Do the Math and Charge for Water Tests!

We have started charging $5 for water tests with purchase of corrective chemicals (instructional sheet given), $10 if all they want are the results (just readings given) unless they purchased their pool or spa from us. We have had this posted in the store for the past year and have received very little objection once explained. And those customers we lost were not really customers nor would they be. But here is the point, when I was explaining to a customer that last year she spent $180 total with me, had 4 water tests done (cost me $5 at least so that is $20) it averaged out to a 10% discount for her during the year. AS we already try to keep prices low, I just could not afford to keep trained employees (water test supervisor been with me 7 years!) and keep a retail store where products sold that make money have been less since the internet and big box stores became so popular. She said, " Well, I bought everything from you last year except for a pump that I bought online because it was $40 cheaper." MY POINT! I exclaimed. She proceeded to tell me that she can keep her pool good now using the test strips. I asked her where she learned how to use the strips and interpret them properly for overall balance? She answered, "From you." We were then able to reach a point and discussed how we first met and our company was able to help her out of the mess she was in with the original installer and we laughed. I'm not sure if she will come back in for water tests or not but we do have an understanding of why companies are being forced to do this. She did call 3 other companies in the area and asked if they charged for water tests, which they do not. Should you? If you can see how many water tests you do in a year and figure the cost of each test (15 mins. min. labor, reagents, equipment, water bottles) and then the total cost of chemical sales only. OR Go to your customers water files and see how many tests they have had and how much they spend total with you in a year. Divide the cost of water tests by the total dollars spent to see the percentage discount they are receiving. We figured out we were losing 15% income in the retail store by water tests alone. It has taken years to learn how not to give away information that I have learned over the years as that is the only difference between us and those with Google Degrees. I would welcome any comments as to why I am wrong, because I do hate having to do this.
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