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  • FIRST POST
    • donglefan
    • By donglefan 6th Oct 17, 2:36 PM
    • 278Posts
    • 63Thanks
    donglefan
    is it fair to have to pay for a plumber's quote?
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:36 PM
    is it fair to have to pay for a plumber's quote? 6th Oct 17 at 2:36 PM
    a plumber was called for a heating problem, and when the problem was described to him, he said it sounded like the diverter valve.

    he came round and found it was the diverter valve and quoted for fixing it.

    his price was more than the cost of the most expensive british gas repair and cover, so i went with bg.

    now i received an invoice for diagnosis and quoting and would like to know if this is normal and reasonable
Page 1
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 6th Oct 17, 2:49 PM
    • 746 Posts
    • 647 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #2
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:49 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Oct 17, 2:49 PM
    It's not unheard of. Some plumbers will charge a callout fee, usually at least £60, to come out to look at a problem. They will usually do about 30-60 minutes work for the callout fee, and charge additional for parts and labour over that covered in the callout fee.

    Bear in mind you are not just paying for their time on the call, but all the time they have spent learning to diagnose a problem that you could not.

    How much was the charge for the diagnosis?

    Ideally, the basis for their charges should have been discussed before you asked them to come out.
    • corum_uk67
    • By corum_uk67 6th Oct 17, 3:22 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    corum_uk67
    • #3
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:22 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:22 PM
    I think it's a bit unfair if it wasn't made clear from the outset that he would be charging a callout fee to provide you with a quotation.

    I've had several quotes recently for a new boiler, all wanted to come and inspect the job first but none charged for their quote.

    The plumber I eventually went with even came back a week after fitting the boiler to fit a pressure reducing valve after the stopcock, as my property didn't have one. He did that for free!

    It's luck of the draw who you get I guess.
    • brightontraveller
    • By brightontraveller 6th Oct 17, 3:55 PM
    • 1,328 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    brightontraveller
    • #4
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:55 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Oct 17, 3:55 PM
    Client is responsible to ask etc same as every other business if they choose not then ignorance, etc isn't grounds not too pay but may be used in mitigation....
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 7th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • 5,250 Posts
    • 3,056 Thanks
    southcoastrgi
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 12:31 PM
    So which way around did this happen ?
    Did he come out & diagnose the problem & then you went with BG or did both of them diagnose the issue, both companies will have covered the diagnostic fee in the repair cost, personally I wouldn’t have told you the problem until I got the job I would have just giving you a cost to repair
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 7th Oct 17, 1:25 PM
    • 545 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    scd3scd4
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 1:25 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 1:25 PM
    What's he getting out of this job if he quotes and you give the work elsewhere??
    Last edited by scd3scd4; 08-10-2017 at 6:21 AM.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 8th Oct 17, 8:59 PM
    • 2,645 Posts
    • 2,959 Thanks
    glasgowdan
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:59 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:59 PM
    What's he getting out of this job if he quotes and you give the work elsewhere??
    Originally posted by scd3scd4
    It's part of running a small business...giving quotes really shouldn't be charged and every small business should be able to do it.

    What would you say if you asked a landscaper round to quote to sort a boggy lawn, he told you what he'd do and then asked £50 when you tell him you're not going to go ahead with It?
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 9th Oct 17, 12:18 AM
    • 8,842 Posts
    • 8,535 Thanks
    somethingcorporate
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:18 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 12:18 AM
    Client is responsible to ask etc same as every other business if they choose not then ignorance, etc isn't grounds not too pay but may be used in mitigation....
    Originally posted by brightontraveller
    Rubbish, the plumber is the professional who should make their terms of business clear to their customer.

    This tactic is underhand and I certainly wouldn't pay without proof I had agreed it beforehand (pretty sure any claim in court would fail without any reasonable proof). I've had dozens of quotes from tradesmen in the past, none of which I have had to pay for.
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • Alex1983
    • By Alex1983 9th Oct 17, 8:44 AM
    • 675 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Alex1983
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:44 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 8:44 AM
    I agree, if he’s asked to have a boiler fitted I wouldn’t expect to pay for a quote, I’m sure most will add a small amount to every quote to cover there time but if your asking someone to diagnose a fault and you go to someone cheaper after they have diagnosed the problem you can’t expect the 1st person not to bill you for there time.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 9th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 545 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    scd3scd4
    A landscaper getting to the bottom of a drainage issue isn't worth paying for but someone spending probably the same time opening a boiler is?
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    Tell that to a garage or an electrician tracing a fault.

    Many computer repair places will still charge for their time to diagnose a fault even if you say no to the repair!

    Next time you have a fault on your boiler.........tell them you will expect them to turn up. Open the boiler up, spend time finding the fault and then put it back together. Then once they explain what is wrong you will decide if to go with them or call another engineer out who is cheaper. Of course you now know what is the fault so can save money and time!!!

    Let us know how you get on.
    Last edited by scd3scd4; 09-10-2017 at 3:25 PM.
    • David Aston
    • By David Aston 9th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    David Aston
    Just for clarification for when I need work done. Is it reasonable, or not, to ask a tradesman/woman if they charge for giving a quote?
    • Alex1983
    • By Alex1983 9th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
    • 675 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Alex1983
    I would say it is reasonable to expect to pay if they are diagnosing a fault but not reasonable if there quoting to fit a new boiler or bathroom etc.
    • glennevis
    • By glennevis 9th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    glennevis
    Rule of thumb a plumber told me was there would be at least the minimum call out fee once the 'engineer' (sic) touches your equipment. So if they came and diagnosed your fault by touching anything, which I suspect could be simply turning a tap on and off, then expect to pay. If you want a free quote ask if they do free quotes.
    • David Aston
    • By David Aston 10th Oct 17, 2:13 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 459 Thanks
    David Aston
    Thanks for your comments.It certainly seems a no brainier to ask prior to a visit if a quote would be free or not. If there is a leak for instance, and it's source isn't obvious, it doesn't seem unreasonable to have to pay if the plumber needs to spend time finding the source. I would still ask about the situation prior to asking for a visit.
    • brightontraveller
    • By brightontraveller 20th Oct 17, 5:06 PM
    • 1,328 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    brightontraveller
    Rubbish, the plumber is the professional who should make their terms of business clear to their customer.

    This tactic is underhand and I certainly wouldn't pay without proof I had agreed it beforehand (pretty sure any claim in court would fail without any reasonable proof). I've had dozens of quotes from tradesmen in the past, none of which I have had to pay for.
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    Mmmm them being in your home is pretty much proof ?

    “Fault finding” isn't “Quoting” they are different and where many fall and box altogether e.g plumber/ electrician etc calls out gives a "quote" to replace item (a tap, plug etc) Isn't same as fault finding, diagnosing etc if you don't see the difference then there isn't anything anyone can say too change your mindset I'll certainly not waste my time
    in your world it is not acceptable to charge for time and no one ever does without your consent ....

    Luckily courts see this differently (even they will charge be my guest and argue it out with them on that ) .. You often find its not the charge but the amount that makes people angry, reluctant to pay and that's a whole different issue "time is money" most understand that ....
    Last edited by brightontraveller; 20-10-2017 at 5:20 PM.
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