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Old 02-14-2015, 07:47 AM   #1
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Default Easy Money Service Call

Customer called and stated the lights in her family room aren't working. After troubleshooting for 5 seconds it was discovered that she had the dimmer switch turned all the way down. Easy money.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:05 AM   #2
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I'm softhearted. I probably would have said fifty bucks and threw her a business card. That's what I did with a young couple in their first house who had a tripped GFCI breaker.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:16 AM   #3
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Depending on where we were heading I may not even charge or do as 99 cents said. I feel horrible charging a full service charge especially if they are existing customers
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
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We'll typically get enough for a tank of gas $40-$50. Sometimes free if it's on the way to another job or on the way home.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:37 AM   #5
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Sometimes doing jobs like this for free, leads to huge jobs by referral.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:50 AM   #6
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Sometimes doing jobs like this for free, leads to huge jobs by referral.
And other times customer begins to expect it.

I usually do it for little or free but sometimes that backfires.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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many years ago when I was just a "know it all" apprentice I worked for a company that did residential service.
We used to see that stuff all the time- Breakers turned off, breakers tripped,gfci tripped, 3-way switches stuck in the middle position, blown light bulbs, ceiling fans on a wall switch but turned off by the pullchain.
We used to write up the invoice and turn it into the office and let them do what they wanted. Sometimes they sent an invoice marked No Payment due - paid in full other times it was billed accordingly
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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The largest Bridge Contractor in Western PA. called me to look at an overhead crane. There were two identical 25 ton cranes in a building 125'x600'. The operator was in a cage overhead. The joystick in one cage, when pushed forward, would lower the boom. The second crane was the opposite, pushing the joystick forward, would make the boom go up.

The company was taking bids to make them the same. The wiring was very complicated, 480V 3phase with 3 speeds up, 3 speeds down. Bids were between $3,000-4,000 to rewire the controls.

I climbed up into the cage. I had a screwdriver with me, I took out the four screws for the joystick, turned it 180 and replaced the screws. When I came down the foreman asked me what I thought. I told me what I did and refused to bill them, saying it was too easy.
That freebie turned into tens of thousands of dollars worth of work. They quit taking bids for electrical and I did all their work until the owner retired ten years later.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:24 AM   #9
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We will always replace a tripped Gfi, and charge. Here is the reason; if there is another problem with that Gfi, guess who they are calling back. Usually they are the original device, and could use a replacement anyway. You also have to explain the rules about troubleshooting, and problems that may surface when there is water or something else causing the problem that may not be appearing at that time of the service call.

The dimmer problem I've had more than once, especially with the Lutron Diva type, because who can see the small slide on the side. We would do as someone said and reduce a trip charge to $50. Remember, you still had to take the time to dispatch someone to that job, and write up an invoice, and enter the data into your computer, and warranty your service.


I made a emergency service call at 5:00 pm to a long time customer, for his family's houses (2 on an ocean front lot, with tennis courts) The power was out in only one house ? I thought it was for sure the main breaker. Turned out that one of the houses was on a separate part of the power grid, and the meter display was blank !!! Came time to pay, 5 minutes later, I was in a really Awkward position. I could feel their vibe, and they were hinting to me that they felt I shouldn't charge them. So I let it go, but I expected some kind of offer. They didn't even offer me a penny for the drive. Sucked, and thought about the TV show I was missing, and the round trip I made in traffic (1 hr)
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:26 AM   #10
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I reset a breaker for a lady. I was in the complex and told her so when I refused payment. Christmas I get a card in the mail with a $20 Bill.

What the heck I called her and thanked her for the 'coffee money" I was going to feed Tims.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:33 AM   #11
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I guess I'm too much of a softie.....I never charge for a call like that. Especially since my service area is fairly small. I can be almost anywhere in my service area in fifteen to twenty mins and my main service guy lives right in the middle of the area.
We have picked up a large amount of work based on those freebies.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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I will when I go to a house and the man will tell me what's wrong, this and that ,and I only have to reset a gfi. Othertimes no.
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveEM
I reset a breaker for a lady. I was in the complex and told her so when I refused payment. Christmas I get a card in the mail with a $20 Bill. What the heck I called her and thanked her for the 'coffee money" I was going to feed Tims.
Tim's is a good place to invest if you a have a twenny laying around.i think I'm going to stop there today
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dronai View Post
We will always replace a tripped Gfi, and charge. Here is the reason; if there is another problem with that Gfi, guess who they are calling back. Usually they are the original device, and could use a replacement anyway. You also have to explain the rules about troubleshooting, and problems that may surface when there is water or something else causing the problem that may not be appearing at that time of the service call.

