"Clapping and cheering" ? Another bizarre one. So you dont think any one person has the right to click an icon to say they agree with something ? Because thats all that has happened prior to your post. But dont let the truth stand in the way of a good story
One thing I would agree with is that its clearly touched a nerve. Another point which always seems to escape some is that a statement that you have turned up, done nothing, and charged $550 doesnt really do your industry any favours. Yet you seem to wonder why people want to bypass calling you ?
Supporting someone charging $550 for no work is as bad as doing it yourself. Unless the charge is justified (clearly it isnt as the poster is literally boasting about what he has done) you should be condemning it, not cheering it. Perhaps its something you can do with a larger customer, but do you think the average person in the street is going to wear $550 for no work ?
And you know that just from reading the post ? Psychic like the rest of us ?there are quite evidently reasons behind it which were not relevant to the story and not mentioned
550 is a bit steep but i do understand the issue with after hours pricing with tradies , when i was working as a plumber we had a 160ph call out fee and that covered the first hour after that it was 80 per half hour.
i must admit i have had to use a tradie after hours and on each of the 2 occasions i have had to they were both minimum 2 hr call out fess at 160ph .
Needles to say considering i am a real prick after they finished ( 1/2hr each time) i made them go over everything until there was 15 minutes left of the 2 hours then said ok thats cool ill have the bill now thanks.
Never take your partner or loved one for granted life is so short
Next time your hot water heater blows up on Boxing day, let me know the bill. Next time you need a five minute job done on a property two hours outside the metro area, let me know. Etc. etc. etc...Supporting someone charging $550 for no work is as bad as doing it yourself. Unless the charge is justified (clearly it isnt as the poster is literally boasting about what he has done) you should be condemning it, not cheering it. Perhaps its something you can do with a larger customer, but do you think the average person in the street is going to wear $550 for no work ?
There is nothing for me to condemn as there is an absence of context on which to base a reasonable assessment. Time incurred on-site? Location (i.e. travel time), penalty rates, reporting, etc. etc. None of it was mentioned as it wasn't relevant to the point about a clueless sparky and a tightarsed/naive property owner. I'm happy to give the original poster the benefit of the doubt. However a lack of information certainly hasn't stopped you and others being convinced that he's eeeeevil despite having no information on which to form a balanced view. Psychic indeed. You say it's "no work" but how do you actually know that? Just because he didn't post two thousand words about it? It certainly would have taken time to assess what sparky had done, identify issue, install, check program plus effectively train the sparky as the post indicated, then test plus back-office administration. The fact only a few cheap parts were used is beside the point, however your base assumption vindicated my point earlier about people who know very little about what's involved, forming immutable opinions on it from their high-chairs based on their own uninformed prejudice. Perhaps you can tell us how much he should have charged. Fifty dollars? Twenty-five? Perhaps get Imaz around to have a go?
It's the same foolish attitude that means people resent going to a healthcare professional, being told there's nothing wrong with them and then getting a hefty bill. Perhaps being told they had cancer would represent better value for their money. The sad reality is the average self-employed alarm technician, with tens of thousands of dollars in tools charges less per hour than some barely educated "personal trainer" getting cash-in-hand for making people run around a park. Anyone who thinks our industry is overcharging is very, very mistaken. If anything, it's the low prices which have affected quality for years.
Last edited by downunderdan; 26-12-11 at 09:46 AM.
$550 for a call out is ok if the customer is aware of the charges
but i would have hoped the other connections were checked for corrosion ect
and not just a bill handover
or did he not do anything so there are more callouts
There is no indication the event took place at midnight nor is there any indication it took place on Boxing Day. We can guarantee it didnt happen on Boxing Day (unless Time Travel is included in the price...possible ?) I would find it very unlikely it happened at midnight either.Next time you get locked out of your house at midnight and have to call an after hours locksmith, let me know the bill. Next time your hot water heater blows up on Boxing day, let me know the bill.
I have never received an invoice for $550 for someone simply turning up. Have you ? Perhaps your answer will show a clear difference between what you are prepared to pay and what the rest of the consumer world will pay.
