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BSME
02-20-2007, 04:15 PM
No it's not another thread asking how much everyone is charging. I can figure out how much I want to charge on my own.

I am curious, however, as to how everyone presents their service call (if they have one). Does your service call cover the first hour, 1/2 hour, 1/4 hour, or does it just cover the trip out there to knock on your door and then you'll start charging hourly?

I've been looking at previous posts and a lot of prices people show are the same for an hour (our average call time) although they look different with the way they present them with the service call and hourly rate.

Dont take these examples too seriously as I just made them up off the top of my head.
Company 1 charges $25 service call that covers 1/4 hour and $70hr
Company 2 charges $45 service call that covers 1/2 hour and $56hr

which would a homeowner go for? they are pretty close (if i did the math right). After 1/2 hour company one charged $42.5 while company 2 charged $45. After an hour company 1 charged $77.50 while company 2 charged $73.

koster_irrigation
02-20-2007, 04:32 PM
I Charge for the first hour then prorate out after that in 1/2 hr times.

aric43085
02-20-2007, 04:33 PM
I charge 29.00 for a service call and 48.00 for the first hour minimum. I bill in 1/4 hour increments after the first hour.

Wet_Boots
02-20-2007, 05:00 PM
The initial hourly charge is for a half hour, basically, but I allow for an extra fifteen, if I figure it will pay me back in goodwill. Travel time, and all that.

DanaMac
02-20-2007, 06:10 PM
Mine is a $50 service call fee, which includes the first half hour. $60 hr after that in 1/4 hr increments. Some calls I can be in and out in half an hour. Quick start up of a 2-4 zone system that I blew out, quick replacement of bonnet and poppet, replacement of 1-2 heads, etc. I may raise the fee to $60, but for now it's $50.

This works for me.

SprinklerGuy
02-21-2007, 08:22 AM
I charge a bit more than my hourly rate and it includes my first 1/2 hour on site...after that the hourly rate is pro-rated per quarter hour.

I used to charge my service call and include the 1st hour with it...but I found some PITAs taking advantage of my guys and asking them to do nit picky crap to finish out that hour.....that was when I changed it.

irrig8r
02-21-2007, 12:33 PM
When you tell people your rate do you lose any propsects? Are they responding to your advertising, or has a satisfied customer referred them?

Here in Silicon Valley I run into the occassional objection to my rates, even some who want to dicker over price. These people are usually from other cultures where I suppose that kind of haggling is more common, or sometimes just older folks who hope to get a discount for cash.

Some of the (apparently) wealthier people I run across are the ones who hang onto it more tightly.

Anyway, I charge more for the first hour, then in half hour increments. I don't charge for travel time or a "fuel surcharge", but then I don't go further than about 20 miles form home.

Wet_Boots
02-21-2007, 01:49 PM
If your rates don't scare anybody off, then they're too low.

SprinklerGuy
02-21-2007, 03:56 PM
Exactly...I love when I hear them suck their next breath in as it whistles past their teeth...that is when I know I have gotten their attention.

j/k of course.....truth is though, if you don't have any objections to price, you are too low.

greenworldh20
02-21-2007, 06:03 PM
we charge $65 for a service call. This includes 1/2 hr. drive time to the client's home and 1/2 hr. of labor. If the service call hits a pre determined price ($250) then we wave the service call fee because we are recouping our costs and over head in the price of the repairs.

The service call fee is just to cover our costs and over head for simple repairs that take only a small amount of time but we incur costs such as paying tech to drive to home, laborer in truck, truck payments, insurance, g & a overhead...

but really you just have to recover your costs and make a profit. remember, service work should and is bid at a higher gpm than install work.

brian

aric43085
02-21-2007, 09:12 PM
do you want the prince or the pauper? That is the question you should ask yourself. Do you feel bad for someone that live in a million dollar house? I don't.

PurpHaze
02-21-2007, 09:19 PM
Some of the (apparently) wealthier people I run across are the ones who hang onto it more tightly.

We've gone through four superintendents in the past twenty years (another story well documented in the local papers) but about 17 years ago I was working on some repairs at a site when the superintendent who had been around for 25 years was visiting just prior to his retirement. He was with a board member and both of them were very "down to earth" types of guys. He complimented me on our work and then just made the offhand comment that he'd sure like to have me come by his house and check out his irrigation system. I responded, "Mr. Line... you probably can't afford me." He gave a big hearty laugh and stated, "Point well taken." :)

aric43085
02-21-2007, 09:23 PM
Do you want the prince or the pauper?

