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service fees for small jobs? #17434
11/25/02 01:23 PM
11/25/02 01:23 PM
mj  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 186
meriidian, ms
what is the normal fee for a job that takes only 10 minutes; example; replacing a switch or receptacle .i chage $55. per hour, but if the job takes less then 30 min ,i will charge $40., plus material cost.. what about you guys ?

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Re: service fees for small jobs? #17435
11/25/02 03:30 PM
11/25/02 03:30 PM
George  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
If you charge too little, you lose money.

If you charge too much, the customer does it himself.

I would pass on the job.

If pressed, I would explain the time and cost to the owner on the phone and suggest it is better to do it themselves.

Re: service fees for small jobs? #17436
11/25/02 04:07 PM
11/25/02 04:07 PM
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
But what if the customer can't do it himself/herself?

Like...they know nothing about electricity, don't know the right end from the wrong end
of a screwdriver, are incapacitated, etc.

To us it seems routine to change a wall switch or socket...but unfortunately it seems like more and more people in this country (USA) and all over the world are becoming more technically inept instead of adept.

Re: service fees for small jobs? #17437
11/25/02 04:20 PM
11/25/02 04:20 PM
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,344
give them a biz card and tell them to call you when they've some real work.....

beats shakin' hands & kissin' babies!

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Re: service fees for small jobs? #17438
11/25/02 05:30 PM
11/25/02 05:30 PM
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
Our minimum charge just went to $85 from $75. In Atlanta it can take an hour to go 10 or 15 miles, so my cost for a 2 man truck can be $50 before they even get to the job. I know it seems high for a simple job, but I always tell people to get up several things for us to do so it makes it worth the cost.
Just today a lady called and wanted us to change 1 set of flood light bulbs. I told her $85 and she thought we should do it for free since we put the fixture up. She found a handy man to do it instead. Thank You!

Re: service fees for small jobs? #17439
11/25/02 10:09 PM
11/25/02 10:09 PM
The Watt Doctor  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 435
Mont Belvieu, TX
Sounds like a service call to reset a GFCI in the bathroom. I've talked to customers, told them to press the reset button, and then gone out, and the GFI is still tripped. Asked what did you plug in? Plugged in the faulty (usually old extension cord) equipment, had it trip, cut the cord caps off both ends of the cord, and charge full price. I should have charged them extra due to the fact that their parents didn't "beat all that stupid" out of them when they were a child.

Here's your sign,

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
Re: service fees for small jobs? #17440
11/25/02 10:10 PM
11/25/02 10:10 PM

First of all, a small job may not be profitable but if you are accomadating and reasonable it may lead to more work and referals. I always explain the minimum on the phone and suggest to them they might want to come up with a little more work to make it more cost effective for them, say some new lights or a fan. Almost everyone has a place they've always wanted a receptacle, now is the time. Some of us have slower weeks where these jobs make nice fill ins.

Re: service fees for small jobs? #17441
11/25/02 11:33 PM
11/25/02 11:33 PM
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Brian, I tend to agree...


I've found that these jobs generally create "return work" that is even smaller and less profitable. And when particularly busy is the most likely time that your "loyal customer" will call, and want the same good value as before...

A recent job ( service change ) that I only made $8 per hour on is becoming the job-that-won't-go-away. Just today, she called me to say that she's getting the on-demand water heater this week and I still haven't talked to the EE about changing the Xformer to a 25KVA. I may have actually got a little snotty with her on the phone, the EE is out for deer season, and there's nothing I can do for 9 days. She asks "should I get electric or LP then" and I say, "I can't guarantee that the EE will put in a new Xformer, and I don't want to absorb the cost of that if he won't!"

So she'll wait, and I look like the bad guy.

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