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Old 04-28-2015, 11:49 AM   #21
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I wish I could be paid for aggravation time.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:50 AM   #22
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If its just raining or in my case snowing I'm getting out of my truck and getting started.

We all know about thunderstorms. If its a thunderstorm deluge I'll wait for it to be over or slow down. No use in getting me, and all my stuff soaked.
Understand. I have no issues with paying for work that is performed, which would include driving to the site, but not sitting in the truck waiting for the rain to stop.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:59 AM   #23
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Some comments are regarding experts in their field and their billing practices. The OP is talking about a yard guy changing out a torsional coupling, not exactly an expert level task.

The higher the level of technical expertise, the more generous the billing typically is.

I think the OP is OK to bring it up to the shop, "hey I'm billed for four hours, he was only on the boat 1.5". Often they will correct it with no fuss.

They make raincoats, they work pretty well.

Different story if worksite is in open weather. But if engine room is protected, no need to sit in truck for 2hrs.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:11 PM   #24
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How would you like to be in a business where you can spend weeks developing a proposal for a client, and they reject it? Months later you learn that they have used your proposal to create your proposed program "in house." OK, sue them. They multi-million dollar companies and in some cases billion dollar companies, and you are an independent entrepreneur trying to make a living. Guess who wins, and WHEN?
I don't have a problem with that at all, only because...

I do not provide free estimates. I bill for estimates, at the same rate. That is a "normal" thing to do. Customer calls with a dream. I go out, listen to him and come up with a way to make his dreams come true.

If he decides he can't afford his dreams then no problem. If he decides he has to get through a budget cycle, no problem. Not all jobs come to fruition.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:21 PM   #25
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In my former business, if you charged for proposals you would have no business. Just the way it is in the industry I worked in.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
If its just raining or in my case snowing I'm getting out of my truck and getting started.

We all know about thunderstorms. If its a thunderstorm deluge I'll wait for it to be over or slow down. No use in getting me, and all my stuff soaked.
============================================

I can tell that you are good. I can tell you know it. That is a good thing but if you make a mistake it is on you, not your customer. You ethically bound to eat that time. You make a mistake and ruin something through no fault of your customer, again you are ethically bound to dine.

From your post it almost sounds like if in the middle of the night you dream about the job you bill the next day. Think about the job on the way home, you bill? That might work in Alaska, won't in Houston, won't in Mobile. Might in Jersey or Mass or NY but not in Corpus or Galveston.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:25 PM   #27
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In my former business, if you charged for proposals you would have no business. Just the way it is in the industry I worked in.
I can see that. Just different industries.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:32 PM   #28
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============================================

From your post it almost sounds like if in the middle of the night you dream about the job you bill the next day. Think about the job on the way home, you bill? That might work in Alaska, won't in Houston, won't in Mobile. Might in Jersey or Mass or NY but not in Corpus or Galveston.
Thanks but not really. I cannot tell you how many times I have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat having figured out a difficult problem in my sleep. Those are freebies to the customer.

I'm coming at this from a different angle, and I have to be careful here. I work in a specialized world where there is not allot of competition, but we're discussing a different world, a different skill set.

What I am able to do in my world is not necessarily the same as a different trade or profession might do. If there was more competition, say in a different trade then things would be of course different. so, in some ways I'm being unfair attempting to relate the OP's situation to how I work with my customers.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:35 PM   #29
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Here's an example of the people I like to do business with. My boat was hauled for bottom painting and I asked that the shore power not be connected as my refrigeration requires seawater. In error they plugged it in and the seawater pump ran non-stop all night.

When the boat was launched, the pump would not operate and the yard made the assumption it had burned out. Within minutes they installed a new pump. Again the pump wouldn't start. I called my AC guy and he discovered that a solenoid on one of the fridges had developed a freon leak and depleted the system. The pump was not burned out after all, the refrigeration compressor had shut down for lack of freon and never triggered the pump to start.

