Why A Test And Tag Phone Quote Is A Bad Idea
“I need to get our appliances test and tagged. Can you give me an estimation of how much it would cost?” We get asked this all the time.
Unlike most test and tag contractors, we rarely give quotes over the phone or site-unseen. Please don’t be upset at us. There's a really good reason why you don’t want a phone quote and what you should be asking for instead.
Why phone quotes suck... big time!
We understand a phone quote sounds like a reasonable request. You just need an idea of what it would cost to get your appliances tested and tagged. Afterall, it's something that must be done and you need to make allowance for it in your budget. We get that! And you've probably already contacted some other test and tag contractors and found they were more than happy to give a quote over the phone.
Let's suppose for a moment we quote over the phone and you book us in. We do the work and then we present you with an invoice for more than we quoted you because there were more appliances than you told us or other work you didn't mention. Chances are you honestly didn't realise how many appliances you actually have or know why that other work had to be done. No matter how you look at it, it's a bad outcome for everyone.
Now you are upset and so are we! You feel like you have been tricked and think we are one of those "bait and switch" companies everyone hates... including us.
Here's what you should have asked for an why
What you should have asked for is for someone to visit and assess what you actually need. We call this a Site Assessment. Here are a just few good reasons why this will always deliver you a better outcome.
Reason 1. How many appliances you actually have?
Having visited hundreds, if not thousands of workplaces over the last 12 years, one thing we nearly always find is the number of appliances the caller thinks they have is a lot less than they actually have. There are lots of reasons this happens but it's rarely because they are trying to trick us or cut corners to save some money.
Getting "the count" right is important because the more appliances there are, the more work is involved. What's more, did you know there are certain appliances that do not need to be tested and tagged? If you included them in your count then you are going to be over-quoted and that means you'll be charged for work that doesn't need to be done or get done. The only way to get it right is to do a physical walk through and do a count.
Reason 2. We need more information... lot's more
Knowing how many appliances you have is a good start but there are other factors that need to be considered for every job we do so we can ensure it is done correctly, professionally and to ensure you are fully compliant with your OHS obligations.
- What type of appliances do you have?
The majority of the appliances we see are those that plug into a standard power point (the technical term is 240V 10A/15A single phase appliances) and these are probably going to be the majority of what you need checked. However you might also have some more complex appliances such as three phase appliances or safety switches that require specialised training and test equipment. We need to allow extra time to check them correctly.
- What type of workplace you have?
Generally it is quicker and easier for us to do an office/administration centre than it is to do a warehouse or factory. That's because all the appliances are closer together and accessed easier whereas in a warehouse or factory where they tend to be much more spread out and take longer to complete. The only way to properly asses this is to visit.
- Will it cause disruption?
To test and tag an appliance it must be disconnected from the power supply. That means it might cause some disruption to your normal workflow or production process. So it's important the technician doesn't just come along and start turning things off in order to get the job done quickly. It's why we take this into consideration and work out the best way to minimise any disruption. That might mean doing certain areas at certain times or using extra technicians to get things done faster. It's yet another factor everyone needs to consider.
Reason 4. You are focusing on the wrong thing.
Price is important but when you focus on finding a low (or the lowest) price, you focus on the wrong thing.
Why? You’re are implying you’re not concerned about the quality of service or even worse, you are prepared to put financial considerations ahead of safety. That aside, whatever price you pay I'm confident you will still want a thorough, professional job – Right? But, when it comes to testing and tagging work, focusing on getting the cheapest price will always disappoint. Here's why...
In order to earn a fair wage and make enough profit to keep their operation going, those low-cost "budget priced" operators must sacrifice something - they have to cut corners somewhere. Maybe they will skip some or even all of the required inspection points. Maybe they will use cheap, inaccurate test equipment. Maybe they will use low-paid, poorly trained or inexperienced technicians. Cutting corners will always result in a less-thorough job and increase the chances of something important being missed. They play "the numbers game" and that could have serious consequences for you, your business or that unsuspecting person using one of your appliances. Let me ask you... When it comes to the electrical safety, do you really want to cut corners?
OK, that's a lot to take in…
We’ve been in this business a long time and we’re proud to say we are very good at it. It’s amazing how quickly a site visit by one of our experienced technicians can identify all the variables involved. And that’s the only way to give you a realistic quote for the testing and tagging service you not only want but actually need.
Founder ACME Test and Tagging