PurpHaze
02-21-2007, 09:27 PM
Actually... I'd prefer to be the "King Irrigation Dude." :laugh:

Hank Reardon
02-21-2007, 11:34 PM
do you want the prince or the pauper? That is the question you should ask yourself. Do you feel bad for someone that live in a million dollar house? I don't.

Rates are rates; everyone pays the same, a lot. T&M on everything. My wife (read: Office Manager) has started calling me the Sprinkler Nazi. I kinda like it. Seriously, I won't do service calls on junk systems (which encompasses most). One quick way to qualify a prospective client is to ask for the make/model of the controller. We don't even get that far if they bring up the words "Home Depot" i the conversation.

bicmudpuppy
02-22-2007, 05:35 AM
Rates are rates; everyone pays the same, a lot. T&M on everything. My wife (read: Office Manager) has started calling me the Sprinkler Nazi. I kinda like it. Seriously, I won't do service calls on junk systems (which encompasses most). One quick way to qualify a prospective client is to ask for the make/model of the controller. We don't even get that far if they bring up the words "Home Depot" i the conversation.

I love the guys who want to talk about you intstalling the parts they have for them....................yeah, forget materials and just get paid for your time...........and, of course they won't biatch about the cheap crap failing..........until it fails!

SprinklerGuy
02-22-2007, 07:49 AM
I love the techs/owners that won't work on HDepot systems....

I have earned a quality living for 15 years educating clients about their cheap system...and how much nicer a quality system would be....sometimes this education happens after 1 service call...sometimes it takes years.....sometimes it never happens. But....I feel like if I educate them at the very beginning....listen to them rant/rave about their problems.....I will get plenty of service work from that HDepot system. And....I am not a sprinkler snob so I don't mind doing it.

Desertdweller
02-22-2007, 06:49 PM
Having learned all about the Home Depot crap from SprinklerGuy I have to second his statement. If you're not willing to work on a system that has some lesser quality parts in them you will lose at least half of you're potential customers here in the Valley. It's different in other areas that have stricter rules or a higher class of workers. Here it's the DIY, homeowner or handyman that works on a ton of these. Upside is once they see it done right you have a customer for life. How Ya doin Tony?

bicmudpuppy
02-22-2007, 06:53 PM
I'll work on anything, but will you install the HD head the customer has in his garage? or does he have to buy the one off the truck? I'm not installing HD crap. I'll replace crap all day long, that is how we make a living. I think you will find yourself not making a living almost as quickly if you install parts you know to be substandard. Even if the customer begs you to save them a buck.

BSME
02-22-2007, 07:03 PM
I usually end up doing it...

I'm already out there... I'll let them know i'm not thrilled about it but it's not worth just packing up and leaving halfway through a call.

I usually include all the clamps and fittings in the price of a sprinkler head but if it's there head I make sure I write down the clamp, 1/2 x 1 CRE, 1/2 x 3/8 CME, little bit of funny pipe and funny pipe fitting for the head. They usually end up saving a couple dollars and hopefully next time they figure it's not worth the hassle to go to the store to try to save a couple bucks.

oh... also that repair isn't under warranty

Desertdweller
02-22-2007, 07:15 PM
Exactly, we will put in the HD head but when it goes bad the customer is goona pay again to replace it. No warranty!!

SprinklerGuy
02-22-2007, 07:58 PM
I put it in also.....they know I am unhappy about it.....and they think I'm doing them a favor. I try my best not to make them feel cheesy and stupid, but I let them know it is inferior.

I don't think you will Ever go out of business when you are helping folks...the ones that go out of business are the prima donnas that WON'T DO THIS AND WON'T DO THAT...I know a former employee that fits that bill.

And no it isn't DesertDweller...he will be in business til the day they bury him....old school eh Ken?

Hank Reardon
02-22-2007, 09:30 PM
I definitely fall in the Prima Donna class and I doubt we will be out of business unless I decide to stop. It isn't hard to sell quality. It isn't hard to educate potential clients the importance of quality components.

I don't anticipate installing a client-supplied component. (Not that any of our clients would request such a thing.)

