There is a big difference between not getting the subscriber because they changed their mind versus they couldn't get signal. If the customer wants your service, and you can;t get it to them, should you be able to charge for the trip? If I could, I'd make more money doing site surveys than providing service. With that policy, its just a matter of time before the best practice would be start advertising in every publication and promising the world. Whats wrong with over promising, if the end result will be just that they don;t qualify, and you are off the hook for delivering? For these reason, and credibilty I believe it is inappropriate to charge for site surveys. The ISP's job is to know develop systems for accurate pre-qual and know their target areas, and have efficient site survey methods, adequate to reduce the loss associated with the site surveys. I charge higher install fees, because the people that are successfull, subsidize the cost of those that are not.

However, I feel getting a deposit is not a bad idea, and I see no reason to refund money for people that change their mind after the work was performed successfully. The problem is how to do it legally and amicably. Sure you can get a Credit Card, but they can protest the charge unless you have signed paperwork. They now need a fax machine to get you the paperwork. Most residential users don't have this. So now the survey process gets delayed several days, until they get to the office to fax the paper work, in the mean time you lost the opportunity to send the tech by that was just down the street already. Its jsut so much easier to send a contract with the installer to get signed when he arrives. And are they really going to sign it, if you aren't successful and there?

I guess it depends on how far away the installation is, on wether its worth the risk to go without getting a deposit. Instead what we do is that we jsut make everyone wait for a surevey until its cost effective and convenient for us to do it, and its free. If someone wants us to escalate the survey, which increases our cost, then we charge them a "priority" fee upfront (non-refundable). There is also now a demand that has been established by the customer, and providers cost for special treatment recognized by custoemr, and an approival that he doesn't mind paying if you are unsuccessful.

Money lost on site surveys is a sore point for us as well, but I'm just not sure there is a good away around it, and part of teh cost of doing business. I think instead a provider needs to think about what markets he serves are cost effective for them to serve, and how to cost effectively serve them. This is the difference between soliciting qualified leads and advertising blindly. The way we handled it for residential is that we send the van to the area that we want to serve, and he does a site survey from the road in front of every house, and if they qualify, they get a flyer on their door. Its cheaper to survey all the homes at once even if tehy aren't prospects than it is to go back and survey a few individually as they order. When a neighbor refers a new client to us, we pull up their address, and go, Yes we already sureveyed you, you do or do not qualify.

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

----- Original Message ----- From: "Blair Davis" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 12:06 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: Outsourced installations (KyWiFi LLC)

I would not even consider charging for a site survey.

Way too many possibilitys for bad press. I simply consider it a cost of doing business. Rarely do we have someone decline service if it can be done at our $199/$299 install rate. I have declines on the $799+ installs, but I expect those.

Blair Davis
West Michigan Wireless ISP

Justin Wilson wrote:

I would not be happy about the $29.95 fee. If you can get away with it go right ahead. I look at it the customer is betting $29.95 that they can get service. I would rather have it here if they can get service, and they don't then they are charged $29.95. If they can't get service why should they have to pay $29.95? That would be like going to buy a new car. You want a Blue one with a stick shift. The dealer can't get you one, but they charge you $29.95 for looking. I think the word will spread pretty quickly. Customers are a weird beast. I can see the coffee shop conversations now:

Joe:"Yeah that company came out and did a site survey to see if they could get me wireless"
    Bob " How did that go?"
Joe "The installer guy waived an antenna around and said he could not get me a signal"
    Bob "Too bad, so what now?"
    Joe "I don't know, but I got charged $29.95 for him coming out"
Bob "What? They are supposed to come out next week. I don't want them charging me $29.95 if they can't hook me up."

    Just my .02

Justin S. Wilson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Access - WISP Consulting - Tower Climbing

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