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Service call rates for return trip. #166266
07/16/07 10:45 PM
07/16/07 10:45 PM
B
BigB  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 734
Tucson, AZ USA
Just curious how some handle this. Example: A residential service call, the pool motor keeps blowing fuses. You get there and discover the motor needs to go into the shop. So now you have to return the next day to re install it. Do you charge for two service calls? One and a half? Service call for the initial visit and hourly for the second? All in all it is about 1/2 hr each visit and 1/2 hr driving each visit.

This could be for any call that requires a return trip, just trying to establish a policy.

Thanks in advance

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: BigB] #166267
07/16/07 10:50 PM
07/16/07 10:50 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
You charge one price for the diagnosis / initial call ... then apply it in full to the price of a completed repair. One job, one price.

Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: renosteinke] #166269
07/16/07 11:35 PM
07/16/07 11:35 PM
E
EV607797  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
Fredericksburg, VA, USA
We charge an initial service call rate that covers travel and incidentals. This covers the first hour on-site. We charge per quarter-hour for additional time spent there.

If we are required to return for any reason that was associated with the first visit, we just continue it as if we never left. We just charge quarter-hour increments for the return visit.

I KNOW that we are losing money by doing things this way since the bulk of the cost is getting to the customer's site. We just look at it as an incentive to get it done right the first time. When all else fails, the customer appreciates the savings while still appreciating the fact that we need to be paid something for our time. We hope that when they really need something done where we can charge full rates, they will call again. So far, it seems to be working.

Fine print on the invoice explaining that repair attempts are a good-faith effort to save the customer from expensive replacements seems to give us some firm footing.


---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: EV607797] #166297
07/17/07 12:08 PM
07/17/07 12:08 PM
M
macmikeman  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
Honolulu, Hawaii
I'm with Reno on this .

Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: EV607797] #166305
07/17/07 04:16 PM
07/17/07 04:16 PM
L
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Originally Posted by EV607797
We charge an initial service call rate that covers travel and incidentals. This covers the first hour on-site. We charge per quarter-hour for additional time spent there.

If we are required to return for any reason that was associated with the first visit, we just continue it as if we never left. We just charge quarter-hour increments for the return visit.

I KNOW that we are losing money by doing things this way since the bulk of the cost is getting to the customer's site. We just look at it as an incentive to get it done right the first time. When all else fails, the customer appreciates the savings while still appreciating the fact that we need to be paid something for our time. We hope that when they really need something done where we can charge full rates, they will call again. So far, it seems to be working.

Fine print on the invoice explaining that repair attempts are a good-faith effort to save the customer from expensive replacements seems to give us some firm footing.


Quote: "We charge per quarter-hour for additional time spent there."

That method of charging is ok if your a service provider for someone that is providing you with recurring revenue, such as a phone company or utility, that earns their income, on the basic services, and then provides service calls at the reduced rate to retain customer accounts, something you can't afford to do in the electrical service market.

Quote: "I KNOW that we are losing money by doing things this way since the bulk of the cost is getting to the customer's site."

If I know there is a loss, I make sure the same procedure is not repeated.

Quote: "We hope that when they really need something done where we can charge full rates, they will call again."

(Hope) it's not the 5 to 8 years, for residential repeat calls.


Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: LK] #166307
07/17/07 04:29 PM
07/17/07 04:29 PM
L
LK  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Someone calls on a pool motor, one way that works well is charge them a service call anywhere from $90 to $159 depending on your cost of operating, then when you arrive do your troubleshoot, if the pump itself has a problem, you can offer some options, new replacement pump is uaually best option if the existing pump has some years on it, or take it to a repair shop where it may cost more for the repair then a new pump, either way, you will most likely be making a return trip, and are intitled to charge for your travel and repair time, so an easy way would be to give them a flat rate for your return visit, washer repair man charged us $90 for 10 minute troubleshoot, then made up repair estimate, $270, so had we decided to have it repaired we would have paid $270 on his next call, whatever it costs to do the repair, you need to get paid for your work, unless your running a charity operation.

Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: BigB] #166404
07/19/07 10:35 PM
07/19/07 10:35 PM
J
joncon  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 20
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted by BigB
Just curious how some handle this. Example: A residential service call, the pool motor keeps blowing fuses. You get there and discover the motor needs to go into the shop.

Thanks in advance


I USUALLY tell them that the motor needs to be replaced and that they should call a pool guy. I write up an invoice for a service call and I'm on my way.

Once in a while I will go the extra step and replace the motor but it ends up taking a few hours just to take it in or find a whole new unit. Then what happens if I break a pipe or valve trying to install the new one.

If it is out of my scope (the electrical system that operates the motor) I generally have them call someone who does that for a living.

Re: Service call rates for return trip. [Re: joncon] #166479
07/22/07 12:04 AM
07/22/07 12:04 AM
T
teester  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 34
SC
We do the initial service call and include it with the total bill and have been for years. However if we leave the job to take the motor to the shop, pick it back up and reinstall it we charge for ALL the time incurred. You cannot use your truck and pay your guys to run errands for free! We've never had a complaint.

Ie just got a check from a guy who had two Casablanca fans get hit by lightning. We suggested lightning arrestors and installed the Delta LA302 and CA302 for $175. We had to make about 4 trips total taking the fans to the repair shop and picking them up twice.

The total bill was around $1400 for parts and labor. However two men were required to handle the 16' ladder due to the high ceiling.

Two ceiling fans in a home, diagnosed, repaired and reinstalled $1400.


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