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Why I Don’t Like “Book Rate” Repair Vendors

My long time appliance repairman John at Austin Appliance informed me today that he’s only coming into Austin once a week now, and will eventually stop serving Austin altogether. He lives in Spicewood and mainly works Marble Falls now.

Darn it. My veteran vendor team people keep getting older and retiring on me. John’s also working now as a fishing guide on Lake LBJ. Sounds better than fixing dishwashers and refrigerators I must admit. I’ve use him since the early 1990s, and I hate to lose a trusted service call vendor.

So today I put my feelers out for a new appliance company or person. I’ve had many good recommendations already but the problem I keep running into is the pricing structure that seems to be more prevalent now than it was 10+ years ago. It seems most service companies nowadays want to bill a service charge just for showing up, usually $50 to $92, then, once there, they want to quote a price based on the “book rate” of the repair, and then do the job only after the price is approved.

That doesn’t cut it for me. I don’t use “book rate” vendors because book rate pricing is a poor value for my property management owners. It’s inefficient and expensive, two things I despise. Maybe for Joe or Jane Homeowner who only need a service call once every few years, it’s not such a bad deal. You know the cost before the work is started and exactly what will be done. But I can’t operate a property management business under that pricing scheme. Instead, I need my guy to show up, fix the problem, and bill me a fair rate for time plus materials. I’m not worried about getting ripped off because, after nearly 20 years of managing and fixing rentals, I know what it should cost to fix things.

Here’s why my way is better and why I don’t use book rate people.
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Posted by Steve
9 years ago