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Thread: Definition of a Service Call

  1. #1
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    Definition of a Service Call

    I charge a $85 service charge on all my T&M work. This charge covers my mobilization to the job, my cost for labor to get to the job and overhead/Profit.
    I then bill the customer $90 HR to do the install starting when I arrive at the jobsite.

    However, I see some contractors including their 1st hour of work in their service call fee. Does anyone out there include a labor hour of installation as included in there service call fee??

    It doesn't seem logical to me, so I thought I'd question this forum.

  2. #2
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    I do a minimum service call charge for customers within x amount of miles which allows for up to 1 hour of troubleshooting/repair time.

  3. #3
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    I do the first hour included but it doesn't matter what you call it. 85 + 90 = 175 for the first hour on the job.
    Tom
    TBLO

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    I do the first hour included but it doesn't matter what you call it. 85 + 90 = 175 for the first hour on the job.
    I'm all for getting whatever you can whenever you can. That's good if you can get it (in terms of other competitors prices). However, the chances of you getting call backs for additional work in the future become slim. If you're charging a customer an initial $85 before you even get to the site to investigate their problem why wouldn't they get someone more local who charges for the time spent on the job only? Just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbridled View Post
    I charge a $85 service charge on all my T&M work. This charge covers my mobilization to the job, my cost for labor to get to the job and overhead/Profit.
    I then bill the customer $90 HR to do the install starting when I arrive at the jobsite.

    However, I see some contractors including their 1st hour of work in their service call fee. Does anyone out there include a labor hour of installation as included in there service call fee??

    It doesn't seem logical to me, so I thought I'd question this forum.
    that seems fair to me. however, customers do not always see fair as fair. You have to find a sweet spot where you can make money off the deal while not scaring off potential customers.

    we have a $300 minimum to send an engineer out. when people find out they have to pay to get someone out it is amazing how often they no longer want anyone to come out.
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Service Call

    Quote Originally Posted by petersonra View Post
    that seems fair to me. however, customers do not always see fair as fair. You have to find a sweet spot where you can make money off the deal while not scaring off potential customers.

    we have a $300 minimum to send an engineer out. when people find out they have to pay to get someone out it is amazing how often they no longer want anyone to come out.
    So my perception of this forums answers is to price my service calls to include the 1st hours labor on the job-site, simply adjust the amount to $175 which includes the $85 service call and $90, the 1st hour of labor.
    This seems like a simple manipulation of the numbers. In the end, I still receive $175 for the service call and 1st hours labor.
    My concern is how a customer perceives each of these two methods. Which method do you all think is more advantageous for me in procuring the job?
    1. $85 Service call + $90 for 1st hour, or
    2. $175 Service call which includes 1st hour of labor

  7. #7
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    Apr 2016
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    Service Call

    I found this article to be somewhat informative in discerning service calls and when not to charge and what to include in a service call.
    http://bdappliance.com/understanding...ll-charge.html

  8. #8
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    Keep in mind if you charge $xxx for a service call that includes an hour of labor, and the problem takes five minutes* to find and fix, the customer is well within their right to want you to hang around another 55 minutes to get estimates on adding recessed lights, a spa, inquiring about other problems, and so on. For those reasons and others, my service call includes up to thirty minutes labor. Past that, I charge in fifteen minute intervals*.

    *Even if it takes me two minutes to find the problem, and it sometimes takes just that, I will check other things on that circuit... sometimes there is more than one problem, or concurrent problems.

    I did a 6' post light last year that didnt work. Bad photocell found, replaced, the lights flickered, and the pole shocked me... found the empty sockets full of bugs, one of the center tabs sacked out, polarity reversed, corroded connections at the wirenuts, and a skinned piece of UF inside the pole causing the shock.

    *I believe the cable, phone and power companies here charge based on fifteen minute intervals too. I think it works out better for the customer as they arent paying for an entire hour that may not be used, and seeing, say, "19.50/15 min" is better than "$75/hr".

    I'd think your service call price has to include some amount of labor on site, even if it's 15 minutes to tell the customer "you need a new panel" or other extensive/pricey work, and write up an estimate for them.

    "ptonsparky
    I do the first hour included but it doesn't matter what you call it. 85 + 90 = 175 for the first hour on the job."

    Based on those numbers my service call would be $130. If my labor rate, overhead, etc were the same as yours, on calls that take an hour or less, you're making $45 more per call than I, tho you may not have as many calls or repeat business. It would be interesting to see where the breakpoint is on profitability.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  9. #9
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    JFletcher...my calls aren't near that high although I have a "special one" that is approaching that amount.
    Tom
    TBLO

  10. #10
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    Jul 2015
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    Wilmington, NC USA
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    I think capitalism will have an influence.

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