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Thread: 3rd Party Work

  1. #1
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    3rd Party Work

    How many of you guys do 3rd party work?

    When I first started as an independent, I would go just about anywhere for anyone. But I don't think I've ever taken a third party service call and had an over-all good experience--whether it's because of being underpaid, having less opportunity to expand my customer base, or just because they sent me on a call no one else could figure out over the phone.

    At first, I started telling companies I wouldn't run their calls unless they bought parts from me, paying the full price I charge normal customers. Eventually, I just stopped doing 3rd party work altogether.

    To me, it's shooting myself in the foot. I might get a few bucks off the gig, but if I do a good job, that end client has no reason to change their service provider. If I just don't take the call, there's a chance they'll get crappy service and end up calling me directly. Then I can actually add them to my client data base and hopefully get work on their other machines as well as selling supplies.


  2. #2
    Master Of The Obvious 10,000+ Posts
    3rd Party Work

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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    I was running a one-man service department for a while, and I was generally underwealmed by the quality of the work I was paying for. Nearly every call came back incomplete for parts. The contractor must have thought that he could double his billable hours by ordering parts, especially when none were needed. When I noticed the trend, I started to do the followups myself. Most often it was feed tires, and frequently they had extremely low counts ... and the original call was for image quality.

    I've done a little third party work myself, and yes, I usually ended up working on somebody's "can't fix" machine, and ended up giving away many labor hours, and spending lots of time on the hotline.

    I don't care for either side of the equation. =^..^=

    If you'd like a serious answer to your request:
    1) demonstrate that you've read the manual
    2) demonstrate that you made some attempt to fix it.
    3) if you're going to ask about jams include the jam code.
    4) if you're going to ask about an error code include the error code.


    blackcat: Master Of The Obvious =^..^=

  3. #3
    AutoMajical Resolutionist 2,500+ Posts
    3rd Party Work

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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    generally all bad! those 3rd party service contractors for the Big Box stores search for the Indy's and small locals and want to negotiate a service fee. They only want to pay for 1 trip even if it takes 2 or 3. the 3rd party has already done their telephone/online trouble shooting and tells you what they have sent, and that's not what's needed to fix the customers problem, And will you get paid..................sometime, maybe...........

    Mystic Crystal Revelations

  4. #4
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    3rd Party Work

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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    I've done 3rd party work with success. Written contractual agreements is what helps protect you.

    I don't do 3rd party work unless a service contract is in place. I write the contract, and if you don't like the terms, then find someone else.

    I dictate the hourly rate, who's responsible for buying parts, who provides service manual documentation etc.........

    I get regular phone calls from companies I've never heard of before wanting me to go out and fix their shit. 50% of the time, these companies move on to someone else when they realize they are dealing with a business man, and not just a nerd with a screwdriver.


  5. #5
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    I'm trying out the self independant technicians life style for a while.
    I'm picking up on what you guys are saying. It feels cold an empty so far as I'm getting a complex that everyone
    wants everything for nothing.
    Example: In sympathy I spent an hour with a lady helping her understand her new cash register, an I only charged her 35 dollars labour for the hour. I charged her 1/4 the normal hr rate. She keeps telling me the cheque is in the mail.
    I hope I don't lose to much faith in people at the early stages.

    What if we could count the stars... , what number would you stop at...?"
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  6. #6
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    3rd Party Work

    atwageman's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoMatrix View Post
    I'm trying out the self independant technicians life style for a while.
    I'm picking up on what you guys are saying. It feels cold an empty so far as I'm getting a complex that everyone
    wants everything for nothing.
    Example: In sympathy I spent an hour with a lady helping her understand her new cash register, an I only charged her 35 dollars labour for the hour. I charged her 1/4 the normal hr rate. She keeps telling me the cheque is in the mail.
    I hope I don't lose to much faith in people at the early stages.
    The something for nothing crowd is minimized with signed service contracts/service orders. Sometimes the mom and pop businesses are worse about paying than than the corporate giants.

    I have no sympathy. I have a business to run too. I'll spend all day helping you, and do it with a smile, but it's gonna cost you. You just have to be straight up and honest with people from the beginning.


  7. #7
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    Sometimes it seems like the more people want, the less willing they are to pay. Personally, I don't mind spending extra time with the smaller businesses. I figure if I don't have work waiting for me, then what's the big deal to stop for a few and help someone out. They can't afford to pay someone to explain crap to them, and I get fuzzies for being helpful.

    At the same time, you can't feed your family with fuzzies. But still... if I don't have a paying customer waiting for me, I'll spend some extra time trying to help someone.


  8. #8
    Service Manager 100+ Posts dbrownlee's Avatar
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    Wink Re: 3rd Party Work

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoMatrix View Post
    I'm trying out the self independant technicians life style for a while.
    I'm picking up on what you guys are saying. It feels cold an empty so far as I'm getting a complex that everyone
    wants everything for nothing.
    Example: In sympathy I spent an hour with a lady helping her understand her new cash register, an I only charged her 35 dollars labour for the hour. I charged her 1/4 the normal hr rate. She keeps telling me the cheque is in the mail.
    I hope I don't lose to much faith in people at the early stages.
    Would that be a Sam4S ER-650?

    GO TIGERS!!

  9. #9
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    Re: Slow invoice/debit payments.

    I've toyed with the idea of writing an automated web page the publicly names those businesses that take a long time to pay their debt. The web page would publicly display the names of those businesses/customers, the days, months and the amount they are in arears, along with the number of repeat times they have been on the name-n-shame debit web page.

    As people know w-o-m advertising is a two edge sword : it can work both ways; for good or bad. The only way they could remove their business/customer name off the debit page is to pay it off the page directly via EFT. It would be left up to the business themselves then, as to how long they wanted their own self generated bad advertisement to appear public.

    Obviously the name-n-shame debit page would only be used as a very last resort an extreme worst case scenerio.

    It amazes me though how much money business/retail spends on "advertising" each year to get you in the door,and then slams the door on your back to help hurry you on your way out.

    As I said," it's just an idea", I doubt very much if I'll do anything more with it..... rant over....

    What if we could count the stars... , what number would you stop at...?"
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  10. #10
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Party Work

    I think the company reporting such companies would lose an immense amount of business. I myself would never do business with a company who publicly reported those companies who owe them money.


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