From what I understand, the client calls in, voices their problem. The repairman then comes to check out the issue at a fee. This fee is usually waived after the repair. A quote is given, then the customer decides whether or not he wants to go with that repairman.
Some companies use the "Free Service Call with repair". I don't. Most companies around me don't. It is a gimmick. To come out to a location and diagnose a problem, I charge a Service Call. That is paid after the diagnosis, and is not waived. That is a charge for time involved, Fuel, maintenence, Insurance. For example, if I come out, check out refrigerator, and state the problem is the relay and overload on the compressor, I will then quote them the total for the repair including the service call. If they say no, they don't want it fixed for some reason, I am paid a service call and I leave.
How often does a client pay for the service call without going with the same repairman for the repair?
Never . Once I diagnose, I can't recall of anyone saying - I'm gonna use another repairman. Doesn't happen. Why would someone call a repairman out, then use another for repair?
Are customers given a quote on the same day as the service call? Always, if I need price of part can check immediatly and give them a quote.
How is the bill usually itemized? (labor, parts, etc) Most bills are service call, parts, labor. However, certain jobs are qouted Flat rate - for example a Whirlpool Cabrio Bearing Job - I flatrate that and several other jobs like that. If job is harder than normal, you still pay the same price as quoted and are not charged for extra effort and time.
What is the average amount of time between the quote and actual repair date? Same day unless part is not stocked on truck or at appliance parts store. Then, whatever time it takes to get part ordered in.
Do customers usually have the option to order their own parts? Always, and I have the option to tell them they can install the parts themselves. If I don't supply part, I don't give a warranty. So. If customer has a belt he bought, I will install it for service call and labor. I tell them that if belt breaks, they will have to pay me another service call to come back, and labor to install it. No warranty. If I put on my belt, it is warrantied for 90 days, and if it breaks I will come back for free, and install a new belt. So as you can see, it is not worth it to buy your own parts.
Are most licensed technicians independent business owners or are they contracted by stores/properties/etc? I am an independant.