Home service businesses typically charge a diagnostic fee, or a service call fee, many charge this fee before they even start working, often times customers are displeased with paying this fee, they feel the fee is just a way for the company to charge more for their work, but that could not be further from the truth. Let’s take a look what goes into that diagnostic fee or sometimes in our case our service call fee:
HIDDEN COSTS: Oftentimes that fee barely covers or doesn’t even cover, the costs associated with the technician coming to your home. You may wonder, “How is that possible, all they did is show up at my house?”, but these costs are not typically thought about by customers, they are “hidden” costs so to speak.
TIME: Since each technician is paid by the company for their time, and you may think “the technician was only at my house for 5 or 10 minutes to diagnose my problem”, what may be not thought of is the time the technician spent driving to your location, making calls to you to confirm appointment, driving back to the company or to the next job which may or may not be in the same area as your home, recording information about your job, and providing an estimate or receipt for the work to be done or that was done. On average, the typical diagnostic call (including time spent before and after the actual diagnosis) can take upwards of an hour or more of the technicians time. Please also remember that, though the technician may only spend 10 minutes diagnosing a problem at your home, they can easily spend an hour or more diagnosing more complicated problems at other homes, on top of the time spent driving and logging information about the call. The diagnostic fee is a flat rate, so the company doesn’t charge more when the diagnosis takes longer than normal, occasionally technicians go right from diagnosis to repair and then regular service labor fees are added for the repair time, but if just a diagnostic is done, no additional charges are billed.
VEHICLES: The technician arrived at your home in a service vehicle, which are expenses that need to be covered by each job, diagnostic or service completed, these vehicles are necessary to carry tools, materials, and the technicians themselves from home to home. Vehicle expenses include things like fuel, maintenance and repairs, lease or loan payments, insurance and vehicle depreciation (wear and tear). These expenses may not seem like much per call, but they quickly add up, and the company must have income to cover the expenses.
SKILLS: Even if you ignored the costs associated with a diagnostic service list, companies charge a fee because the diagnosis itself requires skill. It may only take 5-10 minutes for a trained technician to diagnosis the problem, but that is simply because they have the skills necessary to troubleshoot and recognize the issue. Oftentimes, homeowners schedule a service visit because they lack these skills and need assistance. In short, a diagnosis is a service, just like any other service. While it may be frustrating to pay a service fee before an issue is actually fixed, or to be told the company either cannot make the repair necessary or, that no repair is necessary, it’s a necessary part of the home services industry. You’ll also find that diagnostic fees are common in other industries, such as IT and computer repair, automotive repair, etc. It’s a necessary part of doing business that’s meant to cover the company’s time, labor and overhead expenses. Oftentimes, these fees barely cover or do not even cover the expenses incurred diagnosing the issues.
Our diagnostic fee and service call fee is the same charge, it is a flat rate and includes UPTO the first hour labor, if you’re receiving a diagnostic and no repairs are to be made that is the fee you will be billed, should you ask the technician to make the repair after the diagnostic or you are not asking for a diagnostic you just want them to make the repair, then the service call fee is what you’re charged and it is still the flat rate and covers UPTO the first hour of labor, after that you’ll be billed the labor rate for each additional hour technicians are on site (billed by the 1/2 hour), and you’ll be billed for the materials used to make the necessary repairs.
1. You call with a leak from upstairs to downstairs but you’re not sure where it’s originating from. The technician locates the leak in 5 minutes and gives you a ball park estimate of the cost of the repair, you agree with the diagnostic and ask them to make the repair, which they begin right then, the technician finishes the repair and has now spent 2 hours 15 minutes at your home. Your bill might include the following:
2. You call requesting a technician to diagnose a sound from your furnace. The technician arrives and spends 5 minutes manually cycling your furnace, you say “hear that sound” they hear it, they spend another 5 minutes inspecting the operations of your furnace, and determine it is a normal operating sound for the condition of your furnace and give you the options: to leave it because the sound it self is not going to be an immediate issue even though your furnace is aging, and they provide an estimate for a replacement furnace should you decide you don’t want to risk it, or so you have an idea on what it will cost to replace what you have should it become necessary, they have now spent 15-20 minutes at your home.Your bill will likely look like this:
Two Mike’s Plumbing & Heating knows it is vital to keep your family and pets safe during this unprecedented time of social distancing. We also know that with more time at home, comes more use of your plumbing and HVAC systems. Meaning service, maintenance, and repairs can’t wait for the curve to flatten and COVID-19 to diminish.
Your family will be relying on plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning for comfort, now, more than ever. In addition to the safety guidelines set forth by the CDC, such as keeping 6-feet from you and performing additional cleaning of all of our trucks and equipment, we are implementing our own extra measures for your protection and for the protection of our team and their families.
When we come to your home, please expect the following:
Our team is happy to accommodate special requests to ease your anxieties and make you more comfortable with our service. When you call to make an appointment, 810-624-2343 please ask for any additional precautions you would like us to take on your behalf.
No one who is ill or who has come in contact with someone who is ill will be allowed to work until the appropriate incubation period has passed. We also ask that if you have come in contact with someone who is ill or you are ill yourself, you inform us of that ahead of time. We will take these appointments on a case-by-case basis, depending on the urgency of the issue.
Help our crews provide every customer the best possible level of customer service they can while on site for a job. Direct all service requests to our main office line 810-624-2343, even if you have the number from a service crew from previous communications. It is distracting and lowers the crews attention to the job at hand when they have service requests coming to their direct lines.
There have also been times when these calls have been lost or forgotten due to them not being recorded by the office, this is especially true when the call was made directly to a crew member that cannot perform the service being requested. When you call in to the office your call is sent to the crew most certified to assist with the issue you are having.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter!!!
Two Mike's Plumbing & Heating LLC Crew!
You can also request service by email firstname.lastname@example.org or completing the contact form on our website www.twomikesplumbing.com
If you have a sump pump that rarely needs to work to keep your basement dry, it is very important that during the winter months when it is used even less, that you are checking it to be sure that it is functioning.
Once the weather warms up a little and causes a quick thaw, your basement could be flooded before you even know it, or before you can get a new pump installed. Replacing a sump pump before a flood, is much less expensive than repairing the damage after the flood.
We firmly believe that maintenance and regular inspections of your homes systems is the best way to save money and keep your home comfortable and safe!!
Do you have a multi level home? Do you find that you have rooms that are too hot or too cold depending on the season? Does it seem like you're always turning your heat or air conditioning up and either making it too hot or too cold in the main areas of your home in order to make the bed rooms comfortable? If you said yes to any of these questions, call us for an estimate to have your home heating and cooling system zoned. Allowing you to make different areas of your home different temperatures, keeping everyone comfortable.
Below you can see where air controlled dampers were installed in the duct work allowing this homeowner to keep their basement, main floor, and second story all comfortable for everyone. If you have areas of your home that are not used all the time, zoning can allow you to save energy by keeping it less comfortable in those areas while not in use.
Call us today to find out how we can help your family be comfortable all year round!
We are frequently asked if we will come to work in a specific area, or a certain distance from our office. Here is a screenshot of where we have crews working this snowy day. Our crews go to many locations in a single day, if we can fix what you need fixed and we can do it for a fair price we will travel to great lengths to meet your service needs.