The dimmer problem I've had more than once, especially with the Lutron Diva type, because who can see the small slide on the side. We would do as someone said and reduce a trip charge to $50. Remember, you still had to take the time to dispatch someone to that job, and write up an invoice, and enter the data into your computer, and warranty your service.


I made a emergency service call at 5:00 pm to a long time customer, for his family's houses (2 on an ocean front lot, with tennis courts) The power was out in only one house ? I thought it was for sure the main breaker. Turned out that one of the houses was on a separate part of the power grid, and the meter display was blank !!! Came time to pay, 5 minutes later, I was in a really Awkward position. I could feel their vibe, and they were hinting to me that they felt I shouldn't charge them. So I let it go, but I expected some kind of offer. They didn't even offer me a penny for the drive. Sucked, and thought about the TV show I was missing, and the round trip I made in traffic (1 hr)
$50 to turn up a dimmer? That's just cooooold bloooodeeed.

I charged a lady $85 a couple years ago for throwing some switches that she said didn't work, and they all worked fine and had good connections, telling her the ceiling fan that she had to use a stick to get it to start spinning needed to be replaced, and to reset a tripped GFI. I almost felt bad about it, but I left a different paying job to go to the service call, so phuck em.
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:07 PM   #15
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I know guys that could sell them a $7000 service change on a call like that. Crazy
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:07 PM   #16
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Wired a dedicated receptacle for a 110 window unit. Get a call a week later that the receptacle was not working. The power strip that was plugged into it was tripped.
And yes I charged full price for that one.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:01 PM   #17
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$50 to turn up a dimmer? That's just cooooold bloooodeeed.

I charged a lady $85 a couple years ago for throwing some switches that she said didn't work, and they all worked fine and had good connections, telling her the ceiling fan that she had to use a stick to get it to start spinning needed to be replaced, and to reset a tripped GFI. I almost felt bad about it, but I left a different paying job to go to the service call, so phuck em.
If we were too nice, we would be driving all over the place for cheap, and I would end up making less than working for somebody. So what's the point ?
I did a control troubleshoot at a carwash, with my motor control guru, and when the owner asked what it was, he said "bad wires" It turned out to be one of the switches on the line had a short from being loose, and touched the p-ring.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:17 PM   #18
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We always bill in full.

Not much of a choice.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:22 PM   #19
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Now look at them yo-yos thats the way you do it
You call the sparkys and you beg them please
That aint workin thats the way you do it
Money for nothin work service call fees
Now that aint workin thats the way you do it
Lemme tell ya some guys are that dumb
Can't get a blister on their little finger
Won't get a blister on their thumb

We gotta reset gfi's often
Settin' breakers a bre-e-e-e eze
We gotta battery for smoke detectors
We gotta fuse for old FPEeees

See the welfare .........s, all their stories madeup
Yeah buddy thats their own head
See the elite maggots spew some non explain
They could read instructions but they just don't care

We gotta resell afci's often
Settin' time clocks a bre-e-e-e eze
We gotta set those motion detectors
We gotta overload that we can teeeeaseee


I shoulda learned to set a dimmer
I shoulda learned why breakers hum
Look at that mama, she got a selfie by her panel
Man we could have some fun
And whos up there, whats that? harmonic noises?
Can i call a sparky for an EMF disease?
That aint workin thats the way you do it
Get your money for nothin workin calls like these

We gotta hot water reset button
Booted meters a bre-e-e-e eze
We gotta grand set of bullsh&t deflectors
We gotta some special service call fe-e-e-e-s


~C(w/apologies to Dire Straits)S~

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Old 02-14-2015, 08:57 PM   #20
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If I made a special/scheduled trip for it they get charged, unless it's a repeat customer which in that case it's a small charge . I do what Dronai does and replace the device. I was like you guys for my first few years and then I did some P and L numbers a few years later and realized I was loosing out on a few grand being a nice guy.

Does anyone know/understand what steve is trying to say..??
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