Average Rate for Emergency Service



  • What is the average rate for emergency service. Windows Server work.



  • This depends entirely on you and what is an appropriate rate per hour for your business. Anything from $100+ could be reasonable for emergency rates.

    The normal prices I've seen are around $195/hour



  • Emergency being "anything outside of the contracted terms". This could be a "I need you to stop whatever client work you are doing for someone else and work on this", at 2PM.

    So the term emergency is pretty well defined but might be vague in how you define them. As it may just be your after hours time frame. 7PM to 8AM or whatever hours you choose.



  • Normal Rate $100/Hour
    Emergency Rate $200/Hour
    Preventable Emergency $300/Hour



  • @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Preventable Emergency $300/Hour

    Sorry, will never hire, because this can only be subjectively rerated post service call.



  • @jaredbusch said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Preventable Emergency $300/Hour

    Sorry, will never hire, because this can only be subjectively rerated post service call.

    I agree with Jared here.

    It's either normal hours or emergency hours. If you had another rate, I'd never consider you as a support option.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    This depends entirely on you and what is an appropriate rate per hour for your business. Anything from $100+ could be reasonable for emergency rates.

    The normal prices I've seen are around $195/hour

    For a typical, drop everything and fix my shit emergency, from an existing client with no specific agreement, this is $250/hour.



  • @jaredbusch said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    This depends entirely on you and what is an appropriate rate per hour for your business. Anything from $100+ could be reasonable for emergency rates.

    The normal prices I've seen are around $195/hour

    For a typical, drop everything and fix my shit emergency, from an existing client with no specific agreement, this is $250/hour.

    Which is reasonable.



  • @jaredbusch Do you also have a rate for a drop everything and fix my shit for a non-existing client?



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch Do you also have a rate for a drop everything and fix my shit for a non-existing client?

    Meh, never has come up.

    I would have to discuss it with the owner, but I could see doing it for either the same or maybe $300. But would require an up front CC payment of 2 hours.

    I'm totally not sorry either. If we have no relationship, I am not going to trust you to pay us later.

    @Bundy-Associates is not a company with overhead to let someone blow time working on something and not get paid for it.



  • @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!



  • @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!

    That's just a bad customer who isn't taking their paid recommendation seriously. It's on them later to deal with the consequences.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:
    It's on them later to deal with the consequences.

    They do pay the consequences, at $300/hour 😉



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!

    That's just a bad customer who isn't taking their paid recommendation seriously. It's on them later to deal with the consequences.

    Technically everything is preventable, so this should always be the rate.



  • @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:
    It's on them later to deal with the consequences.

    They do pay for the consequences, at $300/hour 😉

    Not true.

    @jaredbusch said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!

    That's just a bad customer who isn't taking their paid recommendation seriously. It's on them later to deal with the consequences.

    Technically everything is preventable, so this should always be the rate.

    This is why.



  • @jaredbusch said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Preventable Emergency $300/Hour

    Sorry, will never hire, because this can only be subjectively rerated post service call.

    And really... what emergency wasn't preventable with enough investment or hindsight?



  • Customer: I need a new PBX, I know you have your FreePBX thing but I really want a box in my server room.
    Jared: That's a bad idea for reasons XYZ
    Customer: Thanks for your opinion, here is your hour. Now install my box into my server room, thanks.
    Jared: OKAY

    It isn't Jared's place to overcharge for supporting something that he knowingly supported as his business. His rate is his rate.



  • @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!

    Still remains subjective. Prove that new switches could not have failed. They will argue that maybe they prevented other outages by not listening to you.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Customer: I need a new PBX, I know you have your FreePBX thing but I really want a box in my server room.
    Jared: That's a bad idea for reasons XYZ
    Customer: Thanks for your opinion, here is your hour. Now install my box into my server room, thanks.
    Jared: OKAY

    It isn't Jared's place to overcharge for supporting something that he knowingly supported as his business. His rate is his rate.

    Exactly, the higher rate is already there for the emergency. Double punishing makes no sense, especially as everything could be avoided, in theory.



  • @jaredbusch said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @aaronstuder said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @jaredbusch It's agreed on up front, and it's for something I already asked you to let me do.

    For example:

    Me: You should replace all your switches, they are 10 year old, and end of life.

    Them: Nah, they work fine.

    <later>

    Them: Our network is down. Come fix it!

    That's just a bad customer who isn't taking their paid recommendation seriously. It's on them later to deal with the consequences.

    Technically everything is preventable, so this should always be the rate.

    And if it required recommendations, we'd "recommend" crazy high end gear and HA and redundancy for absolutely everything so that even if we missed something, it would have been covered somewhere.



