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How many actually charge for 2 minute service calls?

I can see new customers get charged the hour, but how often do you give regular customers no charge?

I get so many calls of people saying their receptacles dont work, show up and ask where their panel is, they show me and I look, reset breaker and say ok, all done.

A lot of times its a GFCI or they try to plug in 3 x 1500W heaters into one circuit and wonder why the power goes off.

I find it hard to charge for such a simple little thing, a little thing that the home owner should be able to do. "hmm, my plugs dont work, maybe ill call an electrician to fix it" not thinking "maybe ill check my breakers"

Or ive had customers say the breaker wont reset, show up at their house and they are trying to push it to on position and it keeps springing back.
tell them, you need to turn it off first, then on. And worst part is, Ive had one where it has a big sticker on how to reset breakers on the door.

Personally, regular customers who always call me I will usually just do it no charge. I have gone and done a job for some late in evening because im too busy to do it during day, just to keep them happy (and will always call back), and not charge overtime.

How many of you come accross customers that are just cant be real.

"My light quit working", go there and replace their light bulb.

"My flourescent light flickers, I put in new bulbs" go there and its old T12 bulbs with about 3" of black on the ends. "new bulbs? ok if you say so" replace bulbs and they happy.

Any interesting stories out there?
 

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Everyone pays something....your time is worth something...would you ask one of them to come help you paint a room? that is a simple task (well for most)...give them a trip ticket with a nice discount if you feel uncomfortable....test circuit..test breaker that's what I do...I am a professional electrician...treat me as such...friends and family get free...period....its getting harder and harder out there....cost are up and rates have been flat for years now get what you can when you can....men get hurt doing simple task in our business everyday...they call you because they don't know or fear what we do...charge them accordingly..:thumbsup:
 

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I have to be paid gas money for quotes, i got bills and shizz.
 

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How many actually charge for 2 minute service calls?

I can see new customers get charged the hour, but how often do you give regular customers no charge?

I get so many calls of people saying their receptacles dont work, show up and ask where their panel is, they show me and I look, reset breaker and say ok, all done.

A lot of times its a GFCI or they try to plug in 3 x 1500W heaters into one circuit and wonder why the power goes off.

I find it hard to charge for such a simple little thing, a little thing that the home owner should be able to do. "hmm, my plugs dont work, maybe ill call an electrician to fix it" not thinking "maybe ill check my breakers"

Or ive had customers say the breaker wont reset, show up at their house and they are trying to push it to on position and it keeps springing back.
tell them, you need to turn it off first, then on. And worst part is, Ive had one where it has a big sticker on how to reset breakers on the door.

Personally, regular customers who always call me I will usually just do it no charge. I have gone and done a job for some late in evening because im too busy to do it during day, just to keep them happy (and will always call back), and not charge overtime.

How many of you come accross customers that are just cant be real.

"My light quit working", go there and replace their light bulb.

"My flourescent light flickers, I put in new bulbs" go there and its old T12 bulbs with about 3" of black on the ends. "new bulbs? ok if you say so" replace bulbs and they happy.

Any interesting stories out there?
Regardless of who the client is you must charge them the minum service call rate.This is what you do for a living,don't be a push over ,They would NEVER come out to your house or business for nothing.
 

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Somewhat along Harry's last post, get paid a "dispatch" charge before you even put the key in your vehicle to "dispatch" to their site. You have many options on how to handle this, and I am become bored being a teacher (especially since I have noticed hardly anybody answers my rare electrical questions at this forum)... so dig around and find out a method you are happy with.

Then when you just reset a breaker , and you feel uncomfortable with charging for the service call, at least you cover your overhead somewhat to get from point a to point b. Mine is $59 dollars currently. You should invest in an education on the path called "Flat Rate Service Work". It will pay in spades if you do.
 

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Some call it "Diplomacy". As long as it doesn't get out of hand it doesn't hurt to say "No Charge" once in a while. Some people just don't have it!
 

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I'll usually have them try those things over the phone (gfi, breaker, lamp,etc.) so I don't have to waste the gas. If they are not successful or are unwilling to do those things, tell them "Sorry, but I have to charge you to come out."
I bet i spend 100 hours a year explaining these things on the phone

Maybe i should rethink the menu.....

If you can't reset a tripped breaker press #1

If you can't reset a gfci press #2

If you have some REAL electrical work press #3

~CS~
 

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It's totally your call, of course. I can see the logic in both sides of this issue. If goodwill is worth something to you, extend it. If you feel somehow cheated if you don't charge *something* for your time, then charge something for your time. I have some customers who will always get the family & friends discount, and some, well, not so much.

My fear regarding over-the-phone troubleshooting is that you might have someone reset a breaker that's on its last leg, there's a serious issue, and the damn thing doesn't trip again. Regardless of liability, I wouldn't want that on me.
 

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Charge everyone. It could come back to bite you. You have a regular customer that you did not charge to reset GFI/breaker. They refer you to their neighbor, friend, coworker, relative... and tell them the story how you didn't charge them. You come out to the neighbors house and charge them when they weren't expecting to be charged. Now you have to explain.

You run a business not a non-profit. Then again, you are the owner, you have the right to choose how you run your business.
 

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Charge everyone. It could come back to bite you. You have a regular customer that you did not charge to reset GFI/breaker. They refer you to their neighbor, friend, coworker, relative... and tell them the story how you didn't charge them. You come out to the neighbors house and charge them when they weren't expecting to be charged. Now you have to explain.
I'd be happy to explain that customer A was a repeat, regular customer, and if I have to explain what that means, I really don't want customer B's business.

I also would explain my rate ahead of time, so the new customer doesn't have the expectation of free work right off the bat.
 

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I can't help but to think that if you spend two minutes in someone's home and only reset a breaker without (at least) testing a few things, you haven't provided a service at all and shouldn't charge.
 
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I can't help but to think that if you spend two minutes in someone's home and only reset a breaker without (at least) testing a few things, you haven't provided a service at all and shouldn't charge.
Agreed, doing no more than the homeowner could do is not a service, and leaves you open to a liability/negligence lawsuit should the worst happen...
 

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Agreed, doing no more than the homeowner could do is not a service, and leaves you open to a liability/negligence lawsuit should the worst happen...

I disagree. You do what the customer wants you to do. If all they ask of you is to get the recepts working, that's what you do. Doing more than what they ask is a way to get yourself in trouble.
 

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I can't help but to think that if you spend two minutes in someone's home and only reset a breaker without (at least) testing a few things, you haven't provided a service at all and shouldn't charge.
Right in two or around the corner I agree. 1/2 hour travel or more to get there is worth something.

I once spent 10 minutes talking some lady though a dead circuit. GFIs, breakers, etc. I send my guy out there telling her I still have to charge if it is something simple since it was over 1/2 hour away.
Tripped GFI. $120 service call reduced to $100. Sorry lady, I tried.
 
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