emergency service.
If it is one of my "better" customers, than point to point billing is applicable, at normal rates, during normal business hours. After hours is point to point at 1.5, for normal customers.
Now if it is someone, who I have never done work for, that needs emergency service, two thoughts have to come to mind. One is, I would not stop work for my better customers to go somewhere else, unless the work I was doing wasn't critical. That is why they are my customers, I am there for them. Two, who is this new customer, and what really is their emergency. If it warrants me to pack up and leave a job, then yes, 1.5 point to point would be warranted. During normal business hours, of course.
If it is a new customer, you have to think about trying to retain them, and a guy in business who needs emergency service, is probably loosing more in man hours, than you are charging anyway, so at 2X your rate, point to point, you are still pulling him out of a jam.
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156530 05/13/0507:46 AM05/13/0507:46 AM
Thanks DNKL - Here is the scenario more often than not; Elec on a job - gets pulled to go to an emergency service - the original job must still be completed as promised - now that he has spent the last 2 hours of his day on the emergency there is no 'regular' time left to complete the original job. Now that elec is on OT but we certainly cannot charge that customer OT as they did not create the need for OT hours. So, it means the customer with the emerg must pay the OT. Does that make any sense?
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156531 05/13/0503:39 PM05/13/0503:39 PM
That is why you bill emergency calls higher, because if the electrician stayed there and finished the job, he doesn't have wasted fuel, wasted time loading and unloading a truck, and time wasted time remembering where he left off.
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156532 05/13/0505:39 PM05/13/0505:39 PM
most commercial and industrial accounts, are paying min 2 to 4 hours for a service call, we just discussed this yesterday with one of our old industrial accounts, he said most of his vendors charge 4 hours min for a service call. What was intresting is his comment, when i asked why pay 4 hours, he looked at me and said, what kind of electrician am i going to get, that charges one hour for an industrial call.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 05-13-2005).]
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156533 05/14/0505:53 AM05/14/0505:53 AM
We received a service call from a retail store about an hour drive from the shop. The call was for 1 fixture not working. We responded, replace 1 ballast and charged an hour travel and 1 hour labor. The response from the customer was; "It took you a whole hour to replace 1 ballast." The other response we have heard; We complete a job and the customer asks; How come that took so long to do? I answer; Why, how long does it generally take you to do that? Anyone have any better answers to that question?
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156534 05/14/0510:06 AM05/14/0510:06 AM
Yes, it sounds like his charge is more then fair for a commercial account with his quick response, however industrial accounts usually take more time to service and require an electrician with a broad experiance, which usually demanding a higher rate of pay,that is why they get more for industrial calls.
Re: Charging overtime and P/P#156536 05/14/0502:01 PM05/14/0502:01 PM
LK - That's correct, our rate for industrial service is higher for the reasons you stated. We provide emergency service, which to us means the customer wants you there right now, drop whatever your doing and respond. For this response we feel the overtime rate and the portal to portal travel is warranted. Many of our emergency service calls are completed in less than 1 hour. (Burning ballast, failed C/B, ETC)