You want to give the OP the benefit of the doubt, yet want to attack anyone else that doesnt agree with you. Even though they havent actually even posted.There is nothing for me to condemn as there is an absence of context on which to base a reasonable assessment. Time of job? Location (i.e. travel time), penalty rates, reporting, etc. etc. None of it was mentioned as it wasn't relevant to the point about a clueless sparky. I'm happy to give the original poster the benefit of the doubt. However a lack of information certainly hasn't stopped you and others being convinced that he's eeeeevil despite having no information on which to form a balanced view. Psychic indeed.
Read the original post and see if you can work out why people would form the opinion they have. He has publically stated what he did and what he charged , can you get $550 from that ? Penalty rates ? Man, he must be on some serious rates to start with then.
Perhaps I should not have removed his continued attempts at advertising his company in his signature. But then, well I think I have done him a very big favor by removing it
While Joey post may have been too blunt and was, he is only stating what people are thinking. Replies like :
dont do your cause any good. Like the rest of your post, its simply based on biting back at a post you dont like.While understandable, it pays to count to 10 before pressing the post button. No one has even remotely said they are against paying for anything, they have however said that they are against paying ridiculous fees for someone to turn up.Originally Posted by Downunderdan
Like many, I have trouble comprehending why some of you guys seem to enjoy pumping a ton of lead in your feet all in the name of "defending your industry". You do realise that like any industry, you might have some "overchargers" in it ?
Instead of having the thread turn in to an Industry V's Consumer battle, why not look at whether it is even possible that someone could arrive at this figure for what the OP has stated he did at the job ? Like many, I struggle to see $550 worth of work.
So a job that should have only cost $35.10
Ended up costing $550 plus the sparky wage
Shame on the customer and the Sparky LOL
When you do things right, people won't be sure that you have done anything at all
Obviously you can't work out from your own analogy that a person with a security license can also be a lousy (overcharging) operator.
What else is there to know einstein?
The OP is clearly beating himself on the chest of how much better he was than the sparkie and found the problem quickly (kudos to him for that bit) and then charge an arm and a leg for it.
But what would I know? I've only operated a small business for 15 years. Not security of course as I'm not smart enough for that me thinks.
I'm sure Rupert would love to have you writing for him in one of his unbiased papers.
Last edited by weirdo; 26-12-11 at 10:47 AM. Reason: addink stuffs that me couldn't fink of the first time around
I don't agree with most of what you've written, but I commend you at least stating your point such that it can be refuted.
Nobody has asked the question. Instead they simply jumped to a whole lot of conclusions. Therein lies the problem. Having said that, if I were to guess it would be some time after 9pm.There is no indication the event took place at midnight
Are you convinced the bill was simply for turning up? Really?I have never received an invoice for $550 for someone simply turning up.
I'm not that precious. My argument was those who stand from a position of cluelessness and join a pile-on (i.e. the "thanks" from people who've hitherto never uttered a peep here much less added anything to the conversation) followed by various comments from a position of ignorance.You want to give the OP the benefit of the doubt, yet want to attack anyone else that doesnt agree with you.
By all means, challenge the original poster, though at this point I'd be surprised if he'd engage with what comes across as an angry mob.
Because they have no idea?Read the original post and see if you can work out why people would form the opinion they have.
No. You think he has stated what he did. Is it possible that he didn't write a 200 word timesheet of every little thing he did, as it didn't seem relevant? I daresay it was written as a tongue--in-cheek in-joke to a bunch of security types who have all had experiences with silly sparkies. Many such threads around here, just as I expect sparkies and plumbers make money cleaning up after Husbands' attempts at fixing things. Alas the original poster was too light on detail and never saw it coming that he'd be held to account by a bunch of faceless X-Box hackers.He has publically stated what he did and what he charged , can you get $550 from that ?
Now, if it turns out that yes, he charged five hundred bucks to teach someone a lesson, then I'd also be disappointed. However I'm experienced enough to read between the lines and not jump to conclusions. I will give him the benefit of the doubt rather than condemning him and his company as you have. I note 90% of this thread (including some of my comments) are pure conjecture until the original poster comes back (though as I mentioned, why would he?)
