To free estimate or no free estimate that is the ?

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aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
ultramegabob said:
I always call to confirm that someone is home and they know Im on my way, if no anwer, I skip them and go to the next service call and either call again when Im free, or wait for them to track me down next.....
I call before going out too but if no one answers I still go out.

I went to one guy's house to give a price for a service upgrade. When I got there I knocked on the door. No answer. I went around back and knocked on the back door. No answer. I called his number and heard the answering machine inside pick up. I left a message and left.

Drove back to the office and a few minutes later he calls and asks where was I. I told him I knocked and left a message and he said he must not have heard me. I schedule to go back out the next day.

Guess what? The exact same thing happened all over again even though I called before heading out and he said he would be there.

I would have thought maybe I had the wrong address but I double checked it and not only that the answering machine inside was picking up and I could here myself leaving a message.

I decided it was time to start charging for estimates.

Another guy called and the caller ID said it was from Jiffy Lube. The guy gave me an address to meet him at and wanted me to meet him after 4:00pm that day on a friday. I asked for a number that he could be reached at and he said he didn't have one but he assured me he would be there. Of course no one was there. I taped a note and a business card to his door so he would know I had been there.
 

zappy

Senior Member
Location
CA.
So do you charge for the estimate before you go there?

So do you charge for the estimate before you go there?

aline said:
I call before going out too but if no one answers I still go out.

I went to one guy's house to give a price for a service upgrade. When I got there I knocked on the door. No answer. I went around back and knocked on the back door. No answer. I called his number and heard the answering machine inside pick up. I left a message and left.

Drove back to the office and a few minutes later he calls and asks where was I. I told him I knocked and left a message and he said he must not have heard me. I schedule to go back out the next day.

Guess what? The exact same thing happened all over again even though I called before heading out and he said he would be there.

I would have thought maybe I had the wrong address but I double checked it and not only that the answering machine inside was picking up and I could here myself leaving a message.

I decided it was time to start charging for estimates.

Another guy called and the caller ID said it was from Jiffy Lube. The guy gave me an address to meet him at and wanted me to meet him after 4:00pm that day on a friday. I asked for a number that he could be reached at and he said he didn't have one but he assured me he would be there. Of course no one was there. I taped a note and a business card to his door so he would know I had been there.
You said you charge for estimates now.If no one is there how do you get paid?
 

aline

Senior Member
Location
Utah
zappy said:
You said you charge for estimates now.If no one is there how do you get paid?
Sometimes I don't.
Sometimes I can get them to pay by credit card before I come out.

The one's who do pay do help to make up for the ones that don't.
I don't charge a lot to come out and give estimates. It ranges from $29 to $49 depending on how much work I have at the moment. It just helps keep me from running all over town wasting my time on people that are just thinking about having the work done.

I don't charge repeat customer's anything.

For realtors I charge over a hundred dollars for estimates.

I had a call the other day to give an estimate for a service upgrade.
I told her it there would be a $29 dispatch fee to come out. She said that was fine. When I took her information she then told me she didn't own the home but was a realtor and was representing the buyer. She wanted an estimate because the home inspector said the service needed to be upgraded and the buyer needed the estimate to negotiate the price.

These home inpsectors charge hundreds of dollars to come out and write up these reports and then the realtors call around wanting free estimates so they can negotiate the price. Often times the work never gets done.
 
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