Flat rate pricing repair work

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by muddywater, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Well I got sick of charging $65 per hour plus retail on parts. $65 just isn't enough. But it seems to be the going rate, local A/C companies charge $180 an hour and when I had my commercial ice machine fixed it was a $65 service call plus $90 per hour plus list on materials. I don't see why we should be any different. I noticed A/C companies WILL NOT tell you there hourly rate. They charge a service call and give you a price when they diagnose it.

    I got the idea from a member on this board, and so far it has worked great. My tech has been averaging $90-100 an hour including drive time. We charge a service call to show up and either quote a price or just do the work and hand them the bill.

    It really sucked to locate a valve and replace the guts all with in an hour and hand the homeowner a bill for $95($65 service call and first hour and $30 for a 1" valve). Now it is $149 for a valve replacement and a $49 service call.

    I have a fee per valve locate or fee per hour locating a valve whichever comes out more so I don't get screwed on the nasty ones.

    What do you guys charge per hour? What do you think about flat rate pricing?
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I charge $80 and hour plus a truck charge. I tell the client I can often fix what is wrong if it is simple and review the system. If the repairs are not simple then I will give them a full estimate after trouble shooting for that same flat rate. This is for items like the good old fashioned loose wire type problem.

    There are some Plumbing and Electrical companies that do as you say. They charge either a $89.00 rate ( often discounted this week by $25.00) just to show up and give a quote. The AC companies have system checks with a pound or two of refrigerant and some basic maintenance for $99.00

    I have another buddy that owns an electrical shop and they charge $78.00 hour so I am good with my rate. I often do not full book all of my time if the job gets extended but I am not showing up for much less.

    Messages: 18,668

    I was at 95/hr and that was 4 years ago. With the remote though I would have made a lot more doing flat rate billing. BCG is way more an expert at flat rate than I am.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,022

    I believe a most of you guys are getting smarter and quitting underselling yourselves. All we be are prima donna electrical and plumbing contractors, after all. :clapping:
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,910

    I believe flat rate works to my advantage as well as it works for the client. my rate is equal to a 3hr minimum at the national average for a service call. i don't tell customers that, instead i tell them that i don't charge travel and if i don't find the valve they pay nothing. i don't repair so i don't compete with the repair person. as far as protecting myself from lengthly locates where i don't make much money. i got better with my locating.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    If you're using a remote, flat rate is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, you're just punishing yourself for becoming efficient. I raised my rates this year also and have not had a single complaint, so I guess I was too cheap before. On the rare occasion that someone complains about the bill versus the time I spent, I just point out that I've invested $1,000's of dollars in tools to be so fast and that it really isn't a question of how long it took me, but rather a question of how long it would have taken them. They usually get it then.
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    About time you wised up about us young guns. ;)
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,062

    I always liked the ancient car repair story of the broken starter - mechanic raises the hood, picks up the hammer, and gives the starter a good hard whack - starter works like a charm from then on - customer gags on the $16.00 invoice (told you it was an ancient story) and the mechanic breaks it down for the customer - $1.00 labor, and $15.00 for knowing where to aim the hammer
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Yes but I could not get you to come out and trace. :laugh:
  10. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,910

    I went to wal-mart and you weren't there? oh dopey me, wrong wal-mart i bet. i can't have nuthin nice.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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