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Excessive charge by a dealer for service.

Discussion in 'Embroidery' started by Xeon19, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Xeon19

    Xeon19 New Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Crete, IL
    I wanted to sound this off the board to see if I am thinking clearly on this matter.

    My business is in Chicago and I needed service by a factory based embroidery tech who understood the details of their units. They stated that they would be coming from St. Louis. Not only did it take over a week to schedule my service, i was told that they would see how my job fit in with other requests. Well after multiple phone calls I was able to reach out to the store and get my service call scheduled. Just shy of a week later the service tech arrived and did a wonderful job of repairing the unit. He spent 4 hours with us and made sure everything was tip top. Between parts and labor, I was looking at just over $500.00 Not bad. Then the tech received a text that I was to pay over $700 in travel time and expenses. Over $1300 to replace a encoder. A little shocked, I googled the drive time and it came back to a little over 300 miles and about 4.5 hours. Well at their rate noted on the invoice, I was being charged for 11 hours of travel. In their eyes, St. Louis to Chicago and back with time for a meal in between. I really could understand this if they sent out a tech in a timely manor and he came to my shop directly and returned directly. I understand time is money! But here is the kicker, when the rep was getting ready to leave, he asked advise on were to find a good hotel near his next job for tomorrow AM. He shows me a map, next job, downtown Chicago, 30 minutes away. Plus to top it off, the map had about 6-8 other stops North of us, no where near where he was suppose to be returning to St. Louis. I asked in a email why the 11 hours, i was told actual drive time is used.

    I know im in business as well, but this appears to be extremely greedy and almost to the point of fraud. Is this correct? Should someone be charged for mileage that is fabricated? If i was to be charged over $700 and everyone else beyond me charged more, the amount would be insane!

    My request was to pay for the time to get the tech to my store and time to get him to his next stop which should have been about 5.5 hours. Almost half of the original charge. I was told everyone gets charged round trip to prevent any unwanted complaining. Is this standard in the industry? I sure hope not! Im not trying to complain about a bill, but my other business deals with on on site service calls and if we were to do things like that, we would be out of business right way!
  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    well, I'd "complain" to them that their pea-brained idea of ripping people off to prevent complaints, CLEARLY wasn't working, so if they would kindly revise the invoice to something reasonable, I would quit complaining & pay the bill. Who knows, this new approach may actually go further toward minimizing unwanted complaints across the board!
  3. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    If I drive 100 miles to install a job and charge them $200 they'll pay it.
    If I drive 100 miles to install a job and have another job right down the road I do a the same time and charge them $100 each they'll pay it.
    If I drive 100 miles to install a one job the next time and have to charge the full $200 they'll raise hell that it was only $100 last time.

    Only easy solution.....charge full round trip price.
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    We were given a price of a tech to be at our shop calculated at $175.00 per hour. Yep, that also sounds high, but if ya need it, what are ya gonna do ?? Next, travel time was quoted at $250 per hour, plus any hotels rooms needed or meals or anything, was on me. The time was estimated to take between 8 hours and possibly a second day needed to finish up. Including the part, we were looking at around $7,000 to fix our problem with a average case scenario. We did a little research, found the part somewhere else and did the work ourselves. We were out of service for maybe three hours or so, until the testing was done and everything was re-calculated. Saved a bundle, so we gave our guy a fat bonus..... well more than a week's pay..... and in cash.

    Comes down to this.... some of them are good and some are real thieves. Ya gotta make these deals when purchasing equipment these days, cause there are far more thieves than honest ones out there. :thumb:
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    This is fairly common to charge pretty darn high for the factory based techs versus one of the "local" certified techs with regard to embroidery machines. I know that they do when I've had a couple of times needed the factory based ones, versus the guy that's closer to me. We only call them when it's absolutely necessary, rather it's the local or factory based tech, and do the vast majority of repair work ourselves now.
  6. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    we charge 80 an hr for travel + gas. i'd say his price is fair. I wouldn't charge less.
  7. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    Seems reasonable to me. It doesn't matter if I have a job right next door to you or not, both people would be paying me the mileage to do the job unless you two worked out a deal as "one call" or something like that. They quote what they quote. If I call a tech (and I have) to come work on my stuff in my shop, I understand going into it that I'm paying mileage/time from when he walks out the door at work, till the time he gets back. My tech had a job about 30 miles away from me, I still paid the full cost at him getting there and back. He did his job well, I had a machine up and running, no complaints.
  8. GypsyGraphics

    GypsyGraphics Major Contributor

    Mar 19, 2009
    actually..... there is NO amount that seems reasonable, if you were not made aware of the expenses in advance. how can you decide if it's worth it to you, for them to come out, if the bill is open-ended?
    was there something in writing that you missed?
  9. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui

    I didn't feel like taking the time to mention that, but I'd never leave that open.
    I'm in Hawaii, so no stranger to expensive service calls :omg: ...but I always know most of my costs up front, except for the fact that the amount of time (hours or days is not known for certain...

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