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Breaking Down that Bill

Posted Apr 5, 2017

One of the most confusing aspects of hiring the services of a plumber, drainage technician, or HVAC expert is figuring out how they are going to bill you. Every company operates differently and it is important to know what questions to ask and what each term means. Always ask the company you have chosen when they start billing and whether or not they charge for travel time. Hidden fees like this can ad up, and make your bill much bigger than originally quoted.

One rate is charged for a service no matter the ease or difficulty of said service. This means the same price would be charged for a 30 minute plumbing fix as it would be for a four hour service.

The disadvantage of this is that the customer could be charged more for an easy job. Alternatively, if it is a really long job, at a lower cost, the technician may feel the pressure to work quickly and not do as well of a job because the cost for labour level doesn’t balance.


Billing via an estimate means that a technician comes to your home, assesses the problem and then quotes a price based on the specific problem. While this does sound like the best option, it does have its share of downfalls.

Some companies will send a technician to your home who will set up all of his equipment and tools, take apart your toilet (or whatever your problem area happens to be) and then quote you the price. This can put pressure on the customer to accept the estimate even if they are not happy with the quoted price. Additionally, this may cause the technician to be pushy or insistent because he has already taken the time to come out to the property and put in the work to provide an estimate.

True Billing

With True Billing, you are only billed for the time and material used. At Milani, this means you are not charged for anything until we show up at your home. We charge you only for the time it takes us to do the job and for the cost of the parts required. There are no hidden fees. It really is a “true” bill. M

Milani doesn’t start charging until we arrive on site. If you decide to go with another company, be sure to ask it they start charging when they leave the shop, or when they arrive at your home. If they have a lower hourly rate, it might be because they start the clock as soon as they leave the shop and not when they arrive on site.

Asking questions is always the best route. The more information that you gather, the more informed your decision will be.

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