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  1. #1
    CPS Technician littleangelfire's Avatar
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    Charging for car seat checks?

    I answered a lady's question on yahoo yesterday, and she says that where she lives, they have now started charging money for car seat checks. I could very well be wrong, but somehow I thought they were supposed to be free? Not that I don't think all that expertise is worth money I just had the impression they were free of charge. The CPST at our police station does it for free, the tech that helped me with Dylan's Regent didn't charge me, either time, and she came all the way to my house, lol. Is this normal to pay for a seat check?
    Amy

    DS1 11.5 seatbelt, DS2 22 months RF, Marathon G4/RXT, DS3 2 months RF Coccoro, DSS1 7 years Turbobooster/Harmony literider/RSTV

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Community seat check events are free, usually seeing a tech who works for an organization that routinely does checks is free (health department, etc.). MOST techs do not charge, but some who do it on a volunteer basis are beginning to, and I don't see a problem with it. I spent my own money to get certified, plus the time away from my family, plus all the time and energy I spend on staying up-to-date with restraint changes, law changes and recalls, it would be nice to make a few bucks for my effort.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  4. #3
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I can see someone charging especially if they are going to someone's house and making a lot of personal effort in a private seat check.

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I've started charging for some of the checks I'm doing - with a suggested fee and those who aren't willing/able to pay still getting checks for free - basically like a sliding scale I guess.

    I also volunteer at firehall seat checks and do friends/family checks for free, but like Jenny said - I had to pay for my course out of my own pocket and have put a considerable amount of time in. When I do private seat checks it takes 30 mins to an hour, and my time is worth something - not to mention that my services are different than what a public health check here does.

    Anyways, my is that techs are trained professionals and are just as able to charge as a piano teacher or something along those lines. I think it's safe to say that most do it for the same reasons as me - to help parents keep their kids safe in the car, but I think it's fair to charge for our time and services considering the time it takes away from our families and that we pay for our own training.

    Although I would hope a tech would never turn a parent away who contacted them but was unable to pay due to circumstances beyond their control... I guess it would depend on the situation though.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  6. #5
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    The only reason I don't charge is because in my area I'm the only choice for parents needing a seatcheck; the county doesn't do them. I cannot bring myself to charge a fee for an inspection when there's no where else to go.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  7. #6
    CPS Technician littleangelfire's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Like I said, I don't see a problem with charging, I'm just not used to that here, so thought I'd ask if it was normal. I do think its worth it - if I thought I could actually get paid to do it, I'd use a credit card to take the class knowing I could pay it back! LOL The lady said she was going to the fire station where she lives. I don't know what city it was either, and that might make a difference. I live in a really big metro area, so there's access to lots of places to go to get a seat checked. I am glad those community seat checks are free, b/c lots of people wouldn't get them if they weren't, unfortunately, they'd figure their best was good enough even if it was incorrect.

    DS1 11.5 seatbelt, DS2 22 months RF, Marathon G4/RXT, DS3 2 months RF Coccoro, DSS1 7 years Turbobooster/Harmony literider/RSTV

  8. #7
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Some organizations now have a "suggested donation" for checks. The idea behind this is that parents value the information recieved more because they paid for it.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  9. #8
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    We currently do not charge in our area but have discussed the possibility. We pay for our classes and certifications and it is several hours a month for DH and me at the checkpoints.

  10. #9
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I think it's a slow evolution from a free to a paid service....but it's heading that way. (And if you think about it...your taxes paid the firefighters/cops salaries...you did pay, they get paid, it's never free from those places, per se...).
    Most of us are so dedicated we'll still do it free if the need arises
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic ZephyrBlue's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I absolutely think techs should charge for private appts. And I think that people should make a donation (if they are able- I think most people could afford even a small donation) to Safe Kids at organized seat checks that are sponsored. But I do not think that children whose parents cannot afford the service should be deprived of the opportunity to get their seats checked.

