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Onsite training - expenses

We're based in Melksham, Wiltshire, England ... which might be a long way from your office in (for example) Munich, Germany. Our courses are very specialist, and you would like us to run a course for you at your office; clearly, it's going to be less expensive for one person to travel from England to Germany and stay in a hotel than for 7 or 8 persons to travel to the UK and stay over.

Should we charge you for our travel costs? Yes - we have to. If we didn't, our prices would need to rise for everyone, and we would spend all of our time on intercontinental travel, giving courses in impractical far-flung locations. We have, however, made a decision that we will NOT charge for the tutor's time while travelling; a somewhat unusual decision that benefits customers who are not close to our office. Taking the Munich example, our tutor needs to travel out the day before the course starts, and return the day after - so a 2 day course takes up 4 days of his time. (We bring equipment, books, etc., with us, so we have to drive rather than flying).

Customers are uncomfortable placing an order without a firm total price - but we cannot know what the actual costs we incur when travelling will be until the actual dates of the course. Further, some of the costs (such as vehicle tax and insurance) need to be spread fairly and the calculations would be quite complex. Therefore, we use a FIXED EXPENSE QUOTATION system. If you request that we run a course at your office, we'll give you a set figure for expenses irrespective of what we actually spend; sometimes, you'll end up paying a little less than our actual costs, and sometimes a little more.

As well as letting you know what you're going to spend ahead of time, our scheme ensures that we can use appropriate travel facilities. We used to allow our customers to pick up the bill for our hotel and not charge that element to them, but a few incidents lead us to discontinue that scheme; our tutor will NOT give a good course if he stays with the course booker's uncle 40 miles from the training location across a busy urban area, and has a room that overlooks a haulage yard where lorry engines are serviced between jobs starting at 3 in the morning. YES - that has happened!

EXAMPLE CALCULATION

Note This sample calculation is no longer current, but the principles still apply. Many travel expenses are actually reduced from 1.1.2007, but we have increased the minimum number of delegates for on site courses.

Let's take that example of expenses for a two day course in Munich:

1. Travel. We charge at 0.63 (pounds) or 1 Euro per mile. That rate came from the UK tax office as a realistic amount that an employee may charge his employer for use of his own car on business several years ago ... and the UK tax office is NOT noted for its generosity. It includes allowances for fuel, servicing, insurance, depreciation, etc. Distances are something that could easily be argued about, so we take the straight line distance from our office to a midpoint in the country concerned (or in the postcode area in the case of a UK course). For Germany, that means that we use a figure of 565 miles from Melksham to Frankfurt - so that we tend to undercharge for a course in Munich, and overcharge for Aachen.

2. Ferry crossing. If a ferry is required, we charge 150 pounds (250 Euros). You may see much cheaper deals available, but they tend to require the traveller to be away over a Saturday night, for 24 hour trips, or for crossings in the middle of the night.

3. We charge 95 pounds (160 Euros) for each night that the tutor stays away. This includes room, evening meal, breakfast, and also the extra costs incurred in checking email and dealing with other business issues away from the office. For London, where hotel rooms are much more expensive and there's extra costs such as parking and the congestion charge, we now add a further 30 pounds.

So - a two day course in Munich:

 Drive 565 miles x 2 at 1.00 = 1130.00 euros
 Ferry = 250.00 euros
 Three nights away at 160.00 = 480.00 euros
 Giving an EXPENSE QUOTATION of 1860.00 euros

 Drive 565 miles x 2 at 0.63 = 711.90 pounds
 Ferry = 150.00 pounds
 Three nights away at 95.00 = 285.00 pounds
 Giving an EXPENSE QUOTATION of 1146.90 pounds

WHICH CURRENCY?

We can quote and invoice you in pounds or Euros (or US Dollars) - it's your choice; by default, we quote in pounds for the UK and Euros for courses elsewhere in Europe. Our pound (sterling) prices are (at present) reviewed annually with changes taking effect on 1st January, but we may revise prices in other currencies more frequently if there's a major change in exchange rates.

Once a course has been booked at a certain price, that price is fixed even if our prices increase before the course is actually run.



See also On site training

Please note that articles in this section of our web site were current and correct to the best of our ability when published, but by the nature of our business may go out of date quite quickly. The quoting of a price, contract term or any other information in this area of our website is NOT an offer to supply now on those terms - please check back via our main web site

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Solutions centre home page

You'll find shorter technical items at The Horse's Mouth and delegate's questions answered at the Opentalk forum.

At Well House Consultants, we provide training courses on subjects such as Ruby, Lua, Perl, Python, Linux, C, C++, Tcl/Tk, Tomcat, PHP and MySQL. We're asked (and answer) many questions, and answers to those which are of general interest are published in this area of our site.

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