On August 29, 2007, our technician diagnosed and fixed the Viking stove at 17412 Via Quatro Camino, Rancho Santa Fe, per customer request. The following is our response to address Dr. Polidori’s question about how these charges were determined, and our professional assessment of reasonable charges.
To address Dr. Polidori’s numbered list:
1. Our explanation (of mark ups) was relevant as Dr. Polidori pretended to not understand the nature of mark-ups in business, which exist EVERYWHERE, including hospitals, grocery stores, restaurants, auto shops, clothing stores, and our business.
2. We confirm that $208.16 is absolutely a reasonable price for the part. This is because:
1. Our technician carries Viking parts with him in the truck (not normal practice with other appliance companies, since Viking is an uncommon and very expensive brand), thereby eliminating the need to order parts and return to Dr. Polidori’s estate a second time,
2. The technician’s experience and expertise in diagnosing which part is broken, and
3. We guarantee the part, so that if it breaks in this timeframe, we will return and fix it at no charge.
In paragraph 4, Dr. Polidori asks why he should pay extra for the part for the technician’s expertise. This is the basis of a mark-up; they are charged because a client himself would not have known which part was broken, what is was called, how to change it out, and warranty his work. It is another matter completely to look up a used part on ebay(after he learns about it from the technician) and get a much lower price (for a used part none the less), borrowing someone else’s expertise.
3. The charge of $125 for labor was also a reasonable price. We are an honest business and do not overcharge clients. We also warranty our work. These are market prices for labor, and we do not charge “by the hour, ” so Dr. Polidori’s request for a refund is a moot point.
A critical point Dr. Polidori failed to mention is that he had an estimate given to him and he agreed to the final price in order to have the work performed. WE ALWAYS PROVIDE AN ESTIMATE AND REQUIRE VERBAL AUTHORIZATION BEFORE DOING ANY WORK. Polidori didn't mention that for some reason.
Furthermore, Dr. Polidori’s comment in paragraph 4, “…could probably understand…if their technician was so great (especially if he was doing something more difficult than changing a spark module)…” was inappropriate and purposefully degrading to our technician. If we are to use Dr. Polidori’s precedent, we can apply the example that a lawyer charges $500-1200 per hour for the “easy” work of shuffling papers on a desk and talking – not difficult work on the surface, if one doesn’t consider the experience and expertise behind it.
In consideration of the above, our price to Dr. Polidori was more than reasonable and fair. We cannot refund in such a case. We take great care everyday that our work and prices are honest and reasonable. Should you have any further questions, please let us know.
Jozef Chimowicz / akh
President and Owner
Econo Appliance Service, Inc.