Posts Tagged ‘Competitor’

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,
 
Ronnie

Able to revive a believed septic system failure

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Yesterday, Christopher Gross and I spent 6 hours on one job. Yikes. Now the good news. My competitor wrote it up as a complete system failure. BTW, my competitor installs septic systems. Slight conflict of interest. I was called for a second opinion. Now the system was busted up, hence 6 hour repair. 1 hour was me spent inside the septic tank patching it. Good times, btw, but at least I was out of the rain. ha ha. So back to the good news. My competitor quoted $20,000.00 to replace the system. That’s no joke, and I wish I could prove it. Homeowner called us, and we ran a plethora of tests. I determined that the system was not failed, that I, in fact, could fix it. I put in an estimate of $1,400.00 to repair the system. A couple of things came up during the repair, and the final bill was $1550.00. Those items came up during the excavation of the tank, and we cannot see under the ground. ha ha. Anyhow, needless to say. Homeowner is really happy that the repairs were done, and at a fair price. And he should get another 5 to 10 years out of it. Now he just needs to keep it clean. 🙂

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Update on Competitor wrote up system failure

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Here is an update from the “competitor wrote up system failure.”  You can see in the picture that the water levels are at the appropriate levels in the septic tank.  The discharge line to the drainfield is on the left.  The water level is on the lower side of the outlet pipe.  This is the static level of this septic tank.  This is where it should always be.  It has not been functioning for over a week since the drainfield repair.  We went out about a week ago and made sure it was full of water and the drainfield was taking on effluent.  It has been taking on effluent ever since.

Update competitor wrote up septic failure 11-11-2011

Update competitor wrote up septic failure 11-11-2011

Now the old “top” of the septic tank was made out of wood.  This is not a water tight, nor an airtight seal.  Which is needed for septic systems to be septic.  We are placing the order on Monday for a new septic tank lid, with access holes precast into it above the compartments of the tank.  We will put risers in and easier access for future maintenance.

 

This homeowner has to be especially greatfull.  He was looking at about $13,000.00 for replacing the system.  I think he will be under $1,500.00 for the entire repair.  I will keep pictures coming.

November 24, 2011,

Heavy rains have stopped us from completing the repair at this time.  Keep checking in.  Remember, although our trackhoe has tracks on it, it does not float.  It will sink and get stuck.  If we need to, we’ll buy plywood to complete this repair sometime in the next two weeks.  With the record rainfall we’ve been having, we just have to hang on tight.  The replacement lid has been poured and cured, and is sitting here in the truckyard waiting installation.

Again, thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie

Competitor’s Riser Job

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

A septic owner called us to see if there was anything we could do to fix this riser installation our competitor performed.   This owner was tired of having the riser stick up out of the deck, and was tripping over it.  The other two

Competitor's Septic Riser Installation

Competitor's Septic Riser Installation

risers were all tilted and not vertical.  I just had to take pictures.  See these risers are able to be cut at any length.  We cut them to grade and replaced the wooden deck with a wooden deck hatch.  I am sorry that we didn’t take a picture of the completed product.  This septic owner was using the least expensive installer as they thought we were all the same, “The only difference between all of us contractors must be price?”  That was the furthest from the truth.  She spent her hard earned money to have these installed, and then for me to take them out.  Cut them to appropriate length.  Reinstall properly.

Also need to note.  The risers were adhered to the septic tank with “Foam Sealant.”  We all know the stuff.   It is not for septic systems.  There is a potential for it to swell up and make passages for ground water to get into the tank.  Concrete to Plastic requires us to use epoxy designed for these unlike materials.   We also use clay sealants to guarantee a water tight, and air tight seal.  Nothing ruins a barbecue quicker than septic odors.

So before hiring your next contractor, keep in mind how much it may cost to have it redone right.  Keep these things in mind.  Also, ask your neighbors, and check the better business bureau and your local health dept for complaints.  As of today, First Call Septic still has zero complaints with both.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Ronnie