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Book
Premium
join:2004-05-24
Shepherd, MI
reply to gunther_01

Re: [Bus. Ops] Gas Prices and Your Bottom Line

There are two types of Equipment:

1) Equipment that has failed
2) Equipment that will

We've been at the wireless side 10 years. It's not that we're making multiple trips to any given customer but certainly we are visiting customers every week. In our business model, we maintain ownership of the CPE so it's ours to fix unless it's neglect, abuse etc. We didn't build our cost model based on $4+/gallon gasoline. Of course we have stood steadfast on our rates (actually dropping rates because of cheaper bandwidth and equipment costs) throughout all the fuel price volatility over the years but fuel prices above $4 no longer works in our cost model. Whether your willing to admit it or not, all of us have a breaking point where we MUST make adjustments. I would say that I'm probably past mine and we've tried to ride it out hoping for a decline in prices but all indications are fuel costs are going to continue to rise. Denial and Hope are no longer an option for us.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to treichhart
That's what I was saying.


That does not include the expensive pump I would need to refuel. I would also have to upgrade my gas service.

The "Phil" is $4500 by itself. That doesn't include upgrading my gas service. It also takes 800W of electricity while it's running. It would have to run about 8-12 hours per day to fill my truck. That's nothing to balk at.
Don't get me wrong, I think NG is going to be the fleet fuel of the future. It's just going to require vehicles that were built for NG use (not converted).
--
...because I care.

wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1
reply to Book
Well, so much for my taking the week off LOL.

So we have a customer who is also an attorney. He is threatening to sue because he demanded a service call today as opposed to Monday when we will already be rolling a truck in the area to fix his service. His issue is because he is the only call today, 60 miles in the opposite direction my guys will be in, they quoted him $75 if the issue is on his end or $40 if it is on ours to cover the fuel. He claims that is "illegal"

Anyone have any input on this? I'm guessing he mistakenly thinks we are a regulated utility which many customers incorrectly assume.

We routinely have truck roles to this customer and it has always been his router. Up until now, we have not charged him for said service calls.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
Unfortunately, that's a common ploy by lawyers. They think that "Esq." gives them some sort of privileged status where they should get everything for free.

What does your contract say in reference to service calls? While it's obviously 100% legit to charge the customer if the trouble is on his side, it may not be ok to charge them if the trouble is on your side. Again that depends on the contract.

If I were in your shoes, I would refund a months service and pull the plug, unless you have a contractual obligation. Any customer threatening to sue is never worth the revenue.

Maybe a little dose of dial-up or Wild-Blue will curb his litigious attitude toward you.

I used to think the 20/80 rule was a bunch of "new paradigm" B.S. mumbo jumbo.
After a few years of running my own businesses, I realized it's true most of the time. Sometimes it "pays off" to fire customers.
--
...because I care.

wirelessdog

join:2008-07-15
Queen Anne, MD
kudos:1
reply to Book
I emailed the customer offering to let him explain before I take adverse action on his account.

I believe, regardless of contract (TOS) The fact we were willing to go without charge on Monday but offered to go today for the cost of fuel is perfectly reasonable. Service is as-is as-available.

Customer is month to month so yes, I am leaning towards cutting them loose. I personally don't like threats either.

Chele

join:2003-07-23
kudos:1
reply to Book
Being able to choose who we do business with is one of the few luxuries we have. We have a 30 day money back guarantee and month to month service, neither party is locked in.