Contact me @ (832) 643-2315 or use the Contact Page to send me a message
In the best interest of my company I will no longer provide services for cheap non-durable consumer products (expendable commodities); in most cases it is cheaper to buy a new one for ($100 – $150). It is not cost effective for either party to repair low-quality equipment. People do not realize that the parts and labor costs are approximately the same as for high-quality equipment.
The major problem is that most customers never take the time to read my website. I was forced to make a change in 2018 because my operating expenses, experience, knowledge, skills, time and parts have a monetary value. My business is repairing equipment, not consulting or selling equipment per my Sales Tax Certificate.
Why the changes: It was due to people abandoning their equipment without paying for services rendered (including parts) because “service (as viewed by people) is not a tangible item.” It is not something you can put in your hand and walk away with, but it does include parts which are tangible and cost money.
- A “Shop Fee “of $25 minimum is required dependent on the type of equipment. It is payment for an initial consultation, and a basic evaluation/diagnosis to determine, if it is cost effective to repair. That is based on the condition of the equipment and the customer’s decision whether to repair it or not. Not to exceed ½ hr. and the customer must be present. The deposit will be applied to the bill, if the equipment is repaired; otherwise the “Shop Fee” will be forfeited.
- I warranty my work, and the parts are subject to their own warranty; labor is not included to replace defective parts once the job has been completed, and equipment is functional.
- If the decision is made to repair it, then all major parts must be paid for in advance. Paying for the parts up-front or later should not be an issue, I will not purchase major parts “out of pocket for good reason.” Labor is not a tangible item, but parts are. The customer’s equipment is a tangible item, but “I do not have a need for it nor do I want it.“
Two types of machines that are significantly different from most small engine equipment are Pressure Washers and Portable Generators; they are made up of two separate components, an engine with a pump or an alternator. An engine repair does not guarantee the Pressure Washer or Portable Generator to work upon completion of the repairs. The bottom line is one or the other are susceptible to failure, and that is the risk of owning a piece of equipment regardless of what it is.
- An example of what I am referring to would be the same as owning a vehicle; it has an Engine and Transmission. I will not warranty any other parts or components that was not part of the repair although they are a complete unit. A piece of equipment cannot be diagnosed unless the equipment is operational and functional.
I am going to provide a link to an article that will provide some insight to Diagnostic Fees. It is the most controversial issue in the Automotive, Small Engine Repair Business and the Service Industry. Read it very carefully: https://repairpal.com/blog/should-you-have-to-pay-for-diagnostic-fees
- I take work by appointment only, so I have decided to perform an assessment of the equipment before taking it in. Equipment is not always as described, for example the overall condition or how it has been maintained.
- Once I have the equipment and received payment for the Shop Fee, then I will perform an Initial Evaluation with the customer present to try and determine what the problem or problems are. Once I have looked it over I will give you my assessment. The decision to repair or not will be left up to the customer.
- If the decision is to repair it, then all major parts must be paid for in advance. If the decision is not to repair it, then you will forfeit the $25 Shop Fee. That is payment for a maximum of 1/2 hr. of my time for an initial diagnosis prior to taking the job.
- Why: because you cannot perform a diagnosis on a non-functional piece of equipment. In some cases, there could be more than one problem, and it may require replacing one or two parts to find the problem. That creates a potential issue of not being cost-effective.
- Unloading and Loading fee if applicable will be included as well.
- The “Shop Fee” guarantees payment for consultation, evaluation and basic diagnosis to determine if it is cost effective to repair. I will not waste my time trying to procure work from someone that has their own priorities or doubts about spending their money.
- My labor rate is ~ 50% less than my competition, and I cannot buy parts at wholesale prices, then mark them up; it is all about Operating Expenses and over-head costs. Customers will abandon cheap equipment without paying for services rendered.
I do not rebuild carburetors for three reasons.
- It is a liability issue.
- Due to the lack of maintenance per owner’s manual.
- Parts & kits are not available for all carburetors because they are manufactured in China. Briggs & Stratton just started using Chinese brand name carbs on their Portable Generators. They have always used Niki or Mikuni carburetors.
- NOTE: Approximately 90% of my business for over a year now have been gasoline related problems. It is due to the Ethanol/water content in gasoline. It causes more problems than just carburetor problems. It is the responsibility of the owner to read and follow the guidelines in the owner’s manual. I have quit cleaning and rebuilding carburetors because sometimes it is a waste of time, and it cost the customer more in the long run. When I install a carburetor, I use high-grade gas and I run it all out when the customer picks it up.
- I will not warranty the parts or labor, if they bring it back with bad gas in it. Here is a link to an article about Ethanol and carburetors: http://blog.jackssmallengines.com/2015/04/see-ethanol-damage-up-close/
It is not cost effective for you, if it was not properly maintained (per the Owner’s Manual). I am not like my competition that will take your business to make a dollar and then have someone come back complaining or potentially abandoning their equipment at my expense.
Hourly Rates: My rates are about 40 – 50% per hr. lower than my biggest local competitors. If additional parts are required, then they must be paid for in advance.
Loading and Unloading Fees: Effective 1/2018, I had a custom designed manual forklift manufactured at a cost of $4 k for loading and unloading equipment such as Generators etc. Due to a couple of near misses which is a “Liability Issue,” I charge a fee of $25 total for (unloading and loading) a single piece of equipment, NO EXCEPTIONS! I carry General Liability Ins. to protect myself and having worked as a Safety Leader for ExxonMobil for 10 years, I know about safety and “Root Causes” of accidents.
Gasoline Disposal Fees – I do not charge for disposing of ½ – 1 gal. of gasoline, but if it exceeds that then there will be a non-negotiable fee of $10 per gal. That is my cost for disposal because I am a small business, so I recommend you drain and dispose of the gas prior to bringing it to me.
Pick Up and Deliver: I will pick up and deliver equipment and the cost is based on my hourly rate and dependent on where you are located. It is also necessary for you to have someone available to help me load it; this usually applies to Portable Generators. I will make a service call on riding tractor mowers, but for limited reasons, and it will take a minimum of two trips.
I will ask you this question: Has someone worked on your equipment prior to bringing it to me for repair. If I discover that it has been tampered with or worked on, then I will stop at that point and notify you of my findings. I will ask you to come pick it up unless you want to complete the repairs and pay for the parts in advance, so I can complete the diagnosis. That entails me getting back to a starting point from which I can re-start the diagnosis at your expense.
Owning & operating a business is difficult enough without having to fix problems created by amateur mechanics. They are always the most difficult to deal with. I spent almost 50 years in the O&G industry having to work with people like this. I do not have to, nor will I not tolerate it any longer.