I charge a flat rate and can repair most equipment within an hour. location and distance does play a role in my pricing, the futher out I have to travel out from the university area of Charlotte the higher the service call.
I like speaking with the customer first so we can determine the problem and if it's worth repairing before making a visit to the customer. Troubleshooting helps to determine if parts are needed so that the customer only pays for 1 service call vs 2. I don't think it's fair for a customer to pay someone to come out for something that a service technician or repairman could have told them over the phone.
I'm a certified repair tech thru nordictrack, certified network administrator and a certified atm repair technician.