The Bottom Line

Are you one of those people who like to shop for price or “a great deal”?

I often receive phone calls from clients who ask: “what is your trip charge?” and they rarely ask more relevant questions such as: “What is your satisfaction guaranty?” Or: “What is your warranty?” Or: “WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?

They rarely ask these very important questions! They are only interested in the initial cost because they are often being suckered by deceptive “great deal” advertising such as: “Free trip charge if work is done”.

CONSIDER THIS:

I prefer not to micromanage things and merely provide a bottom line for services but if you actually prefer to see a break down of the individual considerations; here is an example breakdown you may get from Rod’s contracting on request.
This is based on a common, average repair where the client was quoted the total consideration (cost) before they authorized the service. And the $60.00 trip & diagnostics and cash discount were included in the original offer.

  • Trip charge___________________$40.00
  • Diagnose one appliance________$20.00
  • Labor________________________$120.00
  • Part__________________________$80.00
  • Cash discount________________$-20.00-
  • Bottom Line__________________$240.00

This average repair includes a brand name part and a full two year warranty and no additional cost to make a warranty claim or for a return trip to complete job on special order parts. And, because I utilize a flat rate, the service is completed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. I have actually seen other companies charge $340.00 or MORE for a service that should only cost around $200 to $240… PLUS they might even charge another trip charge for a warranty claim. . .

You may discover “SPECIAL OFFERS” or a “GREAT DEAL” being offered but the interesting thing is that despite ALL the different ways of wording these offers and the different advertising tricks, the bottom line often comes out to be the same or even MORE… So; Please make sure that you compare them VERY carefully! And make sure you are getting the SAME SERVICE for your money.

*Do they offer a cash discount as I do?
*Are they using brand name parts as much as possible as I do?
*Are they covering their parts and labor (all services) with a full two year warranty as I do?
*Do they provide a customer satisfaction guaranty as I do?
*Do they offer a price meet or beat assurance as I do?
*Do they charge additional trip charges when you make a warranty claim? Which is something I do NOT do.
*Do they charge additional trip charge to make a return trip on special order parts? Which is something I do NOT do.
*Do they utilize a consistent industry standard blue book reference and flat rate price policy or is it merely hourly so you pay more for a slower technician?
*Are their technicians subcontractors or working on a COMMISSION basis so they are motivated to drive up prices?
*What are the precise details of their so called “great deal” and will they provide it all in writing so I may legitimately beat their offer?
*Are they to busy reeling in new, first time customers, to take the time to answer your questions on the phone?

Lets consider the Rod’s breakdown. (above) It APPLIES the $60.00 trip & diagnostic consideration to the repair! This is commonly offered as a “special deal” but to me; this is merely the correct, honest way to put it in writing and is not any special “deal” at all.

For example; my quote for the job might be: $240.00 and if you pay the $60.00 up front then this $60.00 IS “applied” therefore only $180.00 for the actual repair services.
In fact if you do pay trip charge only then I actually provide a $60 credit applicable to any services you might need within 30 days.

That’s right folks; you can apply the original trip and diagnostics to the original or even a new service on a different appliance. 🙂

Here are some other “great deal” options other companies might use for their pricing strategies:

  • Trip charge____________________FREE!
  • Diagnose one appliance_________FREE!
  • Labor________________________$160.00
  • Part__________________________$80.00
  • Bottom Line__________________$240.00

Or maybe this one looks better to you:

  • Trip charge____________________FREE!
  • Diagnose one appliance_________FREE!
  • Labor________________________$120.00
  • Part_________________________$120.00
  • Bottom Line__________________$240.00

Or how about my favorite- still offered by MANY companies:

  • Trip charge____________________FREE!
  • Diagnose one appliance_________FREE!
  • Labor________________________$160.00
  • Part__________________________$94.00
  • Part_________________________$-14.00
  • Bottom Line__________________$240.00

Or maybe that part (above) looks a little expensive and people typically expect to pay more for labor anyway SO:

  • Trip charge____________________FREE!
  • Diagnose one appliance_________FREE!
  • Labor________________________$180.00
  • Part__________________________$74.00
  • Part_________________________$-14.00
  • Bottom Line__________________$240.00

And their “GREAT DEAL” often stipulates that you mention the discount or “sale” ahead of time so their technician may “pad the bill” and collect his full commission. And the repair is often done with cheaper, aftermarket parts covered with a warranty as little as 30 days and additional trip charge(s) if you make a warranty claim! YES some companies STILL use this practice of charging additional trip charges on a warranty claim. Do you still think you are getting a “great deal” on those “special offers”?

I honestly tell it like it is and I do not use any of these deceptive advertising and pricing strategies. SO: you must compare “apples to apples” and many companies will not provide a phone quote at all even when they have a price book. Or they may even totally low-ball the quote thus PREVENTING you from making a good comparison! Like a drug dealer offering “free samples”; they simply want to get their foot in your door then sell you sub-standard materials and services including additional repairs to raise the price without giving you a choice. If another company refuses to talk to you about pricing on a specific repair including what kind of parts they use, how they pay their technicians or what their warranty is then you should ask: “What are they hiding?!?

I on the other hand; actually talk to you and answer all your questions and maybe even diagnose the problem on the phone and provide an exact free phone quote.
And in some cases; I may even solve the problem over the phone for free! 🙂
IE: A simple solution or client mechanically inclined to perform his/her own repair with my phone support.

The Bottom Line

These days many reputable companies are now using an industry standard flat rate price book called “The Major Appliance Service National Price Guide” (MASPG). Also known as “blue book” Go figure! I have actually been using my own flat rate reference for over 25 years. 🙂

I also now rely on this modern, consistent fee simple flat rate system as a reference and I can typically complete a contract for substantially less than current (2017) book price.
I accomplish this by merely using the older 2014 blue book to easily beat 2015, 2016 and especially 2017 prices respectively.

Think about it. Service prices have in fact increased substantially over the last 3 years but I, a true private contractor with less overhead am still using 3 year old prices! 🙂