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Tradesmen Call-Out Fees
  • Mar 23, 2023

Tradesmen Call-Out Fees

We look at some of the approaches to call-out fees on the Gold Coast. It does depend on the trade and the overheads of conducting that trade.


A $0 call-out fee may be hiding hidden charges.

A plumber familiar with your property is not going to charge you as much for the investigation and location of the issue.

Check Reviews

It can be helpful to check and 'interpret reviews'. Some people give a bad review for a phone conversation that did not eventuate into an actual job. Anyone can have a bad day. A plumber may not be the best on the phone when they are fixing a leaking bathroom.

Some reviews are plainly bogus with 'glossy generic marketing speak'.

Plumber Review
Not sure if this review is realistic depending on what part was required. Should a plumber be expected to carry every contingency with them? If they did carry every contingency they would have a very heavy vehicle, and not be able to offer a wide choice.

Look for reviews from real people in the location that experienced the service and present a balanced view. The odd spelling mistake, the mention of a name, is a sign of a genuine review.

Good plumbers often do not need to advertise.

Plumber No Call Out Fee


An electrician may charge between $60 and $100 per hour. Some may offer a call-out fee to include the first 30 minutes of work.

Appliance Repairs

A call-out fee for an appliance repairer needs to take into account the need for a return visit should the part not be available.

In many situations the repairer will not be able to diagnose the or carry the required part.

Trade Call Out

Free Measure and Quote

Some trades like shutters and blinds require an accurate measure and quote.

Other aspects of the quote include the quality and style of the blinds and whether installation is included.

A painter also needs to visit your premises. An innovative painter can do simple repairs via a discussion over the phone. They may include colour matching as part of the quote. In most cases the home owner will not know the exact paint colour. Hence a professional painter who can colour match at your premises is better value than a handyman.

The techniques used are available on the spot. Colours mixed and tested on the spot by a professional will always be better than guess work. What type of end result do you want? How much would a botched job cost you?

Choice Research

A call-out is usually 60-80% of an hour of a tradie's time and usually charged only for the first site attendance, not follow-up attendances.

If you're in an unresolved financial dispute with a Gold Coast tradesperson, the Office of Fair Trading may be the agency to contact-:

  • supplying information and advice about rights and responsibilities
  • enforcing consumer protection laws
  • helping resolve marketplace disputes
  • licensing a range of occupations
  • investigating unfair business practices
  • prosecuting unscrupulous businesses
  • supplying information about product safety
  • registering incorporated associations, charities and cooperatives.

Ask a Tradie you do trust

If you have a tradesman you do trust, ask them who they use for other trades. Firstly, they have a trades knowledge and can recognise the qualities in others.

Mention to the recommended tradesman "John the plumber recommended you".

How you can reduce the need for a call-out fee

Here are some steps in a typical apartment building that can help reduce the call-out fees required-:

  • Create an Asbestos Register
  • Document any previous tradesmen work
  • Map out electrical and plumbing plans
  • Keep a list of emergency tradies and the circumstances they can be accessed

Does the latch on the front door to your building require a specialised locksmith to keep it operational? Take the time to learn simple maintenance. Often the tradie themselves will advise you of the steps required to reduce the need to call-out.

Is a call-out fee a deterrent?

A call-out fee charged by a tradesman can serve as both a practical necessity and a potential deterrent for customers. On the one hand, this fee helps tradesmen cover their operational costs, such as transportation and the time spent traveling to your location, especially for emergency or out-of-hours services.

It ensures that tradesmen can sustain their businesses and provide a reliable service. On the other hand, this fee can deter some potential customers, especially if they are price-sensitive or uncertain about the scope of the required work.

An example of engaging a tradesman in Good faith.

There was an issue with my Jetski, Josh came out spent 30 minutes diagnosing the problem and said I needed to go to an alternative workshop as I do not have the facilities for this repair.

I can't charge you for today.

Josh Jetpowered Jetski Servicing

Who is not going to offer to pay or make sure they stick with this kind of service.

Some situations require give and take. Demanding a quote may be inappropriate in a situation that requires considerable expense for a business to provide that quote.

Weiss Electrical

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