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Anyone ever charge a monitoring fee?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by affprop, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. affprop

    affprop Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Does anyone ever charge a fee to just go check a lot? The reason I ask is I have a Drs office that is only open on tues. and thurs. I have to go check the lot just to make sure it is ok. I had a tiff with them this summer and I dont really want to plow and deice them but they really want me to do them so I am thinking of charging a monitoring fee if I drive all the way over there and dont have to do anything. What do you guys think?
     
  2. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    In my opinion I would say no. One reason to group properties together, so you can travel and hit a group rather than getting spread out.
     
  3. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    I've charged and gotten $25 for this service for years. Hey, my time is worth something! I'm in it to make $.
     
  4. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    I think you should absolutely charge them for this service. If you want to work for free come my way and I will give tons of work!!!!! :D :D :D

    By not charging for your time you are doing the entire industry a disservice in my opinion. I am constantly hearing customers tell me "Well, so and so doesn't charge me for this or that". When everyone just folds and agrees because someone else does something our industry as a whole suffers. Flip the situation and now all of a sudden everyone charges for EVERYTHING, right down to contract origination fees, estimates, etc... Wouldn't we all be better off? Each of us has to do our own part to raise the industry.

    In my area no one charges for any work that is not done. There is no mininum charge per season. I started asking for two plows as a mininum, snow or no snow. I was laughed at. I now play it by ear with each account. I now charge a mininum of $75.00 as a contract origination fee. Yes, I folded somewhat as a result of what everyone else was doing but at I felt like at least I did something.

    I don't mean to come across as jumping on you here, but you have to charge for your time. That is a repeating service they requested that involves you time. Go for it! Good luck!
     
  5. Back to the question...How far is too far? Never, if you get enough money.

    If it was within say 10 minutes to drive to and check, I would say no.

    But I would bring my plowing and salting price up to cover the time/gas it takes to check on it. Add it to the bill as "Checked on lot" and the date, "OK" and "No Charge" Then just bring up the $$ on the next event to cover it.

    This has worked well for me. They now see all the times that I have looked at the lot to make sure it is OK and they will tell others.

    Forget the tiff, (unless they didn't want to pay you.) that was then, this is now. Did you plow for them last year?
     
  6. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    JThompson, jump on... I've got broad shoulders.

    BobV explained my short comment as I should have. We all charge for our time, it's all in how you bill it. I personally would not have a line on my invoice stating:
    "checked lot.............................................................$25.00"



    I was born at night, but not last night
    :D
     
  7. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    I should clarify that the two companies we've charged for this service have been management companies that work for the lot owners. In both cases they offered me extra to go look which makes me think they were getting compensated for it on their end. I have done lots of checking and never billed for it. It's one of my responsibilites for having the contract.

    When you're trying to sell a job and the potential client asks you how you know if his lot needs to be plowed, of course you (or one of your local drivers) are going to tell him you'll check on it. Does anyone out there think they can sell that job if he told them there would be a $25 extra charge on their bills every time we went to look at it? Good luck landing that account! You're right....that has to be priced into the job.
     
  8. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    So either way you are charging for the service. I totally understand and agree with the "hiding" of the fee. But I also see nothing wrong with being straight with the customer. Tell them it will cost $x per event or $x+y per event for monitoring. They may choose to monitor it themselves or not at all, thus freeing up your time. Whichever you charge for it I agree as long as you charge.
     
  9. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Have you or anyone out there ever told a customer you would charge $x + y for monitoring charge?
     
  10. peewee

    peewee Member
    Messages: 44

    I don't charge a monitoring fee, but I do have a minimum charge if I have to go and drop one handful of salt on a frozen puddle. I agree with tovoninc about not coming out and calling it a monitoring fee. Perception is everything, some customers just can't stomach the honesty and love a little "sugar coating". You should try to get a feel for the customer and proceed accordingly. That's my 2 cents anyway.
     
  11. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    That's a great way to disguise it. Bring some salt out there with you. You can always find a little bit of ice to melt. We don't have separate charges for a aprtial salt job. It's $x or nothing. There's your hidden inspection fee!
     
  12. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    Hmmmm, Let's see, I pay a driver minmium of 1 hour to drive there to check the place $25.00. Gas, wear and tear, insurance on the truck $20.00. Damn straight we charge for a site visit, otherwise it would be costing us money to be in business. We charge a minmum of $65.00 to make a site visit. If we perform a service slating etc then there is no site visit charge, just the amount owed for the services performed.
     
  13. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Landman-
    What do you mean by a service slating?
     
  14. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    salting!
     
  15. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for the clarification. I've made my share of spelling errors. They have the spell check but I've never used it. Most of the time it doesn't matter.

    I like your quote.