What is a Call Out Charge?

Understand Call Out, Diagnostic and Minimum Charges to avoid nasty surprises.

What is a Call Out Charge?

HomeForce accredited tradespeople do not make Call Out Charges.

What they will charge for is worked carried out. This includes diagnostic work. They will also apply a minimum charge when they carry out work.

You might then ask “What’s the difference between a Call Out Charge, a charge for Diagnostic Work or a Minimum Charge?”

This article aims to clarify this. The intention behind this article is to prevent misunderstandings between customers and tradespeople.

A Call Out charge:

  • Is made simply for attending a job.
  • Work carried out at the job will be charged for in addition to the call out charge.
  • A call out charge is made irrespective of whether work is successfully carried out or not.
  • To have a legal standing a Call Out Charge can only be made when a customer is notified in advance that it will be applied.

A charge for diagnostic work:

  • Is a charge for providing a service.
  • The service will use the skills, experience, qualifications, knowledge and / or tools of the person providing it.
  • Diagnostic work is almost always required to understand what is needed to address a particular issue.
  • If the cause of an issue is not known then it cannot be addressed.
  • A customer could pay only for a repair, and not a diagnostic charge, if they can inform the service provider:
    • The exact cause of a fault
    • Precisely the work and materials needed to repair the fault.
  • If a customer incorrectly diagnoses a fault the service provider would still, rightfully, expect to be paid, even though the fault was not rectified.
  • Read more in our “Charges for Diagnostic work” article.

A minimum charge

  • Is the minimum amount a tradesperson will charge when they carry out work for a customer.
  • Estimates and quotations would still be free of charge as the tradesperson is tendering to do work, not actually doing it.
  • Minimum charges are calculated based on what is an economically viable amount for a tradesperson once all overheads are taken into account.
  • To find out more you also might like to read our article Why Tradespeople make a minimum charge