Would You Do It For Free For A Customer? - Off Topic (Non Trade) - Contractor Talk

Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-27-2015, 08:27 PM   #1
Pro
 
tonyc56's Avatar
 
Trade: Window Treatments
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Norwood, MA
Posts: 759
Rewards Points: 3,712

Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


If you had a good customer that needed a minor repair. Would you do it for free or take the attitude you have to charge, if you plan on being in business. Even if its just 20 dollars. Your time is worth money. If its a good customer, they should have no problem paying for the service.
tonyc56 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 06-27-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
Radical Basement Dweller
 
Robie's Avatar
 
Trade: Whatever needs to be made or repaired
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16,077
Rewards Points: 5,534

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


It all depends on a bunch of things...

Who, what, where, when and why.

Advertisement

__________________
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain
Robie is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Robie For This Useful Post:
griz (06-27-2015), illbuildit.dd (06-28-2015), Jaws (06-27-2015), JesseCocozza (06-27-2015), PrecisionFloors (06-28-2015), tedanderson (07-01-2015), tgeb (06-27-2015), Xtrememtnbiker (06-27-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 08:38 PM   #3
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 12,122
Rewards Points: 12,210

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


A long-standing, existing customer, yes. A newbie, no.

I had a good customer call me earlier in the week about an AC in a rental that wasn't working. Found the feed from the disco to the compressor had one wire come out of the terminal. Took all of 2 minutes to find and fix.

He asked if I'd send him a bill. I said hell no.
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 480sparky For This Useful Post:
TNTRenovate (07-05-2015)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-27-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
Pro
 
fourcornerhome's Avatar
 
Trade: home improvement contractor
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Aurora Ohio
Posts: 981
Rewards Points: 148

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I wouldn't rule it out. They scratch my back, I'll scratch theirs. A goodwill gesture can potentially pay dividends.
fourcornerhome is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
Pro
 
Texas Wax's Avatar
 
Trade: Executor of special operations
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DFW
Posts: 3,969
Rewards Points: 1,936

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


If I was there working already, I might. Depending on a number variables. Or might leverage the freebie for a referral or action from them to bolster the biz a bit.
Texas Wax is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 08:57 PM   #6
...
 
FrankSmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,907
Rewards Points: 5,124

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


Yes.
FrankSmith is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 08:58 PM   #7
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 24,606
Rewards Points: 1,546

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


When they ask you what the bill is, just say no charge. I've done it before on small stuff, and my electrician will do that to me on small stuff as well.
hdavis is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 10:11 PM   #8
Capra aegagrus

 
Tinstaafl's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 23,494
Rewards Points: 270

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


Costs money to mobilize the war wagon; every one of my customers knows that and expects to pay. Already on site and being paid for other work, I'll throw in a freebie now and then.
Tinstaafl is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tinstaafl For This Useful Post:
dom-mas (06-29-2015), Osito (06-28-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 10:22 PM   #9
Pro
 
RiverBG's Avatar
 
Trade: Home rehab specialist
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 350
Rewards Points: 764

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


Are you there getting paid to do something else?
RiverBG is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 10:34 PM   #10
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 38,268
Rewards Points: 2,862

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I'll give a mulligan here and there
Calidecks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Calidecks For This Useful Post:
dom-mas (06-29-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 10:42 PM   #11
all else fails dynamite
 
AccurateCut's Avatar
 
Trade: Fencing/Landscaping Contractor 2nd Gener Carpenter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Colorado Front Range
Posts: 338
Rewards Points: 750

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


If its a great client I get cookies on small fix.....yummmmmmm
__________________
Can we build it
AccurateCut is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to AccurateCut For This Useful Post:
JT Wood (06-28-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 10:52 PM   #12
Radical Basement Dweller
 
Robie's Avatar
 
Trade: Whatever needs to be made or repaired
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 16,077
Rewards Points: 5,534

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I have a customer that gives me tons of work. She also questions the bill quite often, which is fine. Many times she will hand me the check and then go into her routine....."Oh, while you're here, can you just adjust this, hang this, change this?"

Of course it's always "free", but I have a great memory and it usually just gets added to the next visit.
__________________
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain
Robie is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Robie For This Useful Post:
j_sims (06-28-2015), tedanderson (07-01-2015)
Old 06-27-2015, 11:32 PM   #13
Pro
 
ASInsulation's Avatar
 
Trade: Insulation and Weatherization
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 232
Rewards Points: 220

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


A good customer, there would be variables.

A Great customer, absolutely. I go above the call of duty for customers that maintain the relationship and appreciate the efforts I put in. I have a customer, I have insulated and air sealed both of his properties and installed solar at another property. He has also referred me 2 customers. He had a problem with his bath fan not working and called me even though it isn't a direct service I offer. He purchased a fan and I installed and vented it outside. Probably cost me 3 hours total on a Saturday morning total, plus 10 bucks gas. So what would have amounted to around a $250 call, I did just to show some face, shake hands, etc. And I have no doubt he will send me more referrals in the future that will more then cover my cost 4 times over. One hand washing the other.
ASInsulation is offline  
Old 06-27-2015, 11:59 PM   #14
Pro
 
trussme's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Company
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 221
Rewards Points: 562

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I buy my food at the same place for like....forever, never got anything free yet.
Hair cuts, yep all my life....never a free one.
Great customer for the trash company....they come every week, no free pick up yet!
Carpet cleaner....pay them and tip them VERY well, still no free steam yet!

