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Charging for travel?


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Post Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:09 pm

Charging for travel?

A lady got upset with me because she wanted me to come over to look at her shop and do a quote, quote mind you - no guarantee of work.

She works on the west coast, a 3 hour drive each way.

I said that if I had other work in the area I don't charge, but to make a special trip I would have to charge travel costs.

A lot of work i do in that area can easily be done by the customer sending photos and a couple of measurements, but she was unwilling to be bothered with that.

So it looks like I've lost the job.

What would you have done?

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Post Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:39 pm

personally i would pass it on to someone else!

that is six hours of lost working time! and think of the problems you would have if she did not like the job, or the sign got damaged!

not worth it in my view!


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Post Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:10 am

I'm with you bud,

Charge the time away, and tell her if she goes ahead with the job you'll refund the quote charge.You'll need to include extra travelling costs for fitting and or warranty issues anyway, and other unforseen extras. This one sounds like a PIA job mate, so CYA ( cover your behind) :lol:

Where ya bin? missed you around here


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Post Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:28 am

Hi Gray,

I wouldn’t want to travel 3 hours to actually do a job let alone to price one whether I was being paid or not. :wink:

6 hours travelling would be the equivalent of a round trip from Grantham to Bristol. I’d rather spend the day with my feet up supping tea. I certainly have no ambition to become a long distance van driver. :-?


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Post Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:36 am

You were absolutely right Gray. She is being totaly unreasonable to expect you to make such a long trip simply to quote for a job. I would have done the same as you. Explain that you can do a lot over the phone, and only once you know for sure that you are doing the work will you travel to see it. If she cannot be bothered to provide you with basic information herself then she is likely to be trouble anyway. If she's is upset then this is no fault of yours so I wouldn't worry about it. You're in business to make a living - not running a charity :D

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Post Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 am

I drove up to Aberdeen to paint some chalkboards,over 10 hrs and 530 mls each way ,long as it pays i enjoy the break it but wouldnt travel far
to compete in job quotes

PS is it always that cold up there ?

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Post Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:34 am

Thanks all, I now am feeling fully justified :)

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Post Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:30 am

You're quite right to charge, especially if she couldn't be bothered to take a couple of photo's. Some people don't realise that time is money in most businesses.

I recentley had to survey 15 sites all across the country 1700 mile round trip, for a large corporate customer and they were quite happy to pay for my time.

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Post Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:32 pm

If its a long distance and I don't want the hassle I just quote an crazy figure

I try and get as much information as possible over the phone

Is there an existing board
Do you require a new one
Is it wooden
Approximately how.....
You don't have a fax?
Can you Email?
Would your local newsagent send a fax for you

I give them a rough quote based on the info the've given me and mention that a site visit would be necessary for a firm estimate


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Post Wed Nov 12, 2003 1:41 pm

Its good to know the nearest competition is 5hrs drive? :roll:

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Post Wed Nov 12, 2003 2:26 pm

Wow Gerard, that's a lot of miles.
John, I tried all those tips, 95% of the time it is successful, this time not, I think the lass was just either lazy or not really interested in having the work done.

Sometimes this can be a good way to weed out the 'tirekickers' from serious customers.

simon, you are right, the nearest signwriter is at least that far away. You wouldn't think so on an island the size of Ireland (less the bit we took) and a population of less than half a million.

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