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Old January 8th, 2018, 10:44 AM   #31
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harryting is offline
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wow, that's depressing. The plumber I called one time charge more than that.

You should have given him the rate sheet right off the bat. Let this be a lesson to others.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 11:00 AM   #32
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AustralIan is offline
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When he paid exactly what you asked, did you explain to him that's no way to haggle!?
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Old January 8th, 2018, 11:52 AM   #33
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Since they opened with it being a cash job and expecting an under-the-table discount, I'd already be uneasy since I don't want to conduct business that way or be known as someone that will/needs to do it.

I'd probably hit him with $250 because trying to pay cash makes it seem like the guy is hard up and I'm a nice guy like that. I'd generate a paid invoice after, it just makes my life easier and avoids the slippery slope of not cutting in my partner for side jobs (I don't want him cutting me out, so I can't do it to him, even over a few hundred bucks).

If I got any major lip about that exceedingly generous bill, I'd walk out and send a Net-15 invoice for $736.80 (4 hours OT onsite, 1 hour travel, IRS mileage rate, and food per diem) with a 10% penalty applied at 30 days and again every 30 days thereafter. For convenience, I might even generate a short table with the total with penalty applied and the date that price becomes effective. I mean, I can forgive grumbling while forking over cash, but I'm not going to stand around and get yelled at over an already low rate.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 01:14 PM   #34

Toine is offline
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Worst part: on the next call all hell will break loose when he gets charged 250 or more. "Are you out of your fr##kin mind, it only cost me 120 last time around ".

As others said: have your T&C ready for the next job, make sure he knows them up front and agrees to them or don't do the job. He is acting like a moron and making you feel sorry for it.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 01:31 PM   #35

Dirt is offline
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Originally Posted by Toine View Post
Worst part: on the next call all hell will break loose when he gets charged 250 or more. "Are you out of your fr##kin mind, it only cost me 120 last time around ".
Isn't that the best part? Upsetting him.. Haha! He better care for his heart..

You better just shrug these type of idiots out of your mind. Their loss and they don't even get it. Someday it will bite back, I guess.

Last edited by Dirt; January 8th, 2018 at 01:34 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 01:38 PM   #36
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strantor is offline
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Location: katy tx
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Originally Posted by harryting View Post
wow, that's depressing. The plumber I called one time charge more than that.
Average rates per brief google search:
Plumber: $100/hr
Mechanic: $85/hr
HVAC service: $120/hr
Electrician: $65/hr
Handyman: $60/hr
Mobile welder: $100/hr
Engineering service: $125/hr

The rate for electrician was lower than I expected but it seems "skilled trades" service calls in general probably pull about $85/hr on average. I can't be anything but biased here, but I think that a Controls Tech/Eng is, or should be, about the highest of the "skilled trades," right around where the Engineering Services are listed above. The Place I used to work charged $136/hr (base; overtime: 1.5X, holiday:2X) for me to go on-site, from the time I left to the time I got back (I only got to keep $30 of that). That seems to me, to be about the high end of "reasonable." Now that I'm self employed, I charge somewhere closer to the low end of "reasonable;" $90/hr for field service. I have a 4hr minimum like most others here, but if this were my job, given the situation you described, I would probably waive the 4hr minimum and that would be my "concession" for the cash payment.

My service call would look like this:
Travel time: 1.5Hrs @ $95/hr = $142.5
Mileage: 40mi @ $1/mi: = $40
On-site time: 1hr @ $95/hr = $95
Total: $277.5 (204)

The rate you charged was the very lowest of low. 120 for 2.5hrs work of billable time is $53(48)/hr. That's less than ANY of the rates in my list above. I assume rates are the same (or more) on your side of the pond.

I think this guy would have balked at any price you charged him. Just don't go back there. Unless you're desperate.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 05:33 PM   #37
Ronnie Sullivan
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Ronnie Sullivan is offline
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Oh I know I was way too low.
I was glad to be away quick and on to the next job.
I didn't want to be stuck there all day wire tracing...

I could have replaced the whole contactor, spent time fetching it etc but I was really doing a favour for a friend that often brings me work.
To be honest, it felt nice having a pocket full of cash.
In our game we don't see much of it.

Interesting price ranges though - as much variance as salaries.
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