  • The rates should be defined long before the call ever comes in.

    Contracted customers: $150/hour non-emergency
    Contracted Customer: $175/hour for emergency

    Existing non-contracted: $250/hour emergency

    Non-existing Customer - I assume would fall into the same category as the existing non-contracted rate. With a follow-up of, "You really should get a support contract with us, it would've saved you X/hour for this"

    (all numbers made up)



  • I had to restore AD that was corrupted. Move files share drives etc. over 80+ hours in. I dont want to scare them off either.



  • @mroth911 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    I had to restore AD that was corrupted. Move files share drives etc. over 80+ hours in. I dont want to scare them off either.

    WOW, so you started work without a contract in place?



  • The rate is the rate. Either you can do the job or you can't.
    Rate starts counting from the time you get the call.

    And as normal, higher rate for non-business hours. Extra high rate for holidays.



  • Now, just to ask you aren't charging them a full hour for checking in on the file migration while it moves from wherever it is now to the new location.

    That's like .10 hours every two hours and its for monitoring the situation. Since you aren't actively "working" on anything during that time.

    As for the rate you're discussing this depends on the few factors already discussed. Is this an existing customer, non-existing customer?



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Now, just to ask you aren't charging them a full hour for checking in on the file migration while it moves from wherever it is now to the new location.

    Depends, is it mixed in with other tasks? Does it interfere with other work? Is it necessary to keep things moving for the customer to maximize their recovery? Would an employee need to be paid doing the same work?



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    That's like .10 hours every two hours and its for monitoring the situation. Since you aren't actively "working" on anything during that time.

    Monitoring is as much work as anything else. An employee gets paid the same whether doing tasks or monitoring those tasks. Consultants don't work for free just because it doesn't include certain types of work. All work is billable work.

    It's a simple equation...

    Does the work require the person doing it be paid? Then likewise the customer needs to be billed.



  • If you didn't have a contract in place ahead of time and you started work, there's little that can be done. Just try to work something out. Hopefully you can talk them into $125.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Now, just to ask you aren't charging them a full hour for checking in on the file migration while it moves from wherever it is now to the new location.

    Depends, is it mixed in with other tasks? Does it interfere with other work? Is it necessary to keep things moving for the customer to maximize their recovery? Would an employee need to be paid doing the same work?

    True. . . there could be other things going on during that hour. But I'm asking based on the amount of time stated that has been spent on this customer already. 80+ hours.

    That's over 2 weeks worth of time.

    Which my question is specifically if you are connecting via VPN or RDP or SSH and just checking the status on a file transfer, and connect for only .10 hours you should charge for just that .10 hour. Not for the entire hour. Unless other things are being done.

    But each item should be broken out to account for the time.

    • .10 hours monitoring file transfer
    • .20 hours working on setting up new servers
    • 1.0 hours meeting with client reviewing business requirements to get understanding of system layout

    etc etc.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Average Rate for Emergency Service:

    Which my question is specifically if you are connecting via VPN or RDP or SSH and just checking the status on a file transfer, and connect for only .10 hours you should charge for just that .10 hour. Not for the entire hour. Unless other things are being done.

    Well, I can see why people might think that, but there has to be a middle ground. In NY, for example, unless there is a contact stating specifically otherwise, any "on call" action is a minimum of FOUR hours, not one. If you are required to interrupt your life for work items, and didn't agree to do so at less than four hours time ahead of time, four hours is the minimum. So there is a solid precedent for workers.

    But to be more reasonable, checking on a transfer probably takes a lot more than six minutes (.1 hours.) It depends, am I glancing at a screen casually as I walk by, without needing to do so? Maybe that's not billable time, or maybe only slightly billable.

    But is this an emergency and the customer really needs me to interrupt other things, go to my desk instead of spending time with my family, not work on other customers, log in through a cumbersome security mechanism, wait for the system to connect, and get the status to make sure we are moving forward at the fastest possible pace? If so, the hard time is often around fifteen minutes. It always seems like it takes less than it really does.

    Then you have to figure the mental impact of task switching. You might not bill for this, it is built into the rate, but it is why rates are so high for emergencies and why you bill for little things... because the task switching overhead in software engineering is considered to be fifteen minutes. Meaning, any task that takes you away from what you are doing takes the amount of time you were away PLUS fifteen minutes of "getting back to the original task." So you lose thirty minutes of work, for every fifteen minutes of "Checking on status."

    Thirty minutes of lost productivity is a lot to bill nothing for. And an internal employee would be paid for that useless time without question. That's the real yard stick. If you are okay paying the people who can't fix it, you should never balk at payig the one who is fixing it.


Log in to reply