When does your clock start for service charges?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by WalkGood, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,910

    Just curious how others handle service charges (T&M and flat rate) and when the clock starts.

    In our area, within 10 miles we can have the very low end (nowadays $200K), mid point ($300K - $600K) and the extreme way high end ($MILL-PLUS) of homes/neighborhoods.

    Sometimes we get calls that are kinda far away (30 minute drive) and there is no other service call in that area to group them with. Some are new customers (recommendations, they know we show up and do good work), some are old customers. Understand, this is NOT a rural area. Three million people live on Long Island.

    Do you charge more in the high-end neighbor hoods?

    Do you charge more for the far away customers, to make up for the long drive time?

    If the service requires something out of the ordinary or maybe a new controller (and you just used your last one earlier), do you charge for the extra time to go to the supply house and back?
  2. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    Clock starts when the truck door opens, or if I am waiting for someone to get home.

    We keep our pricing consistant with all customers as far as labor rates, but with service calls they get higher the farther we go. You don't have to show the time to pick up the controller as labor, add it to the price of the controller.
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I've worked for outfits that started the clock when you pointed the truck for the next job and never thought this was fair. A front end service call works well IMHO, and the time starts when you pull up in front of the house. Rates are the same for every one. If the part you need SHOULD have been on your truck, then you don't charge extra because it ain't there. I the part is a special item, they pay the travel both ways.
  4. BPC

    BPC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Some guys I know charge a service call. I don't charge one but I do charge an hour min. but I tell the home owner that and while I am there I will run through the whole system make adjustments etc and go over what I find with them.
    It would also depend on your market. Here in Florida I am sure we get less an hour then someone were there is actually a winter.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Service call starts when I step on the property. First half hour is $50, no matter what part of town or economic situation.
  6. i believe in the 45 minute on the yard service call billed at one hour. Makes up for travel time and every customer has office paperwork that should be part of the billing.
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Time starts vary only due to other considerations.
    For instance - if I am pulled off of a job to an "emergency" call out then time starts the moment I get in the truck.
    If it is a routine service call, I charge $65.00/hr plus materials. Should a trainee be with me, he/she/it is billed out at $50/hr as long as they are actually doing something other than making CO2.
    Parts are retail price plus taxes and if I do not have a part I should of had I will not charge more to cover for my lack of planning.

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