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Unread 07-07-2019, 04:50 PM   #21
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Do you charge something for a basic service call- to look into an issue? What does your service call cover?

I'm constantly harassing my boss to bill a fixed service call since he spends so much gas and time showing up to poke around and feels awkward charging when we technically "did nothing".

I still get paid for the time, but it seems ridiculous how much troubleshooting, explaining, and driving goes in for no cost. Most of these are also things he will exclaim "oh, god. I dont want to deal with this person/house right now." Maybe he wouldn't get so many calls to stop by and change lightbulbs/flip breakers if he charged something for it and stated that up front.

Most of this bugs me because I'm the same way when dealing with billing, money, and business. That's why I work for someone else! I want him to succeed and get compensated for all of the time and expertise he put into this.



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OP, I haven’t read all the replies in the thread, but my opinion is this- don’t worry about how your boss is charging and stop trying to influence things. You are only responsible for making sure your job gets done, and that you are personally compensated for your time. If your boss is pissing away price that’s his business. I would be pissed if one of my employees tried to meddle in the business affairs that are beyond the scope of their responsibilities. My opinion only. Essentially sit down and shut up or move on if you think business is bad or unsatisfying.


To answer your question we charge time from the shop or previous job to the next job, included all supply house trips and material acquisition. Including office work ordering materials- it is billed if the job is T&M or accounted for in quoted price work. Unlike your boss, I don’t leave money on the table.

I’ll charge a old person and a veteran the full service charge for resetting a breaker or GFCI as well. Not ashamed. I’m not the AARP. I’m not Medicare. I took time out of my busy schedule to service a problem and if I leave a customer’s house having fixed a problem no matter how easy, it’s charged. I gotta pay for my sailboat and drinking habit and excessive coffee bill from Dunkin.

Estimates are free until I have to crawl in a crawl space or attic, or pull out any tools to evaluate something or type a report to send to insurance. Then it’s called a service call.
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Unread 07-07-2019, 05:19 PM   #22
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The smaller places might not do it, but I know a lot of dealers and franchise places do.

That's why I don't drive Fords anymore, after 35 faithful years. It took just one good shoeing in the nads. Bought a $35,000 car that turned worthless after five years. For the trade in value after seven years, I should've burnt it in the woods. I would have felt better.



It always cost me a few hundred to find the problem and give me a price on how much to fix it. Sometimes diagnosing it would come off the bill if I had it repaired. A few times had to have it towed there. Once I even signed a waiver to drive it home.



Transmission shop had it once for two days running it a little throughout the two days. Never found the problem because it was all computer related. Never charged me.



Yeah my '88 Ford pickup I had for 20+ years with no major problems. A few used cars that went to 20 years also. But you only gotta burn me once!!!!


Three years with GM now. So far so good.
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Unread 07-07-2019, 05:29 PM   #23
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I’ll charge a old person and a veteran the full service charge for resetting a breaker or GFCI as well. Not ashamed. I’m not the AARP. I’m not Medicare. I took time out of my busy schedule to service a problem and if I leave a customer’s house having fixed a problem no matter how easy, it’s charged. I gotta pay for my sailboat and drinking habit and excessive coffee bill from Dunkin.
I couldn't agree more. Most of the people who ask for discounts don't really need them. And many of them drive nicer cars and have bigger houses than me.

So I am not going to give away profit unless it is a promotion that will work to get me more work and higher profit in the long run.

With that said, if I find a particular situation in which I think the person is truly in need, I will help.
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Unread 07-07-2019, 07:45 PM   #24
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@dielectricunion I learned 2 valuable lessons from my former employer.
1. How to run a business
2. How not to run a business

As long as your pay checks are still coming in, it's really not your place to tell him how to run his business. Just learn from his mistakes and become a better businessman in the future yourself
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Unread 07-07-2019, 11:18 PM   #25
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I couldn't agree more. Most of the people who ask for discounts don't really need them. And many of them drive nicer cars and have bigger houses than me.

So I am not going to give away profit unless it is a promotion that will work to get me more work and higher profit in the long run.

With that said, if I find a particular situation in which I think the person is truly in need, I will help.

For the record:
I mentioned not charging good customers, seniors, for a small thing like a tripped GFCI. But I have NEVER gave anything free or a discount to anyone who asked for one!
I have found that those who don't need it ask, and the ones that I think need it never mention it.


The one I hate the most is............
"If you give me a good price/discount on this work, I have a lot more work for you down the road"


Why would I want to lose money , not only on one job, but on more down the road!!!
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Unread 07-07-2019, 11:45 PM   #26
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For the record:
I mentioned not charging good customers, seniors, for a small thing like a tripped GFCI. But I have NEVER gave anything free or a discount to anyone who asked for one!
I have found that those who don't need it ask, and the ones that I think need it never mention it.


The one I hate the most is............
"If you give me a good price/discount on this work, I have a lot more work for you down the road"


Why would I want to lose money , not only on one job, but on more down the road!!!


Haha- that has always been some logic I couldn't understand! Why would promise of a repeat on that sh!7 job motivate you to say yes?


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Unread 07-08-2019, 07:28 AM   #27
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I couldn't agree more. Most of the people who ask for discounts don't really need them. And many of them drive nicer cars and have bigger houses than me.

So I am not going to give away profit unless it is a promotion that will work to get me more work and higher profit in the long run.

With that said, if I find a particular situation in which I think the person is truly in need, I will help.
I’ve done some charity jobs along the way for people who we know are in truly bad situations that they didn’t put themselves into. Most of the charity stuff comes through the pipeline from a HVAC contractor I work very closely with, a good friend and brother. If he is doing something for free for someone, I know it’s a situation that I can stand behind. Just being poor isn’t a qualifier. It’s not a blanket give all old people discounts or give all veterans/active duty.. I’d say a good 50-70% of my residential calls are from people with a military background...Mostly because I a sandwiched between havelock, Jacksonville nc. There are lots of military families here and lots of retirees here as well.
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Last edited by LibertyRising; 07-08-2019 at 07:31 AM.
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Unread 07-08-2019, 05:51 PM   #28
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The military up here is not as pervasive as it is down south... your air force reserve base in Niagara Falls NY has more aircraft then our whole air force!

If I run into 6 or so Military people in a year that would be a lot (in my neck of the woods anyway).

Cheers
John
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Unread 07-09-2019, 04:48 PM   #29
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Military pay has been improving. When officers buy houses in New Bern as retirement investments they’re not doing too bad.

Not sure about the New York comment. Ever heard of a naval base on Saratoga Springs? Just because we have the largest Army and Marine bases, plus two Marine air bases, plus at least an Air Force base, plus more I don’t remember and countless Coast and National Guard stuff, does not make NC up to our ears in military personnel. Maybe just a little over the average.




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Unread 07-09-2019, 06:49 PM   #30
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When I did residential jobbing, it was always the people that didn’t have much that wouldn’t let you leave without taking a tip. It could just be five bucks for coffe and a roll.

The rich, you could kiss their ass, and all you would get is “how much longer, I have somewhere I have to be”. I got a bad guy letter once from a bioch. Told my boss she was pissed. “At 12:00 your electrician stoped and ate lunch in my driveway until 12:30”. I don’t mind working through lunch, but this was going to be a few more hours. I was done by the time she needed to leave. My boss had me going. He was really pissed at me when he said come up stairs, I want to read you a letter. After he read it, he ripped it up. He said we don’t need customers like her.

I’ll save the time I was arrested in a company van for driving with an expired drivers license for another time. Small town cops just need some excitement.
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