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What is your 24 hour service policy

  • offer 24 hour service

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • don't offer

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • if I need the money I'll answer my phone

    Votes: 5 45.5%
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Registered
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Discussion Starter #1
So do you offer it or not. I don't, anymore. As a 2 man band it's just not what I want to do. If we do get a call after hours or weekends we charge 4 hour minimum @1.5 or normal rate, plus service call fee. How do you handle it?

I'm not talking about having to work weekends to stay caught up with your schedule, this is just about folks that have an emergency or want the work performed outside of normal hours.
 

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Super Moderator
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11,936 Posts
I didn't vote because there was no option of "for established customers only";)

I used to push it, and much of my ads still say so but I have found the what some people consider an emergency can be a little off.

For any of my (good) past customers, I'll be there quickly for them.

My after hours "emergency calls" have been so petty as needing a new chandelier in the dining room before their party tonight for example. When they hear the $75 surcharge they decline.

My favorite (which I've posted here before) was a woman screaming at me around 2 am on a Monday morning the there are sparks coming from her light fixture, her kids are freaking out, etc. I told her the price to get there within the hour and she then freaked out and told me she expected a free estimate. I told her to dial 911 and hung up.

Many calls I get recently later at night involve interconnected smoke detectors where a battery is chirping for attention and sometimes it rings them all. They can't figure out which one is the culprit.

So to answer your question, I'm not real interested in promoting this service anymore due to all the asinine calls that have resulted in the past. It's pretty much only available to my past clients.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
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24,704 Posts
I provide it, but I don't offer it. Past/existing clients generally have a pretty good idea of how I am--which means that if it's a real emergency, I'll do whatever I can to take care of them at any time of day or night.

I've almost never had a call from a new customer asking for odd-hour work. The couple of times I have, it's been by referral from a valued customer, and I was well compensated for going out.
 

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3,951 Posts
I am always waiting for the next big storm so I can put an ad on Craigslist and say "24 hour emergency response". And then charge double my normal rate. Our last big storm kept every carpenter busy for at least a year. It's been a while so maybe we are due for our next one.
 

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7,076 Posts
I provide it, but I don't offer it. Past/existing clients generally have a pretty good idea of how I am--which means that if it's a real emergency, I'll do whatever I can to take care of them at any time of day or night.

I've almost never had a call from a new customer asking for odd-hour work. The couple of times I have, it's been by referral from a valued customer, and I was well compensated for going out.
X2:thumbsup:
 

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Accidental Painter
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2,292 Posts
It is in my business plan to eventually offer a 24 hour hotline when I expand into that market. Right now, I focus on vacant rentals. But eventually I will offer an after hours maintenance service to assist my customers in reducing their staff.
 

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spazman
Flooring
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745 Posts
I just go by what an old timer in my trade told me years ago. There is no such thing as a carpet emergency. I know you can't always apply that to some of the other trades but a lot of them you can.
 

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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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That's the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned carpet emergency... LOL
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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12,567 Posts
In the electrical trade, every laid-off second-year apprentice thinks they know enough to hang out their own shingle, and for some strange reason they believe they are required to offer 24-hour emergency services.

When I started out, I realized that I would be up against a never-ending stream of 'businesses' that would do two things: Undercut the lowball the actual costs of doing business (after all, they're 2nd-year apprentices with no biz sense whatsoever!) and drive the market price down, and they would be out of 'business' inside of 6 months (only to be replaced with some other wanna-be).

So I just opted out of the whole '24-hour service schtick' and aimed my energies towards more profitable ventures.

Like Ron, it's amazing what people think an emergency is. 2:00 AM, and the microwave dies. OMG! Call an electrician! We can't make popcorn!!!!!!!
 

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I'm my business you have to, a gate controller or other access control or security system is fairly important. If I get a call at 2 am I try my best to get a temp fix over the phone or by remote access on my computer.
 

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Registered
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Same as Inner, Commercial door customers cant wait, or the cost of a security guard is more than the cost of the emergency service.

Inner, I didnt know you did gate operators, is that keeping you busy? I have a small handfull of gate accounts, and would like to get more.
 

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I go the extra mile for existing referrals in terms of squeezing stuff in. A couple of them might even expect it because they're ongoing clients, but I'd rather not think about that too much. They pass along praise for my work, etc. so it's fine. I just go with the flow. Seems to work.
 
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