I described the situation to the yard manager and asked if he wanted to reinstall the old pump. I also offered to pay for the new pump. His reply was "the new pump is my gift to you." That's the kind of people I like to work with. He wouldn't think of my paying for their mistake.
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Old 04-28-2015, 02:59 PM   #30
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hmason, I totally agree. Thats the kind of people and businesses I like to give my money to. My Merc dealer/shop is like that. I absolutely knew the steering pump on my twin 300 Verados was bad, but they couldnt get the boat in for 2 weeks. I needed it in 2 days for a charter. George, the service manager says "well, I dont think that is the problem but come get a new pump ($1100) and just bring your old one with you" so I did. I swapped out the pump and that was not the problem, had bad connections in the sensor wires to the ecm. Rigging error by the builder, they had plug together connectors in the wiring chase. I called George and told him the deal and that I guess I owe for a pump. He says "I'll just warranty it, dont worry about it". They get all of my bidness !!!!
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:30 PM   #31
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Heavy equipment field mechanic - retired, I sat in my truck many times in the rain on the clock waiting for it to stop. Being Union didn't mean I got paid, the contractor could send me home anytime but if I stayed I got paid. The only waiting without pay was 1st thing in the morning if it was raining they could delay the start time up to 2 hours. The wrong parts could be anyone involved who made a mistake, the mechanic was still working to make your repair no reason the time isn't billable. I suspect a polite call could get some adjustment on the bill, a angry call making accusations would end up creating bad feelings and not resolve anything. One thing to remember is "the only people who don't make mistakes are the ones not doing anything". No one feels any worse about a mistake than the craftsman that makes one and I doubt the wrong part was the mechanic's fault.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:51 PM   #32
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I do not even know how to answer the OP's original question...

I get paid for a full days labor.

I am billable all day long. Yes, if I'm stuck in my truck due to (name you reason here) I'm billable.

If I have to run and get parts I'm billable.

If I have to run and get parts because its my mistake I'm still billable.

The time it takes me to figure out your bill is also being charged to you.

If I'm talking to you, you're paying me. If we are talking about your bill, you are still paying me. If you are screwing with me about your bill I might not be able to fit you into my schedule next time you call.

If I'm discussing your job with other guys in the shop you're paying me, and possibly them as well.

I am an EXPERT IN MY FIELD, and have a reputation for quality work. I have jobs planned out weeks in advance because my customers ask for me by name.

If you do not like my billing policies or my rate, then figure it out yourself, or call a cheaper service provider. When they get gone with their work you'll pay me to come straighten out their mess and I'll bill you for that too, but plan ahead because I'm booked up with happy repeat customers.
I feel exactly the same way. To many people sitting around watching their clocks waiting to "catch me" trying to rip them off. I need to make a living and I charge for what I do. Before you start taking back the promise to pay, ask yourself if the guy did the job well and for a fair price. Then ask your self when was the last time you did your job for free.
Now pay the ****ing bill and stop complaining.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:24 PM   #33
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Thanks, lots of good advice, I think a calm polite call to the owner is warranted, if he adjusts the bill great if not I will get over it, in the big scheme of this project this is a very minor thing. I have no problem with someone waiting in the car for a thunderstorm to pass, I certainly would have it was a very hard rain, but I don't think in this case it should have been billable time.

To clear a few of the questions up, the parking lot is about a quarter of a mile from the boat, the engine room is enclosed dry and secure. So the only time he would have been in the elements is walking to and from the boat.

