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bobw
10-11-2007, 08:18 PM
I had one major PITA customer this summer.

A guy calls me in mid July to complain that one of his heads had freeze damage from last season. I've never done service for the guy, just blow outs every year. He only lives a few blocks from me, so I go down and check out the head; clearly damaged by physical contact (ie kid with hock stick). I call him up and let him know that it was not freeze damage. He tells me to replace it and leave a bill for him. Which I do. Fast forward a couple of weeks.. he calls and complains about the bill; figures he should get $10 off because he lives close to me and it didn't take much gas to get to him. I tell him no way; we charge the same for a service call regardless of distance... not like I could charge him more if I moved.

A couple weeks later, I still haven't seen a check, so I send my standard dunning letter. I come home one day to an envelope stuffed in my door with a check and a note saying that he could not believe that I wouldn't give him a discount and how I must feel that I've found a gold mine in him.

So... I drop him off my customer list; let him find a different guy to put up with his crap.

Saturday, I'm working that block for blowouts and pull up to the house next door, look over and see someone crouched over the valve box.. crap.. figure that this was going to be a headache... wrong... look over on his driveway and there is a pick up truck with a little (and I mean little) compressor on it. So I hook up to my customer, fire up the compressor and start chatting with the guy.

He's a scab. Heard that there was good money to be made doing blow outs and put signs up on boulevards. He has no idea how to do it properly. None; not a clue. I ask him how he charges... he charges a per zone rate...it'll be $110 for this blowout (all my residentials are flat rate $60 (which is the standard here)). I wish him well, disconnect and drive away....with a big ass smirk on my face...

I now know 2 people that deserve each other...

a PITA cheapskate who is going to get charged double what he should by a scab that has no clue... perfect

Mike Leary
10-11-2007, 08:24 PM
ROTOFL if it was't so sad & true!:cry: :laugh:

Wet_Boots
10-11-2007, 08:44 PM
(I'll do it for $105 - American)

DanaMac
10-11-2007, 11:36 PM
I hear ya man. We got a new customer this spring due to massive freeze damage at the manifold. $500 later it is repaired. Then she calls asking price to blow it out. I told her $60 and she freaked. Said she would call back if needed. Some people just don't get it.

My price is the same whether it is down the road from me, or across town. Discounts are on a personal preference basis.

PurpHaze
10-11-2007, 11:47 PM
My price is the same whether it is down the road from me, or across town. Discounts are on a personal preference basis.

GLMs, MILFs and Soccer Moms get preference? :)

DanaMac
10-11-2007, 11:52 PM
GLMs, MILFs and Soccer Moms get preference? :)

you know it buddy!!!!!! :)

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 03:50 PM
I walked away from one where the would-be client (a retired structural
engineer) asked me my labor rates. When I told him, he replied, "that's what
I charge too, you're just a prima donna plumber." I replied ,(as I got into my
truck) "and". ::sound of truck going down the driveway::::::

Kiril
10-12-2007, 04:05 PM
At least he got one thing right. :waving: ;)

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 04:13 PM
At least he got one thing right. :waving: ;)

Yep, ::::adjusts tiara:::::rolleyes:

BrandonV
10-12-2007, 07:50 PM
worked for a head of a MBA program at a prestigious school and he about passed out when he got our labor rates, figured we'd charge about $10/hr... to this day he'll have a couple of crew guys come up but not me because of the "foreman surcharge"

Mike Leary
10-12-2007, 08:05 PM
A experienced contractor knows he's toast when he gives a price or a hour
rate & sees the eyes go:dizzy: or the little drip of spittle coming out of their
mouths.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-13-2007, 12:00 PM
worked for a head of a MBA program at a prestigious school and he about passed out when he got our labor rates, figured we'd charge about $10/hr... to this day he'll have a couple of crew guys come up but not me because of the "foreman surcharge"

Had a customer tell me he didn't want to be paying for my STARS HOCKEY tickets.:rolleyes: Had an accountant tell me I charge more than she does and that was totally wrong. I explained to her accountants are a dime a dozen and good irrigation service men are really hard to find and she was about to blow it. :waving:

bobw
10-13-2007, 12:16 PM
Had a customer tell me he didn't want to be paying for my STARS HOCKEY tickets.:rolleyes: Had an accountant tell me I charge more than she does and that was totally wrong. I explained to her accountants are a dime a dozen and good irrigation service men are really hard to find and she was about to blow it. :waving:

A couple of summers ago, I was doing some service work at a customer who happens to be a NHLer. Got to his place and he was in the back yard with 5 or 6 of his teammates. When I got done I handed him his bill and his buddies started cracking jokes about the price. I pointed at them and said that hockey players were a dime a dozen in this town but to find a good sprinkler guy was impossible. Shut em all up... picked up a couple new accounts that day

PurpHaze
10-13-2007, 12:26 PM
I explained to her accountants are a dime a dozen and good irrigation service men are really hard to find and she was about to blow it. :waving:

Hmmm... I would say something but it would be moderated. :)

:backs out of further comments on issue: :laugh:

txgrassguy
10-14-2007, 01:10 AM
I used to be bothered when customers would ask what my labor charge(s) would be.
Now, I flat explain what the rates are, what work gets accomplished for that price and if they live more than thirties minutes away, they only get thirty minutes of ground time.
On emergency call outs, and I have had a few - windshield time counts plus if I have to come off of a previous job to service the "emergency".
I really do not have problems with my current clients yet occasionally a price shopper will call.
The one thing I absolutely will not tolerate is a "discussion" or negative comments about my labor rates. Prospective customer starts this kind of crap I have learned it leads to more whining.

londonrain
10-14-2007, 10:31 AM
Lady called a few months ago and set up a time. She called back last week and asked if I was coming and when. I told her the date and time, she then asked again how much I charged. I told her my rates for the second time and she said "that is high". I told her if you don't want me to come, it wont hurt my feelings and call me if she changes her mind. She said no I still want you to come....

WalkGood
10-14-2007, 12:56 PM
There is a plethora of "advice" out there that tells people to ask for a discount or haggle over the price, figuring eveything is negotiable and you don't get the discount if you don't ask.

IslandIrrGuy
10-16-2007, 03:18 PM
London Rain, where in SC are you? Sounds like a few of the same calls I get from our wonderful retirement villages , oh I mean "plantations", here on the Island. "I need you now", but then "oh thats high", me, "Ok, thanks!"

jimmyburg
10-16-2007, 04:07 PM
I hate tire kickers, they argue over the price.:gunsfirin