I'm glad to pay the fee for good work, done right. I've been charged 3 hrs to change an impeller that takes me 45 mins. Why? Because they had to go back and forth for tools and dropped a screw in the bilge that took a while to attempt to fish out, couldn't get it, had to order another and come back to install. I've had fuel filters replaced that caused my bilge to fill with diesel. I was charged $400 for a "specialist" to travel to troubleshoot something the yard couldn't figure out. They never disclosed the travel fee until I got the bill. Oh yea, the specialist didn't fix it either.
Zero whining from me to pay for good work. I've told hundreds of people that you could charge whatever you like on the Bay for work that was done right, on time, the first time. The backorders would take a decade to catch up, including me.
It's a shame you aren't here in Vancouver. :-)
We have the opposite experience here.
We do good work. We charge a lot less than the competition. We pay the high price to have a good sized shop, all our tools, barn space for boats on the hard (60') and dock space(90'). All as close to downtown as possible in one location, instead of having large cheap offices farther away, and billing for travel time.
If we do it wrong the first time(everyone makes a mistake eventually) we don't charge for fixing it.
Even when we can legitimately pass the buck to the manufacturer, or call a job good enough we always try to the right thing instead, even when it costs us a lot of money.
We pay a very good wage and hired the best people we know, they could easily go elsewhere with their skill-sets.
We have full insurance, and my partner is licensed up to 60 tons. We pick up and deliver anywhere.
Where we save money:
We share a single older car for work purposes, instead of financing flashy new trucks and vans.
We both live in inexpensive rental housing.
We don't spend a ton on advertising.
We start earlier and work later than any of the employees.
All of this on the belief that if we keep doing good work at a good price then it will pay off and we will be able to pay ourselves a fair wage eventually too.
We've had so many conversations like the one quoted from the Marine Installer's rant.
This week a customer we've done a huge amount of work for came in to chat. They purchased an utterly neglected but newer boat with an undisclosed accident and serious issues missed in the survey which we sorted out for them. After talking over the next projects they were hoping to complete they said.
"We really appreciate what you did, can you recommend anyone who does good work...but inexpensively?"
As my partner observed later "Everyone's expensive, some of them are good