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Mike M
03-31-2008, 09:15 PM
Okay,

What do you guys use for basic service calls, not routine contracts, but for one time calls?

I told a guy today a set hourly rate plus bulbs, then I suggested a fixed annual contract from here in. Typical stuff, repositioning because of plant growth, cleaning lenses, lubricating, changing bulbs, checking timers, etc.

Thanks, in advance.

S&MLL
03-31-2008, 10:32 PM
If I didnt install it then its pretty much an hourly charge+bulbs+set fee for redoing a connection+set fee for adding a leader to fixture that has to be moved back due to plant growth. They are handed a copy of the service sheet. Then an invoice is mailed.

NightScenes
03-31-2008, 10:34 PM
My service rate is $65 per man hour. I charge travel on one direction as well.

sprinkler guy
04-01-2008, 03:08 AM
I charge hourly ($75/hr) minimum one hour, plus bulbs, plus each connection that has to be made. If I'm not in the area, I charge 1/2 hour travel time, or they can wait until I'm nearby. I bill in hourly increments only, so an hour and ten minutes is two hours billing. The only couple of times my rate has come into question is when there isn't an obvious problem and I tell them I'm not exactly sure how long it will take to locate and fix the problem.

Lambent Leaves
04-01-2008, 12:53 PM
Same as Sean, $75 per hour plus materials, then discuss an annual contract that will work for them and keep problems from re-occuring.

pete scalia
04-01-2008, 09:41 PM
250 for a service call for that I even bring my tool box along. If I bring the ladder it's another 100 whether I use it or not. 75 every 15 minutes rounded up to the next 15 minutes thereafter. My times important and expensive so don't jerk me around with your nonsense and small talk. Pete gets on the job and it's done right.

David Gretzmier
04-01-2008, 10:29 PM
I usually will come and take a look for free, and give them a fixed price bid to fix most everything, with an open range for items hard to estimate- a zone not working, etc. if it is an involved look or a far away location, ( more than 15 minutes ) I'll ask for a 50-75 buck service fee for the bid/gas. I don't price per hour, but by the job. I am able to fix things 2-3 times faster than most, but folks won't pay 200 bucks an hour, so I just charge per job. I've gotten quite a few installs from service calls, so I try to show up cheap and then charge a fair price for work. Eventually these same folks will pay you for a new install if you treat them right.

pete scalia
04-01-2008, 11:30 PM
I usually will come and take a look for free, and give them a fixed price bid to fix most everything, with an open range for items hard to estimate- a zone not working, etc. if it is an involved look or a far away location, ( more than 15 minutes ) I'll ask for a 50-75 buck service fee for the bid/gas. I don't price per hour, but by the job. I am able to fix things 2-3 times faster than most, but folks won't pay 200 bucks an hour, so I just charge per job. I've gotten quite a few installs from service calls, so I try to show up cheap and then charge a fair price for work. Eventually these same folks will pay you for a new install if you treat them right.

This is a sure fire strategy for going out of buisiness

David Gretzmier
04-02-2008, 04:30 PM
yes, I agree. once I started doing free estimates, honest bids and offering fair pricing 26 years ago, I knew it was a short term strategy. Growing service customers into install customers is an obvious mistake. I should take your advice above and charge 75 bucks every 15 minutes. Congrat's pete. I will now ignore your posts and threads for another 4 months. I had cut you some slack because you had a few posts recently that were adding to this site. If you have nothing to add to the threads but negativity, then get off the board.

Mike M
04-02-2008, 09:06 PM
I like the Johnson model, just hire a full-time service guy.

Chris J
04-02-2008, 09:11 PM
Yep! Keeps the wheels turning and me selling. Just make sure you have enough service agreements to justify the employee.

sprinkler guy
04-03-2008, 04:56 AM
Yep! Keeps the wheels turning and me selling. Just make sure you have enough service agreements to justify the employee.

Hey Chris,

How big an area do you service? How many service contracts did you have when you were ready to hire a service guy? Do you have a minimum you feel justifies having a service contract in the first place? I'm asking because I just hired my first helper, and I'm looking for ways to make sure we are constantly backed up.
And I don't mean eating lots of cheese.

Chris J
04-03-2008, 08:55 AM
I guess that depends on several factors. My service guy is actually an installer who does service on the days we don't have installs. Therefore, you simply need enough service contracts to keep him busy on the days you aren't doing installs. If your installing 4 days out of the week, then he can do service all day once/wk. My guy can do about 8 scheduled service stops in a day, so if he has 30-40 to do per month he's staying busy. The number of stops he can do will also depend on how large the jobs are. We have some jobs that take all day to service properly. Of course, if he gets backed up I'll jump in and help catch him up.
My coverage area is about 60 miles radius for the most part, but I have a few that are 90 miles out. I really don't know how many service contracts I had when I got the help. I just knew I was busy as heck, and I was making enough to justify the additional labor. If I had to guess, I would say I had about 200-250 at the time.