Look folks, I’ve worked in and around the trades for quite a long time on both sides. I’ve got friends that run their own technical service businesses. I know what it takes to get those services delivered on site.
In my experience, with your first visit to a new customer, you fix the problem and if you have time left in that first hour, you educate them on company services or use the time to advise them on preventative procedures. You make sure they feel like they got good value so they’ll use you again.
$200 for replacing a retail $12 part and a half hour of your time, part of which was quoting me on a new power drop seems significantly high to me. (10 minutes while I walked him through the outlets that failed and what I had plugged into them, 5 minutes while he and his trainee/assistant/whatever conferred about the GFI and 5 to show me the problem and replace the GFI, and 10 minutes while he explained why he couldn’t take credit cards temporarily and then why I had to void and write another check because I had mistakenly written it to his business and not him personally.)
I never delivered less than a full hour of service on a call. There are always preventative maintenance issues you can cover with a customer. (In fact, with this GFI fault the electrician warned that that kind of thing could cause a fire, so I asked him if we should go ahead and replace the other GFIs, especially when he mentioned they no longer make the kind of GFI that failed. His response was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”)
I’m not making a statement about the general value of tradespeople in the field. I’ve managed service people and fielded the calls of customers that think 8 hours of diagnostics and 1/2 hour of fix should be billed for only the fix time. I’ve also been the tech that had his billables dinged because a service manager trade off that battle for the long term business from the account.
It sounds like he’s in the ballpark on the high side. And I’m probably just used to B2B rates and responsiveness.