Our technicians use standard pricing, from a pre-printed price book. Our technicians do not have the latitude to change the pricing. You pay the same as your neighbors would pay for the same repair.
Our charges are more than some companies in the area, though not as much as others. I make no apologies. I learned a long time ago that it is far better to offer a more expensive, quality service and explain our prices every once in a while than to skimp and live with a reputation for poor quality forever.
Why do we charge what we charge? It’s a fair question. Let me endeavor to answer. First, our prices are not set by happenstance. They aren’t set to the level we think the market will bear. Neither are they set to the level our competitors charge. Our prices are set so that we can keep one dime out of every dollar after taxes. I think that’s fair.
Our prices are based on our costs. Out of every dollar we charge, we must pay for…
- Our technician’s salary
- Worker’s compensation
- Social security
- Medical benefits
- Ongoing training
- Travel to the job
- Finance charges on the inventory we carry
- Auto insurance
- Business insurance
- Telephone line charges
- Our telephone system
- Web and Internet expenses
- Call takers
- After hours answering service
- Overhead and benefits for office personnel
- Our computers
- Our software
- Data entry
- Standby technicians for emergency service
- Office rent and utilities
- Professional services (e.g., tax and legal services)
- Merchant bank fees
- Membership in professional and trade organizations
- State licensing
- Technician certification
- Reserves to honor all of our warranties and guarantees
- People to fill out dozens of forms and reports for various government regulators
There is more, but you get the idea. It costs a lot of money to run an organization that is prepared to respond rapidly for people like you who call us in a crisis because their comfort system has broken down during extreme weather conditions. I doubt you would want to wait until we can get around to it. That means we need extra resources standing by. Unfortunately, faster service is more expensive.
Yes, there are some in our community that charge less. There are some that hire less qualified personnel, who make lots of mistakes and must go back and correct them. There are some that do not train their workforce to keep them up to speed with current codes and practices. There are some that drive beat-up old trucks, which will leak oil all over your driveway or in front of your home. There are some that do not conduct background checks on their employees or perform drug tests to ensure that you won’t have to worry about a service technician returning at night to rob you to support a drug habit (please do not scoff; this is a very real problem in our industry). There are some that do not carry the proper level of insurance to protect you in the event of a catastrophe. There are some that cut a lot of corners.
I can understand your concern for your welfare and the amount you pay. Different businesses charge different prices for what appear to be similar products and services every day. For example, a dinner at a top steakhouse costs more than what appears to be a similar dinner at a buffet style restaurant. Clothes purchased from an upscale retailer cost more than what appears to be similar clothes purchased from a discount retailer. Rarely are the products and services truly the same. There are always differences.
When you call us, you may not have wanted the quality of service and level of protection we offer. You did want our speed of response, however. The problem is the quality of service, level of protection, and speed of response come together as a package. We can’t break them apart or isolate one aspect of our service from another.
It’s fair to say that you will understood the cost before any service is performed, just like you understand the cost of a dinner when ordering from the menu at a restaurant. When you order a dinner at a restaurant and eat the meal, I doubt you accuse the restaurant of overpricing, even if you think it’s pricey. I would hope you give us the same consideration.
I’m not here to make excuses. I merely wanted to offer an explanation. I hope you have a better understanding.
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