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  • Time and materials, no two descriptions or exhibits are alike.

    • Government Professional

      This was my point Randall - You charge what you and the job is worth.  You don't try to write easements for a flat rate.  I've written easements in ten minutes and ten hours - a big difference.

      There is nothing unethical and certainly not "collusion" to talk about rates in different parts of the country.  Collusion would be agreeing to charge a certain rate in a certain market...

      • James,

        That is a very good point. Agreeing seems to be an essential part of collusion. The market is the best measure of what we can charge & what others charge is not only a measure of what we can charge, but can also be a measure of what is fair. Those that overcharge seem to loose a profitable place in the market. Only when there is a monopoly & the free market is not allowed to work, do we have a problem.

        My apologies for being overly philosophical. I think it is in part one of my character flaws but it is no less a result of being overjoyed by the election results.

  • Land Surveyor

    Isn't it collusion to discuss rates? Be careful about discussing rates.

    • Land Surveyor

      collusion is conspiracy to cheat the public/customer, such as two power companies aligning their rates in a given area to stifle competition and choice. I'm looking to do neither. I was asked to do easements/gives/takes under a contract at a given rate of $55.00/HR. I did not find said rate to be acceptable given my risks. I made a counter and they said it was "awful high". I haven't done private survey work in 8 years, so I added ten percent to my previous rates. I am below market rates, that much I know, so the side work may not happen anyhow, because I am not budging from my number.

      • Land Surveyor

        I am nor lawyer, but I do believe that even the "perception" of discussing prices can be construed as collusion. You just need to charge what you believe it is worth to YOU. The price some one else charges really should have no bearing (pun?) on what you charge. Different businesses have different overhead, salaries, etc.

    • Yes, it is collusion unless you are a lawyer. Only lawyers have a license to gouge. I don't want to start a vendetta against lawyers but when the judge, who is a lawyer, tells you (in so many words) that your lawyer is gouging you, something is not right! Now, that we have a president that is not a lawyer, maybe we will get some tort reform.

      We all know what the competition charges & we all use that as a reference for our fees. Antitrust laws were created to prevent unfair price fixing & business practices. You can thank "Standard Oil" for that legislation. The average surveying company has little control over the free market but, like it or not, the law is what it is.

      There are two legitimate methods for the basis of your fees for which I am aware. There are likely others but this is what I know. You can calculate your cost of doing business plus a reasonable fee for your professional knowledge & expertise. You can also charge for what you think your services are worth. I, like everyone else, like to be well compensated. However, I don't gouge my clients & I feel ethically obligated to deliver a product that has value commensurate with my fee. I also don't charge professional rates for non professional functions, such as what a secretary might do.  

      I distinctly recall a judge making an exclamation about his fees. Like most judges, he also had a law practice. He was a personal friend in addition. Apparently, one of his clients wanted to appeal a case. This is not an exact quote but it is close, " I'm not going to do this for nothing. This involves a lot of work & it is going to cost them. But now (sigh) I've got to do the work that justifies my fee." Too many in today's society want the money but skip the part about earning it. The fact that others do it doesn't justify it. If we want to be regarded as professionals, we must act as professionals. Like the old saw has it, "you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all the people all the time."  

  • Government Professional


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