Desertdweller
02-22-2007, 11:00 PM
Tony, you calling me old. I guess I am!! They'll have to bury me, I can't afford to stop plus who else wants to work on the crap they put in down here?

Mjtrole
02-23-2007, 12:11 AM
No it's not another thread asking how much everyone is charging. I can figure out how much I want to charge on my own.

I am curious, however, as to how everyone presents their service call (if they have one). Does your service call cover the first hour, 1/2 hour, 1/4 hour, or does it just cover the trip out there to knock on your door and then you'll start charging hourly?

I've been looking at previous posts and a lot of prices people show are the same for an hour (our average call time) although they look different with the way they present them with the service call and hourly rate.

Dont take these examples too seriously as I just made them up off the top of my head.
Company 1 charges $25 service call that covers 1/4 hour and $70hr
Company 2 charges $45 service call that covers 1/2 hour and $56hr

which would a homeowner go for? they are pretty close (if i did the math right). After 1/2 hour company one charged $42.5 while company 2 charged $45. After an hour company 1 charged $77.50 while company 2 charged $73.

BS, being in michigan also, we follow every other trade around us and charge a service call just to show up at $45 we then charge in 15 minute increments for the labor at $18.50 per. We never get complaints over our prices because chances are that the customer has had an appliance repair person, a heating/cooling company, plumber, electrician etc. out and they charge the same way usually and to tell you the truth our $45 service call charge only makes us about $15 per.

We also don't find it that difficult to explain why it's $45 to come out if asked, expecially with gas prices, insurance, payroll and oh yeah we are a for profit business that actually has a human being answering the phone when it rings.

SprinklerGuy
02-23-2007, 07:35 AM
Hank
Please change your login to PRIMADONNA...thank you!

Kidding of course.

All markets are different Hank.....yours is obviously a different market than my market(s)......

Remote Pigtails
02-23-2007, 08:01 AM
The biggest culprits of HD junk here are the lawn service companies. I just yank them and put my stuff on the bill. Don't even bring it up with the customer unless they ask. I live by the greatest of all man laws.
"It is easier and quicker to get forgiveness than permission."

PurpHaze
02-23-2007, 08:07 AM
"It is easier and quicker to get forgiveness than permission."

And if they ask you to forgive part of their bill??? :laugh:

Remote Pigtails
02-23-2007, 08:28 AM
Hasn't happened yet. Don't let that quote get out to the customers puhleeeze.:confused: I will work on my response to that today. Usually when they complain about the bill I respond "which part of my hard work do you not want to pay for?" Fortunately I rarely have collection issues.

DanaMac
02-23-2007, 09:27 AM
I definitely fall in the Prima Donna class and I doubt we will be out of business unless I decide to stop. It isn't hard to sell quality. It isn't hard to educate potential clients the importance of quality components.

I don't anticipate installing a client-supplied component. (Not that any of our clients would request such a thing.)
I'm glad all of your clients are that well off. not all of ours are. I have lots of little old ladies living on a basic SSI income, with maybe a little left over retirement from hubby who passed away. A couple of them have a bucket that has a bunch of parts, and I am more than willing to try and use their stuff. much of it has been working for many years now. I don't work on many million dollar homes. If they bought stuff from Home Depot, I'll put it in. It's usually only a head or two. I won't do a backflow preventer though.

It doesn't happen often that this occurs. And it builds a little good will in their eyes, and will use us over and over again. I might give up $10-$30 in mark up, but it hasn't hurt me yet. I guess I'm not a Prima Donna either, and I like it that way.

SprinklerGuy
02-23-2007, 09:44 AM
on a basic SSI income,


Are you saying my income is basic? f&^k you!

:)

DanaMac
02-23-2007, 11:05 AM
Social Security Income you jacka$$!!! :dizzy:

SprinklerGuy
02-23-2007, 12:10 PM
Duh......just looked funny, I'm pretty used to seeing SSI on checks and such.....ha ha ha

MOlawnman
02-24-2007, 12:16 AM
I really don't know what i would do if one of my customers handed me a part and asked me to install it. We don't have HD and lowe's doesn't sell irrigation parts here yet (that i know of anyway). Irrigation to many in my area is a luxury and many think "as long as i don't water it, I don't have to mow it".

Most of my customers wouldn't think of working on their own system let alone purchase parts and ask me to install them.