Posts Tagged ‘call’

Service Call Fee for Septic Bids

Saturday, April 1st, 2017
Here’s another story for the “I cannot make this stuff up file.”
Let’s talk fees for a second. Our “Service Call Fee” is $125.00. That fee get’s our truck on site and starts working for emergencies. But then we go by the hour plus parts until we are done.
There are other guys out there that’ll do a $75.00 service call.
We lose some work to this problem over the phone. One needs to understand the difference.
So let me set up this senario that happened yesterday.
Client calls up a service call by competitor. It’s $85, super cheap. But when they show up to replace a 2 foot section of pipe underground was bid out at $1,200. And it’s only 24 inches underground.
Client didn’t call me because that’s something I don’t really do. It’s the pipe between the house and the septic tank called the “Transport Line”
Client calls me up and asks if I do this type of work, I say no. Not really. But he tells me the bid, and my jaw drops. That can’t be right, I must be missing something.
I told him I would do it. But be prepared it could cost $600-$800 dollars. I’m shooting from the hip here, as I am not there looking at it.
I arrive. Service Call is $125.00 to get there. I dig out the line, 1.5 hours of labor. 2 fittings and a section of pipe and bentonite clay, was about $50.00. We used the client’s own gravel to bed the pipe.
His bill was under $400.00. Still far under my “Over-the-phone-shooting-from-the-hip” of $600-800.
And way super less expensive than the $1,200 bid from competitor.
Food-for-thought. $125 service call isn’t that bad anymore.
Thanks for reading,

Best Customer Callback Ever

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Best customer call ever. He called me this morning wanting a price quote. I told him that we charge 38 cents per gallon and sales tax and that’s a flat rate. He asked what that was. A flat rate? I said that there is no other fees. I’m not going to be upselling you magic chemicals or anything else. As long as your correct on the gallons you can write the check out now and put it on the counter.
He continued to call around and asked a lower priced competitor. Are there any other fees besides gallons and sales tax. And then they stumbled all over themselves and said that there’s a $75 uncover the tank fee, and then he’ll have to buy a 195 dollar bottle of enzymes or there’s no warranty on their work and a penny per gallon per extension hose they’ll have to use if there tank is far from the road.
He was shocked. And then he couldn’t get them to quote any price. Just a whole bunch of fees.
Those who know the game choose us. No funny business. Just good honest work.

Plus to add.  My prices are clearly posted on our website.  Which is a legal document I might add.  You can print it and take us to court.  Which is why some of our competitors won’t post their prices on their website.  Betcha didn’t know that.

Thanks for reading,



Veteran’s Day Offer

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

No one took us up on our Veteran’s day offer. So one of my customer’s for many years, Mr. Bradley needed a septic inspection. A little history on Mr. Bradley. He is a World War II Veteran. Senior citizen. He is 83 years old and full of life.

His Uncle used to work in the Septic field many many years ago.
Every time I service his place, I put aside another hour just to talk. Hear old time war stories, and his adventures.

Yesterday, I spent about 2 hours at his place. The inspection only took about 20 minutes, but I am always impressed that guys like him actually existed in real life. A True Time War Hero.
So it was time for me to get to my next job. I told him that I was looking for one Senior Veteran to give my services too, and no one ever claimed it. And since he was my customer for years, I was performing the entire service for free. I would pay taxes, filing fees, and county fees.

Now this is where things didn’t go as planned. He absolutely refused. He was very persistant. I tried to drive off, but he would not allow me to leave. He thanked me for what I was trying to do, but he knew that the truck is expensive to run. 3.5 mpg usually means about 30-60 in fuel per job. He said that’s how I put food on my table, and keep a roof over my head. So I asked him if he’d be happy if he’d meet me in the middle. And this made him happy. I thanked him for his service, and my freedom. We both parted ways, and I will see him again next year.

And this incident really got me to thinking. How things are different in two generations. I mean think about it. I have offered my services for free before. I don’t do it often because I would go bankrupt fast.