Last edited by downunderdan; 26-12-11 at 11:16 AM.
Have it done by a one man band or a company that pays their staff peanuts if you don't like those charges. Both of those options have their own inherent issues.
Let's break it down just so everyone understands even though it's been said before but overlooked by most.
Labour cost: double time at a minimum of 4 hours if called out plus a penalty for being on call: $35ph x 4hrs = $140 at double time = $280 + on ca penalty at $100 = $380. (Before anyone arks up about the on call penalty, this may be the only callous the tech has on his shift.) So without taking into account vehicle costs, and admin the callout has cost the service provider $380.00 before any works done. Being a business and paying their staff correctly, is it not reasonable to suggest that they should be able to profit from their activities. Afterall, every business is about profit. Oh but it's not reasonable profit I hear you say? Stop shopping at supermarkets then, afterall they rob the farmers and consumers blind yet are still supported by most without question.
I hit the Thanks Button because he had the BALLS to post what he did LOL
And I agreed with some of his comments also
And If you saw me dressed at as a Cheer Leader you would gouge your own eyes out with rusty nails and fish hooks, get the picture LOL
Last edited by best4less; 26-12-11 at 11:31 AM.
When you do things right, people won't be sure that you have done anything at all
Well I sure as hell wouldn't type it LOL
You have to admit it sure got the thread going
When you do things right, people won't be sure that you have done anything at all
I think this thread has developed to the point that demonstrates why you should shop around & when you have found someone you are happy with (whatever the trade) you should stick with them & support them by way of referrals. While I can see the pricing strategy of the larger organisations with overheads , advertising & adminisrative cost , let me give you an example of the other end of the spectrum.
I am that much ridiculed "man in a van". I have a tertiary technical qualifications & a lifetime of experience in the electronic field ( 15+ in electronic security) I work by myself & for myself though I have two licenced cablers I can call on when required. I have little in the way of overheads , pay fully for stock when ordered & have no debt. 90% of my clientele comes from referrals from happy existing customers. I could sell my monitored lines & walk away tomorrow at a moments notice and that is exactly like I want it.
My business strategy ? EXISTING clients are of paramount importance. New clients are made aware that once I have done the work for them they are then my main concern but if they want ME to do the work for them thay may need to wait a bit. Yes I lose a few jobs that need to be done yesterday but it provides a steady flow of customers who know that I will do the upmost to look after them. Inevitably it will get to the stage where I will not be able to handle any more work by myself & at that stage I will simply not take any new clients (a bit like a doctor).
How do I look after my existing clients? Well the ones without monitoring I simply treat right. They are not a source of reccurring work but a source of 'word of mouth" referrals.
The ones with monitoring get the premium treatment. free phone support(at reasonable hours), regular drop in visits if I'm going past & have the time , minor alterations or additions (code changes / extra fobs etc) at cost or free)
they know I look after them & they are loyal in return. Put simply the buck stops with me but I have very little problems with my installs. I am not trying to build an empire but simply a sustaiable business.
eg. Last Wednesday received a call from a local who had been referred to me by his neighbour. Had a Sol 16+ installed in his new house in May by an installer on the Central Coast who was a friend on the husband. Fully equiped with 16 zones (overkill) because he indicated that he was doing it as a favour & would be cheap. The wife said it wasn't cheap when they got the bill. Two storey house with panel in the garage, wired at framing stage. So far so good.He ran only a strobe on fig 8 & no siren. Would it really have been that hard to use 4/6 core in case a siren was required at some stage?
The owner decided they needed a siren mainly because in summer they couldn't see the strobe flash on keyfob arming. They had rung the installer on numerous occassions but he had never been inclined to come back probably because he knew he could not get a cable in for the siren. They had also rung the two main security companies (snoop & club) & received quote of around the $400 mark. The initial installer had run a spare 4 core for a second codepad in the main bedroom which had never been installed so we used this. Everything looking good until it came time to test it. No worky.
