Vol. 6: Issue #9: Letter #109 (Previous newsletters available in archives on web site)

How Much Do You Charge Per Hour?

     One of the first things a potential customer asks when they call for service, is how much is the job going to cost? That's impossible to tell over the telephone when you use an hourly charge; all you can do is give an estimate that may or may not be close.

Merry Sherman     Let’s face it, technicians are not clones or robots. Their experience varies. Not only are they not equally experienced, they don’t work at the same speed. Some take more time than others to do the same job. As a consequence, charging by the hour makes some people pay more for the same repair than others.

    Still, one can’t blame the customer for asking. In fact, come to think about it, few of us would want to purchase anything from a dinner in a posh restaurant to buying a new car, if we didn’t know the price before we placed the order. So we agree…you are not only entitled to know what the job is going to cost but entitled to know it before the job begins. That’s the only way to avoid those unpleasant surprises at the end.

     So we decided to see if we could do something about it. We thought we would try to put our 51+ years of experience to work. We believe in that time (and last year, we serviced in excess of 9000 systems), we’ve encountered nearly every kind of problem that there is in residential heating and cooling.

     So we decided that since we’ve been in this business for so many years and solved so many problems, that with a minimum of risk on our part, it seemed to us that we should be able to come up with a simple solution...and we did. We call it “Menu pricing”.

Whatever the job is, we have a flat rate to take care of that need. Whether it takes us two hours or eight due to unexpected problems, the bill will be the same. It's a worry-free policy we offer our clients and just another benefit you get from our years of experience and proof positive, that at Climatemakers, “longevity and integrity” go hand in hand Here’s how it works:

     Using a flat rate system of pricing, our diagnostic charge of $69.00 enables our technician with his fully equipped $30,000 vehicle, tools and parts to get to your house, thoroughly check your system, and diagnose the problem.

     He will then show you a pricing book that lists nearly every repair that could possibly be required, to repair a residential heating or air conditioning system. The price is written there for you to see and it doesn't matter if he does it in one hour or it takes him five hours, your final price will be the same. You will know what the price is going to be before he does any work.

     Now you have the option to choose to have the repair performed, or to decline. Either way, you’re in control. No more worry that “the meter is running” and that you will have to pay for slow or lazy technicians or for run-around time for parts and other materials as you may do with the old ‘time & materials method”, never knowing what the final cost will be until the service call is completed.

     Removing the clock emphasis, our technicians no longer feel any pressure to hurry, but can take the time necessary to make sure the job is done right. So you benefit both by knowing the cost on the front end, and with superior efficiency and service. And we’ve learned too…because it's in our best interests to work as efficiently as possible, to stock our trucks with every imaginable tool and part possible, and train our technicians to do the job efficiently and correctly the first time around.

     We’ve also included an extra bonus in this flat rate pricing for our regular customers who have Annual Service Agreements. It’s called “preferred pricing”. It’s a discounted price from our flat rate. This discounted, “preferred pricing”, is not just some imaginary figure but is listed right there along side of the regular flat rate in the flat rate book for everyone to see. Our reasoning is that customers who have their systems serviced regularly, will require less severe repairs than those systems that have been neglected.

     One thing for sure, with our Menu style pricing, y ou’ll NEVER have to pay the price for slow or inefficient service…n o unexpected surprises… because Climatemakers does not charge by the hour because we believe that hourly rates are unfair to customers… just one more of the many benefits, when you make Climatemakers your contractor of choice!

Final notice:

     If you’ve read our last several newsletters, you know that our seasonal discounts for preparing your cooling system for the coming summer (effective from 03/15/05 to 05/15/05 and strictly limited) are coming to an end.

     We again call your attention to the sliding scale of discounts for early registration. Unfortunately, the time period for the whopping 40% discount and the generous 30% discount have expired but there are still 5 days remaining to get the 20% discount (which ain’t bad) and remember, there is still an extra discount when you make your reservations on line.

Do It Now! Click here .

Climatemakers Ltd.

Merry Sherman
2nd Generation President
Phone #: 757-468-5800
Fax #: 757-468-5805
email: comfort@climatemakers.com
Web site: http://www.climatemakers.com
"Your family's indoor comfort is our family's business"

     P.S. Now you can see for yourself, the professional response your call for services generates (and the response you can expect), by clicking here to see our recently updated overview of operations.

     P.P.S. This 200+ page website is constantly being updated to add content and to make it easier to navigate…so that you can find answers to your questions about HVAC, quicker than ever before. Visit it often.

     P.P.P.S. Remember, if you have any questions about the HVAC system in your house; how we can be of better service to you, or about our web site, please email them to me. I'd like to hear from you. Our newest web page, "Testing Your HVAC IQ", is an online test of your knowledge about Heating and Air Conditioning and has just been posted. You are especially invited to visit it by clicking here.

     Programmable Thermostat. Automatically regulates the heating/cooling in your house to suit your lifestyle. Click here to find out how.

     Electronic Air Cleaner. Removes dirt, dust and pollen to improve your health. Click here to find out how.

     Humidifiers. Adds moisture to the air in the winter. Click here to find out how.

     Zoning System. Saves even more energy as it increases or decreases the heating/cooling in those rooms where and when it is not needed. Click here to find out how.

     Need more HVAC information? We've got a FREE website full of it. Click here.

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