I may have been a bit over concerned or a "clock watcher" because of a previous experience with a marine technician. A few months prior to this event I contacted a marine electrician to come to the boat to have a look around and see what he thought(the boat was damaged in Katrina and has not been used since). He was clear about his billing on the phone, travel to the boat and hourly rate with a two hour minimum. All fair and reasonable, I said great come on out for two hours. He came out looked around and for the first two hours we looked all over the boat he had lots of good advice and input, it was a nice day we ended up sitting outside talking about everything from previous jobs, family, boating adventures and a few other things... it was like visiting with an old friend. Next thing you know it was lunch time, he said your hungry let's get some lunch, we went to a local restaurant had a nice lunch(I picked up the check). The conversation was maybe 10% boat the rest was about our family and kids and similar life experiences we had. We got back to the boat and I said lets settle up, and he charged me for the entire time including lunch. I chocked it up as a life lesson and thought to myself these guys are working for a living and they are not here to be my "buddy". I consider my self a friendly and talkative guy, especially when it comes to boats and boat people, so when the mechanic arrived to install the coupler I was very aware of the clock and tried very hard to ensure I did not distract him or take him off task with my BS'ing.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:12 PM   #34
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When I was in the publishing business and had a client that supplied multiple ads that were to be run on different dates and I ran the wrong ad, the client would NEVER be billed for that ad insertion. My mistake, my problem--- not the client's.

If a technician makes an error and brings the wrong part, that's the tech's problem, not mine. I should not bear that cost.

I've had instances where a mechanic couldn't find/fix a problem and expected to be paid for his time anyway. I say no way to that. If you can't do the job, that's your problem.

I can't conceive of billing a client for a job I couldn't complete in a timely and acceptable manner.

Sorry for the rant---or am I?

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Old 04-28-2015, 09:36 PM   #35
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Billing rates are usually 2.5 to 3 times the cost of labor. The mark-up pays for overhead (office, clerical, proposals, insurance, etcetera) and profit, and should also cover vender mistakes.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:44 AM   #36
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I have been in a number of boat yards where the workers putb in an 8 hour day , but were expected to bill 10 or 12 hour days.

The explination was this made up for the slack time when there were no 8 hour billable days.

In the "old days" the yards excess labor would have been used to build a couple of boats ,

but with plastic hulls that option no longer exists.
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Old 04-29-2015, 09:50 AM   #37
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If you do not like my billing policies or my rate, then figure it out yourself, or call a cheaper service provider. When they get gone with their work you'll pay me to come straighten out their mess and I'll bill you for that too, but plan ahead because I'm booked up with happy repeat customers.
Kevin, you may be "an expert" in your field but you will never get away with your billing practice down here in the lower 48.
That "attitude" is a big part of the reason why so many people can't afford to participate in the cruising life.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:11 AM   #38
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Kevin, you may be "an expert" in your field but you will never get away with your billing practice down here in the lower 48.
That "attitude" is a big part of the reason why so many people can't afford to participate in the cruising life.
I may be one of the cheapest people on this Forum, but I just don't understand the mentality exhibited in this thread:

1. The OP agreed to paying for time from the time he left the office. The OP should ask about the 4 hour charge; it still sounds like a typo to me, but if the issue was the normal 1 hour trip took 4 due to the wx, then that's what it is.

2. Having lived in Alaska and the Outside (lower 48) all over the place, Alaska is pretty much the same as everyplace else when it comes to this. It doesnt matter whether Kevin is an "expert" or not, these are his billing rules and his customers agreed to it. Period. This happens all over the world, the only difference is the final price.

3. It seems nobody on TF has a house or car? What happens when you take your car to be worked on? Do you even understand how auto/truck mechanics charge? You pay the book time; not the actual time.

And when everything's said and done, that is all people like Kevin and the other millions of folks who charge that way are doing.

My first months with the Krogen, I paid $thousands$ for all sorts of work, that as time went on, I realized I could do myself and that makes the difference bewteen me spending $1000 per month for maintenance or $50.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:25 AM   #39
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That "attitude" is a big part of the reason why so many people can't afford to participate in the cruising life.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. If you are saying that skilled tradesmen should charge for all 40 hours they work a week, whether driving in a car to or from a job or fetching parts-yes I agree, more of them would be able to afford to participate in the cruising life.

As for the op, did you see the tech sitting in his car waiting for the rain to stop for that hour and a half? How far away is the mechanics shop? Certainly marine mechanics are going to pass the costs of travel time to the customer. But if the mechanic was just sitting in his car waiting for the rain to stop, you definitely have something to talk about with the owner/manager.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:29 AM   #40
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It's time to change the OP's original question to:


DID you pay a mechanic to sit in his car?
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