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Joined: May 2005
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T
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Originally Posted by LK

The problem with that is, there are different levels of trouble shooting, that is why you can.t include the dispatch fee with the trouble shoot, we tried that years ago and always lost out, some trouble shoots like an outlet not working, can be an easy single room one outlet or the mullti room multi outlets, a big difference in the time requires to trouble shoot.


I use a similar system.

The Service Charge is to get the truck w/tech in the driveway.

The Troubleshoot Charge varies with the problem. There's a different rate for a single device, or a circuit, or a multiple circuit. I just simplify it into Level 1, 2, 3, etc.

Then there's the Repair Charge after you know the problem.

BTW if I'm troubleshooting a circuit and find the problem in the first device I usually discount to level 1. If a multiple circuit problem is the utility I discount it to a level 1 or 2. The idea is if you spend 3 hours digging in attic insulation to find multiple buried HO splices, you're covered & not going on a $50-100 service charge with troubleshoot included.

Also, if you didn't charge enough on the troubleshoot charge you can always add it to the repair charge. Working at a loss isn't a good option.

Last edited by Tiger; 09/10/08 11:35 AM. Reason: spellin'
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Originally Posted by Tiger
Originally Posted by LK

The problem with that is, there are different levels of trouble shooting, that is why you can.t include the dispatch fee with the trouble shoot, we tried that years ago and always lost out, some trouble shoots like an outlet not working, can be an easy single room one outlet or the mullti room multi outlets, a big difference in the time requires to trouble shoot.


I use a similar system.

The Service Charge is to get the truck w/tech in the driveway.

The Troubleshoot Charge varies with the problem. There's a different rate for a single device, or a circuit, or a multiple circuit. I just simplify it into Level 1, 2, 3, etc.

Then there's the Repair Charge after you know the problem.

BTW if I'm troubleshooting a circuit and find the problem in the first device I usually discount to level 1. If a multiple circuit problem is the utility I discount it to a level 1 or 2. The idea is if you spend 3 hours digging in attic insulation to find multiple buried HO splices, you're covered & not going on a $50-100 service charge with troubleshoot included.

Also, if you didn't charge enough on the troubleshoot charge you can always add it to the repair charge. Working at a loss isn't a good option.


Dave you got it, that is the way to do it in steps, good for the customer and good for you. I sure beats the dart board or T&M method.

Joined: Jul 2002
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Why is the account being presented before you leave?
Is this a standard thing, in the US?
Sure, I realise that credit can catch you out in resi jobs.
Over here in NZ, you are sent an invoice to be paid by the 20th of the next month, that has fallen flat on it's backside in some bad payers, but the majority of customers DO pay on time.
Don't get me wrong, anyone here that asks for money before leaving the place would be looked upon as pretty dodgy.

In reply to that original plumbers thread, most of the "Call-out" charge these days is Fuel! and time spent driving, being stuck behind trucks and other such vehicles.
You are never close to the place you are called out to 80% of the time.
People seem to think that our vehicles run on fresh-air and that we wait around with our vehicles running in the driveway waiting for them to call.
Umm, No.

Joined: Jan 2005
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Cat Servant
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The bill is typically presented when the work is complete, and is due when presented.

Naturally, the specific job circumstances matter. Companies that do residential service certainly present the bill promptly, and may even want the credit card before work starts.

In commercial work, it is more common to present a bill on completion, but payment usually takes a few days .... the paperwork needs time to churn.
When are things complete? While there is some differences between contractors, this decision usually isn't made until everyone is happy that everything is working properly. For example, lights installed today will not be considered 'complete' until I come by tonight, to make sure they are working properly.

Naturally, there are some who take advantage of billing arrangements, and deliberately sit on the invoice for 30, 60, even 90 days. That's why this topic has come up so often in these forums.

During construction, the customer may be presented with bills during the course of the job. For example, to cover materials ordered and work already done. Again, the contractor often simply can't afford to be 'strung along' for months after the job is completed, and is breaking his risk into smaller pieces.

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