Travel Time For Plumbers

I received a call from a guy this morning to come do a service call for him.  He asked how much the job was going to be and I explained that I can’t see what he is talking about, but most likely less than an hour plus travel time.  He wondered why I would charge him travel time to get to his new house.  I started to explain to him that all services that work at multiple locations per day need to charge travel time.

Before I could fully explain to him the reason for this he started to freak out.  Yelling into the phone that he doesn’t charge travel time when he goes to work so he won’t pay travel time for someone to come to his house.

I told him that if he gave me 8 hours worth of work I will leave out the travel, which I never normally do.  He then started to yell that he wasn’t going to give me 8 hours of work.

At this point I had no more time for this conversation so I said that he should find someone else to do the work for him and I hung up.

Here is the situation.  If I go to 4 houses in a day and each job take 1 hour then I work for 4 hours.  When I include travel time and material pickup I do actually work 8 hours.  I do not get paid for coffee breaks, and I do not get any benefits.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being in business for myself.  I get to meet all sorts of interesting people each week, but I do need to make a living.

In my 8 hours of work I charge $680, but that is not what I make, I have a ton of overhead with insurances, gas, licensing, marketing, and other expenses.  And I go home every night and work for another 2 hours.  If I was only going to charge for the 4 hours like this individual wanted then I may as well go and work for another plumbing.  As I would make more money without the headaches and risks associated this running a plumbing business in Edmonton.

Then there are the slow times when you might only work 4 hours per day.  All those marketing costs still have to be paid, same goes for insurances, licensing, and other hard costs that stay whether you are making money or not.

Maybe travel time is not that guy’s problem like he said, but did you know that retail stores factor into their costs a percentage that is based on shoplifting?  I wonder if he goes into Walmart and says I want 10% off because shoplifting isn’t his problem? LOL

Always remember “You get what you pay for”

If you need any plumbing or gas fitting down in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, or St.Albert please give me a call at 780-264-0878



Kramer Plumbing and Radiant Heat

249 Grand Meadow Cres.

Edmonton, AB

T6L 1W9


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