Copyright 2018, Michael Bryant
Why use me?
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Cost of repairs:
You'll probably be reading this page because I've sent you the link. It details my charge rates and policy.
My current hourly rate for normal work-day repairs is £96.00 plus VAT. This is charged per quarter hour (or part thereof), with a minimum time charge of one hour.
Evening, weekend and bank holiday work is £106.00 per hour plus VAT, with a £50.00 plus VAT emergency call-out charge for work on Sundays and bank holidays.
All of the time needed to carry out a repair is chargeable*, including the time spent travelling to and from the site of the repair. (I will give you a detailed time log.)
How far will I travel?
I live in Reading, Berkshire. I'm happy to travel anywhere in England or Wales to carry out a repair, but I charge for my travelling time. This means the more time-consuming the journey, the higher the cost of a visit.
In order to find out how long the drive from Reading to <your house> is likely to take, I suggest visiting the AA website. There is an excellent route planner there that gives estimated travelling times. Here's the link:
(Route planning sites all seem to have one major weakness, they don't take account of traffic congestion. Trips into central or east London in particular take FAR longer than the AA suggests. I've yet to find a route planner that can accurately estimate travel times into London)
Payment is due on completion of the repair, by debit card, credit card or cash before I leave site.
I used not to accept accept payment by internet bank transfer but now I will consider it under certain circumstances:
1) Payment by bank transfer has been agreed and set up in advance (say while I'm carrying out the repair) so I'm not waiting while the customer logs in and adds me as a payee.
2) There is an adequate Vodafone mobile signal at the property so I can confirm the transfer has completed using internet banking on my mobile phone.
3) Payment can be verified completed before I leave site. If verification fails for any reason the customer agrees to pay by debit or credit card. Under these circumstances if a delayed payment eventually arrives in my bank, the credit or debit card transaction will be reversed/refunded.
4) If excessive time is taken making the bank transfer I may require payment by debit or credit card instead.
5) If the customer will not be present during the repair, I do not accept payment by internet banking. It has not been unknown for customers to forget to make the transfer in which case I find myself having to spend time chasing payment. This can take longer than the repair itself so I need to prevent this happening.
If the 'paying customer' will not be present on site during the repair (e.g. when the customer is a landlord and their tenant lets me in) then I require payment in advance for my estimated traveling time to site and back, or my minimum one hour time charge (whichever is the larger) by debit or credit card only, a minimum of 24 hours before the appointment. The balance of the repair cost (if any) will be drawn using the same card details on completion of the repair. The invoice, receipt and card transaction slips will be posted to the home address of the paying customer.
Two worked examples:
Firstly a straightforward, local repair:
1) A customer in Reading town centre (a fifteen minute drive away) with a repair that turns out to be a failed flue fan which takes one hour to diagnose and replace from van stock:
Travelling time to site: ¼ hour
Time on site completing the repair: 1 hour
Travelling time back from site: ¼ hour
Flue fan: £161 66
Total time charge 1½ hrs @ £96.00 hour £144.00
Parts fitted £161.66
VAT @ 20.0% £ 61.13
Invoice total £366.79
2) A more time-consuming repair in, say, Cardiff, a two hour drive away. It turns out to be a heat sensor failure which is quick to diagnose and replace, but travelling time is high.
Travelling time to site: 2 hours
Time on site completing the repair: 1 hour
Travelling time back from site: 2 hours
Total time charge 5 hrs @ £96.00 hour £480.00
Parts fitted £28.50
VAT @ 17.5% £101.70
Invoice total £610.20
*There are two situations where I don't charge for all the time taken to complete a repair:
1) When I encounter an awkward or difficult fault that I cannot diagnose due to lack of knowledge/experience with that particular boiler. I'll generally 'stop the clock' under these circumstances and treat the fault-tracing as a self-training exercise! I'm then able to spend as much time as I need to trace the fault without my customer worrying about a mounting bill. When the repair is complete I'll charge for the amount of time I'd expect to have taken had I already been familiar with that boiler/fault.
2) When I need to spend time away from site researching a repair. I do not charge for time spent at home researching a fault on the internet and/or consulting the manufacturer from my home/office.