It doesn’t matter if you are an electrician, a plumber, a gas engineer etc. Every contractor within the property maintenance sector find themselves explaining a certain three-word term regularly to clients; ‘call out charge’.
Clients, whether property professionals or homeowners, often struggle to come to terms with the fact that contractors have overheads which need to be covered. Any plumber for instance can attest to outbursts such as: “How can it be as much as this, the guy was only here an hour to fix a pipe!” What people fail to see is that what is an hour on site is in fact an hour on site, plus parking, plus vehicle costs, plus office costs, plus… you get the picture.
Problems caused by this lack of understanding
Unfortunately, clients squeezing contractors on their call out rates has actually led to another phenomenon; take hours to fix that pipe instead. In this scenario a contractor will say that there is no special call out rate and that every hour is the same. In this instance let’s say that every hour is £60.00 and the call out charge if they were to have one would be £80.00. Instead of getting the job done within the first hour and charging £60.00, they would look at it, scratch their heads, maybe have a cup of tea and a chat with the client, go down to the van, go to the shop, buy a part, wander back, take their time, tidy up and all of a sudden you are now being charged £120.00 for something that a contractor with a call out charge would only charge £80.00 for. These are the kinds of conmen contractors that end up on your television when watching Panorama and unfortunately create even more distrust towards contractors (of course there are some contractors who are just bad eggs in general.)
Jaggar’s answer to the call-out conundrum
Jaggar have never looked at the call out rate as anything other than what it is. It has never increased and never been passed off as anything else. Our philosophy is that we charge £75.00 plus VAT for the first hour, but give us a nice long list of repairs and we will give you the most productive hour of your life. If we are on site for 10 minutes longer that the hour, so be it, it’s 10 minutes and we know that our customers will come back for more.