Stop Using the Words “Diagnostic Charge”

Ruth King
Contributing Writer
Profitability Revolution Paradigm

How many of your dispatchers say something like this, “The diagnostic charge to come to your home is $X. The service technician will diagnose your problem and…..”

You Tube and Google have given the average homeowner a video ability to “diagnose their own system.” When they think something is wrong with their HVAC system, they jump on YouTube or Google and try to find the answer. And, they probably will find a video with something that is like what they are experiencing. They have the diagnosis, right or wrong, and they just want someone to fix the problem because they can’t. So, you get a phone call.

If you use the words “Diagnostic charge” in your explanation, you will get the self-diagnosing customers saying something like, “I don’t need anyone to diagnose the problem. I already know what it is and I’m not paying you a diagnostic charge.”

Whether they know what the problem is or not, they THINK they know and won’t pay for a “diagnostic charge.”

What to say instead?

“The service call is $X. When the technician comes to your home he will give you a firm quote for the repairs in addition to the service call.”


“The investment you make for one of our trained technicians to come to your home is $X. After looking at your system he will give you a firm quote for the repairs in addition to the charge to come to your home.”

Either of these two statements works. They won’t get you in trouble because a customer thinks he knows what is wrong with his system and doesn’t want to pay for an expert opinion.

Changing this script might take a little time. However, once you use it, you will find that the initial customer call will go more smoothly.

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