I believe that it’s time to call time on call out charges and I explain why here.

BACKGROUND

I had to call out a plumber I have used before to have a look at a small leak on a (small) hot water immersion heater in my flat. He duly arrived at 8am and spent about 15 minutes looking at it to reach the conclusion that it needed replacing.

Fair enough you say, so off he went as he waited for his supplier to give him a price for a replacement so he could revert to me with a price for the job.

He rang about 1 hour later and quoted £385 + VAT and that would include the £60 call out charge this morning. I baulked at that and said that I would have to look elsewhere, which elicted the response, “I’ll just bill you for the call-out charge then” at £60.

I had looked up the price of the heater and it was about £100 or so and he gave me the full breakdown which I negotiated down as I am a repeat customer (trying to plead to their better nature).

RIPOFF

Why should anyone get away with a call-out fee to look at a job that is pretty much being handed in to their lap in the first place? Nobody else seems to be able to get away with it apart from God’s little children as they like to think of themselves, and how do they expect to get work if they do not have a look at the job in the first place?

I believe that it’s high time that this racket is knocked on the head now. I would recommend to anyone in a similar situation where they need a plumber or electrician to question how much they will charge for looking at the work that is being offered to them before asking them to pop round. If you are quoted some daft call-out fee, simply refuse and say that you will take your custom elsewhere.

It can’t just be me that thinks that it’s outrageous. Why should it be seen as acceptable in a time of continued austerity for a tradesman to charge for looking at a job which they need to do before deciding whether to accept it or price it up as an estimate? Painters and carpet fitters don’t do it and I believe that it gives these professions a bad name, if they did but know it.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

It’s hardly a shining example of providing great customer service or how to encourage customer loyalty. Whilst I have used this firm on more than one occasion, I certainly won’t use them again if I can help it based on that experience because I felt cheated.

It’s time for the public to wise up and turn the tables now.

What do you think? Do you agree that call out charges should be banned?

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