If you are in that work truck, and you stop to do something for anyone.....Invoice them.
trussme is offline  
Old 06-28-2015, 12:14 AM   #15
Pro
 
VinylHanger's Avatar
 
Trade: I'll do that for 500 bucks.
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,055
Rewards Points: 11,492

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


Many times for a good customer.

Sometimes I probably should, but in the end, I always get way more back, sometimes a literal thaousand times more than the hour it takes to clean out a gutter, or adjust a door.
__________________
Your emergency does not constitute a problem with my Constitution.
VinylHanger is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to VinylHanger For This Useful Post:
Red Adobe (06-28-2015)
Old 06-28-2015, 01:00 AM   #16
Pro
 
Red Adobe's Avatar
 
Trade: Metal Roofs, Sparky , Remodels and beer specialist
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Eastern NM / West Tx
Posts: 1,214
Rewards Points: 92

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I get calls now and again for some real easy stuff, like worn out outlet or light switch and if its a someone i have worked for or know i will again i just tell em if i don't have to deal with an invoice cover the materials. Funny thing is the tip is often more then what Id charge if I didnt do a min and we still maintain a friendly repore.
Red Adobe is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Red Adobe For This Useful Post:
VinylHanger (06-28-2015)
Old 06-28-2015, 04:14 AM   #17
Focusing on solutions.
 
pinwheel's Avatar
 
Trade: hardwood floor contractor & so much more
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 5,093
Rewards Points: 94

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I give away lots of small stuff. Transitions take me minutes to make in the shop & are usually made from scrap. Most clients have looked at the cost of transitions in the box stores & realize I just handed the $50-75 in savings. Minutes of my time, very often result in thousands $$$$ in future work or referals.
pinwheel is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pinwheel For This Useful Post:
dom-mas (06-29-2015), Jaws (06-28-2015)
Old 06-28-2015, 07:54 AM   #18
I own stock in FotoMat!
 
480sparky's Avatar
 
Trade: 132 on Bush, I've got him at gunpoint!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 12,122
Rewards Points: 12,210

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


Quote:
Originally Posted by trussme View Post
I buy my food at the same place for like....forever, never got anything free yet.
Hair cuts, yep all my life....never a free one.
Great customer for the trash company....they come every week, no free pick up yet!
Carpet cleaner....pay them and tip them VERY well, still no free steam yet!

If you are in that work truck, and you stop to do something for anyone.....Invoice them.
It's a terrible precedent to model your business after others.

Do you use everyone else's pricing structure? Do you use the same software as they use? Buy the same trucks as they drive? Wear the same uniforms?

If you're merely copying what's already out there, what is there to differentiate you from them?
__________________
This post has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen and edited for content.
480sparky is offline  
Old 06-28-2015, 10:13 AM   #19
Pro
 
dsconstructs's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodel Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Solano County, California
Posts: 1,180
Rewards Points: 840

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I've done it plenty of times over the years, even for some that I wasn't already there doing something else. Probably half of those times they were more insistent on handing me some money than willing to accept the freebie.
Last week one of my regulars needed a light switch replaced that I tried to do as a freebie.....she insisted on handing me $50 anyway.
dsconstructs is offline  
Old 06-28-2015, 10:24 AM   #20
Pro
 
JT Wood's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Calgary Ab Canada
Posts: 3,587
Rewards Points: 2,560

Re: Would You Do It For Free For A Customer?


I do stuff for free all the time.

Last year I did an emergency plumbing repair for a lady I was quoting a basement for. I was 5 minutes away, and stopped in. It took about 15 minutes to cut the pipe install a shark bite.

She kept trying to give me money but I wouldn't take it.

In the end, I got the money . We did the basement, (and replaced the sharkbite with the proper fitting)

Advertisement

__________________
Airdrie AB Renovation Contractor | Kitchen Renovations | Basement Developments | Facebook
JT Wood Construction Serves Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds, Mountainview, Rockyview and Crossfield, Alberta.

Last edited by JT Wood; 06-28-2015 at 10:26 AM.
JT Wood is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to JT Wood For This Useful Post:
pinwheel (06-28-2015)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
abusive customer has a call back huggytree Business 101 10-22-2017 08:54 AM
Painter arguing with customer in SW lol BCConstruction Painting & Finish Work 16 06-30-2013 05:33 AM
Dumb Idea #4372: Pass on my contractor discount to my customer Ethos Business 13 04-02-2012 08:21 AM
Customer freaks out and refuses to cooperate after successfull completion of Project! eModPro Business 38 02-03-2010 05:58 PM
Now the customer is mad, how to handle? brm1109 Business 17 01-16-2009 05:13 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?