Had a local HVAC company check out our furnace a few days ago -- first
time in almost 8 years ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and we have
carbon monoxide detectors). The only thing he could find wrong was that
the run capacitor's capacitance was down somewhat: 3.6uF instead of 5uF.
I asked how much a replacement was: "$80 if it comes off the truck, but
if you go to our office you can probably get one for less." Since I had
replaced a dual capacitor on the AC for only about $20 a couple years
back, I declined to have the capacitor replaced. I now have a new one I
bought online for $6 + $3 shipping.
Yes the new ones are a computer and hard drives. They download songs
and pay royalties at the same time. My specialty is repairing jukes in
homes. Some are ugly 70's to 90's models but I mostly deal with the
antique ones that play 78's and newer old ones that play 45's. The
antique/collectible market peaked about 20 years ago, prices are way
down on most jukes. I repair pinball machines and other coin-op stuff
also. I have one like this in my living room.
A few years ago I got a call from one of the two royalty-collecting
agencies. They wanted me to pay (I think it was) $35/year for our office
"music on hold" feature.
"Hold on," I said as I put the lady on hold for about thirty seconds.
Going back on the line I asked: "Recognize that?"
"Er, no," she said.
"That was Mozart. Played by the Soviet National Orchestra, from a country
that no longer exists. Now, just who in the hell would you pay the royalties
"Never mind," she said as she broke the connection.
One of the legal things I do for money is maintenance and repair of HVAC
and refrigeration systems and the tech's price of $80 was not
out of line for a large organization to charge its customers. My good
friend GB whom I did a lot of work with passed away last month and being
a small one horse operation neither one of us charged what folks
would think of as exorbitant prices for parts. I would have charged
$30 for the part because of the formula I use. Over the counter cost +
a fraction of fuel and other vehicle expenses + a fraction of other
business expenses + the most costly of items...my "time". Whenever
someone complains about my price on parts, I explain that I'm not in
the business of selling parts, I have one product I sell and that
product is my time. The same people who complain about my price for
parts think nothing of paying an attorney $150 for a few sheets of paper
with some words printed on them. Why the paper only costs 5 cents at the
most, why on earth would I pay $150 for a few sheets of paper?
You are paying for the lawyer's "time" and the lawyer sells the same
product I sell, "time". The price of our time is based on the "time"
it took us to gain the knowledge and experience to do what we do. I've
spent more than of four decades gaining the knowledge and experience to
do the things I can do and I think I should really receive more money
for my "time" but I'm not too greedy and often help out a lot of folks
for little or nothing if they're in a difficult situation. It's amazing
what a little neighborly help can do for business. Me and my late friend
repaired the AC system for an elderly fellow on a fixed income for very
little money and the old guy told his whole family who started calling
us to work for them at full price. Funny how that works. ^_^
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