Service Fees and Why We Charge Them

We are The Lighting Experts

Service Fees are a hot topic among the service provider industry – do you charge them or not? Why or why not?

Service fees are one of those things in the service industry that is a necessary evil. Someone is coming out to your home to perform a service on an item on your home requested by you, the homeowner. What those in the lighting industry seem to run into is quite a few homeowners feel that any work performed on the lighting system after the initial install should be at not cost to them. 

 

Service Client on the Mechanism of Metal Cogwheels.

 

Sure, we all hate to pay for service, but if work is performed or a technician shows up to you home to asses a situation that person performed a service for you. When you call your plumber, electrician, or AC company don’t they charge a service fee? The answer is yes they do, and if it is after hours charge an emergency fee which is higher than the standard fee. We all pay them with out questioning the fee, so why are we questioning our lighting companies? After looking at other providers standard operating procedures is it really surprising that your lighting installer does the same thing, charges for work being performed by a technician?

Mike Gambino of Gambino Lighting says it best when it comes to service of your lighting – “Keeping your decorative landscape lighting tuned up on a regular basis (minimum every 6 months) is a cheap alternative compared to having to fix a damaged system that has been neglected over time.”.  Everyone keeps their AC tuned up, their plumbing cleaned out and free of damage, ensures all other electrical is operating correctly, outdoor lighting should be treated just like any other home equipment, it needs TLC as well.

It can be hard to tell by the naked eye or by your invoice, but a lot of work does go into a “basic” service call. At Light It Right, our service tech, no matter what the call, performs a full system check over – he checks the connections of the wire in and around the light, the voltage at the light and the transformer, ensures the transformer is clear of debris and in working order, the timer is operating as intended, cleans debris from lights, removes ants, re-aims lighting, etc. – this may or may not be reflected on the invoice, however the work is done and does take time, which will be charged for – a service was provided. For Light It Right we do not require our customers to be home when we service their systems so we understand it may seem no work was done when we came out since it cannot be seen, but we did a top to bottom check of the system.

Also, service providers do have expenses involved in your job to cover – cost of the employee, insurance (general, workers comp, auto, etc.), vehicle usage, materials, etc. – all of these costs tend to be wrapped up into the service fee, providers are not getting rich off these fees we can promise you that.

 

 

Maintenance Service on the Metal Gears on Black Background.

 

Warranty

 

Hand with marker writing the word Quality

 

Let’s talk warranties. Yes, we do offer warranties on our products, just like an AC company or plumber would. What is often forgotten is that you still pay for the labor to replace a warranty item. A personal example – we just had to have our AC evaporator coil replaced, I paid $175 for the tech to come out for 30 minutes to tell me what was wrong and then another $1400 for the coil to be replaced and the AC charged back up. I got the coil covered at no cost since it was still under warranty, but did pay for the labor – lighting is the exact same way, we will warranty the part but you pay for the labor. In Light It Rights case if we installed your system originally your warranty documents state that a service fee will apply for all services performed and will vary by location – so always read the warranty documents from whichever provider you use to avoid any surprises, that will keep a great relationship for both of you. Also what should be stated, is what will void your warranty. Light It Right tries to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what is covered and what is not. Also, we will waive your first call if the issue is caused by a Light It Right representative or a warranty issue arises.

We Are All Alike

Lighting companies are just like your plumber and AC company, we are providing a service to you. Lighting may be a “luxury” item unlike your AC (especially here in Texas), however a lighting system still has upkeep, like your AC, and does need service performed on it from time to time. If you want to keep your lights in the best condition, looking the way the did on the first day, and working just as well, then a call to your lighting company is required and service fee will be assessed. Everyone in the service industry aims to provide the best quality of service they can to their customers. Lighting companies, like Light It Right and other members of the Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals, have taken years to hone our trade, increase the education lever, and do everything we in our power to have happy customers part of our family, so when an issue comes up over a service fee we do our best to explain the reasoning – just remember if you pay for labor for everyone else, then you most likely will with us.

 

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