What is a Call Out Charge?

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

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