One of our most common inquiries from customers is concerning our prices. Many customers see their bill showing what part was replaced and the cost. Some customers then go online to find out how much the part would cost if it were to be purchased individually. Once they see that the part is cheaper than what they were charged, they feel like they were cheated.
Unfortunately, some customers don’t realize that just like every other business, a profit must be made in order to remain operational. When you hire an HVAC technician, you aren’t only paying for the part. If an HVAC company only charged for the part, the business would soon run out of resources and go out of business. There are many costs associated with doing business including paying the technicians who have a tremendous amount of knowledge, and diagnostic skills and work in extreme and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Most HVAC companies charge a flat rate for services and repairs. Flat rate pricing isn’t only beneficial for the HVAC Company but also for the customer. If a technician comes to your home and it takes 2 hours longer than normal to complete the repair, you will still be charged the same.
While some smaller HVAC companies may charge less, they also may be conducting business out of their own home with less than 5 employees or only have one vehicle. Larger HVAC companies who have a business office location, multiple service vehicles, a large stock of inventory and tools, phones, electronic devices, certified professionals, office staff, office supplies, insurance costs, taxes, special licensing fees, and warranties will usually charge more to keep the business running.
Other expenses that are factored in are gas, drive time, warehouse time, paperwork time, ongoing training, running for parts, and return visits that are not billed.
It’s not about “sticking the cost” to the customer. It’s about having the resources to provide the best possible products and services to the customer, keeping the top performing most qualified technicians to do the work, being available during odd hours to satisfy the customer’s comfort needs, and staying in business so customers have a trusted company to rely on.
Beware of a company charging below the going rate. The company may be cutting corners on products, materials, skilled labor, insurance, permits, etc. The company might not be in business for long and if you have a problem, you will have nowhere to go. Many times the cheapest price is the worst value. With equipment that makes such a big impact on your home, you should want to make sure you are getting the best value, not the lowest price.
Also, remember that in any service industry customers pay for convenience and expertise. This is especially true in the HVAC business. Anyone is welcome to diagnose their own system, find the part that is needed, order or buy the part and do the repairs on their own but more likely than not, most people don’t know how and or don’t want to go through the trouble of doing the work themselves.
While this information doesn’t help the painful feeling of spending money on HVAC services, we hope that it helps you understand why HVAC repairs and services cost what they do.
Here is a great story that was posted in a forum:
Did you ever hear about the king who had a steamboat that nobody can fix? He called everyone he knew to fix it and they all failed. Then one day he called a little old man who knew about steamships. This old man took out his pocket screwdriver, turned a small screw one turn, and the steamboat started up immediately. He then said, “That will be $300.00 please.” The king looked at him and said “You are charging me $300.00 for just turning a screw?” The old man replied, “No, it was just $1.00 to turn the screw and it was $299.00 to know what screw to turn!”