[Q&A] Trip Charge, Additional Charges, Etc.

Question:

Hello Travis,

A few quick questions: If I’m charging a trip charge of $40 , show up at a customers home, troubleshoot some non working receptacles and repair them, THEN the customer ask me to troubleshoot an appliance (which I do work on). Should I be adding an additional charge for troubleshooting the appliance also? I guess what I’m wondering is what exactly should the trip charge cover?, driving out to the site and troubleshooting 1 problem? 2 or 3 problems?

If I have to drive to a supply shop in the middle of a job to gets parts should I be passing on a cost to the customer for this? For example, customer requests I come out to troubleshoot a water leak on some pipes, I discover it’s a leaking 1″ inch pipe that I don’t have the parts on my truck to fix it and I have to drive a total of 10 miles or so round trip for parts. How would you handle this particular situation? If it was a job that I originally estimated and charged a flat fee to repair, I would be expected to bring this part with me obviously on the day of the job but what about a service type call where I walk in blind, charge a trip charge and flat fee for the repair.

Thanks for the handyman price list, it really does help when pricing jobs!

Answer:

Hi,

You definitely should charge an extra charge for troubleshooting the appliance. It’s taking up your time to do so. The trip charge is the charge to get you to the job. You don’t even need to tell the customer that you have a trip charge. You can build it right into your pricing. You can say your minimum charge is $90 for example. You have to decide what you are including in that minimum fee. It could be an hour of work or whatever you want.

If you need to go get parts you also need to build that into the cost of the job. Your trip charge and flat rate fee for the repair should include you driving to get the part. Just make sure you build all of your expenses in each job. That’s why you can’t under charge like a lot of guys tend to do. It costs money and time to drive and get parts so make sure the price of the job is covering that as well.

Hope that helps.

-Travis

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