I mentioned to the owner that going on evidence of the installation the installer may have disabled the siren in programming & maybe they could tactfully ring & ask him while at the same time getting the instalkler code. Well I suppose she was as tactfull as she could be but he worked out pretty quickly what was going on & gave her a mouthfull then hung up. The look on the wifes face made me crack a smile. At that stage all the goodwill was gone ( husbands friend , mates rates all a load of crap). Ended up defaulting the panel , reprogram & all was sweet.
Total cost - $25 for horn speaker
1.5 hours @ $60/hr
Goodwill & loyalty for ever more $1m worth
So back on topic I also can't see how you could justfy $550 for what took place. All I can say people is ring around or get recommendations. There are sharks in every industry.
Licensed security installer & Trainer
if I've been helpful - add to my reputation
you were born with two ears & one mouth
so listen twice as much as you talk
Guys, you're missing a few key points.
1. The customer would have been quoted "after hours" charges.
2. The customer, agreeing to the charges, obviously has something worth securing if he couldn't wait until the next business day.
3. The electrician more than likely offered his services biting off more than he could chew.
$400-600 for an after hours call-out in this trade is not uncommon. That is why we have a plethora of options available to the customer, which include but not limited to;
1. Remote dial-in
2. Bypass runaway zones
3. Telephone support
4. Static guard
5. A/H Call-out (When and if the customer requests it)
Below is the calculation I provided to another industry forum to illustrate how service pricing works. No! It's not a figure we thought up one day over a few pints in the local watering hole.
Step 1: Calculating Available Working Hours per Annum
Assuming a 40 hr week, calculate available hours at worst case scenario.
Total 2080hrs per year total
minus 160hrs Annual Leave
minus 40hrs Sick Leave
minus 88hrs Public Holidays
minus 20hrs Training
minus 52hrs Administration
Balance = 1720hrs Available
Step 2: Total Cost of Operation
Wages, vehicles, rental/lease etc. All expenses typically found on P&L statement.
Step 3: Work out which employees generate revenue
You will have to calculate based on the available hours, how much of those hours are billable. Set all revenue generators to 100% productive.
Step 4: Adjustments
Assuming a constant flow of business is maintained, you will need to adjust the productivity percentage. 100% productivity is in fact not achievable in reality, therefore you will need to adjust the productivity of your employees due to downtime e.g. Breaks, travel, pickup/drop-off parts etc. For a service technician, I would set a target of 75%.
Step 5: Allocating the Revenue
Once you have established available hours and adjusted the revenue generator accordingly, you can calculate the amount of hours "billable" for the year.
E.g. 1720 x 75% = 1290 Billable hours
Step 6: Overhead Recovery Rate
To calculate this you will need the total cost of operation (Step 2) and the total amount of billable hours (Step 5) of all your employees. Once you have the totals, you will need to divide the total cost by the total amount of billable hours.
E.g. $750,000/6450 (5 employees) = $116.28 (Hourly rate to break even)
Step 7: Gross Margin
Now that you have calculated your labour cost, you can calculate the selling price required to achieve a specific gross margin.
E.g. If the required gross margin is 40% you would work it out like this;
$116.28/(1-40%) = $116.28/0.60 = $193.80/hr (figures are for illustration purposes ONLY)
Now, factor in industry/trade EBA for After Hours on-call and you will quickly see how $400-600 is justifiable!
Hope this helps
Last edited by intelliGEORGE; 26-12-11 at 01:11 PM.
With all due respect, being self-employed is a different kettle of fish. TheAlarmGuy obviously works for a company, otherwise I too would think $550 is excessive for a sole trader.
Watchdog is right. It can be very cheap. Intelligeorge is right too, it can be very expensive. As I have said, until AlarmGuy expands on his post, it's pure conjecture.
Watchdog, I hope you're careful with 'mates rates' in a service business. You will often find that your 'mates' can be more demanding than your purely commercial clients, because they feel less concerned about ringing you at all hours and you habitually try harder to look after them. In other words, an even better than market service, for less money. Consider making them pay market (your 'mates' would never expect you to lose money would they?), but treat them right and everybody wins.
Also, I don't know anyone who ridicules 'man with van' and anyone who does should be ashamed of themselves. Now 'stupid man with lousy van' is another story...
Last edited by downunderdan; 26-12-11 at 12:17 PM.