Gas Prices, Fuel Surcharge, Contractors | Angies List Tips
With gas surpassing $4 per gallon, service companies are more than feeling the pain; they're passing price increases on to customers. Done properly, most customers will understand the added cost. Done on the sly, most will be unhappy.
Angie's List surveyed more than 1,700 service companies across the country to gauge the effects:
- 85 percent say gas prices have affected their bottom lines.
- 60 percent are passing costs on through fuel surcharges or basic service rates.
- 43 percent say their customers understand why rates are going up.
- Only 9 percent of customers responded angrily to the higher bills.
Our advice to members is to keep communicating with your service company so you're not surprised, and be flexible. If you can wait for service until the company can consolidate trips to nearby customers, you'll come out ahead in the long run.
- Insist on itemized charges related to fuel costs so you know exactly what you are paying for.
- If you'll be charged a trip fee just for the estimate, find out if that cost will be taken off your final bill if you choose that contractor for the job.
- If you have an emergency service need, be smart in your hiring decision. Getting your issue resolved now -- even if you have to pay a fuel surcharge -- could still save you money in the long run.
- If you're just getting started on your project, add fuel cost questions to your list of things to ask about, and don't be afraid to negotiate.
*1,719 service companies responded to our survey