I’m having some work done in New Zealand by a quantity surveyor.

I found a couple of discrepancies in his initial estimate, so we had a conference call with him and the architect o clarify things and to discuss some other issues which resulted in changes to the original plans.

He makes the changes and emails them through.

Time from the start of the phone call to the email: 2 hours.

Got a bill the other day for $372.22 plus tax.

No indication of times or rates and – thinking that $200 an hour a tad excessive – I asked him to resubmit, given that at least part of the time was down to his errors.

Talk about precious.

Yes, he’d taken all that into consideration and in fact he’d generously reduced his hourly rate from $135 to $105 and worked a total of 3.545 hours on the issue.

3.545 hours.

3 hours. 32 minutes. 42 seconds.


No-one bills with a precision of 18 seconds.

I’ve frequently engaged UK corporate law practices to advise on contract law.

They might charge £5 a minute, but they don’t charge by the second…..

Work it back from the NORMAL rate of $135, though, and you get…… 2.75 hours

I don’t like it when people pad bills.

I like it even less when I’m lied to.


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