A Service Call is fee is a bill for the expense associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect, and provide expert recommendations by a technician. This is sometimes also referred to as a trip free.
Most blue collar trades like plumbing, HVAC, electricians etc. bill for a service call.
What are they charging for? Why does it vary do much? Why can it be so high?
What are they charging for?
People understand they need to pair for a service but why pay for someone to drive out? Time is money and you’re buying time? The company or technician has to set aside time in their day to visit you at your home or business. They can’t go to other money making jobs during this time. There are also real costs associated with driving: gas, wear and trear on a vehicle, and paying the technician.
Why do they vary do much?
Firstly, it depends on the trade. A handyman might have a very low service call or trip free where a licensed plumber may have a higher fee. Secondly, some companies include some work in the price if a service call like 30 minutes or an hour of labor?
Why can it be so high?
Let’s examine what you get with any real service call, labor excluded because that may vary.
- The technician or dispatcher took a call interupting what they were doing
- The service was scheduled
- The technician arrived within a given time frame
- Gas was used to drive there, time to find the place, and park
- A professional with skills and knowledge will examine your issues arrived.
- They have a stocked vehicle with tools, equipment, supplies, and merchandise
- They then have paperwork to complete related to the call such as entering customer info, writing an invoice, book keeping, ordering parts, taking items out of an inventory system
- Additionally there are costs of running a business. Storefront/stock, phone bill, insurance, workman’s compensation, professional organizations, continuing education, tools and machines, paying bookkeepers and accounts, legal fees, advertising costs, payroll, time taken to network, paying for business software etc
The reality is that most service calls help a company payn for these things, maybe make a little bit of money but mostly likely they’re breaking even. So an $85 service call and $100 of parts and labor, which ends up costing you $185 may yield a lot less for the technician. After paying for parts, even at cost and credit card original fees they make a fraction of what you pay.
We hope this explains why we charge a service call even for close locations like University Heights, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid, Shaker Heights, Lyndhurst, and others.
Unfortunately, little in life is free. That includes hiring any worthwhile service company. Every service company wants to tell you this, not because they need to justify their prices, but because they want you to know it’s actually fair.