Service Calls

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    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.
  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    I Charge for the first hour then prorate out after that in 1/2 hr times.
  3. aric43085

    aric43085 LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 71

    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.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,367

    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.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    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.
  6. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    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.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    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.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,367

    If your rates don't scare anybody off, then they're too low.
  9. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    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.
  10. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    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.


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