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Thread: Troubleshooting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    New Kensington, Pa
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    Troubleshooting

    How do you handle service calls. I have somewhat of a price list for things. Bad gfci replacement.. broken switch replacement..change light fixture..etc
    thats the easy part. Example. Customer calls says all the lights on 1st floor out and a couple outlets. Spend 45 mins tracking down loose connection in outlet behind couch. As I was troubleshooting found 2 bad switches.
    jhow do you handle this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith gigabyte View Post
    How do you handle service calls. I have somewhat of a price list for things. Bad gfci replacement.. broken switch replacement..change light fixture..etc
    thats the easy part. Example. Customer calls says all the lights on 1st floor out and a couple outlets. Spend 45 mins tracking down loose connection in outlet behind couch. As I was troubleshooting found 2 bad switches.
    jhow do you handle this?
    We bill out our time on an hourly basis. If it takes four hours they are billed four, plus materials. Some areas have to give pricing up front. IDK how those unexpected extras are handled for them.
    Tom
    TBLO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Royal City, WA
    Posts
    59
    I have a set fee for the first half hour. After that it's time and materials, unless they request a quote for the work needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
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    3,692
    Service call fee covers first hour of troubleshooting; I can think of maybe a few times over the years it took longer than an hour to troubleshoot. Typically the problem can be found in 20-30 min. Anyway, find the problem within an hour, and then flat-rate for the repair.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
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    3,231
    Troubleshooting almost always requires some exploratory work. If you have something like a defective GFCI or a bad switch that generally gets corrected quickly. However, if you have to spend time investigating and finding that a wire popped out of the stab on the back of a receptacle that generally takes more time. With that, I generally charge on a T&M basis for that type of work. If the HO asks me to give them an estimate I will give a ball park price. If they ask for a firm price I will not take the job. By the same token, if I somehow provided a high estimate and it ends up taking me 10 minutes I'm not going to charge the full amount that I quoted.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
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    351
    I charge T&M for all troubleshooting no matter how long it takes. I tell the homeowner I usually can find the problem within my one hour minimum but there are no guarantees. Once the problem is located, if it requires further work, I give them an estimate.

    In the same vein, does anybody here charge for estimates? Seems everybody expects free estimates, but they cost me a lot of money.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
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    31,635
    Quote Originally Posted by keith gigabyte View Post
    How do you handle service calls. I have somewhat of a price list for things. Bad gfci replacement.. broken switch replacement..change light fixture..etc
    thats the easy part. Example. Customer calls says all the lights on 1st floor out and a couple outlets. Spend 45 mins tracking down loose connection in outlet behind couch. As I was troubleshooting found 2 bad switches.
    jhow do you handle this?
    If they can't afford to replace 2 bad switches at $1.00 - $5.00 a piece (depending on what type and grade of switch they are) that you likely already have pulled out of the box and likely will be putting back in whether new or existing, then you might want to be concerned about getting your service fee for the 45 minutes as well.

    Or is this a question of charging them say $100 to find the loose connection, and another $50 for each switch because that is what you would charge them if the only job were to come replace the switch?

    What if it took you 3 hours to find the loose connection? Still going to charge them the $100 (that I mentioned) for finding the loose connection?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
    Posts
    3,692

    Troubleshooting

    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    In the same vein, does anybody here charge for estimates? Seems everybody expects free estimates, but they cost me a lot of money.
    Yes, we do free estimates. I flat-rate though so it's not very time consuming.

    We don't go to everyone that calls though; if a caller is throwing red flags up we'll just say we don't have any openings.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Valdosta, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
    . By the same token, if I somehow provided a high estimate and it ends up taking me 10 minutes I'm not going to charge the full amount that I quoted.
    You're cheating yourself.



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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Rocky Mountain Region
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    Quote Originally Posted by brantmacga View Post
    You're cheating yourself.



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    Really?

    Funny, I never felt that way.

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