And in the other few cases. The homeowners were more than happy to accept my free work, and having my company cover all costs involved. I have no regrets either. But in his eyes, that was unacceptable. I think I may be a bit like Mr. Bradley.

I have had people offer to do things for free for me. Like when my pump went out on my vacuum truck, a close friend replaced a coupler for me. And when it came time for the bill he just told me, no don’t worry about it. I simply told him that he is a super nice guy, but his shop won’t survive giving away his work. Niceness doesn’t pay the light bill and the lease on the shop. And I paid him anyways, and I am sure I paid him more than what the bill would have been. But it’s the way I am .

It just goes to show why I really love my job, I have the greatest clients. And I look forward to talking to each and every one of them.

I’m going to disappear on my motorcycle today. I will be back on tuesday evening. Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather.

Thanks for reading,



First Call Septic on TV

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Here is a lost segment when First Call Septic was on TV with Channel 12’s reporter, David Schmitke



Made in America Parts Only

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I cannot stress this enough.  It’s always amazing to me that someone will complain about our economy, and then send their hard earned money overseas.   There are so many people here out of work, and are willing to work.  And

Made in America

Septic tank riser lid made in America

yes, buying American Made parts and supplies is more expensive.  First Call Septic has taken a stand many years ago.  We’ll do our absolute best to find parts made here.  From the pumps we use, to the risers we install, to the lids that cover septic tanks.

Now I know it’s hard.  It’s tough when one has to decide.  $55.00 for a riser lid.  Or $35.00 nearly the same lid made in china.  But truth of the matter is, it’s more expensive to manufacture parts in this country.   Now, I won’t install a lid made in another country.  Nothing against those other countries, but our country is having a difficult problem.  With all those unemployed right now, I have to bet there are people willing to make lids, pumps, switches right here.

Even the boots my employee and I wear are manufactured here.  Yes we could have saved some money and went to a major outlet store chain that has boots made in another country for about $45.00.  But I have a pair of Red Wing Boots, manufactured in Minnesota.  I have to buy a new pair about every two years.  They get resoled about every year. And that’s about a $400.00 investment every 2 years.   There are shoe salesman, shoe manufacturer, supervisors, store owners, and everyone involved in those boots are able to go home and eat cause we made a commitment to purchase here.

I also purchased a Mack Truck about 4 years ago.  Keep in mind I could have purchased a Hino truck.  They are more fuel efficient.  They are about just as reliable.  But I have to believe that there is a family out there, that can go home and eat dinner tonight because We chose to buy an American made truck.  We also only install American Made parts, when ever we can.  We are still working on trying to find switches manufactured here.

The pumps we use are manufactured in New Jersey and Texas.  They are solid cast iron pumps and are the pumps your grandparents installed and never had problems for over 2o years.  You never heard of Grandpa or Grandma having septic tank pump issues.  But now installers have started using plastic pumps manufactured over seas and they get hot and warp and in some cases only last about 5 years.  They alarms are going off sewage is backing up.  Then the homeowner calls a septic provider.  If they call me, they get one of these great cast iron pumps.  If they call another provider who is a bit cheaper, they get a plastic one.  So I have to ask, How expensive is cheaper parts?  A great pump is going to run anywhere from $300.00 to $600.00 depending on the pump needs.  A cheap pump is less than a $100.00.  But a cheap pump needs replaced on average every 4-5 years.  And that cheaper pumps money is going over seas.

So please, before I can apologize for our prices, know that when you use First Call Septic, we have done everything we can to keep America Rolling.  Insist on American Made products and goods.  Please.  For the love of our country and our fellow countrymen.

Most people don’t realize and I hope that they get one thing from all of this.  You the people can vote everyday.  Everytime you spend a dollar, anywhere, you are voting.  Purchase products made here, and from companies that share the same values as you do.   If you spend your money in other countries, or with companies that don’t share your values, you are giving them power.

Okay, I don’t mean to ramble, but our country is in such bad shape.  And it makes me sad to see why some people just don’t get it.   I could buy parts made in another country, buy trucks made in another country.  That would bring our prices down for sure.  But then we’d be supporting another country and not our own.

Thanks for reading,