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"Itemizing" an invoice- how detailed?

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    #31
    Let me tell you about something I'm going thru as the customer. Last month we were moving my Case 580M backhoe from one job site to another. It was only about 10-12 miles, so we were roading it. My guy driving it didn't realize it was still in 4wd. It started making noise. He stopped and called me. I came and looked at it, verified there was a problem. I called the Case dealer to come pick it up and bring me a rental replacement.

    i stopped at the dealer a week later to check on it, they hadn't got to it yet. Same thing the next week. So, Thursday I'm thinking I need to stop in and check on it or the rental bill is going to be more than the repair bill.

    later that afternoon I get a phone call form the dealer, the service manager is on vacation, but the backhoe is done. The bill is $13,000. How would I like to pay for it? I came unglued. More than one f-bombs were dropped. No estimate was ever provided me. I had not authorized repairs based upon an estimate. You can be sure that repair bill had better be fully itemized and they can justify every penny of it.

    I'll pay the bill, if it's justifiable, but damn am I pissed at them. You can also guess how much of my business they will get in the future. Needless to say they will not be selling me the dozer I had been thinking about buying from them. Or what kind of a recommendation I will give anyone else about them.

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      #32
      As far as what I have posted I tried to write, and to be clear I want to say it again.
      Price up front.

      Like I wrote before not getting an upfront price, at least after a small amount of checking can be a sign of a rip-off about to happen.

      By no way am I advocating for unknown price drooped on the customer when the work is done.

      Step 1 - Access what they want / need
      Step 2 - Give them a price
      Step 3 - Do the work or go on to the next job

      From the customers side a flat rate price, proposal, bid, and estimate look like the same thing.
      $XX amount to do this work. No need to show your math.

      Some states have laws on home repair and vehicle repair to prevent no price till something crazy at the end.
      Such as requiring a signed agreement for amounts above.. Or final price has to be almost the estimated price.
      So if a plumber came over to fix a toilet, no price discussed, and gave you a bill for $9,000, depending on state laws you may have a case for the contractor board.
      The plumber would have been performing work above $ amount without a contract.
      Don't think the plumber would be able to hold up in court if he violated the contracting laws.

      Comment


        #33
        Originally posted by active1 View Post
        As far as what I have posted I tried to write, and to be clear I want to say it again.
        Price up front.

        Like I wrote before not getting an upfront price, at least after a small amount of checking can be a sign of a rip-off about to happen.

        By no way am I advocating for unknown price drooped on the customer when the work is done.

        Step 1 - Access what they want / need
        Step 2 - Give them a price
        Step 3 - Do the work or go on to the next job

        From the customers side a flat rate price, proposal, bid, and estimate look like the same thing.
        $XX amount to do this work. No need to show your math.

        Some states have laws on home repair and vehicle repair to prevent no price till something crazy at the end.
        Such as requiring a signed agreement for amounts above.. Or final price has to be almost the estimated price.
        So if a plumber came over to fix a toilet, no price discussed, and gave you a bill for $9,000, depending on state laws you may have a case for the contractor board.
        The plumber would have been performing work above $ amount without a contract.
        Don't think the plumber would be able to hold up in court if he violated the contracting laws.
        Fair enough. I was just trying to point out it don't always work that way. Around the smaller communities where I am at, if you are known to gouge people on price - you probably won't last long, the word gets around fast. That said, there are companies that do charge significantly higher price for same work as some of their competition. Why are they still in business, they have a well run service department, fix things right the first time instead of making several return trips throwing parts at something until it finally works, will usually be able to schedule you fairly quickly when you do need service work, can send out 1,2, or 10 service people depending on what is needed for the job. When it comes to things around the house, most homeowners want cheap, when it comes to running a business and the item in question is holding up productivity, those more reliable service companies may be well worth what they charge to some business owners.
        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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          #34
          Originally posted by kwired View Post
          Fair enough. I was just trying to point out it don't always work that way. Around the smaller communities where I am at, if you are known to gouge people on price - you probably won't last long, the word gets around fast. That said, there are companies that do charge significantly higher price for same work as some of their competition. Why are they still in business, they have a well run service department, fix things right the first time instead of making several return trips throwing parts at something until it finally works, will usually be able to schedule you fairly quickly when you do need service work, can send out 1,2, or 10 service people depending on what is needed for the job. When it comes to things around the house, most homeowners want cheap, when it comes to running a business and the item in question is holding up productivity, those more reliable service companies may be well worth what they charge to some business owners.
          With the internet the price gouging word will get around, much faster in smaller cities than large ones.

          The home owner may want to go cheap unless you can convince them otherwise and that is when sales training is necessary. You don't need to have a broken production line type customer in order to have higher charges for your services.
          Edward
          The only thing I know, is the progressive discovery of my ignorance

          Comment


            #35
            Originally posted by edward View Post
            With the internet the price gouging word will get around, much faster in smaller cities than large ones.

            The home owner may want to go cheap unless you can convince them otherwise and that is when sales training is necessary. You don't need to have a broken production line type customer in order to have higher charges for your services.
            I agree, it all comes down to how well you sell yourself (your business and it's products/services) Present them well enough and people may say "he is a little high in price, but well worth it". That is the kind of comment you want going around about your business, and that goes for any business.

            Those that want cheap don't always realize that some of those little things that someone higher priced maybe pays attention to details on comes back as a better overall investment at times. Sure there are occasions where it may not matter one bit.
            I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

            Comment


              #36
              "With the internet the price gouging word will get around"

              That got me looking at the local Yelp negative reviews.

              Seems like the top complaints are no show at scheduled time, didn't fix the problem, and personality conflicts / professionalism / saying the wrong thing seemed to get the negatives. Sure I found one where they complained about the material price and permit charge was marked up with the HO wanted the company to wait while they went shopping to avoid the M/U. IMO that just goes back to the original don't break it all down.

              Interestingly you could sort the contractors from $ to $$$$. Just like searching for lunch. You want a $ lunch place, here's burger king. Or you want a local $$$$ lunch place with table cloths. Myself I'm a real cheapa$$. But I also understand the low end cheapest place is probably more trouble than it's worth. The last time I called for some HVAC service I went on the low end. The guy spent a few hours looking at everything, make about 4 lifeline calls for help, broke my closet light, for a simple problem that I even said it's probably this when he showed up. Rather have a confident person that knows what they are doing and gets in and out with little trouble or mess.

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                #37
                As detailed as the written order you were given.
                Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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                  #38
                  Originally posted by Besoeker View Post
                  As detailed as the written order you were given.
                  I seldom have written orders, especially for service calls, but don't think verbal invoices are the best way of tracking things when it comes to tax time
                  I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by kwired View Post
                    I seldom have written orders, especially for service calls, but don't think verbal invoices are the best way of tracking things when it comes to tax time
                    Many of our customers had a formal service contract which gave fixed hourly rates and mileage charges. The engineer had a standard report sheet which he filled out on site and had the customer sign it before leaving site. The job was invoiced based on that and a copy of the report went with the invoice. Thus, a complete document trail and that kept the auditors happy.........
                    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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