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MMD > Archives > March 2007 > 2007.03.04 > 07Prev  Next

Service Charges and Traveling Expenses
By John A. Tuttle

With gas prices on the rise again, and the cost of just about every-
thing still going up (i.e., car maintenance, parts and supplies, etc.),
what is the best way for the traveling technician to recoup those costs
and his time on the road?

Living in a heavily populated area as I do, the idea of charging for
traveling based on the time I spend getting to the customer's home
would no doubt raise eyebrows.  First off, there's no way for me to
prove when I left my home.  Second, there's no way to prove whether
there were traffic delays along the way to the customer's home.

The idea of a flat service charge doesn't work either, because one
customer could live three miles away while another might live 115 miles
away.  So, my system involves a fixed service charge and a mileage
charge.  My goal is to make at least 1/2 of my hourly labor rate for
the round trip.  (I should note that I schedule only one customer per
day.  This is because I hardly ever know what I will find when I get to
the customer's player piano.  And, considering how much it usually
costs just to get to his home, I feel it's only right that the customer
has my complete and undivided attention for as long as it takes to get
his instrument in good working order, whether that be two hours or
eight hours.)

In closing, I'm not asking for specific numbers. I am interested in
learning how other technicians who travel relatively long distances
deal with the time and distance they travel.  BTW, I also charge what
it costs me for toll roads, bridges, and parking fees, which varies
from job to job.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey

(Message sent Sun 4 Mar 2007, 18:27:51 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Charges, Expenses, Service, Traveling

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