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy laurenrachey's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I can see it from either side. From a tech's point of view, you are footing a bill for the class and time spent "working." But from the other side, a mandatory charge would automatically weed out many of those who need seat checks the most. Those who are using 12 year old seats that have been passed down through 10 different kids since they were picked up at a garage sale. That's a tough call. I think suggested donations would be the best idea if one were going to 'charge.'
    Rachel & Caleb 3.31.05 37 lbs FF in an FPSVD and/or a Regent

    http://www.crumbsinmycouch.com

  13. #12
    CPS Technician tl01's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Where I live it is typical to pay for car seat checks. I have paid $40/check multiple times. I even found out that one person who I paid $40 to for a check was not a tech. His supervisor used to be a tech but the person who installed my seat was not. I'm glad that I can pretty much figure out how to install my seats now. I have had my Radian inspected for free by the highway patrol but that tech had never even seen a Radian so my knowledge about it was better than his.

    The most reliable tech who has checked my seats installed my BV in the center of the car using the belt. I was very unhappy with the install since it moved almost 1 inch. She didn't want it installed in an outboard position b/c the center is safer. Needless to say, I reinstalled in outboard when I got home b/c it is rocksolid there.

    My point is that I have paid for checks and had free ones... but overall I have not been all that thrilled with any of them. I'm totally willing to pay for a well educated tech b/c it takes time and $$ for them to provide the service!
    DS 7.5 years 71 lbs FFing in:
    a Frontier90, PWSGL 2013
    DS2 3.5 years 35 lbs FFing in:
    Foonf, Frontier 85, SureRide

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Which is exactly why I would charge for seatchecks if there were other opportunities for parents to get them done. Not to be arrogant, but I'm VERY good at what I do, and I'm totally worth a professional's paycheck.

    Just for kicks, I recently ran my qualifications through a salary estimation site. A CPST with 3 years of experience is worth more than $42k a year. That works out to about $20/hr for a 40 hour workweek.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    I am not all the way sure any more but I talked to a tech in our area and she was charging ~$100 to come out. I think she came out with some one else. I did not use the service. She gave me information that was in conflict with this board and other sources plus it is a lot of $ that I would rather put towards a good seat. Anna

  16. #15
    CPS Fanatic
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    100 bucks? Yowch. I was thinking 20 would be a fair price

    Can I ask what conflicting information she gave you?

  17. #16
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Yeah, $100 is steep. My suggested price is $20 - and I asked parents that I'd done free checks for about what they thought of the price before setting it as the suggested fee.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    $100?! wow. that's more expensive than some carseats. does that include installation?


    although i'd be willing to pay for a real expert too, you know...
    but with the experts we have available here, well... probably not. i've had 3 checks, 2 of which were with the same seat (because we removed it and installed it again after we travelled with it) and not one of them noticed that i was using LATCH incorrectly.

  19. #18
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    $100 is pretty steep, but some techs operate as an installation service rather than an education service. For techs operating that way, this gives them the ability to increase (significantly) the amount of liability coverage, and I would hazard that they don't do many installation-type checks.

    I could see charging that much for a parent who had no interest in learning how to do it and just wanted to pay someone else to do it for them. But not for a general inspection/education appointment. And that would partly be as an incentive for parents to PAY ATTENTION and learn to do it themselves.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    Here you can go to a free seat check (only once a month though) or if you need to set an appt or want someone to come to you there is a fee (more for a home visit vs going to the tech).
    Steph
    Mom to Ryan - 3/2006
    RF until 3 years 364 days

  21. #20
    CPS Technician littleangelfire's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for car seat checks?

    The CPST that installed our Regent from Kyle Miller foundation was very nice - she came all the way to my house - and I don't live all that close to her, at least 15 mins away, I'd guess. And, she did this twice! B/c they first send a Radian80 that was incompatible. The 2nd time she even let my son sit in her van with her kids and watch Elmo, lol. I haven't yet been to a community seat check yet, she told me I should go to one to see how it works since I let her know I'm really interested in it all. What holds me back is 1)I can't afford the class and 2)there is no one to watch my son or do my other stuff while I take the class. And I know our police station does them for free, but you do need an appointment. And from what I've gathered on here, it would seem that police offers who have been required to be CPSTs aren't always the best source, since, unfortunately they don't share the zeal of someone who trained b/c they wanted to and wanted to help people in that way.
    Amy

    DS1 11.5 seatbelt, DS2 22 months RF, Marathon G4/RXT, DS3 2 months RF Coccoro, DSS1 7 years Turbobooster/Harmony literider/RSTV

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