Independent Consultant: Billing Phone Calls

ouestque used Ask the Experts™
In the past clients would call for advice on how to fix something. Sometimes there would be multiple 5 minute calls sometimes an hour call. How do you guys bill for phone calls?

I.e., How much do you charge if...
*Client calls for 10m once per week?
*Client calls for 10m Once per day?
*Client calls for 10m 3 times/day? etc.,
*Client calls for 45m?
*Client calls for 1hour 5 minutes?

Do you always round up to half hour? Full hour? In the past I wouldn't charge anything if I was helping them for less than 15m/day, but then they would call everyday, so I tallied minutes and rounded up to the hour. I was wondering which rules you guys use and think would be best.
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LAN/WAN Systems Administrator
I typically bill in 15 minute increments for phone calls unless they are calling because of a mistake I made, in which case I do not bill them.

If you were previously letting them get away with free phone calls and are going to start billing, make sure you are up front with them and let them know your billing is changing.  It's your prerogative to bill however you like but it's also your responsibility to communicate that to the customer up front, preferably in writing.
Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018
I was used to combine the calls and bill the total in hours at end of the week. But it depends on the customer whether this will work or not.


Thank you!!!

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