[Bell Historians] Whitechapel charges

Ian Johnson ian at fqPImQWARqLgfWHL-2k38UMMg2eqEfIlvagZ_36EQmFX2CBL7FbamnQj7CYws1xiVAaao_CdEW0jPWELsWGLCX_BiUA.yahoo.invalid
Tue Mar 23 21:08:45 GMT 2010

Well said. 
Can we have an end to this meaningless rubbish.
Yours Ian

Message Received: Mar 23 2010, 08:25 PM
From: "Steve Stanford" 
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Whitechapel charges

Yes, Whitechapel charge a fee and (perhaps unwisely or unreasonably) some other firms do not. I cannot imagine that this (£80) would anything like cover Whitechapel’s actual time and expenses in making a visit and providing a professionally written proposal, but it does perhaps go some way to ensure that an enquiry is serious and they are not simply being asked to provide a second or third bid for competitive reasons where there is already a strong preference for a particular founder or firm, and the decision is (in effect) already made. And dare I further suggest that they might be concerned about people simply using them to provide free advice that could later be communicated to another lower price bidder or incorporated into a DIY project. I am not of course suggesting that you would attempt any of these things, but I can think of ringers who would and have!
As others have pointed out, it is not very usual for firms in other fields of engineering to charge for sales calls, but you won’t find many who will not charge for what is often in effect a fairly detailed design and firm estimate, or technical support. For example, in the process contracting industry it is not at all uncommon for firms to spend many hours in such pre contract activity and for their prospective customers to pay for the work either directly, or indirectly offset against a subsequent contract award. Conversely, if you only want a budget costing, and can supply the necessary information, I would imagine Whitechapel might provide it without charge. So I think it rather depends on the purpose of the enquiry and what you expect as a result of it. 
This all brings to mind a John Ruskin quotation that the late Ray Ayres referred to (and attempted to quote) in a Ringing World article published shortly before his death. “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make or do a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey”. 
Sorry to ramble on, but may be a slightly different perspective to some others!

From: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com [mailto:bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Richard Grimmett
Sent: 19 March 2010 18:19
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] Whitechapel charges

Is it usual policy for Whitechapel to charge a fee (of £80 for us) to 
visit a tower when asked to quote for a new ring of bells?

I have not come across this before (not that I have done or been 
involved with many projects). Other companies are not making any charge.

The £80 would be offset should they be awarded the job.

What is the experience of others on the list please?

Richard Grimmett

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