IPVMU Certified | 02/21/15 01:35pm
same as regular service call (hourly), no truck charge involved though for obvious reasons... in the past we would include a smalle fee for using the remote software (teamviewer) however we don't do that anymore... no customer pushback... I think everyone understands that time is time no matter where it is spent... you are also saving them money by not being on site...
IPVMU Certified | 02/21/15 01:44pm
In my experience, you still bill for hourly labor but you don't bill out a trip charge or mileage.
flat fee at our shop, Access, Video and Alarm. Sometimes we get a request to "provide all of the Video, from all the cameras, for the past 3 or 4 days". We charge that by the hour to discourage it.
We typically haven't charged for anything under 5-10 minutes.
However, recently we have been billing a minimum $35 for all remote service calls even if they take only 2 minutes or we are working on multiple things and what we have found is not a single customer has pushed back at all. So far every customer appreciates the service being completed quickly without the need to meet someone at site, etc. I bet we could raise the minimum charge and our customers we still be happy as long as we are responsive and help them as soon as they call.
Our hourly rate for remote service is $85.00 which is also billed accordingly without any pushback. If we have a guy working on multiple sites for the same customer simultaneously it is billed at $85 but if we are working on two different customers simultaneously both are billed. We use integrated time keeping in our remote software to automatically bill. We don't waste time so if we start a large download for an upgrade, etc we will end the session and start a new one later in the day. Any remote session over an hour is not automatically billed - it is reviewed to cross reference with tech notes, etc.
What we have found is customers are willing to pay for good service and pay even more for great service. We lay out service rates and terms with customers up front so there are no surprises.
Be clear, honest and accountable and you shouldn't have any problem getting paid for all of your time. If a customer complains every time they get a bill make sure to review your billing policies with them and if they keep complaining then fire the customer. A customer that does not appreciate your time is not worth your time unless of course you are making a lot of money with them!
IPVMU Certified | 02/22/15 10:46am
All of our installation contracts have a remote access charge in them. At the bottom of every proposal or bid we put our rates for business hours and emergency remote service. Never had a problem getting paid for it. We tell them it's less expensive for us to do it remotely than to send someone out.
Remote support calls generally are charged per 15 mins or part there of, regardless of how many are done at the same time. The alternative is for the client to wait for a onsite callout charged at a much higher rate at a later time.
IPVMU Certified | 02/22/15 11:07am
We offer 24/7 free telephonic and remote support for the life of our install.
IPVMU Certified | 02/22/15 06:53pm
Thank you John. It's not the popular or maybe even smart move financially but we like that Avigilon doesn't have recurring license fees nor SMA's and we are confident in our work. We also may be different then other integrators because we are a full service electrical contractor that has a lot more then just security to offer to our customers. We are specific in the markets we service and believe in long term partnerships. Trust me!!! I often consider offering service contracts but I'm currently not a fan of how they are structured. I've strategized on possible variations but haven't come up with one that is a "win win". I'm open to suggestions.
IPVMU Certified | 02/22/15 07:22pm
The biggest reason we charge for remote service is because its what we do. We have a customer service department dedicated to updating pass-codes (we change thousands of pass-codes every month). Without charging for this service those customer service reps wouldn’t have a paycheck (remote service is their only responsibility). Some of our customers have hundreds of accounts, most of them are on POTS lines, its very costly to dial onto the panel and update pass-codes or arm/disarm their security systems.
If there’s a problem with a system, we typically do not charge for remote diagnostics. If they have a specific change they want us to make, we do.
I’ve only sold 35 IP Video systems since I got into the market 15 months ago. I don’t charge for any remote service unless they ask me to search for video for evidence. I may change my opinion on that when we have more accounts, at this point I am willing to work for free.
I have read through most of these replies and have seen a variety of responses. Our business is primaraly IP Telephony. If a customer has a support agreement with us, we will not charge for a remote service call if it is simple and under a half hour. If a customer has not made a commitment to us, we will charge a half hour minumum. They are already saving because with new technology we dont have to roll a vehcile in most cases. The fact is all of our technicans cost along with taxes, overhead and Insurance both business and health. You still have to pay the salary and yourself even if you are doing the work remotley. The savings for the customer, we no longer have to charge a premise visit fee and a one hour minimum.
IPVMU Certified | 02/22/15 10:44pm
Good info, thanks!
Does anyone do any scheduled maintenence remotely? Maybe like a 6 month health-check:
- Inspect all views for picture quality degradation or scene changes
- Insure recordings exist at the correct res/frame rate up to the retention period.
- Evaluate disk usage run rate, adjust bit rates
- Optimize motion detection settings
- Remote Refocusing
- Seasonal adjustments to WDR / DayNight Params
- OS level check, delete logs etc.
- Software Version/firmware updates