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Consultation fee - do you charge one?

JohnNY
JohnNY Member Posts: 3,226
Our fee is $250 and includes a written report, EDR calculation or heat loss, and complete system overview. We loose money on it and still we credit the client half the fee ($125) toward any work we are contracted to do as a result of our findings.

Before we charged the fee, I felt like I had to sell something to the client during my visit.

Truth is, the fee keeps us honest.

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Comments

  • Nadeem
    Nadeem Member Posts: 2
    Consultation fee - do you charge one?

    I'm looking for someone to have a look at my heating system (new boiler that is giving problems) and found a local company (new york city - queens) that has a $165 fee to come visit and tell you what the problem is. I just wanted to find out if this is normal or am I being taken for a ride?
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    fee's

    absolutely normal and cheap too. to knock on your door in manhattan we charge a minimum of $ 250.oo outer boro's a bit less. written reports and it escalates. lawyers charge for phone consultation. we at least make a formal house call. for now anyway. i am working on that. bob nyc lic. plbr.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Very Reasonable

    $165 is a very reasonable fee for a consultation. Plus, you will get piece of mind knowing that you had an independent third party that has no financial stake in the outcome of his/her findings.

    Piece of mind is worth a lot more than the $165.00.

    Be well.
  • S Davis
    S Davis Member Posts: 491
    Consultation

    We charge $125.00 plus travel and also charge for the time to write it up if they want it in writing.


    S Davis

    Apex Radiant Heating
  • gary_6
    gary_6 Member Posts: 60


    we charge 225.00 but if you do the repair we bill it into the cost of the job.
  • Jim Pompetti
    Jim Pompetti Member Posts: 552


    Just raised ours to$350
  • Tom R.
    Tom R. Member Posts: 139
    Of Course

    But absorb the fee if you get the job. Nice PR.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,185
    Why is it...

    ...that nobody ever calls back the low bidding so-and-so who did the job and demand that he make it right?

    It seems that whenever I give a price to repipe and fix someone else's mess I have to hear about how much the customer already paid someone else. Hay, I didn't get that money!

    Either call back the original guy, or hire someone you should have hired in the first place, or post pictures of the job here and we'll eat 'em up.

    Long Beach Ed
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,693
    Amen! Ed

    For the amount of info people get on not only their heating system, but overall mechanicals and building envelope, our consultations fees are money well spent. And, yes, our fee will be deducted form the final tally. Mad Dog

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  • none_2
    none_2 Member Posts: 15
    in the business

    I'm actually in the Consulting business for energy efficient systems. From my experience and travels, these fees that are being charged have saved homeowners thousands in the end. I'm very impressed with the knowledge of the contractors and others on this site and I think these guys are doing it right. The first response I always get "the guy from ...... does it for free". My guess is he is not providing the same service these guys are. Like I said, I'm in the business and I use the knowledge of alot of the wall regulars, they know what they are talking about....I would pay $500 to save $5000 all day long!
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    the Ride you take for not having someone,

    peruse the "Details" will cost you more in the long run. consider it a whitteling contest and each recommendation a $ shaved off your monthly bills.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Charging for Knowledge

    Professionals charge fees for their service and knowledge. There's a huge problem in the HVAC industry that's been mentioned for years in all the trade mags....many (or most) don't charge for estimates or a "consult". This supposedly sets a benchmark for the true professionals not to charge a fee?? Huhhh??? It costs real dollars to drive to the customer's home, examine the system, (or takeoff a set of plans) write a report or proposal...yada yada...and then lo & behold...It's Free! What's free? Imparting 35 years of experience better be worth something, or perhaps time has no value. This is not Tupperware. Excuse the rant, but it does get old.

    Our fees are credited towards work performed, if we get the job. Sometimes, we're called in to inspect a system for homesellers or buyers, or for "forensic repairs" on an existing system. These fees are for services rendered. I must ask again...how does one recover the direct costs of providing free estimates? NM



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  • Steve_35
    Steve_35 Member Posts: 546
    Ed, when the complaint comes about how much they already

    paid comes I reply, in most instances, "Well, that's the problem."

    After the usual double take their response is, "What's the problem?"

    "You paid at least $xxxx too little for this job."

    I say "in most instances" because that IS the problem most of the time. You can then go on to explain how some contractors don't know their costs. So they charge too little for the job. That keeps them always chasing the next job unable to come back and correct any problems on the last job.

    Their compaint is a GREAT opportunity to sell your company and how you do things differently. After all, cost isn't the issue with most people. They just think it is. What REALLY gripes them is to spend money on a poor product.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,693
    right on !,,,AND IT GALLS THEM

    BECAUSE SOME OF THEM THINK THEY ARE SO MUCH SMARTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. md

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  • Luis_2
    Luis_2 Member Posts: 8
    Consultation fees

    I guess u guys intentionally overlook the real problem.Most homeowner like me,do call a"heating specialist",who comes to see our problem.Most cases the so called"specialist" are really unlicensed"plumbers" fly by night, with a white van.They come with a screw driver and turn the pressuretrol to 3psi and click the thermostat to 78*.and of course a 2 min."job" cost $250 to no avail.Please place yourselves on this side of the court.Too many abuses,ripp-off and not countingt he "I'm bussy doing a big job" I'll when I'll get back to you" and of course "don't call us we call you".
    No one is asking you to work for free.Just don't abuse the little guy who really need s help.Most "deadmen" were honest and proud professionals.Today's scavengers are like bolchers over a dead animal.
    I've still have the short cycling and the 3rd fl radiators just heating 1/4 of the way.
    I guess I should call backthe "specialist" and of course pay again his consultation fee.Perhaps call a new guy and pay his consultation fee.Either way we are being screwed up.Ths.
  • Luis_2
    Luis_2 Member Posts: 8
    Consultation fees

    I guess u guys intentionally overlook the real problem.Most homeowner's like me,do call a"heating specialist",who comes to see our problem.Most cases the so called"specialist" are really unlicensed"plumbers" fly by night, with a white van.They come with a screw driver and turn the pressuretrol to 3psi and click the thermostat to 78*.and of course a 2 min."job" cost $250 to no avail.Please place yourselves on this side of the court.Too many abuses,ripp-off and not counting the "I'm bussy doing a big job" I'll call you. I'll get back to you" and not last, the mandatory "Answering machine" "don't call us we call you".
    No one is asking you to work for free.Just don't abuse the little guy who really need s help.Most "deadmen" were honest and proud professionals,who dedicated themselves to help the public..Today's scavengers are like volchers over a dead animal.
    I still have the short cycling and the 3rd fl radiators just heating 1/4 of the way.
    I guess I should call back the "specialist" and (of course) pay again his consultation fee.Perhaps call a new guy and also pay his fee.Either way we are being screwed up.Ths.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Comment

    Luis, I certainly am sympathetic to your woes. Yes, there are many contractors out there who have very little knowledge or skillset. (Dan calls them Screwdriver Willies)There is very little the consumer can do except to qualify the company. In a desperate "no heat" situation, getting somebody to the home to fix it is all that counts...except were back to the fact that whomever does show up may not be a "professional". The scavengers and vultures are always there. BTW, your system is fixable...by a Pro.

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  • Luis_2
    Luis_2 Member Posts: 8
    Consultation fees

    Hi.Paul.Thank you for your coments.I agree 100% with you.No more "home depot "plumbres,lol.Luis.
This discussion has been closed.