Do you guys charge more for troubleshooting or service call. I had a service call where lights and micro wasnt working. Two hours to troubleshoot and fix a loose neutral. If I charged my normal hourly rate, it would not have been worth my time (with the drive etc.)
Our company charges our flat hourly rate 75/hour plus materials etc. We will charge a minimum of 1 hour typically (you don't want to make a person feel stupid by turning on a breaker). I have found that if you do that you should tighten "connections" or something or else they will not feel any value so try and fix something or you will never hear from them again.
It does not matter if you win or lose but how you lay the blame :-)
Re: Service calls#155794 03/27/0510:52 PM03/27/0510:52 PM
The company I work for does lots of service work and we approach it like this. A customer who wants an estimate for a repair is told that we can't do that over the phone. Either we come and fix it for T&M or we refer them to someone they might prefer. When we are called for other types of service, such as removing and reinstalling items in existing locations we try to ESTIMATE our time, but these are budget estimates only, not quotes. Customers who can identify a minor problem, like a tripped CB or GFI are talked through the problem on the phone and then we send someone if they can't solve it themselves. We charge a 1 hour minimum from our door to the completion of the job INCLUDING THE PAPERWORK. Then we charge by the 1/2 hour. We are straightforward with people about these charges and while we have the occasional no-pay like everyone, the company has been in business for 45 years and most of our customers are repeats.
Re: Service calls#155795 03/28/0506:45 PM03/28/0506:45 PM
Another question about billing for service calls.My hourly rate is 140.00, i would charge 165.00 to come out for the first hour, but how do i tell them its 140.00 an hour after that without hearing a big click on the other end of the phone?Any suggestions, thanks guys in advance for takeing the time to answer a new guy in buisness question.
Re: Service calls#155796 03/28/0509:12 PM03/28/0509:12 PM
Hello speedy petey, how i figured out my hourly rate is add up everything it takes to run the buisness in a year and the ammount of hours i will probally be working that year also.I use a program from a company called markupandprofit.com.It is really good , just plug in all you items to run the company, people on t, he payroll, how much profit you want and so on, in the end it shows you what you will be making, and what you need to charge an hour to achieve that figure. I hope that made sense.By the way i was in lowes the other day and i asked the sales guy what the store gets to hang a light fixture and he said the get 185.00 to remove the old one and hang the new one the customer bought. They also get 25.00 a foot more over 7 foot.I guess the theme is you must get more for the smaller type jobs to make it worth doing. Well i hope that helped, have a good one.
Re: Service calls#155798 04/01/0510:32 PM04/01/0510:32 PM
You've got the right method for figuring out what your rate should be to have a healthy business, R-C. If you set your rate on what other businesses charge you run the chance of going out-of-business, as half of them will over the next few years (or living on a $25-35,000/year salary like they do).
Re: Service calls#155799 04/03/0505:10 PM04/03/0505:10 PM
Thanks dave, and your right everyone must know thier real cost of doing buisness,the only one you are hurting is yourself, if you are not honest about it.Dave i was going to order that flatrate system you just returned.Was it really that bad? I saw a post on here from a-line and i think it is working out well for him.I am also looking for a flatrate systm to use but i dont know which one to go with. If you have any advice on how to price things for the customer or another system let me know. Thanks again for all your replies.
Re: Service calls#155800 04/03/0510:18 PM04/03/0510:18 PM
LK has some beautiful price sheets which he has worked on for years. I use the Home Depot Worksite CD as explained in the post "Estimating Software" by Acetoday (last post 3-11-05 at the moment).
...and YES, I thought the flatrate system was that bad! I would have much preferred paying $2500 instead of creating my own in over 100 hours. Any system will need adjustment, but this needed an "extreme makeover".