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Posted by dold on April 14, 2006, 11:40 pm

Yes.  He brought the gadgets out, climbed up on the roof to check the
shading with that ever-so-simple globe gadget (cool), tape-measured the
space that we wanted, as well as a space that he deemed better.

I got a very nice quote that used a year's worth of monthly billing.
Your dismissal of my presentation as a "form letter" sounds like you might
be referring to what I could do for myself at the Kyocera web site, which,
although illuminating, isn't what I received.

I'm not sure what the smilies mean.  If there is substantial expense
involved in your quote, then it might make sense to charge for the quote,
and that would be expected.  It would not be the norm around here.

That would be a normal cost of business.  Nothing new.  Nothing different
from any other sales operation.  I still think it is not the norm, nor is
your traveling so far by snowshoe that you think a two hour drive simple
the norm.

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA  38.8,-122.5

Posted by DJ on April 16, 2006, 3:06 pm

dold@XReXXCharg.usenet.us.com wrote:

Solar Pathfinder? Yessum, very cool toy. I never visit a site without

Which is exactly what the Pathfinder is for.

Exactly. Well, sounds like you got a thorough report, then. Good.

There is usually substantial time and inconvenience involved in my
quotes, as the majority of my clients are off grid, or extremely rural,
hence the need for snowshoes in the winter to do site inspections, and
boats in summer to visit remote lake-access cottages.  Point in fact,
there is still snow on the side of my driveway today. Two weeks ago, I
needed snowshoes to go collect the maple sap to make maple syrup at my
We have actual seasons up here in Canada ;-).

Well, it's the norm here in Quebec. A two hour drive on a paved road...
nada. A couple kilometer hike by snowshoe... a bit more of a trek ;-).


Posted by dold on April 17, 2006, 5:44 pm

If you did an estimate with a two hour drive on paved roads, you would not
charge for the estimate?  Is that what I heard you say?

So, 90% of the solar installation proposals in North America would not have
a charge associated with them?

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA  38.8,-122.5

Posted by DJ on April 18, 2006, 7:09 pm
dold@XReXXCharg.usenet.us.com wrote:

Nope, sorry to mislead. I'm just alot happier to do two hours on paved
road than a few kilometers of hiking ;-). But point in fact, in my
case, extra charges apply past the first hour (100km or so) of travel.
My situation being that I've got a decent client base inside that range
(I live in "cottage country").
But I regularly get asked to consult on system installs four hours and
more from home base, and usually get the contracts that go with them,
for reasons explained below ;-).

In a perfect world. Thing is, we renewable installers are where the
computer guys were twenty years ago. Busy as all heck.
And we also have the added cachet of doing something everybody likes
and, in a pefect world, the general population would jump on like a
pack of dogs on a three legged cat. If we started giving out free site
visits, we'd be on the road forty hours a week, because everybody would
be "curious if it would work and what it costs".
So, unfortunately, the invoiced site visit accomplishes two things.
One, it half-compensates us for lost install time with other clients,
and it filters out most of the "tire kickers"; if someone won't invest
a few hundred to make sure their planned investment is sound, they
aren't likely to spend some few thousands to do it at all.


Posted by Rob Dekker on April 15, 2006, 3:29 am

Interesting how different the software world works.

We often invest thousands of dollars and countless hours on requirement
specifications, integration reports and even training sessions and we loose
all that if the sale does not go through. And often it does not.

Competitors are doing the same thing, and the customer in the end decides.
Consider yourself lucky that you can charge for pre-sales work.....


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